These days, most kitchens feature at least one stainless steel appliance, if not a whole set! Stainless steel is best known for its durability and sleek, modern appearance. Although this material is extremely resistant to stains and rust, over time your appliances may become dull and scratched.

Stainless steel is a blend and mixture of specific metals to give it those defining characteristics. With the proper cleaning and maintenance, stainless steel can almost always retain its radiant glow and remove those scratches. Follow the steps below to get rid of those scratches and have your stainless steel appliances looking brand new.

⚠ Identify the “grain direction” of the stainless steel.

When you look very closely at brushed stainless, you will see the brush marks. Notice how they go in a definite direction, known as the “grain.” This grain was set during the manufacturing process.

It is essential that regardless of what method and tools you use to remove the scratches, you only rub with the grain—never against the grain! These examples of grain lines in stainless steel will help you detect yours.

🔵 Fine Scratches on Stainless Steel

Pour a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend powdered cleanser in a small bowl. Add enough water—a few drops at a time— to make a toothpaste consistency.

Apply a small amount of this paste to a clean, dry, microfiber cloth. Very gently rub it back and forth over the scratch moving in straight lines (you don’t want to end up with an unattractive circular pattern) and only with the grain of the uncoated stainless steel.

Using a second damp microfiber cloth, gently wipe away all of the paste to examine the situation. Fine scratches will have disappeared. Dry and clean with a third cloth. If the scratches still appear, repeat the process as many times as needed.


This is the most famous “trick”, used to clean scratches on metal, as well as glass.

Wet a clean cloth, on which you place a little toothpaste. Dab the scratches in the grain direction, and let it dry. Rinse with clean water before drying thoroughly with a soft, microfiber cloth.

You can also use a soft toothbrush instead of the cloth to put toothpaste on the scratches. Rub the scratched areas always in the grain direction.

Remove the toothpaste with a cloth, and look at the result; if necessary, repeat the process until the trace disappears. You can then wipe with a clean damp cloth.