Someone cleaning a stainless steel oven with stainless steel cleaner.

We Tried It: Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish on the Dirtiest Appliances You’ve Ever Seen

Last Updated: June 30, 2022

Greasy, grimy, and grody—learn how to clean the gunk off of your stainless steel with Method Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish.

No one has ever said I’m a beacon of cleanliness, nor do I claim to be. I can’t even remember the last time I cleaned my stainless steel appliances – if that gives you any indication of my stance on keeping my surroundings unsullied.

So when I saw that method, one of my favorite brands, had a stainless steel cleaner, I thought to myself, “It’s time.” But like I said, my stainless steel is not clean. Not even close. The dishwasher in particular is in pretty bad shape. What I’m saying here is, method’s Stainless Steel Cleaner has its work cut out for it. If you love a good ‘before and after’ photo (who doesn’t?), stick around and see how method’s cleaner holds up to my sordid steel.

But first, what is stainless steel?

Despite having owned various stainless steel appliances throughout my life, I have no idea what makes stainless steel different from other types of steel — and I’m assuming you don’t, either.

Regular ol’ steel is made from iron. What makes stainless steel special is the addition of at least 10.5% chromium, a chemical element that gives stainless steel its super strength and makes it rust-, heat-, and stain-resistant. The more you know!

How to get a streak-free shine on your stainless steel

The best way to clean stainless steel without streaks is actually a two-fold process. First, use a soft cloth that won’t shed — I’m a microfiber cloth devotee, but paper towels work just fine too.

Second, wipe in circular motions. Circles are the key to achieving a streak-free shine! I imagine it’s because wiping in circles leaves behind less cleaning fluid – and therefore fewer streaks. Alas, there are surprisingly few scholarly articles on the merits of circular wiping, so I guess we’ll never know for sure why it’s better.

What products shouldn’t you use on stainless steel?

Take heed and keep the cleaners and tools in this list far away from your appliances, lest they scratch or permanently stain your immaculate stainless steel.

Illustration of blue thumbs down
  • Abrasive scrub pads like steel wool
  • Glass cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Mildew spray
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Silver polish
  • Oven cleaner

Learn more tips and tricks to unsully your appliances with our guide to cleaning stainless steel.

method Stainless Steel Cleaner + Polish

method Stainless Steel Cleaner and a microfiber cleaning cloth

Let’s dig in, shall we? The first thing I noticed was how GOOD this stuff smells. I expected Sharpie-esque fumes at worst, chemical fruit at best. The bottle says ‘apple orchard’. I’ve never been to an apple orchard, so I can’t attest to its accuracy. What I do know is that it has a fresh, fruity scent that’s subtle enough not to overwhelm your senses.

method’s Stainless Steel Cleaner + Polish is made from plant-based cleaning agents and polishers like coconut oil, lye, sorbitan oleate from sugar alcohols, and capric triglyceride from natural oils and glycerin. The bottle is made from 100% recycled — and recyclable — plastic, so once it’s empty all you need to do is wash it out and pop it into the recycling bin.

How to use method Stainless Steel Cleaner + Polish

Spray it. Spray the cleaner onto a cloth. I didn’t do this; I sprayed directly onto my appliances. Pro tip: A little goes a long way, so spray once and add more as needed.

Rub it. Rub your appliances clean. method says to rub with the grain — I didn’t do this. I rubbed in circles. Try ‘em both and see which way works best for you!

Buff it. Give ‘er a buff for extra shine. Use a dry, clean cloth for this step. Again, I buffed in circles, but go with the grain of your appliances if it gives you a better result.

How it went



The sink

I started off with the easiest (and cleanest) appliance – my stainless steel sink. Before I sprayed it with the cleaner, I did give it a rinse with the faucet to remove any leftover food bits. I didn’t bother drying the sink after I rinsed it, but I don’t think it affected the end results. Look at that shine!

Clean your kitchen from top to toe with our ultimate kitchen cleaning guide.



The fridge

Fingerprints and food droplets are the Achilles’ heel of even the most durable stainless steel refrigerators. Since method touts their product as both a cleaner and a polish, I didn’t think it’d be strong enough to remove the grubby mess that was stuck on my fridge. Lo’ and behold, it did! Honestly, I don’t feel like the pic does it justice. My fridge looks stunning.

Give your fridge some much-needed TLC with our step-by-step fridge cleaning guide.



The dishwasher

Don’t judge me. I know it’s gross. The worst part is that I don’t even remember how the black paint got there. What was I painting? Nothing in the kitchen is painted black. But I digress. The dishwasher was a yucky, scuzzy mess. A crime scene of neglect. And yet! The method Stainless Steel Cleaner got it all off — even the mysterious paint. If that doesn’t make you run to get your hands on this stuff, I don’t what will.

Don’t let your dishwasher turn into a crime scene of neglect. Keep it spiffy with our easy dishwasher cleaning guide.

The verdict

Would I say this is the best stainless steel cleaner? Yes. Yes, I would. To be fair, I (obviously) haven’t ever used a stainless steel cleaner before, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. That being said, this product is made from natural ingredients, smells amazing, and it knocks out the grubby stains and fingerprints on my stainless steel like an episode of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. Why would I ever need another cleaner when this one is so delightfully perfect?

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