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Dear SafeMama: Earth Friendly Uses for Olive Oil

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/18/09 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:18 am

This a question that we get from time to time, but not so much recently.  I’ve also gotten this from my friends and acquaintances as well and that is, are there any safe products out there to keep stainless clean and streak free?

Can I just say that for one, I’m over the stainless steel popularity?   I have it in my own home.  I was adamant about buying it when we moved into our house two years ago, because we lived in a rental that had a pretty sweet kitchen.  With stainless appliances.  I was pretty excited at first, but then I realized how hard it was to keep them clean.   They always had streaks and fingerprints, no matter how much I scrubbed them, and that was BEFORE I had kids.

So when we moved to our new house, and went to buy a new refrigerator, I went in, fully intending to order white appliances, when the sales guy showed me the “magic stainless steel cleaner.”   And of course, being the sucker that I am, said, “oooh, pretty, I’ll take it.”   Of course, I was suckered, but it was either get my new shiny fridge NOW, or wait for the backordered white ones (right, sure, backorder).

Of course, once I started to green my cleaning supplies, I didn’t replace that cleaner, as it didn’t really work that well anyway.  My poor appliances suffered, as my son got bigger and more grimy and mobile and nothing I used worked over the long term and everything was streaky.

And then I found a very simple and very safe solution.   It’s a little more time consuming and I will tell you, that I am the LAST person to keep up with the fingerprints on my appliances.  Being pregnant has made it worse, but I try to make the effort, and one of the things that I have found to help the clean up and prevention easier is something that everyone has in their house: olive oil.

To start, you take a spray bottle of 1 part vinegar, to 2 parts water.  Clean the stainless thoroughly.   At first, this may take a little time, and it will streak, but don’t worry.

After you’ve cleaned the grime off,  take a paper towel and moisten it with some olive oil.  You don’t need much, so don’t saturate.   Gently wipe the olive oil, making sure to cover the entire area.  You may need to reapply some oil to the paper towel a few times to get adequate coverage.   Then, get a clean paper towel and buff.   I would say to be eco-friendly and use some rags to polish and buff, but I’ve found that it leaves fuzz behind.  You really only need to do an olive oil treatment maybe once every three months.   So I don’t feel entirely guilty for using 6-8 paper towels a year to clean my appliances.

To keep clean in between olive oil treatments, simply use the water/vinegar solution.  The fingerprints will wipe off with ease, you won’t have streaks and you’ve not only used completely safe ingredients, you’ve used stuff that you probably already have and it only cost you a few bucks.

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