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Stainless steel Refrigerator scratches

What a nightmare. My wife put some magnet letters on our stainless steel Frigidaire refrigerator and it left hairline scratches across the grain of the front doors. Someone recommended that I try Barkeepers Friend [on eBay or Amazon (affil link) ] , a mild abrasive and I did. It only made it worse in that now there is a discoloration as well where I used it. Please advise any help you can offer. I need to get the scratches out, but the discoloration looks worse than the scratches!

Doug Patterson
US Government - Charleston, South Carolina


First a quick warning, Doug: don't even think about using steel wool because that will make the stainless steel rust.

Second, we'll note that you have plenty of company. Dozens if not hundreds of people have written to this site already with their problems of scratches and discoloration in stainless appliances. Read a few letters on the subject and go with what you will.

Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Just something to point out... If your wife put magnets on a 'stainless' fridge... then your fridge is not actually 'stainless' it will rust! The same iron ferride in the steel that makes your magnets stick, will oxidize (rust).

Time to reexamine your purchase, I would say.

Just for reference as well, a good grade of stainless steel will not scratch easily anyway.

Rich B
- North Branford, Connecticut, USA

That's not quite accurate, Rich. 400 series stainless steel (also called 18/0) is magnetic and is widely used for stainless flatware.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Hello. I have a similar problem. I (stupidly) let our toddlers use magnetic letters on our refrigerator, and it now has numerous scratches. It is a Liebherr refrigerator, which is supposedly stainless despite the fact that it is magnetic. Will scratch-b-gone work on this appliance? I know it won't work on faux stainless appliances or ones with a protective finish, and I'm afraid to make the situation worse...

Beth Bennett
- Tokyo, Japan
November 11, 2008

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