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What Takes Scratches Out of Stainless Steel Appliances?

    Removing Scratches

    • According to the Stainless Steel Information Center, nonmetallic abrasive pads are used to remove light scratches from some stainless steel appliance finishes. Rub the surface of scratched stainless steel in the direction of the finish grain. When removing scratches from stainless steel using nonmetallic abrasive pads, start with coarse grain pads, then finish with finer grain pads. After rubbing off a scratch in stainless steel using abrasive pads, the resulting finish may look different than the surrounding original finish.

    Alternative Method

    • You can also remove light scratches in stainless steel appliance finishes using automotive or marine polishing compounds, a soft cloth and elbow grease. Always try to polish out a scratch in stainless steel by mimicking as closely as possible the length and direction of the finish's polishing lines. After you remove a stainless steel scratch using a polishing compound, clean off the residue according to directions. Newly scratch-free areas in stainless steel finishes are carefully blended with surrounding areas.

    Blending Finishes

    • After you remove scratches in stainless steel appliances, use fine sandpaper or nonmetallic abrasive pads to blend in repaired areas. Stainless steel finishes in which a scratch is removed are typically blended outward to about three times the area of the original scratch. But go out as far as you need to adequately blend in newly scratch-free stainless steel areas on an appliance. Blending in a stainless steel finish area where you've removed a scratch requires lots of patience to accomplish.


    • If you have used a polishing compound to help remove a scratch from a stainless steel appliance, you can clean off its residue with vinegar. Typically, an 80- to 120-grit nonmetallic abrasive pad or sandpaper is used to rub out scratches in a stainless steel appliance. Deep scratches or gouges in stainless steel, though, often require professional refinishing or polishing. Separate protective coatings on stainless steel appliance finishes will make scratch removal more difficult.

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