How to Get Rid of Scratches on Stainless Steel

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

Stainless steel gives a great, modern look to any part of your home. Be it your kitchen appliances, touchless steel faucets, parts of your bathroom, or even your kitchen utensils, stainless steel is great for being durable while also maintaining a fresh look that won’t rust.

However, the stainless steel products we have can and do get scratched from use. A stray toddler with a tendency to misuse a fork or even a careless partner who carried a stepladder a bit too carelessly — it happens! But don’t fret, as there are ways that we can buff out those scratches from our sleek-looking stainless steel products and return them back to their former glory. 

Examine the surface

It’s important to figure out what kind of scratches you’re going to be dealing with before we start to get them out. For different kinds of scratches, there will be different kinds of approaches depending on if your scratches are small or deep. 

You will also need to identify the direction of the grain of the stainless steel. Any work that you want to do on your stainless steel needs to follow the grain of the stainless steel, and you wouldn’t want to go across that grain.

Test before a full application

You should also figure out if your stainless steel is coated or uncoated. Some stainless steel appliances are coated in a protective synthetic clear coat in order to reduce smudges. Oftentimes, you can find out if your stainless steel appliances are coated via the owner’s manual or check with the manufacturer themselves. For coated stainless steel, it is very unlikely that you would be able to remove any scratches from the stainless steel, and any method to buff out those scratches will make coated stainless steel look worse than how it was originally. 

If you can’t figure out if the stainless steel is coated, you could try testing the methods below on a small area that can’t be seen easily. If the steel surface is looking worse off after you’ve used some of these methods below, you might not be able to work on it any further.

Fixing Fine Scratches on Stainless Steel

Once you’ve confirmed that the stainless steel is uncoated and the steel is safe to work on, you can start setting up the non-abrasive compound. These compounds are sold in either a powder form that you add water to or ones that come in a paste form. For home remedies, you could also use non-gel toothpaste or a mixture of baking soda and water at a pasty consistency. 

Clean the surface of all dirt and grease, making sure that it is free of anything. You would want to put your polishing compound onto a microfiber cloth and massage it repeatedly over the scratch, Take special care to work with the grain and follow it. After a couple of minutes of this, use another wet microfiber cloth to remove the compound. If the scratch needs more work, you can repeat this process until you’ve buffed out the scratch. 

Once you’re done buffing out the surface, it’s important to remove any excess compound and dry the area with a fresh cloth.

How to Tackle Deep Scratches

Our stainless steel products can also have experienced deep scratches that buffing out with some compounds wouldn’t be able to solve. Thankfully, you can still remove these big scratches, albeit with a lot more time and hand grease.

You will need to get some oil and a scouring pad in order to get these bigger scratches out. With a few drops of oil on the scouring pad, buff the scratched surface. Use only moderate force and make sure to only work with the grain to not cause further damage to the stainless steel. 

After you’ve worked the smaller area with the scratch, you will want to start buffing a larger surface area in order to blend the scratched area into the rest of the steel. This will give you a more uniform look that will give an overall better look to the stainless steel. You will want to repeat this process until the scratch is gone and the buffed area blends seamlessly into the rest of the stainless steel. Remember to remove the oil using a dry microfiber cloth.

Using the BLUE Scotch-Brite

It is VERY important that if you plan to use Scotch-Brite, you use the Blue scotch-Brite and NOT the Green. The Green Scotch-Brite will scratch your stainless steel and destroy the look of your stainless steel.

The Blue Scotch-Brite is the non-scratch variant and is great for use on cookware and cleaning. You can use it as a normal sponge and it will clean up your stainless steel nicely. 

How to Polish Stainless Steel with Flour

You could even use flour, yes flour! All you have to do is wash the stainless steel until it’s clean and then dry it. Dust the stainless steel with flour, ensuring that there is a thick layer. Finally, you can use a cloth or a paper towel to buff the flour into the steel and polish it up, making sure to get all the areas. After that, you can remove all the flour and you’re left with it being shiny!

Other commercial polishes

There are some commercial polishes that are available to buy that can make removing scratches easier. Do sufficient research for a cleaner that can remove the lighter scratches on your stainless steel and keep its luster strong and protected.

Conclusion

Stainless steel is easy to take care of and you can keep that stainless steel luster and shine going strong if you know what to use and do. Make sure that the stainless steel is uncoated before doing any work on it, and always observe the grain of the steel. Remember, you’re working with the steel to make it shine, not against it! Though we always recommend that you use specialized products to polish out the scratches on stainless steel, there is always never any harm in trying some of the home recipes that we’ve gone through above. Just remember to always test on a sacrificial surface on the stainless steel before working on it fully!

1. What are the best ways to remove scratches from stainless steel?

There are a few ways that you can remove scratches from stainless steel. One way is to use a soft cloth and some elbow grease. You can also try using a mild abrasive, like toothpaste or baking soda. If the scratch is deeper, you may need to use a stronger abrasive, like sandpaper. You can also try using a commercial stainless steel cleaner or polish.

2. What are some home remedies for removing?

One is to use a soft cloth dampened with water and a mild detergent to gently rub the scratch. Another is to use a non-abrasive cleaner like WD-40 or vinegar. If the scratch is deeper, you can try using a fine grade steel wool or sandpaper.

3. What are some commercial products that can be used to remove scratches?

One product that is specifically designed for removing scratches from stainless steel is the Weiman Stainless Steel Scratch Remover & Polish. This product comes in a paste form, and it is applied to the scratched area with a soft cloth.

4. How can I prevent scratches on my stainless steel appliances?

1. Use a soft cloth when cleaning. A microfiber cloth is a good option.
2. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals.
3. Use a gentle touch when cleaning. Avoid scrubbing too hard.
4. Don’t place anything hot directly on the surface of the stainless steel. Use a trivet or hot pad.

5. What are some tips for cleaning stainless steel?

1. Start with a clean, soft cloth and mild dish soap.
2. If there are any tough spots or stains, use a clean sponge or scrub brush with a little bit of dish soap.
3. Rinse the area with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

6. How can I remove fingerprints from stainless steel?

There are a few ways that you can remove fingerprints from stainless steel. One way is to use a mild soap and water solution. You can also use a vinegar and water solution. Another way is to use a commercial stainless steel cleaner.

7. What are some common causes of scratches on stainless steel?

One is using a cleaner that is too abrasive. Another is using a scrubber that is too harsh. Finally, not rinsing the stainless steel properly can also lead to scratches.

8. How can I repair a deep scratch in stainless steel?

If the scratch is very deep, you may need to sand it down with a very fine grit sandpaper until it is level with the surrounding area. Once you have sanded it down, you will need to buff it out with a polishing compound and a soft cloth.