How to Remove and Prevent Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

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Learn the trick for how to remove fingerprints from stainless steel appliances, along with the secret to prevent fingerprints on stainless steel so you can clean your appliances less!

stainless steel fridge

Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

Just like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances are all the rage right now and the hallmark of an “upgraded” kitchen.  I remember a few years ago when my family moved into a rental with stainless steel appliances-I was excited, finally I had the “fancy” kitchen!  Little did I realize that stainless steel and three little boys equals a LOT of fingerprints everywhere!

fingerprints on stainless steel refrigerator

How to Remove Fingerprints from Stainless Steel

Over the past few years I’ve tried a variety of ways to not only remove the fingerprints from the stainless steel but help prevent them from showing up so easily as well.  I’m happy to say that I’ve finally found a great system that works and am sharing it with you today!

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vinegar and turtle wax

How to Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel Appliances

To start clean your appliance (my fridge in this case) the way you normally do.  I usually use a window cleaner or my orange basil vinegar mixture.  I use straight vinegar to remove any tough spots, being sure to wipe with diluted vinegar afterwards to remove any residual.

Prevent Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

Now for the secret weapon…once your stainless steel is completely clean use Turtle Wax to keep those pesky fingerprints from coming back!! Using a clean cloth or paper towel apply the Turtle Wax in a light coat and then buff to a shine with a clean microfiber cloth (affiliate link).

turtle wax on stainless steel

How Often Do You Need to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

The result is a super shiny surface that resists smudges for much longer.  I usually touch up the cleaning and Turtle Wax every couple of weeks as needed to keep the steel looking brand new!

Have you tried any other methods of cleaning stainless steel? I’d love to hear what has (or hasn’t) worked for you!

You might also like these tips:

How to Remove and Prevent Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

How to Remove and Prevent Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

Learn the trick for how to remove fingerprints from stainless steel appliances, along with the secret to prevent fingerprints on stainless steel so you can clean your appliances less!

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • Window Cleaner
  • White Vinegar
  • Turtle Wax


  • Microfiber cloth


  1. Clean stainless steel with window cleaner to remove the bulk of fingerprints.
  2. Use vinegar to remove stubborn fingerprints. Wipe clean with water afterward.
  3. Rub turtle wax into the stainless steel in a circular motion and use a microfiber cloth to buff to a shine.


Repeat every 2-3 weeks to maintain

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  1. Since getting my first and most likely last stainless frig, after trying many different commercial products that failed miserably. I was dusting one day using Pledge and I started thinking why not try it about 30 min. later I had a gleaming frig that I hadn’t seen for a very long time, only problem it doesn’t last too long. I’m now going to use your method and hope it works even better

  2. Hi. Iā€™ have a black whirlpool fridge and stove. Is there a tip to keep fingerprints off that? And an easier way to keep the black gas stovetop clean from grease etc Thanks.

  3. All the helpful ideas sound great. I have another suggestion, I know it does work to clean stainless steel Is to spray a bit of WD40 on a cloth to wipe it on the appliance. Not sure how that would work with the turtle wax. odd combination might no be wise to apply together. I wouldnt want SS appliances myself, what I have is all white. Just because they are new and SS, doesnt turn my crank. I dont keep up with the new trends. But thanks for all the input on the subject.

  4. Thanks for the tips! In addition to white vinegar, another effective topical cleaning solvent for stainless steel fingerprint removal is 90+ percent rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) applied from a spray bottle.

    The refrigerator displayed at the top of the page resembles a GE unit that was replaced after 16 years. During that time, old untreated fingerprints seemed to discolor the stainless steel and couldn’t be removed (plus the external ice dispenser, if it didn’t jam up, was extremely loud). I’m starting to revert to classic-style white enamel kitchen appliances with black handles which are much more benign. Plus an internal ice maker in a top freezer compartment is easier on the ears šŸ™‚

  5. I also have used a spray furniture polish, and also Olive oil to remove and prevent a quick accumulation of fingerprints. The only problem is both will cause a buildup of wax or oil on your stainless steel. This recently happened to me. I had to clean the appliances with diluted ammonia and then with an alcohol/water/dawn soap mixture to get them clean again.

  6. When we bought our last refrigerator, we asked the salesman how they keep all the display appliances fingerprint free. He showed us their trick. They spay a little lemon furniture polish on a soft cloth and go over the appliances and they shine like new with no fingerprints. We tried it and it really worked. HINT. Do not spray directly on the appliance. Some of the excess spay droplets or spray may get on the floor. It can make the tile very slippery.

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