How do I remove scratches from stainless steel?
March 2, 2006 12:59 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way of getting scratches out of a brushed stainless steel appliance?

Spend fortune on new kitchen last week and this week kitchen hob was cleaned by someone who hadn't read the instructions on how to clean it and it is now covered with scratches. Any way of rescuing it? It is the brushed stuff rather than the shiny stuff.
posted by janecr to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try Scotchbrite pads and/or sand paper in the same direction as the grain. More advice in the linked thread from
posted by iviken at 1:28 AM on March 2, 2006

Just from a quick google search, this stuff comes up as well. I have no idea how well it works, and am not affiliated with it in any way, but I suppose it's worth a shot?

On the other hand, this Q&A from a supposed expert says, in effect, "You are screwed, but eventually it won't look quite as bad"
posted by antifuse at 3:26 AM on March 2, 2006

"Brushed" stainless finishes actually are scratches - lots of them, all going in the same direction. The effect is produced using belt sanders, and you can get a fair approximation of the same effect by hand. Go to the hardware or auto-parts store and get some wet-or-dry sandpaper, in a couple of fairly coarse grades (~ 100). Wrap the paper around something (a rubber sanding block would be good). Use water to keep the paper from clogging, and sand the surface parallel with the original grain. If you have a hand belt-sander, that would be lots faster, but you might not be able to reach everywhere.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:47 AM on March 2, 2006

If the scratches aren't too deep, give it a wipe with a soft cloth and baby oil.

Obviously this has no effect on repairing the scratching but it does well to disguise them.
posted by MarvinJ at 4:03 AM on March 2, 2006

The Delorean automobile came with a wire brush to touch up scratches.
posted by hortense at 9:23 AM on March 2, 2006

Whoa -- I think you need emory cloth, not "fairly coarse sandpaper" (shudder). I've given stainless steel a mirror polish with the finer grades (like 600 and 800).
posted by Rash at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2006

Consider submitting the question to RepairGuru at RepairClinic (scroll down) and Garden Web Home forum (I would start with Appliances and Cleaning Tips)

The following article from the NYT might not apply to your situation but it is definitely inspirational!

New York Times
Online Shopper
Smells Like Clean Spirit
February 16, 2006

. . .The house I bought three years ago came with a fancy Viking refrigerator, which has a black door that shines like onyx unless it has fingerprints on it.

It always has fingerprints on it.

. . .recently I got carried away and used the scouring side of a sponge.

Who knew that the shiny painted surface would scratch so easily? A blotch of fine marks, roughly four inches in diameter, was as noticeable as a zit on prom night.

Eventually the query 'remove scratch paint' led to auto care products. I narrowed my search to a scratch remover called GS27. It was for sale at, where it was described as 'ideal for removing surface scratches on enamel finished appliances.' It cost $14.95.

'As seen on TV?' my husband asked.

He wasn't the only skeptical one. At, 16 consumer reviews were mostly bad; GS27 earned only one of five possible stars. One reviewer said the product was 'spuriously advertised.'

Another customer wrote, 'I bought a tube of the GS27 thinking that it was going to get rid of my minor scratches. Ha! What a laugh.'

I ordered a tube, which arrived a week later. I applied a dab of the white goo to a soft cloth and cautiously wiped it over the scratch marks. I rubbed in a circular pattern until the goo thinned to a film before disappearing. I buffed. I stood back from the refrigerator. I squinted.

Was it possible? The scratch marks were gone. The surface was as shiny and smooth as the day I moved in.

I had to sit down. This was, perhaps, my biggest cleaning victory. I stared in awe at the tube in my hand.

Made in France, the writing on the tube indicated.

There is a nine-hour time difference between France and California. And I don't speak French. But eventually I reached a GS27 spokeswoman named Lauren Bernier, who said the company has been in business since 1965, when the founder, Serge Gaultier, started selling a car polish in the streets and at trade shows.

'How does the scratch remover work?' I asked.

Ms. Bernier said it had fine crystals in the paste, which she described as 'a very soft abrasive.'

'On the label it says 'contains petroleum distillates,' ' I said.

'It is a polymer, so the molecules in the paste will in fact mix with the paint,' she said. 'We sell it mainly for the cars.'

I told her about the complaints on Epinions.

'It's for superficial scratches like for those you had with the sponge,' she said. 'It won't work on your car if someone has removed the paint.'

Then Ms. Bernier gave me a tip that made calling France early in the morning before having coffee seem worthwhile.

'You can also use it on the sink in the kitchen,' she said. 'What is the word? Aluminum? And it gives back the shine.'


I rushed upstairs to apply a thick coat to the sink. It didn't remove any of the fine scratch marks in the metal, but a dark layer of tarnish came off on the cloth. The sink gleamed like a mirror.

posted by mlis at 10:21 AM on March 2, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, am a bit apprehensive about taking sandpaper and wire brush to it yet so have ordered a tube of GS27 and will report back if it a miracle cure...
posted by janecr at 10:32 AM on March 2, 2006

Excuse me? The poster said, "It is the brushed stuff rather than the shiny stuff." GS27 is not going to restore that, and she's not looking for a "mirror polish."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:22 PM on March 2, 2006

Excuse me? The poster said. . .and she's not looking for a "mirror polish."

Right - which is why I said, "The following article from the NYT might not apply to your situation but it is definitely inspirational!"
posted by mlis at 6:45 PM on March 9, 2006

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