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We have just finished building a house and we have some small stains on a stainless steel door handle.

I was wondering what was the best way to remove them? Unfortunately I'm not sure what's caused them. They appear as small "smudges" along the handle.

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Use some Flitz. I used to have a tube of the paste that worked really well on stainless knives. I need to pick up some more from the hardware store.

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+1 for the Flitz recommendation. I haven't used it on stainless, but I've used it to polish brass and the results were great. – Doresoom Mar 3 '11 at 22:16

I use isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) to remove oily fingerprints, fatty deposits, etc. Works great on the range hood (extractor hood) above my cooktop, which accumulates fatty deposits quite fast.

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I'm a big fan of Barkeeper's Friend for stainless steel (it brings new life to cookware). Just make sure there isn't a finish on top of the metal that would get damaged, and test it in a non-visible location first.

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I have tried various things that claimed to be stainless cleaners and have been disappointed.

The best success has been with an all-surface cleaner like Windex.

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I would think windex would be too harsh of a chemical and damage the material after a while. Just because it looks good and works does not means it is safe for the material. Maybe the ammonia free Windex would be ok. – mohlsen Dec 23 '11 at 13:17
I thought the same thing. But I believe the all-surface stuff I've been using doesn't have ammonia in it, and is listed as safe for stainless. link – JoeFish Dec 23 '11 at 14:10
I think the "don't use Windex" rule dates back to when ammonia was in it. Definitely don't use ammonia on stainless. – DA01 Aug 27 '12 at 6:35

I use Method general purpose cleaner to get stainless steel clean. The trick is to rinse it really well because any soap left on will streak. After it's clean, I maintain my stainless steel surfaces by just wiping them down with a damp microfiber cloth. The polishes are a maintenance nightmare, avoid them all!

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Believe it or not, WD-40! Always polish with the grain.

  • I used WD40 (which worked on the smudges) but I didn't like the residue of WD40. So I took the WD40 Residue off with Dawn and water - wiped with a clean towel and all the prints are gone and the WD40 residue as well.
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We have several stainless steel appliances, and little kids that smudge them every day. We have tried dozens of cleaners, and the best we have found is Weiman's.

The have several varieties, but we like the one in the aerosol spray can. You can find it anywhere, we get it at the local mega-mart.

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