Repair brushed stainless steel refrigerator door (pic inside)
June 30, 2014 2:03 PM   Subscribe

In the attempt to clean my pre-owned fridge I've taken a nylon scouring pad to the door and caused noticeable damage. Can I fix this?

I recently bought a second hand Zanussi fridge freezer which had some sticky residue on the fridge door.

Since it was stainless steel I thought it would be ok to take a nylon scouring pad to remove it. I didn't notice however, that until I wiped away the soap I was using, the damage I'd caused.

This is what the door looks like now.

Is there any way to repair this or make it blend in better - short of covering it with a fridge magnet?
posted by asharchist to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Yes, if you go get some stainless steel appliance polish and follow the instructions (you'll probably need to do the whole door, as SS polish is an abrasive that re-scratches the whole surface), it should be gone or at least not very noticeable.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:10 PM on June 30, 2014

a steel wire brush applied in one direction.
posted by hortense at 2:11 PM on June 30, 2014

It had a brushed finish and you removed that with the scouring pad. It will be tricky to fix - Goo Gone or alcohol wipes would have removed the glue without any problem, not that this is much help now.

There are instructions around on the web for restoring the finish but they are a little time consuming, but not impossible. Look through and see if you can find an example of the type of finish your appliance has (it's hard to tell from the image). Most suggest scotchbrite abrasive pads, applied with the grain. I think a steel brush is too harsh and will just produce more severe scratches.
posted by Brockles at 2:13 PM on June 30, 2014

I've made brushed aluminum with the scotchbrite abrasive pads, as Brockles mentions. It works pretty well. It probably won't look as nice as it was originally, but it should be pretty good.
posted by pombe at 2:30 PM on June 30, 2014

To me it looks as if the stainless is coated with some sort of clear finish, probably intended to prevent fingerprints, and you wore through that relatively soft finish coating. I say that because the damaged area doesn't appear to have scratches in random directions as I would expect from scrubbing; the brushed finish of the stainless looks the same inside the damaged area as outside of it. Does it feel smooth inside the damaged area, subtly rough at the margins, and then smooth again outside of it? If you managed to scrub off the finish then the easiest solution may be to remove the finish from the rest of the door. I wouldn't go at it with more aggressive tools (e.g. a steel brush) until you've clarified what's happened and what you intend to do.
posted by jon1270 at 2:41 PM on June 30, 2014 [4 favorites]

I just did a quick search, and it seems that Zanussi does put an antifingerprint coating on at least some of their stainless products.
posted by jon1270 at 2:44 PM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would call Zanussi, honestly. You aren't the first person who's done this.
posted by Jairus at 2:47 PM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

It might still be possible to sign up for the extended warranty and put in a claim.
posted by theora55 at 4:55 PM on June 30, 2014

Looking at the picture, I would have to side with jon1270. It looks like you took a coating off the fridge more than damage the stainless. It is a clear coat finish similar to what they put on cars. But, I have no idea how to fix it short of getting somebody with auto body repairs/painting experience. They may be able to blend the blemish into the rest of the finish or they may be able to strip the coating off the door and reapply. Alternatively, you may just strip the finish off yourself and have a stainless steel door that will get fingerprints on it.
posted by BostonCannuck at 6:16 PM on June 30, 2014

You could try this stainless steel polish. It leaves a protective coating--might be able to match the area you cleaned with the undamaged area. Worth a try, as it is probably your least expensive option.
posted by misha at 10:52 PM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's the anti-fingerprint coating that I've taken off the front door.

I'm going to try some of the polishes on the market to try and get it to match the coating but if this doesn't work then I'll just cover it.

It'd be too much effort taking the coating off the entire fridge for a 2cm x 2cm mark.
posted by asharchist at 5:38 AM on July 1, 2014

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