Can You Use Windex on Stainless Steel? – How to Properly Clean?

Windex – my favorite window cleaner brand, can surely do many things other than just cleaning glass. You can apply it to many different surfaces like glasses, chrome, vinyl, or even plastic and make them shine afterward. 

However, can you use Windex on stainless steel? Does it contain any harmful chemicals that can affect this type of metal or reduce its quality? This blog will share all the information you need to know about Windex and my personal experience to help you use it properly. Scroll down for guidance and tips!

Can You Use Windex on Stainless Steel?

Can I use windex on stainless steel? <Image: Lynn Friedman>

The answer is not as simple as Yes or No, as you will need to pick the right type of Windex to use. If you use the Windex bottle that you already have in your house, take some time to check the ingredients if it contains ammonia. 

Original Windex contains ammonia to clean window glasses easier, but this chemical should never be used on stainless steel. To safely use Windex products on your stainless steel objects, tools, and other surfaces, you must buy ammonia-free Windex.

Also read: Can You Use Windex To Clean A Dry Erase Board? – Some Useful Tips

How to Properly Clean Stainless Steel Using Windex?

It is quite easy to use Windex to clean stainless steel, but you should still follow the right steps to get rid of all the stains from the object’s surface, avoid the fingerprint, clean off all the streaks, or even make the object shinier. Here is my step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Prepare All the Tools and Products You Need

It is not hard at all to prepare the tools you need for cleaning your stainless steel objects. All you need is an ammonia-free Windex bottle, some clean water, a few pieces of dry cloth, or a small cleaning towel. 

Step 2: Get Rid of the Hard Stains and Grease (if any)

Some stainless steel surfaces, such as kitchen sinks, can have hard stains and grease on them. To make the cleaning process run smoothly in this case, you should consider washing the objects with regular cleaning products such as mild detergent or simply water. 

No matter how greasy the object is, do not use steel wool to clean the dirt unless you do not care about maintaining the shininess of the object.

After getting rid of the dirt, you should use a dry cloth to clean the whole surface of the object to boost the effectiveness of the Windex product later on. If the surface is not too dirty, you can skip this step and move to step 3 right away. 

Step 3: Apply Ammonia-Free Windex Product on Stainless Steel

First off, I recommend you choose microfiber cloths because this material can clean off the dirt better without leaving a scratch on the stainless steel surface. 

Spray a reasonable amount of Windex solution on a clean, dry, and soft cloth. Apply the cloth on the object’s surface and gently clean it by moving the cloth in side-by-side patches. In my experience, first wiping the small dirty area can be more effective as you will not spread the dirt to the whole surface. 


Step 4: Rinse the Cloth and Repeat 

If the cloth becomes so dirty, wash it with water, rinse it, and start applying more Windex solution to clean the object again until the whole thing is clean. You can also pick another piece of cloth instead of washing the old one if you want to have better results in a shorter time. 

Step 5: Dry the surface of the Stainless Steel 

When all the dirt, grease, dust, and stains are removed from your object, you can use a soft dry cloth to clean all the Windex solution left. This step is not always required, but it will help you prevent fingerprints or streaks on the surface of stainless steel objects. 

Step 6: Make It Shine (optional)

Do you want to make it shine? If so, you can try one of my methods: dabbing another dry cloth with a little bit of mineral oil, olive oil, or even baby oil. After that, gently clean the surface again to make it look shiny and new. 

Read: Can I Use Windex As Windshield Wiper Fluid: What You Must Know

How to Remove Streaks After Cleaning?

I hate fingerprints and streaks. They are easily seen after cleaning off stainless steel objects because while cleaning, you might unknowingly touch the surface with your hand, and the steaks can be annoying to clean off afterward if you do not know how.

To prevent the streaks, you should never put your finger on the surface of the object. Moreover, you should also rinse the water and Windex solution carefully before applying the cloth to the stainless steel to avoid water spots. 

If the streaks are already formed after cleaning, you can pour just a little bit of baby oil with ammonia-free Windex solution on a cloth, then circularly clean off the streaks and the fingerprints, and that’s it. Now all the streaks should be cleaned off. 

Are There Some Alternatives for Windex?

Besides Windex, I also use other household commercial cleaners or homemade ingredients to make effective cleaning alternatives. Here are some ingredients and products you can use as well:

#1. Vinegar Mixing with Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two magical ingredients that can clean many things in our houses, including stainless steel. To clean your object with them, simply add enough baking soda to vinegar enough to create a paste. 

Baking soda mixing with vinegar is great for stainless steel (Image: jessica mullen)

#2. Vinegar and Water

You can use vinegar on its own to clean household objects, but it can leave the vinegar smell afterward. Unless there are tough greases on the surface, you do not use pure vinegar but mix it with water. The acid in the vinegar will easily clean off oil stains, dirt and leave you a shiny object after cleaning. 

I use these ingredients by dipping a sponge into it or pour the solution on a spray bottle to use this mixture. 

Vinegar can be a great solution for cleaning stainless steel

#3. Vinegar and Oil

This combination will easily add shininess to the steel. You can add some oil into a bottle, shake the two ingredients until they are well mixed, then dip a cloth or a soft sponge into the mixture to clean off your stuff. 

#4. Mild Detergent (without ammonia)

If you do not have many cleaning ingredients available in your house, you can simply use a mild detergent or soap like dish soap. To use them, mix them with water and then clean the whole surface of the object with a sponge soaked with the mixture. 

#5. WD-40

Steel and stainless steel can also use WD-40. You can clean your thing by spraying this product to its surface and wipe away the dirt. However, you might need to protect your hand with gear while using WD-40 because the chemicals found in this product can cause harm to your skin. 

#6. Window Cleaner

Besides Windex, there are many different types of window cleaner that work perfectly with stainless steel. No matter the brand, you will still need to check its ingredients to avoid picking the ones that contain ammonia. 

Final Thought

So, can you use Windex on stainless steel? By the time you reach this final part of this blog, you already know the answer is yes and which type of Windex to use or to avoid. 

Windex is more than just a glass cleaner product for me. If you choose the right type of Windex, it can handle different types of easy grease or stains on different surfaces, including stainless steel. I hope you find the information useful and apply it successfully to your house.

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