The Beauty & Benefits of Stainless Steel Appliances

The Beauty & Benefits of Stainless Steel Appliances

Over the last decade, more and more homeowners have been upgrading to stainless steel appliances. It’s not hard to see why. Their sleek, modern look blends excellently with all kinds of interior décor, and their durability is unmatched. Ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers in stainless steel make beautiful (and functional) accents to any kitchen. If you’re a gourmet that spends a lot of time in the kitchen, having these strong and stunning appliances is probably important to you.

What’s more, even if you can’t afford the professional equipment (like a Viking Range), stainless steel appliances can make any kitchen feel like a top-tier restaurant.

Advantages & Disadvantages

The major pro to stainless steel appliances is, of course, their aesthetic appeal. However, many people also choose them for their durability. They have a long lifespan, and are able to withstand wear and tear better than other materials – such as wood or plastic. This makes them resistant to rust and water damage, which is absolutely crucial in a kitchen.

Stainless steel is also non-porous, making it resistant to germs and bacteria as well (an important consideration in homes with children and pets).

Stainless steel is also widely lauded for its versatility. It coordinates well with all kinds of interiors, from country to modern. Whether you have white or dark cabinetry, granite or marble countertops, your stainless steel appliances will fit right in – and even enhance the other stylistic touches. Stainless steel’s dynamic design and sleek appearance also gives your home value a boost. When it comes time to sell your home, tacking on the value of the stainless steel appliances to the asking price is sure to get you a solid return-on-investment.

Despite all this, however, there are a couple of downsides to stainless steel appliances. The main one is that fingerprints, smudges, and dirt are more visible than on other kinds of appliances. Particularly in households with young children, you may find some extra cleaning is in order. Fortunately, cleaning stainless steel appliances is fairly easy.

Additionally, stainless steel surfaces are non-magnetic, so if you’re proud of your magnet collection, you might need to find another place for it. As previously mentioned, these drawbacks are pretty minor.

Cleaning Your Stainless Steel Appliances

Cleaning stainless steel is a breeze, and there are a number of solutions to maintaining your stainless steel appliances. These include:

  • A soap and water concoction. Just soak a small rag/cloth in some warm soapy water and give the stainless steel surface a rub down.
  • Windex or any glass cleaner. Spray this on the surface and use a paper towel – this is most effective for spot-cleaning fingerprints and other small marks.
  • Salad dressing style. What does this mean? Oil and vinegar. Just use some distilled white vinegar and olive oil. Spray the appliance generously with vinegar, and wipe it off in the direction of the grain. This should pick up any debris. To give your appliances that extra sparkly finish, dip your cloth or paper towel into just a little bit of the oil, and once again wipe in the direction of the grain. This is the best for making your stainless steel look brand new again.
  • Editor's Note: Major appliance manufacturers typically run the direction of the grain either vertically or horizontally on the front, so by looking closely you will be able to see what look like tiny parallel lines running in only one of those two directions.

A final tip for cleaning your stainless steel appliances: use a microfiber cloth. You can typically buy these in bulk, and they are very soft. This makes them gentle too, not leaving streak marks or scratches on the appliance.

Designing Around Stainless Steel

While stainless steel appliances go with pretty much everything, designers do agree with one design guideline: less is more. If you already have a very metal-heavy kitchen, adding stainless steel appliances will be overkill.

In fact, a popular contemporary style is contrast. For this reason, stainless steel looks most beautiful in European country style kitchens. The rustic, distressed cabinetry varies vastly from the futuristic aesthetic of the stainless steel appliance, giving these quaint kitchens a diverse touch.

Stainless steel kitchen appliances paired with rustic, distressed cabinetry

The same goes for pairing stainless steel with any kind of contrasting cabinetry. Stainless steel looks best with white and dark brown wood finishes. This actually causes the eye to be drawn to the stainless steel appliances, making them the focal point of the kitchen.

Stainless steel appliances paired with white cabinets and dark brown wood floor

Placing stainless steel appliances in these kinds of kitchens softens their cold appearance. In the warmth of an all-white traditional or all-brown kitchen, a stainless steel appliance’s metallic sheen is not so overwhelming. Taking all of these considerations into account, it’s easy to see why stainless steel has been a hit for so many years – and why its popularity is here to stay.

You might also like to read:
Kitchen Design Around The World
Kitchens That Stand the Test of Time

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