Stainless-steel refrigerators are known for the modern feel they provide to any kitchen they grace. However, their doors are many times, not scratch resistant; hence the question; how do you get scratches off stainless steel refrigerator doors on your refrigerator door? These scratches are without a doubt a sight for sore eyes.
To get rid of scratches from stainless steel refrigerators, you must first confirm the authenticity of the stainless steel. Once the authenticity of the stainless steel is verified, clean the door’s surface using any cleaning solution of your choice. Then, proceed to fade the scratches by using a soft-bristle toothbrush and whitening toothpaste for smaller scratches, while for deeper scratches, employ sandpaper.
In this step-by-step guide, expect to learn the complete process and proper steps to adopt when you need to remove a scratch from the door of your stainless-steel refrigerator.
A Complete Guide on How to Get Scratches Off Stainless Steel Refrigerator Doors
- Clean microfiber cloth
- Powder or vinegar cleaning solution
- a soft-bristle toothbrush
- whitening toothpaste
- Stainless-steel scratch removal compound or non-abrasive Cleaner
- Cooking oil/ stainless steel polish
- scrubbing sponge
- stainless steel repair kit
N.B: can use non-abrasive cleaners and stainless-steel polish to buff the steel doors easily when you have fine scratches. Deep scratches will require more tools to get rid of the scratch.
No matter the severity of the scratch on your stainless-steel refrigerator door, getting rid of scratches on stainless steel is possible. However, be careful. There are processes you need to follow to ensure that you do not end up making the situation worse.
The techniques discussed in this section of the article work best for refrigerators without a protective clear coat.
Step 1: Confirm the Authenticity of the Stainless Steel
To successfully get rid of the scratch on your stainless-steel refrigerator door, you must first confirm that the refrigerator’s door is indeed made from stainless steel. Don’t know how to go about this? Well here are some ways to verify the authenticity of your refrigerator’s door steel.
- Magnetic Test
Authentic stainless steel is non-magnetic; hence to prove that the door is made of stainless steel, all you need to do is hold up a bar of magnet to the refrigerator’s door. Should it stick; then it is an indication that the door is not stainless steel. This results from the iron-chromium level in the metal structure.
Another easy method to confirm if your refrigerator’s door is made of stainless steel is by checking for fingerprint marks on an authentic stainless-steel door. All you need to do is place your hands on the refrigerator’s door for a few minutes. When you finally remove your fingers, your fingerprints should be visible on the refrigerator door if indeed the door is made of stainless steel.
Stainless steel possesses a brushed finish with a linear grain. This grain follows a particular direction. So, observe and confirm the appearance of the refrigerator’s door surface before fixing the scratch.
Step 2: Clean the Fridge Door Surface
Next is a very crucial step. It involves cleaning the surface of the door before attempting to fix the scratches. This is done to prevent grime and dirt from mixing with the scratch-fixing solution which can cause more harm to the door material.
Start by wiping the stainless steel door with a clean cloth following the linear direction of the grain. Follow the brush stroke on the door’s surface; this will help you remove the dirt and dust on the surface easily. After wiping, you need a solution to help clean the surface.
You can use either of the two solutions when cleaning the door’s surface. It is either you use a powder or vinegar solution to remove dirt.
1. To clean using a powder solution:
- Dampen the fridge door properly
- Using your clean sponge, apply your mild polishing powder before the fridge dries
- Rinse the door with warm water
- Wipe down the application with a clean microfiber cloth and leave it to dry
2. To clean using the vinegar solution:
- Pour an undiluted vinegar solution into a small bucket
- Wet a clean cloth a little with the vinegar solution
- Clean the surface of the door with a damp cloth while following the grain line
- Use a microfiber cloth to clean the surface thoroughly
Some manufacturers include the preferred cleaning agent for their products on their manuals, but these two solutions effectively remove dirt and other debris from your stainless-steel fridge door.
Step 3: Fixing the Scratches
Depending on the extent of scratch on your fridge, the tools and processes in this step may differ. For smaller scratches, you should use a soft-bristle toothbrush and whitening toothpaste, stainless steel scratch removal compound, or a non-abrasive cleanser.
1. Use a Toothbrush and Toothpaste
It would be best to use a slightly abrasive material, and in this case, toothpaste is your best bet since it is fairly abrasive compared to other mild polishing cleaners. Consider using this along with a soft-bristle toothbrush following the process below to help fade the scratch.
- Apply your whitening toothpaste on the soft-bristle toothbrush
- Layout the toothpaste on the stainless-steel surface following the grain line to avoid more scratches
- You can occasionally wipe the toothpaste off with a clean cloth to ensure it is working then reapply until the scratch fades
- As soon as you confirm the scratch faded, wipe the residue off with your clean cloth
- Use a stainless-steel polish or olive oil to restore shine to the surface
2. Use a Stainless-Steel Scratch Removal Compound or Non-Abrasive Cleaner
To use this method, you must mix the paste and apply it to the scratch. Follow the directions below.
- Mix water with the removal compound to create a paste for powdered compound until the appearance is similar to that of a toothpaste
- For a cream-based compound, apply the paste on a microfiber cloth
- Rub the cloth back and forth, making sure to follow the grain line
- Once you notice the scratch is fading, wipe off the compound to eliminate any residue
- Take another microfiber cloth and repeat the rubbing process until the scratch completely fades off
- You can coat the surface with cooking oil to give a cleaner finishing
3. Use a Sandpaper/ Abrasive Pad
In some cases, manufacturers specify using an abrasive pad when fixing scratches, but fine-grit sandpaper can also do the trick. Follow the process below when using sandpaper to clear scratches on a kitchen appliance like your refrigerator.
- Wet a clean cloth and use it to dampen the door’s surface; note that the surface should be wet during this process
- Wet your sandpaper also and ensure it remains damp until you are done
- Sand the scratched surface using light pressure, and remember to follow the grain line so it blends with the rest of the surface
- If you are not getting your desired result, change the sandpaper to one with a higher grit
- As soon as the scratch fades, wipe the surface with a damp cloth
- Use your microfiber cloth to clean the door’s surface
- Apply your olive oil or metal polish to restore shine to your refrigerator door
What to do with a Severely Scratched Stainless Steel Refrigerator Door?
The severity of the scratch on your fridge door may be more than what the solutions above can fix. Cases like these require a more radical approach which may sometimes include repainting or replacing the fridge door.
Use The Stainless-Steel Scratch Removal Kit
When you notice that the scratch on your fridge door is more than what a toothbrush and toothpaste combo or sandpaper can fix, you have to take more extreme measures to fade the scratch, which is where the stainless-steel scratch removal kit comes in.
Getting this kit is quite easy; it contains one lubricant, one sanding block, three abrasive pads, and an instructional video on how to use it. Go through the provided guide first to help you understand the usage.
- Place the abrasive pad with the finer grit on the provided sanding block and apply a single coat layer of your lubricant to the abrasive pad
- When sanding, follow the grain direction of the steel’s surface
- If you do not observe any difference, we advise picking up a rougher pad and applying a coat of lubricant once more, then proceeding to continue sanding
- Remember that you are provided with three pads and so should the second pad yield no result, you can pick up the last and roughest grit pad and apply another coat of lubricant, then sand the surface
- You must follow the grain line of the door’s surface to avoid any more damage
- Use the final grit to sand down the surface of the whole door
If this scratch removal kit cannot fix the scratch on your fridge door, the only other option is to repaint the whole fridge or replace the door.
When fixing a scratch on a stainless-steel refrigerator door, the fading process is determined by the severity of the scratch. For fine scratches, toothpaste and a brush or a rubbing compound to fade the scratch should do the trick. However, for deeper scratches, you will require sandpaper or an abrasive pad.