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Can you clean stainless steel with Windex? When purchasing household supplies, we are often tempted to get options that can multitask. It saves us from roaming the endless rows of supermarkets and making endless choices. In the US market, Windex is one of the leaders among the glass cleaners. So that choice is easy. But maybe we can clean other things with it, like stainless steel appliances?

Hence, the question: can you clean stainless steel with Windex? We just want to save space and money and avoid having to make extra choices. However, it can be in vain this time. The short answer to the question is ‘no’.

But we don’t want to leave you in the dark: we’ll tell you why the answer is negative and then follow up with alternative solutions to clean stainless steel appliances.

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Clean stainless steel surfaces are made to shine and provide a mirror-like reflection. This way, they can become statement pieces of your decor. Like a stainless steel fridge or a dishwasher.

I think this shining quality is ‘to blame’ for the temptation to clean stainless steel surfaces with Windex: they shine like glass. But it seems the similarity ends there.

Windex on stainless steel: why not?

The primary and most famous Windex cleaners are aimed at cleaning glass surfaces. These products have earned their ‘sparkling’ reputations over the years. For that reason, some people recommend glass cleaners as the potential solution for stainless steel.

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The manufacturer has been expanding the assortment of its products, and nowadays you can buy Multi-Purpose Windex options, including the Outdoor Sprayer, suitable for cleaning patio furniture, for example.

Why shouldn’t we take up cleaning stainless steel surfaces with any of them?

The main reason for the unfavorable decision is that Windex contains ammonia in it. Ammonia is one of the harshest substances used in the cleaning process. Although stainless steel appliances are resilient and tough, they are not invincible.

They are vulnerable if exposed to ammonia, which destroys a layer of protection and makes stainless steel appliances prone to rusting.

Therefore, using Windex on stainless steel does not appear like a good idea.

Windex undoubtedly makes a stainless steel appliance look gorgeous. It can polish stainless steel surfaces almost to the mirror-like reflective qualities, but at what cost?

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Windex: ammonia-free options

Some time ago, however, the Windex manufacturer launched an ammonia-free option for their cleaning products, including a glass cleaner and wipes. They don’t contain any aggressive substance and can be applied to stainless steel.

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We would still recommend doing the cleanup with the products intended precisely for stainless steel surfaces. The efficiency of such products is secured by their targeted action, and their ingredients are always gentle and don’t contain aggressive substances that can harm stainless steel appliances.

Cleaning stainless steel surfaces: general rules

Proven vulnerable when being exposed to abrasive cleaners, stainless steel requires special treatment. As most of us have many stainless steel appliances, an appropriate solution is critical. So we decided to equip you with some tips on caring about a stainless steel surface and avoiding the mistakes that can cost you.

  • Be gentle. Opting for special stainless steel cleaners is the best solution because they will never cause any damage to the chromium protective layer and even provide care for the stainless steel appliance prolonging its service life.There are also certain cleaning tools, like steel wool, that are too abrasive to be used on stainless steel. Some soft cloth (microfiber cloth is the best option) should be used instead. Steel wool will damage the surface of stainless steel without a doubt.
  • Mind the technique. For a more brilliant result, work the soft cloth with circular movements in the same direction as the metal grains. If you look closer, you’ll see the direction of the slight lines.
  • Testing first. Practice a useful tactic of being ‘better safe than sorry’ and check the stainless steel response to the solution you are tasked with. To do that, apply the cleansing agent to a minor and hidden area and watch the reaction. If you can’t observe any scratches or other negative consequences, proceed with your cleaning.
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Cleanup solutions

We couldn’t just deprive you of using Windex on stainless steel without offering something in exchange. We’ll do even better by offering products intended specifically for stainless steel and throwing in some DIY cleaning solutions, as well.

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Special products

As we tried to prove in our post, stainless steel products can be vulnerable when exposed to abrasive cleaners. That’s why, opting for a special product designed to care for stainless steel will help you avoid the stress of uncertainty: will I damage my favorite fridge with this cleaner or not?

There are plenty of special cleaners on the market. Among our favorites is Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish.

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Applying it to the surface, you can remove tough stains from a fridge, sink, or faucet. It’s effective and can multitask. Exactly what we prefer.

We also like the wipes, like Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes. They are really convenient. No need for soft cloth here. They are absolutely self-sufficient.

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DIY cleaners

If, for some reason, the above special products are not an option for you, we are offering traditional and effective homemade stainless steel cleaning methods.

Vinegar. This household darling well-renowned for its exceptional cleaning quality can be applied as a stainless steel care means. 2 methods can serve your purpose.

The first one implies a vinegar and warm water solution (1:1 ratio) applied to the surface, rubbed in, rinsed, and wiped with a microfiber cloth.

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As an alternative method of cleaning stainless steel, pour vinegar on a dry cloth, rub it into the stain on the surface, and wait until it’s dry. Take a fresh microfiber cloth and pour some olive oil on it (baby oil will work fine, too). Work the olive oil onto the surface. Olive oil will provide an extra shine.

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Dish soap. For this method, we recommend mild dish soap. Use a mixture of a little dish soap and warm water (1 teaspoon:1 quart ratio) and a cloth as an applicator. After properly cleaning the surface, wipe it with a clean cloth and finish with baby oil.

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The application of some mineral oil is also an acceptable alternative. Baby oil will give the stainless steel an additional shine.

Baking soda. One more fantastic cleaner for you to use. For our purpose, we should require its mixture with warm water. Baking soda is applied to the surface and then rinsed off thoroughly.

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Afterward, mineral oil applied with a microfiber cloth will give the stainless steel appliance a finished and shining look.

To conclude

In our article, we haven’t only tried discouraging you from using ammonia-based Windex on stainless steel surfaces but also provided you with alternative cleaning techniques for surfaces made of this metal. Windex on stainless steel is only acceptable if you opt for ammonia-free Windex solutions.

Our general recommendation is to employ the products intended for stainless steel specifically. This way, you won’t have to worry about the damage you may cause to your appliances.


What is the best thing to clean stainless steel?

The most efficient and safest way is to use special products for stainless steel care like Magic Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish or Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes.

What should you not use on stainless steel?

Solutions containing ammonia and other aggressive substances are not advisable for cleaning stainless steel, as they can be detrimental to the chromium protective coating of the appliances.

Can I use glass cleaner to clean stainless steel?

Glass cleaners are detrimental because one of their basic ingredients is ammonia, which is particularly harmful to stainless steel.

Can you use Windex multi-surface on stainless steel?

Ammonia-free Windex cleaners are not damaging to stainless steel. Ammonia-containing cleaners are detrimental to it.

Mary Ann

I'm a mom of 3 and spend a good chunk of my time cleaning and organizing our crazy home. My goal is to help people keep their homes tidy in a way that saves them time and money! I hope the resources on this site are a help to you and your family.

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