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Refinishing scratched stainless appliances
An ongoing discussion from 2001 through 2015 . . .(2001)
Q. The newer appliances, stove, have a fine brushed stainless steel finish running in one direction. How do you remove a scratch running across the grain of the finish?Ronald Raff
- Millbrae, California
A. Scratches in a stainless steel finish are impossible to remove. I work with pharmaceutical quality finishes all day every day. The people who do the grinding are VERY skilled. They can repair damage to their own work and can make it almost invisible but repairing some one else's finishes is very hard. They must match the grit of the original abrasives perfectly or it shows. After they have removed the scratch the new buffing line or grind lines will be clearly visible and you will not be happy with the result. My advice to you is to live with it. The repair will probably be worse than the scratch.John Holroyd
- Elkhorn, Wisconsin
A. I am answering my own question for those who are interested. I first sprayed 409 cleaner on my Thermadore ranges stainless. I then used a Scotchbrite pad. It was dark green in color. I applied pressure and only went in one direction following the grain of the stainless. The hardest scratch was across the grain, but with repeated rubbing, in one direction, it came out. You can't tell where it was. I constantly cleaned the Scotchbrite under running water and kept the stainless wet with 409. I hope this helps someone.Ronald Raff
- Millbrae, California
Ronald Raff of Millbrae is a genius. I had 4 bad scratches- followed his instructions to the letter and voila! perfect finish! Thank you, thank you, thank you.Kathy Santaa
- San Mateo, California
Just chiming in to agree- my husband just used the 409 and Scotchbrite pad method on our Stainless Steel fridge and it worked brilliantly! Being the focal point of our kitchen, we were really bummed when our toddler took a nail file to it and completely scratched the surface. They're all but gone now! Thank you so much!Kimberly Elliott
- Brooklyn, New York
I purchased a used Stainless Steel LG Dishwasher. It had a few scratches and line clear across the whole front where something had been rubbing. I got it for a really good price for this reason. After the successful comments about 409 & Scotch Bright Pad I tried it and it worked pretty well! I can see that it left the finish slightly uneven, but WAY better than it was before. Thanks for the suggestion! I didn't really try very hard, I just wanted to get that "rub line" out. I might try a sanding block with the Scotch Bright Pad for more even pressure. I think that would eliminate the unevenness. I also think that keeping it moist with something (409 in this case) is key. I would NOT try this method without some kind of moisture.Joe Ronnel
- London, Massachusetts
October 29, 2008
I had some bad scratches in a hairline stainless steel range from my dog. A Kitchenaid Architect II. I used the 409 and scotchbright pad. I worked great! You have to be careful not to apply too much pressure in one spot. Keep the pressure even across the pad. Some of the deep scratches are still visible from an angle but it looks 100 times better. Almost like new.john peterson
- New York, New York
September 20, 2013
I followed the 409 instructions with a slightly wet scotchbrite and it worked great! LOTS of slow but purposeful strokes, took a long time. Washed out sponge after every few. It paid off! After cleaning off with soapy water, sprayed WD40 on a paper towel, applied, and softly finished with a soft cloth. It looks fantastic! Pure stainless steel fridge, no coat.C Tschider
- Excelsior, Minnesota
Q. I am from the UK and recently purchased a AEG Fridge Freezer with stainless steel doors. A friend thought that she was helping by using a green sponge scrubber to remove a circular 'Frost Free' label from the center of the top door thus leaving a large scratched area. As this appliance was to be the focal point in my kitchen I am very upset. I am wondering what is 409 cleaner and the UK alternative to this product Please any proven suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you as I await replies.Jacquie Ann Warner
mentor coordinator - United Kingdom
Me too. I am also in the UK and curious to know where I can get some 409 and scotchbrite pads - help!Amanda Jane Collinson
- Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
A. I am a Brit abroad and, for my English friends looking for advice on 409 and Scotchbrite; 409 is a liquid kitchen cleaner - try an all purpose kitchen cleaner like Mr Muscle or Flash (not cream) with a sponge pancleaner. Scotchbrite pads are actually sold in Tescos. I haven't tried the tip yet but will at the weekend so let me know how you get on!Jayne [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
January 29, 2012
Q. for Ronald. Did you use hot or cold water? I am going to try this on my Frigidaire Dual Fuel Range. Thank you!Destin Barber
- Cartersville, Georgia USA
Ed. note: Ronald's posting was from a decade ago, Destin, so he probably rarely if ever visits this thread. But hopefully another reader can answer your question.
Q. I was cleaning my stainless steel dishwasher and scratched the surface with one of those "scrubbie" sponges. How can I buff it out?Tina Reed
- Richland, Washington
Q. I polished a scratch on my brand new stainless steel doors with Flitz [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] polishing cream for metal and fiberglass. While the polishing cream removed the scratch, the stainless steel now appears darker/shinier in color than the rest of the door. Flitz recommended rubbing the area with alcohol or fingernail polish as their product can leave a coating on the finish. I tried their recommendation with no success. I also tried polishing the entire door with their cream to balance out the spot but had no success. Any advice?Corine Peterson
homeowner - Tustin, California
(2006) -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread
Q. I have a Bosch stainless steel dishwasher (no warranty) that has a streak running vertically down the front due to some kind of spill (I don't know what). It appears to be etched and I haven't been able to remove with white vinegar. Any suggestions?Julie Corty
consumer - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Q. Bosch polished stainless- not grained, how do you get the polished look back after dull scratching. Other questions refer to "brushed" stainless finishes...my problem is I was trying to remove an pencil eraser size of gook and rubbed it with a green Scotchbrite. It looks as if I removed the glossy finish. Any suggestions for repair? Twinkle polisher/cleaner does not replace the satiny shine. Help!Lynette Miller
consumer/interior design - Goshen, Connecticut
"Smudge-free" / "Smudge-proof" Finishes(2006)
Q. Smudge free stainless steel appliance. I have a Frigidaire smudge resistant range and I discovered a scratch on it. Is there a way to remove the scratch without having to replace the whole top panel?Gail Silveira
consumer - Quakertown, Pennsylvania
A. Please note the reference to 'SMUDGE-FREE' finish on their Stainless steel appliances. This detail suggests that there is a CLEAR COAT protective finish over the doors and therefore cannot be repaired using additional abrasive process as suggested by scotchbrite pads. The earlier reference to Scotchbrite usage would have referred to a NON CLEAR COAT finished surface. Please don't use this process on SMUDGE FREE or similar referenced surfaces as this will only aggravate the damage.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
Q. Is there a way to remove light scratches in the surface of stainless appliances that have a clear coating ("smudge proof") ?Luke Flynn
builder - Summerville, South Carolina
A. Hi Luke, sadly there is no resolve as of yet for scratch damage to 'coated' and synthetic surfaces. These models include but not limited to GE's 'Clean Steel'; LG's 'Titanium'; Whirlpool's 'Satina' and all those sold as 'clean- free', 'fingerprint-free', or similar. At this time I recommend a good paste auto wax with Carnuba will remove 'white' film look resulting from surface scuffing.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
August 24, 2009
! Awhh. I wish I would have seen this page before. I too have a brand new GE refrigerator with the "coated finish." I had a magnet slide down the front and make a 6 inch scratch. I first tried the scotchbrite pads causing it to only be worse, I then tried the Revere strategy and that faded the color. So now I have a "White J" carved into my new refrigerator. Is there any hope to getting the scratch out or my original color back? I saw in January of 2008 there was not a solution yet to coated stainless steel. Is this still the case? I even tried buying stainless steel paint, but it was far too light in color so I removed the paint. Any help would be appreciated. ThanksMike Degner
- North Liberty, Iowa United States
October 16, 2011
Q. Is there a way to tell by examining or testing the surface if there is a coating that would interfere with refinishing? Four year old LG french door fridge.Al Alexanderson
- Ridgefield, Washington
Q. Can you tell me how well the Scratch-Be-Gone would work on blending in the repaired area with the rest of the finish on my KitchenAid refrigerator? The finish appears to be a short random grain pattern, rather that the longer straight line pattern. Would I have to do all of the front to make it match? The finish has no clear-coat and is real stainless.
Thanks in advance for your help,
P.S. Is there anywhere I can buy this product in Rochester NY?
Consumer - Rochester, New York
Me too. I was going to ask the same question about STAINLESS STEEL SCRATCH-B-GONE.
I tried the Scotch-Brite pad on my GE Profile fridge with not so great results. The strokes must be perfectly straight or they don't match and I gave up when it looked like I was making it worse and the scratches were still there.
Any advice about STAINLESS STEEL SCRATCH-B-GONE would be appreciated!
- Danville, California
Samantha, our Scratch-B-Gone kit does just what it says it will do. Our tool comes with a handle grip tool which helps you keep your motion straight. But the results, as in any attempt, depend on the operators care and precision. The Scratch-B-Gone kit for Stainless steel is the recognized leader in helping the do-it-yourselfer repair any 'real' brushed surface of Stainless steel. Take you time and watch the enclosed video in the kit and you should be successful. Thanks for asking, Barry Feinman, inventor
Restore It Yourself, Inc
Q. I tried to buff out a couple of scratches near the edge of my brushed stainless (Kitchenaid) range and seem to have exposed a rose or copper coloured layer. I was able to match the short brushed strokes with techniques described in this post but now have a worn edge and small pit of this rose colour. Any idea what is causing the colour layer?Sam Allix
furniture restoration - Victoria, BC, Canada
A. Sam, did you use a chemical during the process and/or use a red colored abrasive pad. This could be a chemical reaction or color transfer.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
Q. Hello Everyone,
I just got a brand new dishwasher, and when we were taking it out of the box we used a utility knife to cut the box open. It left a deep 1 inch scratch on the front of out brand new dishwasher. Does anyone have any suggestions to help to remove this! I would appreciate any information!
Student - Valparaiso, Indiana
March 7, 2008
Q. Hello! We have all Kitchen Aid appliances in our home and in a cleaning frenzy last week, I accidentally used 409 to clean the front panel of the stainless dishwasher, which appeared to have removed some of the finish, leaving swirl marks that I cannot get to even out. Is there any product that I can use that will make the stainless look perfect again? Thanks for the help!Crystal House
student and homeowner - Las Vegas, Nevada
March 8, 2008
Q. Hi 5 months ago I purchased Westpoint stainless steel refrigerator but couple of days ago I saw two scratch lines in front of the door. I am very sad . how can I remove the scratches and also I recently bought Westpoint stainless steel microwave oven outside and inside stainless steel anyway I don't know what came to me but as I was cleaning the inside I accidentally used sponge but the wrong side of the sponge which left the base scratches now every time I open it I see a handful of scratch front of me which angers me ... can you give me ideas of how I can get rid of those scratches?
I live in Cyprus so what brands can I use
housewife - CYPRUS
August 28, 2008
Q. In attempting to remove those annoying water saving and electricity usage stickers from my new Bosch dishwasher I have succeeded in making some vertical scratches as well as a dull patch in the shape of one of the stickers. I have investigated Scratch-B-Gone, which states that it is for use on brushed stainless steel (like my dishwasher). I have tried to clarify with Bosch. The will not endorse the product and have told me not to use it, but have offered no other suggestions. The door is apparently stainless steel, but there is some clear coating (though the door is not finger print resistant). Has anyone else had any success with removing scratches from a Bosch dishwasher?Nikki Kyle
Hobbyist - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
A. Hi Nikki, I am sorry that Bosch has not been able to help you with this problem and am most disturbed that the call center folks you probably talked to directed you away from Scratch-B-Gone. This is just another example of ignorance and lack of effort on someone's part. In fact many service and sales professionals at Bosch including their North American Service Dir. recommend and support SBG. Many of their sales reps carry our kit for use on dealer calls. I have personally conducted sales training with their company. The problem is that these companies are so big that one group doesn't know what the others are doing.
Just spoke to Bosch yesterday and they will be reviewing SBG for future introduction. SBG is now recommended, sold or used by GE, Subzero/Wolf, Dacor, Viking, KitchenAid Outdoor Kitchen, and soon with Fisher & Paykel and DCS. Readers: Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise especially when they don't have an alternate solution. As to your issue, YES, SBG will fix this with your help!. Thanks for asking about us.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
September 21, 2008
Q. I have a brand new stainless steel sink with mirrored finish on the top where the faucet and dishwasher vent sit on. Unfortunately our dishwasher air vent cap has leaked ever since we installed the built-in dishwasher, not continuously, just when the dishwasher drains a few different times throughout the cycle. We are left with a mirrored finish around the air vent cap that is somewhat white and has all kinds of scratches that are white. I tried stainless steel magic and stainless steel wipes with paper towel and scrubbing as hard as I can, but it only removes a little bit of the white. I'm assuming this damage is caused by the corrosiveness of the dishwasher detergent. What can I do besides buying a whole new sink? (The sink is on an island dividing the kitchen from the dining room and is the focal point of the room.)Nancy Hintz
- Oshkosh, Wisconsin
A. Nancy, sorry to hear your situation. As to repairing the numerous scratches on your mirrored finish, this is part of the problem having a bright finish, it is delicate to abrasive cleaners and the infamous 'green pad'. Each will scratch this area quicker that you say *%$#! That said, the only way to repair this is by employing speed. A polishing wheel on a drill head and compounds WILL fix this.
As a service company, we have fixed this many times. Call for directions. One thought for you, due to the delicate nature of this attractive surface, many of our customers have used our Scratch-B-Gone to put a grain into the surface which becomes more forgiving for future cleaning. Just a thought. Best
Restore It Yourself, Inc
March 16, 2009
Q. My Jennair stove top was scratched by our housekeeper, who apparently didn't know what abrasive pads would do to it. I can't find the original paperwork, so don't know if it has any kind of finish, but that seems moot at this point, especially around the burners. Any suggestions?Carole Lee
- Fontana, California
Hi Carole, Sorry to read of your troubles with scratch pads but Don't Despair. Scratch-B-Gone has worked hundreds of times to remove the very scratches you are describing and render a like-new result. Please see our website for many testimonials about the same. By the way, SBG also removes heat discoloration and lacquering from cooking risers as you mention.
A piece of advise to all you who own Stainless appliances: Always Follow The Grain When Cleaning! Best of luck
Restore It Yourself, Inc
January 8, 2012
Q. Hi there,
I just bought a Fisher & Paykel RF195ADUX fridge and my daughter played with a plastic magnet car on the fridge! I didn't even know we had that stupid toy! There are now circling scratches and straight lines all over the left door.
I tried to contact Scratch B Gone, to no avail: their online form doesn't work and if you email them you get a bounce mail. Have they gone out of business? I can't seem to find a single store in Canada that sells their product.
Also, the F&Paykel has a special "EZKleen" stainless steel. I believe that it's a special coating. Will Scratch B Gone work on it or make it worse?
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ed. note: Scratch B Gone is a supporting advertiser of this site and they pay their bills! So, no, they haven't disappeared :-)
Sorry for the problem you had, surely a short-term glitch, but the form on this site is working. They say their product does not work on surfaces that have been coated, but I don't know about F&P fridges. Barry probably will know. Good look, and sorry for the difficulty.
September 25, 2009
Q. I have a two year old Kitchenaid fridge and dishwasher. Too many different stainless cleaners were tried in an attempt to take off smudges and finger marks. We used everything from vinegar, baby oil to sprays from hardware store. Maas, the famous polish people, offered a spray cleaner(petroleum distillate) that is supposed to keep the factory finish which I tried and it is now a real mess with lines running down the front and odd bright spots here and there. There are no scratches. Maas recommended that I wash with Dawn, rinse well several times and then try their product again. The internet suggested half ammonia and half water. I fear trying the 409/Scotch Bright as I have no scratches. Anyone out there had any luck getting back the original finish. Gad I hate Stainless Steel. Never, ever again!Elsa Boynton
- Baltimore, Maryland
Voila! Success at last. Good ole' WD-40 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] to the rescue. One friend uses Zep for stainless with great results and the other swears by WD40 ( petroleum distillate so take heed and caution). I had that so went to work and can't believe I have my brand new dishwasher and fridge back. No more lines, streaks, swirls, light scratches, smudges, discolorations -- no "nothing". I just sprayed some on a microfiber cloth and lightly rubbed with the grain. I gently went back over with the dry part of the cloth. I am so happy and relieved as stainless is truly beautiful when it looks right. I no longer fear it.Elsa Boynton (returning)
- Baltimore, Maryland
September 14, 2011
Elsa-are your appliances the clear-coated (smudge free), or regular brushed? I'm still looking for a solution to repair a light scratch int finger-print free frigidaire that we have had for a little over 24 hours. We're heart-broken!!Ronda Scott
- Independence, Missouri USA
September 17, 2011
A. I have a Maytag stainless steel refrigerator. It had scratches (not deep) from a prior cleaning cloth. I took a damp microfiber cloth, put some BonAmi on it and rubbed the stainless with the grain. Then wiped with a second damp microfiber cloth. It took several applications, being very careful to go with the grain, but the result is great. Looks like new!Susan Wilson
- Charlevoix, Michigan, USA
A. A Word About Hands-On Technique. I got a housekeeper to help out while recovering from surgery, and of course, she used the green scrubbing surface on my GE Profile stove and on my sink. I'm sure the readers here appreciate how relieved I was to find this forum. I'm sure I'll be able to restore my appliances using the information here.
From my experience as a furniture refinisher, I'd like to add 2 things to this discussion that I didn't see elsewhere.
1. Technique counts. If you use an abrasive--3M products, sandpaper, steel wool or rubbing compound--be careful how you use it. I notice that the Scratch-B-Gone kit comes with tools to hold the abrasives. You can purchase similar sanding blocks and such at hardware stores. Using blocks is a good idea. They prevent you from digging in, applying too much uneven pressure with a finger.
2. Some writers expressed reluctance to using abrasives on their stainless appliances. Good instincts. I always start with the least abrasive and move up as needed. Try 0000 steel wool. (Clean fine bits of steel wool thoroughly--any left behind will rust.) Try 1500 or 2000 grit wet/dry paper from auto parts supply stores. And I've had success using pumice, and my favorite, using cigar ash mixed with cooking oil.
And know this: It will take longer than you anticipate. Don't rush or take short cuts--you could make it worse.
victim--with professional furniture refinishing experience - St. Louis, Missouri
January 22, 2012
Q. I live in the UK and have a cooked with brush steel handles. I've used a product called oven cleaner to clean the inside of the oven but caught the handles with this. I immediately wiped this off but it has taken some of the lacquer off the handles and now looks a mess. Is there anything that can be done to make it look like new again?Denise Milne
- Nottinghamshire, England
A. Hi, Denise. I am not familiar with these "brush steel handles" but you might try removing the rest of the lacquer with acetone and re-lacquering it. I would not use the oven cleaner on them because it is terribly destructive towards aluminum, and those "handles" might be aluminum despite your belief.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
January 30, 2012
My dear husband [yes I'm holding my breath] cleaned rust marks off our stainless steel 'Westinghouse' dishwasher - with a toothbrush and now there are patches all over it - the dilemma being though we are in a brand new Rental home and about to move out and it's really noticeable! Especially because you see it as soon as you walk in the house!
Please help; we have a private landlord and things get a bit tricky with him.
- bass, Australia
March 31, 2012
Q. Hi Everyone - I am in a similar case to others in this forum - I have a new Bosch ActiveWater (gorgeous) dishwasher - with one long scratch thanks to my two year old and a metal Thomas the Tank Engine!!! Is Scratch B Gone available in Australia?Zoe Williams
- Sydney, NSW, Australia
April 14, 2012
Q. The other day we scratched our brushed stainless steel backsplash sheet, when we were cleaning the hood fan filters. The hold fan filter slipped and scratched the backsplash. The scratch was visible. After trying many products nothing hid the scratch. We then used MAAS Metal Polish Cream. The product his the scratch, and created another problem.
While the polishing cream removed the scratch, the stainless steel now appears darker/shinier in color than the rest.
I tried to buff it out with no success. When using the MAAS cream the cloth turned black.
Please help me. I am disappointed and I believe I ruined my backsplash.
- QC, Canada
April 28, 2012
Q. I just purchased Scratch B Gone to use on my Miele stainless cooktop. My mom made sauce and cleaned the cooktop with a scouring pad-- yikes. I haven't been able to talk to her about it yet. Anyway, I'm concerned that the pad holder that comes with the set will be too big to fit in the well of my 30" cooktop. It has 4 burners and each side of the top has a drop of about 1". Many of the scratches encircle each burner. I'm afraid I won't be able to work with the grain for the scratches that are near the burners. CAN I USE THE PADS WITHOUT ATTACHING THEM TO THE HOLDER TO GET INTO TIGHT SPOTS? Thank you.Deandra Tapsty
- New Jersey
August 10, 2012
Q. I have some scratches on my fridge and it has the Satina finish is there any way to remove the scratches without destroying it??G. Scat
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
August 17, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread
Q. I have a stainless look finish on my refrigerator. Can the products used for repairing stainless steel finishes work with the stainless-look finish? If so, which ones and if not, what might work then?Dionne Schissel
- Indianapolis, Indiana USA
January 2, 2013
Q. I have stainless steel in my Elevators, and a number of them have scratches in them. As I am aware that there are different grades of stainless steel, does anyone know if the 409-Scotchbrite trick would work for me?Michael Taylor
- Boynton Beach
December 16, 2014
Q. I have a brand new Bosch 800 series dishwasher with stainless steel interior. I accidentally wiped the interior door with the abrasive side of those two sided sponges and it left a scratch like mark. It is not a deep scratch but you can see the difference in the surface finish. Is there something I can use to restore the finish? I was thinking of using 0000 grit steel wool since I've used this for years to polish other stainless steel items. Any help would be appreciated.al Pezzuti
- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
February 6, 2015
Q. My experience is, there was a water stain on the front of my GE dishwasher (which is a coated metal finish) and I have wiped it with a paper towel (a cheap one) and it scratched it. So Scratch-b-Gone is not a solution, as it is mentioned in the manual that it would only fix those actual metal not the coated ones.
Is there any solution to this until now? Thanks.
- Chelsea, Massachusetts
Q. I scratched my brand new Bosch dishwasher. When reading your open site for suggestions, I am baffled about what to do. The model number is SHXN8U55UC. It says in the literature that the custom door panel color is stainless steel. It is not shiny. It is a dull patina. I'm worried about finishes and what I can use to fix it.
- Fort collins,Colorado
^- Privately contact this inquirer -^
Hi Barbara. Personally, I'd either leave it be or sand out the scratch and paint it because ...
I have a one year old very similar Bosch dishwasher (SHX4ATFUC/21) and, although it's a good dishwasher, the stainless steel is simply horrible. My Kenmore range is much older, my Maytag microwave is much older, my Frigidaire refrigerator is somewhat older, yet none of the three are stained, mottled and discolored like the Bosch dishwasher. So I think if you spend time and money getting that scratch out it will only be a matter of months before it looks bad again anyway :-(
But maybe I just got a bad lot and you got a good one?
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey