How to Clean Black Appliances (and Keep Them Streak-Free!)

Dark color doesn't hide spills and stains very well. Read our top tips for cleaning black appliances in your kitchen to get sparkling fingerprint-free surfaces.

Kitchens with black accents are having a major moment right now, and with good reason. The moody color is a stark yet welcome contrast to the white marble trend that's taken over social media feeds. Black even snagged a spot as one of our top paint colors for 2019.

Black appliances are sleek and contemporary. However, these glossy finishes we love make them more susceptible to showing fingerprints, water spots, dust, and grime. Learn how to clean black appliances without losing their luster in just three easy steps. We'll show you how to make a natural cleaning solution from ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, as well as how to buff away hard-to-clean stains.

black stacked ovens in white cabinet kitchen

How to Clean Black Appliances

The method for cleaning black appliances is similar to cleaning stainless steel. Follow our step-by-step instructions to learn how to clean your black microwave, oven, dishwasher, or small appliance.

What You’ll Need:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda

When it comes to cleaning black appliances, microfiber cloths are your best friend. Their plush fabric is gentle on surfaces and extra absorbent, making it easier to pick up tough grease and grime. Not to mention, you can buy an entire pack for a low cost, and they're reusable! Look to steel wool and scrubbing pads only when cleaning metal oven racks and grates. Otherwise, steer clear to prevent scratching your black appliances.

Step 1: Wipe Down with Vinegar and Water

For microwaves, fridges, and other black appliances: Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the homemade cleaning solution directly onto the surfaces (both exterior and interior!) and use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any food stains and splatters. Don't forget the handles, as they tend to be the biggest culprits for bacteria. If you're worried about cleaning the buttons on your microwave, don't be—while bleach-based cleaning products tend to break down the plastic, vinegar is safe to use.

For the oven: You'll want to save this cleaning task for last as it typically requires a little more grit—and baking soda! Once you're done wiping down your black appliances, add 1/2 cup baking soda to your bottle of homemade vinegar-water solution and shake it up. Remove the grates and racks from your oven and treat them to a warm, soapy soak in the sink. While they sit, spray the solution onto the stovetop and inside your oven, avoiding any heating elements. Once fully coated, let it dry. This can take up to 12 hours, so we recommend you let it sit overnight. For more tips on cleaning your oven, read our comprehensive guide.

Step 2: Wash with Soapy Water

Next, wash away any leftover solution with a new microfiber cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. Liquid dish soap should do the trick. Consider using distilled water instead of hard water. This will save your appliances from any additional buildup and help eliminate the white streak marks often left behind by hard tap water.

If you're still seeing streaks, don't fret. The secret for cleaning black appliances without streaks is in the final step!

Step 3: Dry and Buff

Once you're done wiping down your appliances and have removed any visible soap, grab a dry microfiber cloth. Begin drying in a circular motion as you would with a mirror. If the cloth becomes too damp, grab an additional dry microfiber cloth to complete. It's that easy!

Cleaning black appliances regularly will keep them looking shiny and new, and it can help them last longer. Clean them at least once every few weeks to keep them free from stains and in good working order.

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