How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

If you’ve ever owned them, you know: Stainless steel appliances can carry more fingerprints than an episode of “CSI,” especially if you have kids. And the sleek, shiny finish gets pretty streaky, making you wonder how to clean stainless steel.

How To Clean Stainless Steel

Cleaning stainless steel appliances is not like cleaning other surfaces, because it’s easy to leave behind streaks from the actual cleaning process itself.

We sell a really good cleaner for stainless steel appliances called Affresh, which we use in all of our retail locations. If you think your kitchen is bad, imagine how much our appliances get touched!

But sometimes company is coming over and you don’t have time to run to the store. Try baby oil. Apply with an old towel or rag in small doses so you don’t end up with a greasy refrigerator. Wipe with the grain for the shiniest finish.

Stainless Steel Finish Options

If you’re looking for a maintenance-free option, some manufacturers make smudge-proof and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finishes, such as Frigidaire, Whirlpool and Maytag. As a bonus, some of these premium finish options are even scratch-resistant.

What stainless steel cleaning tips do you have? Share them in the comments.

How To Choose a Refrigerator Size

Every once in a while, our sales staff gets an email reminder to make sure that customers really measure the size of the opening when buying a refrigerator.

Unfortunately, the reminder comes on the heels of enough deliveries of refrigerators that failed to fit into a customer’s space that it merited mention. And that’s too many.

Laugh now, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to make the mistake of thinking your refrigerator size is “standard” or that you’ve properly measured your space.

Once you give us accurate dimensions, we’ll help you find a fridge to fit. A good rule of thumb is at least 1/2-inch larger opening than the refrigerator. This allows for stuff you just can’t see, like unlevel flooring and bowing refrigerator sides, to name a few.

There are oddities that you just might not consider…

This is an outdated picture of my kitchen, but you get the idea.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but my new refrigerator (installed New Year’s Eve)  only fit because our delivery crews are like the appliance version of Bear Grylls: amazing in difficult situations. I measured the width of my opening from my lower cabinet, never dreaming that the upper cabinet actually narrowed my space by about an inch — weird.

Also, I forgot that having a bottom freezer means that the drawer now would pull straight out instead of a door swinging over, meaning that the window frame on the opposite side of the cabinets a few inches in front of my refrigerator would basically block that function. Because of the narrower width of the upper cabinet, I couldn’t just move my fridge to the left. Oops.

Thankfully, the crew was able to subtly shift the refrigerator, say, 15 degrees.

You don’t notice that my fridge isn’t straight, and the drawer cheats the window frame by a hair 🙂

So, even Appliance Retail Royalty make mistakes in their measurements. Be thorough.

Mini Refrigerators and Dorm Microwaves for College Cooking

Getting a decent meal on campus one of the biggest challenges students deal with. But having a fridge helps keeping fresh food on hand both affordable and easy for the busiest college student. And having a microwave or oven means you don’t have to rely on the dining halls or takeout if you don’t want to.

Here are some affordable and functional options for your dorm or college apartment.

Dorm Refrigerators

If you don’t need a freezer (and really, you might not) in your dorm or office, maximize your fridge space with this Danby 2.5 cu. ft. mini refrigerator (comes in white or black). The can dispenser makes beverages easy to grab and having space for a 2-liter or big wine bottle can be really handy and free up a lot of space on your shelves.

But sometimes you’ll want a freezer for pizza (or Jell-O shots). The Avanti 5.5 cu. ft compact refrigerator and freezer has a a space-saving flush back design.

Dorm Microwaves


If you have a tiny space, you’ll appreciate this 0.5 cu. ft. Whirlpool microwave, made specifically to fit into tight corners. Despite its compact footprint, pull the pocket handle on the door and you’ll find space for an 11-inch plate.

Vintage refrigerator for the modern retro kitchen

Move over Big Chill. There’s another brand of retro fridges called Northstar (part of Elmira Stoveworks, which also makes antique appliances).

Those decorating their houses in midcentury modern style want to continue the retro look into the kitchen. But it’s not the best idea to use actual retro appliances.

Why? They’re extremely inefficient, offer smaller capacity than conventional appliances and often run loudly. Plus, if it breaks, good luck finding decades-old parts.

Luckily, Northstar makes retro refrigerators with all the modern features:

  • Modern configurations like bottom freezer style, which keep the food you need most often in easy reach
  • Energy Star rating saves you money on your utility bill
  • 19 cubic feet accommodates way more food than an antique refrigerator
  • Comes in your choice of colors (shown – Cherry Red, White, Bisque, Flamingo Pink, Robin’s Egg Blue, Buttercup Yellow, Textured Black, Mint Green and Quick Silver)
  • Interior lights and freezer baskets
  • See more features and benefits

We’re showing this model, the 1950 in Cherry Red, at our appliance store in Edina across from the Galleria if you want to take a peek. And we deliver and install these for free to our local customers 🙂

Refrigerators: What Does Cabinet Depth Mean?

There is no “standard” size in appliances and certainly not in refrigerators.

Knowing the maximum height, depth and width of your opening is crucial in selecting a new refrigerator. In fact, size is the No. 1 factor in narrowing down your options.

Most refrigerators today fit either a 30″, 33″ or 36″  wide opening and a 66″, 68″ or 70″ high opening. You should also also allow 1″ of clearance on each side of the refrigerator for breathing room.

But because refrigerators have become deeper within the last 10 years, you also should consider the depth of your space. Manufacturers have added more insulation to retain temperatures in the refrigerator to keep up with increasing efficiency standards, which has increased the overall depth of today’s refrigerators by 2″-4″.

Which means your fridge will stick out even more from the edge of your cabinets. Solution? Cabinet depth refrigerators.

What Is Cabinet Depth?

Cabinet depth (aka counter depth) refrigerators give your kitchen a more sleek look. The 24″ depth allows your refrigerator’s cabinet to align with the surrounding cabinetry, creating more of a “built-in” look for your kitchen. Cabinet depth styling is most commonly found in side-by-side models, but can also be found in top freezer models, bottom freezer styles and French door refrigerators.

So why doesn’t everyone have a counter depth fridge? Basically, price versus capacity. A French-door counter depth refrigerator is going to offer fewer cubic feet of food storage for the money than a full-depth French-door refrigerator.