How to carefully clean stainless steel and decanters

You'll find stainless steel all over a typical home because of the unique surface that resists corrosion and rust. If you also have decanters around your home, whether stainless steel, crystal or cut glass, you'll want them looking fresh and not neglected. To keep your stainless steel and decanters looking bright and new, use these helpful tips to clean them.

How to carefully clean stainless steel and decanters

Cleaning stainless steel

Unless deeply scratched to expose its untreated centre, stainless steel won't rust. But it needs a gentle touch to remove greasy marks.

Pots and cutlery

  1. Use hot water and dishwashing soap, removing stubborn food with a sponge or nylon-bristled brush.
  2. Polish with a clean dry cloth.
  3. Remove any stubborn grease spots with a cloth soaked in white vinegar or use a store-bought stainless steel cleaner, following the package instructions.

Sinks and appliances

  1. Use warm water and a squirt of dishwashing soap on a sponge or soft cloth, working in the direction of the grain.
  2. Rinse with clear water and dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.
  3. If more cleaning is needed, scrub with a paste of baking soda made with hot water, or with a solution of one part white vinegar in three parts water.
  4. Baby oil or WD-40 wiped over the surface will also remove fingerprints and other marks.

Cleaning a decanter

You should wash dust and grime from a decorative decanter from time to time and always clean thoroughly inside after each use.

Outside

  1. If antique, or made of crystal or cut glass, lay a folded tea towel in the bottom of the sink to protect against chipping.
  2. Wash by hand in warm soapy water using a sponge and a soft-bristled brush.

Inside

  1. Half fill with warm soapy water and shake gently with your hand over the top.
  2. If still stained, try swirling around a mixture of vinegar and coarse rock (sea) salt or buy special abrasive-coated cleaning balls to swirl around instead.

For stubborn wine stains use warm water, rock salt and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Alternatively, fill with water, add a denture cleaning tablet and soak overnight.

To dry

Effective drying is essential to prevent "fogging" and contamination by micro-organisms lingering in water.

  1. Drain thoroughly then insert a long-handled wooden spoon wrapped in paper towel.
  2. Leave overnight or blow in warm air with a hair dryer — but beware of the glass overheating and cracking.
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