Ask Maria: Are Stainless Appliances Going out of Fashion?

stainless

via pinterest

Today’s question from a reader is:

“Maria, I am renovating my kitchen from scratch, I love white and would love all white appliances and white cabinets and white walls would this be to much? I hear that stainless is going out of fashion. ” What do you think?

Recently, I opened my October edition of House Beautiful (my favourite shelter magazine).

And there it was, with this quote:

“Warm finishes bring a homey, luxurious feeling, and they pair beautifully with so many cabinet colours. To me, they’re as neutral as silver stainless”.

copperstoveImage from House Beautiful

So let’s just look at this image for a second shall we? Notice that the copper has been repeated as inlays in the drawers and again as the kick below the cabinets. More copper appears as a solid backsplash.

Very coordinated, indeed.

Just take avocado appliances and do the same thing and what you have is a look that is extremely trendy and current.

Of course if you have buckets of money and can switch out your appliances with the trends, then this look is for you, but if you don’t, I say stainless is still the way to go.

Obviously, integrated appliances are the most timeless but they are expensive and not for everyone.

Let’s take a look at some more kitchens using copper and you decide for yourself how ‘neutral’ this look is. . .

copperandwhite

via Pinterest

Here this kitchen has been styled beautifully with copper pots that repeat the look on the range and hood fan.

pinkandcopper

Via Pinterest

Soft pink looks great with copper because it’s like stainless with a rosy hue.

barrydixon

Barry Dixon Interior Design

Here the copper range is visually repeated with the butcher block countertop and pink beige travertine stone floor.

Let’s compare and explore how versatile Stainless appliances are:

brown kitchen

Via pinterest

Stained cabinets with earthy countertop and backsplash, stainless is perfect.

whitemaple

via pinterest

Without any white repeated in this stained wood kitchen, the white stove and microwave become very noticeable.

If you have a wood stained kitchen and white appliances, choose a white countertop and backsplash to coordinate for the best look and feel.

white appliances

{via pinterest}

Even high end white appliances look stark in an earthy kitchen (above).

darkkitchen

via pinterest

Stainless is just like denim in this dark cherry kitchen (above).

stark

via pinterest

And again too stark in this kitchen (above).

If you have black appliances, you MUST repeat the black again or they will look like black holes in your kitchen. The ONLY exception to this is a really dark kitchen, however in that situation stainless will look less heavy.

So we’re back to stainless. NOT dated. Way more timeless than all these other options unless of course you have integrated or clad appliances (below).

dishwasher

Integrated dishwashers on both sides of the sink {pinterest}

I am waiting for the moment where something just like stainless appears on the horizon, however for the record, I have not found it yet. White is too stark while black is too heavy for many stained wood kitchens and especially so when neither colour is repeated in the kitchen.

What’s your take? Yay or Nay?

Hey, I am LOW on the ASK MARIA questions, send them over with a picture here.

PS. The answer to “Can I have white appliances in a white kitchen?” has been answered in this post.

Related posts:

Do Kitchen Appliances Really Need to Match?

How to Choose the colour of your Kitchen Appliances?

How (and when) to Buy Appliances for Your New Kitchen

We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

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  1. I think Yay! I’m so glad u said they are neutral. I had been reading a lot of “ugh stainless steel” “ugh so done” like everyone’s waiting for the next big thing. Somehow I feel the copper ones will become dated sooner because they look really trendy while stainless Steel looks more neutral.
    On a side note, I looove reading ur articles. Everytime I’m done with one, I feel I have gained so much real information .thank you Maria

  2. I think that if you are putting in one of those $10K + ranges, any colour is ok. I think they are meant to be the star. I think the ones in copper are beautiful. But for all the ” ordinary” kitchens, I agree 100% that stainless is still the most neutral. White can be difficult in a white kitchen if the cabinets are not the same shade as the appliances. – Stainless is best.

  3. Maria, A lot of these pictures still remind me of the old Tucan homes. Copper sure does go with the “pinky” look and then where do you go for the rest of the house? Stainless does go with most everything but for me, I love an all white kitchen with clad appliances.

    Have fun in Nappa & don’t drink too much wine!

  4. Just an FYI, GE now makes a line in a Slate colour. As does LG, in Black Diamond. Both are easy wash with no pesky fingerprints – by far the biggest complaint for owners of Stainless. The LG is a coated Stainless and is just gorgeous. The GE is a more metallic painted finish. Both are great alternate options to Stainless.

    • I also love the GE slate appliances. I am a very in between, gray, kind of person, so slate or stainless would be my choice. I used to work in appliance sales and never had to clean smudges on the slate ones. The stainless steel ones though, were such a pain. My one concern about them is if they, too, are trendy. Is a slate fridge the charcoal sofa of the kitchen? Personally, I wouldn’t care because I love gray and always have. It’s always been my favorite “neutral.” But if I was planning to put my house on the market in the next few years I’d lean toward stainless.

  5. I think the appliance manufactures would love to come up with another trend …so we would all want to get new appliances! But stainless is still going strong because it looks good with everything!!
    White or black looks good in some kitchens …but you can put stainless anywhere!!

  6. I put stainless appliances in my current house about a year ago, after having had white for 15+ years, I hate them they are so much harder to keep clean. We are building a new house and I’m going back to all white with white cabinets, I will be so happy to get away from the stainless.

  7. Stainless is a perfect neutral IMO. I’ve been happier with stainless the longest of any other choices (I’m 63….) and still not tired of it. OK – there is one thing I’m not crazy about and that is keeping it looking clean. Grandkids fingerprints, drips, etc. not as easy to remove as from a non-metallic surface.

    • There are companies that will put a finish on your stainless appliances for about $100 that helps with cleanability and not showing fingerprints. A great deal in my opinion!

  8. I actually love white appliances in white kitchens. They look clean and bright and I’m a little of huge stainless blocks everywhere.

  9. I agree! Stainless is timeless and goes with any colour or stain. Black or white appliances can stand out too much against the cupboards. Stainless has been in industrial kitchens forever. The companies come out with new colours to get us to buy again. One example is ice white. Come and gone in a couple of years.
    As far as keeping the shine on your appliances, buy the wipes. They take a minute to wipe down all your appliances.

  10. In theory stainless is a good choice. I have it myself in my current kitchen but don’t like it at all and wouldn’t do it again. I chose it for the exact reasons you’ve presented. I never shy away from high maintenance finishes or upholstery (or anything really) but the stainless is absolutely maddening to me. I like a spotless kitchen and the only way I can achieve that for more than 15 minutes is if I’m the only one at home. One mark on stainless makes it look junky, like a cheap toaster oven. I know there are lots of products – I’ve tried them all. Yes it’s easy to clean it but how many times a day would you like to wipe down your appliances?

    In the house we’re currently designing I’m not budging on an integrated dishwasher and refrigerator. I think it’s well worth the money up front. For the range I haven’t made a decision, going between a black or burgundy 60″ range. Just can’t decide. Floors will be walnut herringbone.

    I can’t stress enough to those who have children to look at a stainless kitchen outside of a showroom. Try to see a kitchen in use in a family home before you make an expensive commitment.

  11. I think white is timeless as well, especially in a retro kitchen and paired with color or light to mid-tone wood. Very dark wood is too high contrast, especially paired with an earthy backsplash. White also is inexpensive and can be glammed up a bit Retro style with stainless handles, kickplates or knobs, either by ordering them separately from the same model in stainless or by carefully painting them in Liquid Stainless Steel (plastic parts have to be primed first), which can be ordered online inexpensively.

    I looked high and low for an affordable retro style stove and other appliances and that was the most cost-effective solution for me. I considered stainless and painted metallic finishes, but most have plastic trim anyway, and black sides, which would be very noticeable and dark in my tiny kitchen. If I could get stainless with white sides, I might have considered it.

    The GE Artistry line is the least expensive of retro lines, comes in some nice colors, but has mixed reviews for durability and does not carry a coil-top stove, which is better for caste iron pots and canning and stir-frying and I think easier to keep clean than a smooth top. Plus the heat is consistent, unlike a smooth top which cycles the heat on high settings to avoid getting the glass too hot.

    If going for white appliances, it may be best to pick the appliances first and then the cabinet color, esp. if white, so the whites don’t clash.

    I have light antique white (white with a touch of brown) walls and cabinets with circa 1962 ballet slipper pink tile and 1990s pinky beige counter and flooring and mid-tone wood, chrome and aqua accent pieces and trim, and I think it looks fine with the white. There is enough of a difference so it doesn’t look like an almost match to the bright white, but it isn’t too creamy to clash with the pinky beige and beigey pink, and the whole thing is fairly low-contrast, with just a few darker accents, so nothing jumps out like a sore thumb.

    Getting just the right color balance in a kitchen can be tricky, but some fabric and accessories can tie it together and add some individuality. Old kitchens, such as on Retro Renovation and old renderings from house catalogues and advertising are such an inspiration to me. The show “Astronaut Wives” on ABC had some fantastic mid-century kitchens. Practical, tough and not too outrageously expensive, with lots of cheery color and pattern. Sometimes old kitchens are really a bit much, but you can pick and choose elements to inspire you.

    I think going vintage style with some careful updates can really complement a vintage or traditional style house, and warm up a modern home. Allowing the house style to inform your design decisions rather than imposing a style upon a house, especially one radically different from your house, is in its own way timeless, and typically less expensive.

    • I agree with everything you just said! I say just go with what one likes if it looks good. Both my Victory commercial built-in fridge and copper Chambers stove are over 65yrs old, still going strong and way more efficient than anything I could currently afford. The SS blends beautifully with the painted cabinets in the Butler’s Pantry and the copper complements the cherry cabinets in the main room. I prefer an integrated DW, however, but that’s not a difficult or expensive retrofit for most brands. For me, purchasing a stove should be like buying a sofa; pick something in one’s favorite colour that makes one happy to be in the room. That’s how I feel about my stove!

  12. I thought there are options for no show fingerprint stainless? So many people have stainless appliances in their homes. I think your being way to ocd.

    • I have 3 year old twins – lots of fingerprints! The wipes that are supposed to leave a film on the stainless to make it look better just makes it look greasy when someone touches it. Perhaps there are no show stainless appliances but that’s not what I have and don’t know how well it would work. Either way, I think a kitchen looks best without the boxy intrusion of a non-integrated appliance, ocd or not. 😉

      If I didn’t have the option of integrated appliances I’d go with black and use black honed counters.

      • I’m in appliance sales, and we get just as many, if not more complaints about black showing fingerprints. It’s all high gloss and black not only shows fingerprints, but grease & smudging on ranges is a big problem, and it also shows dust really easily, as well. As for “smudge proof” stainless, it smudges, too! Maybe a little easier to clean – since there is no need for actual stainless cleaner. But if it scratches, it’s white underneath and there’s nothing you can do about it.

        I tell my customers to buy what they really like – because when it comes down to it, we’re all stuck cleaning our appliances no matter what color we choose. There are also some really bad stainless cleaners out there – don’t use the greasy types, they’re terrible. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say a brand name on here, but I love the stainless cleaner in the spray can that is red on top and white on the bottom. I can easily wipe fingerprints off with a soapy washcloth and dry with a clean dry towel, in between using the stainless cleaner on my appliances – which I only need to do once every 3 weeks on average.

  13. I have a white kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Sure,it looks great, but what I dislike is that I have to use special cleaners for my stainless appliances. I can’t just use my usual Lysol or whatever and keep things clean that way. I don’t use the wipes people refer to…..they are SO bad for the environment. I can’t justify the convenience of any wipes. I wish there was another solution for appliances in my preferred white kitchen. I may even return to white appliances next time!

    • I agree with you about the wipes. I don’t like them either and feel that they’re a poor option especially when kids are involved.

    • I love stainless, but don’t like the cleaners available. And I’ve tried most of them, because I had a cleaning service and most of my clients have stainless. Some of the products are way to greasy and leave a film on the surface. I just use a microfiber cleaning cloth dampened with water and nothing else, it’s works for me. But I’ve never started using any cleaning product on my new stainless appliances.

  14. I just use a super thin kitchen cloth, dampen it with water and really wring it out as much as I can and wipe down my stainless, so easy and it works for me.

  15. I went with the GE slate appliances. I love them. The only place I see fingerprints are on the stainless steel handles.

      • Slate is way more of a ‘colour’ than stainless is and belongs with the grey trend which is why we love it right now. Trendy though, NOT timeless. Thanks for your comment!

  16. Stainless appliances work in so many designs because their surfaces are “reflective.” The white, black, custom colors are not.

  17. I think white looks good with white cabinets. Black with black. Copper with stained. Stainless looks good with any but I agree maintenance is awful. So having said that I thought gray is the new trend.

  18. I’ve found that wiping stainless steel appliances with a damp microfiber.cloth does a great job of keeping it clean. No toxic chemicals or extra effort. Maybe just a buff with a dry cloth afterwards, if needed.

  19. I’ve had first hand experience living in homes with kitchens featuring appliances in aqua (1960s), harvest gold (1970s), almond (1980s), white (1990s), black (2000), and stainless (2010-present). Stainless steel appliances are by far my favorite in terms of appearance and, in my opinion, they are easier to keep clean than all the others with the exception of black.

  20. I despise my stainless steel appliances. As I write, I am looking at a colony of smeary, water-marked, cloudy, finger-printed hulks in my kitchen. Don’t get me started on the number of specialized cleaners in my pantry, nor the home-made recommended potions I’ve tried. Before stainless, cleaning the appliances meant a quick squirt of Windex.

  21. I am not a designer . I’m remodeling an older home (1959) & will be buying all new appliances. What do you think about the “slate” appliances? Similar to stainless. I am also having a very difficult time deciding on the color of my cabinets.
    I love green but thin I might get tired of all green cabinets. Thinking about green island, white/grey quartz counter & grey cabinets????
    Any thoughts?
    Thank you

  22. Stainless or integrated 95% of the time. However, I recently designed a kitchen and used a la cornue range, blue with copper accents and repeated the copper in the French pots. The other appliances are integrated. in another kitchen we added a large island after the fact. The clients were not in a position to change their cinnamon colored cabinets to white, so we did distressed black cabinets for the island. The original appliances are stainless, but we put an additional dishwasher in the island and this time we used black. The additional sink is stainless, so it ties it all together. It used to be years ago that only the high end appliances came in stainless, but now just about every manufacturer does, so they are more affordable. If we could only figure out how to deal with the fingerprints!

  23. I have a dated kitchen with black appliances and a stainless steel fridge. The black hides marks but still looks sleek. The fridge is always covered in fingerprints. I’ve designed an all stainless off white kitchen and it is like denim, easy to coordinate, but its a real pain to live with. I’d go integrated next time, or black if I couldn’t afford it, no question. White appliances can look cheap, stand out too much or just look terrible used with the wrong white (and don’t we all love a white kitchen!).

  24. Best tip for cleaning ALL stainless appliances: clean with microfiber cloth and water and that’s it!!! I switched a few years ago and it works soooo much better. Took a while to get all the buildup of the old cleaners off though. Obviously disinfect as needed…then follow up with microfiber and water.

  25. Problem with black is you see layers of dust. Either way you’re cleaning. Don’t know which is worst fingerprints or dust that just settled right back on.

  26. My vote is for white appliances. Our custom kitchen cherry cabinets have brass knobs ( wish I could change) with brass back plates. They cannot
    be changed :-(. We don’t have an outside kitchen window. On the plus side it does have white tiled back splash, white counters, and white floors.This kitchen was a year old when we moved into our home. Since brass is back in style, I can’t imagine stainless appliances in it.
    cabinets have brass knobs with back plates which can’t be changed

  27. I know the questioner asked if stainless was going out of style, but she said she’d really love to have white appliances. She asked if this would be too much. I didn’t see this question answered, or else I missed it. In her shoes, I think she should get what she loves. I don’t think it’s too much at all, as long as the whites don’t clash. Is there another blog post about choosing white appliances with white cabinets?

    Personally I think stainless is cold and high maintenance. I also think it’s rude to tell another commenter she’s OCD. Wow!

    • I too thought the question was not really answered. No picture of white with white was offered. White on white on white–I think that is really excellent and allows a white kitchen sink. A stainless sink is just the worst looking thing in a kitchen unless it is a model home! I have two homes and have both. It is true that people value stainless in the real estate market because of the perception that it is “high end” and “expensive”. That is why it is in one home, but I regret the decision. I much prefer my white tile, white cabinet kitchen (with the gray flecked granite that I chose 16 years ago and is so on trend now). It is just as timeless as stainless. There is a reason why end-users are moving away from stainless but designers and contractors are not there yet.

  28. I love stainless appliances. Timeless in my opinion. They look great with my glazed cabinets and traditional kitchen. I’d never go back to white.

  29. I have 8 yr. old stainless appliances, and I have never used anything but a microfiber cloth wet with hot water, then wrung out. I’ve been told to use Lemon Pledge, but I never wanted to use a chemical of any kind, as they can become a dust magnet.

  30. I love how these convos turn. We recently remodeled our kitchen…White Dove cabinets, SS appliances, etc. It sure is pretty, and it’s a “yay” to Maria’s question. But, I too have become shamefully OCD –not because of the white cabinetry, but because of all the CONSTANT finger prints, water drips, and even a footprint on the stainless steel! I’m going to give KJ’s tip of good ol’ H2O and a *new* microfiber towel a try…

    • Oops…I meant “Yay” as in SS is the best choice with white cabinets. I love white appliances too, but white appliances their change color over time and you can’t predict how it will all match in the long run.

  31. Personally , I do not like SS. Furnished a brand new home 17 years ago w SS and came to detest them over time. Bought a new home 7 years ago that has beautiful black appliances and I absolutely love them. To me, it’s like having a perfect LBD and a great black trench that goes w everything. Very classy looking. Finding a choice of black appliances to replace them is simply impossible. No to SS. White , like black, are very classic choices IMO. And w the right shades would look spectacular.

  32. Well I guess I’m totally, hopelessly out of step with the times… I have a small kitchen, Giallo Ornamental granite, deep cafe color stained maple cabinets and BISQUE appliances. They are lighter than Almond- but not the stark white, and blend beautifully. I dread the time when I’ll need to replace, because there are few offerings in this tone now. For the reasons Maria stated, white would not be great. Black- ugh! ( I can’t keep my black coffee maker looking clean! Shows every speck of dust.)

  33. Agree about the microfiber cloth and plain water. This makes cleaning stainless, countertops, and glass front cab doors a breeze. I have lightly mocha glazed white cabs, black granite, nice stainless appliances. Light oak floor. It is by far the favorite kitchen I’ve ever had and I’ve built 12 new homes from scratch. Been in this one the longest, almost 14 years. I, too, like a shiny, spotless kitchen.

  34. The second photo of the kitchen with copper appliances was beautiful and I think timeless, but did not care for the others with copper. I’m very happy with stainless in my white kitchen.

  35. In eastern US appliances are going toward slate appliances – a very dark pewter color. It follows the grey trend one step further. My preference is paneled appliances – it provides continuity and timelessness to a kitchen. Appliances provide function but shouldn’t be focal points. A microwave drawer functions better, is safer and ergonomically easier on the back.
    If you want a focal point range, do a colored Viking range or an AGA. A well designed and executed kitchen should last a lifetime and provide satisfaction everyday. It’s the heart of the home!!

  36. I’m in appliance sales, and we sell far more stainless than anything else. Slate is also a popular new color, but I think in 10 + years, or less, it’ll be like harvest gold or avocado. Black stainless is a new choice that seems to be going over well. As I mentioned above in a reply to another comment, people come in complaining about their high gloss black appliances more than any other color, in terms of showing fingerprints, grease, and dust. I don’t think anything will ever be as prevalent as stainless. Integrated is nice, but not everyone can afford that level of product. We just built a new home last fall, and we went with white cabinets, dark gray quartz countertops, stainless appliances, white subway tile, medium brown solid wood flooring – I wanted what was considered *timeless* because this is our forever home to grow old in, and from everything I’ve learned in building previously, remodeling 3 homes after that, and reading everything online that I could over the past few years – this combination is one of the very few, truly, timeless looks. Color is a personal choice, though. If YOU like white, then get white – it’s your kitchen! 😉

  37. We’ll have stainless in our new kitchen. It’s not my personal preference-if I had fairy-tale budget, I’d chosen copper, because I truly love copper, always did, it just makes my heart sing; or something colored, because I love color:) But between simple black, white, or stainless-I choose stainless..easier to integrate. Also the surface is somewhat reflective-not a bad quality in a small kitchen.
    PS I feel something is wrong with me when I read comments about cleaning stainless steel..I never saw a problem with mine. I’m considered a tidy person, really. Not the cleanest on earth, but tidy and all that. I don’t understand how everybody sees it constantly, and I don’t. Maybe we have this no-smudge finish? Maybe I got it especially not to show fingerprints etc., and I don’t remember..

    • Lol…Glad you said what I was thinking. I dont find the maintenance a big deal. A few people mentioned the coldness of stainless, but personally I find “pristine”, almost bare counters, very sterile.

  38. I have a gorgeous white kitchen with black granite countertops,black herringbone back splash and white oak floors. I chose stainless appliances and don’t mind the upkeep. I think its because I am so grateful to finally have a nice kitchen that functions well. When we moved into this house it was formica, old 1970’s appliances and cabinets that were disgusting. 🙂

  39. I am a designer and I will always pick for my clients what works for them design and function wise. However, what I have been recently discovering, white and black might be options but and not as available as SS. Not only are they not on display to see, especially stoves and refrigerators, but are also not available in all models.

    I love my white appliance and prefer them over SS and black but kicked myself for replacing my dishwasher 2 years ago in white. I really like the look of white in my kitchen and did not want to replace it with SS since many of the SS appliances are mostly black with SS fronts. A lot of extra money for something that truly isn’t SS but black with SS accents.

    However, my stove died 7 months later and had to replaces ASAP as I had no stove.

    I did my homework and selected a model with all the cooking features I felt met my needs. Called around and no one have a white or black one on display, only SS. As a designer, and a bit OCD, it was important for me to know what the stove was going to look like. Was the door all metal, like the SS, or was it a glass front over metal. The best they could do was show me the digital image on the website and read the specs to me. Here I was making a purchase based on photos and what the salesperson could best tell me. I took the gamble and purchased it and happy to say I love my new stove in white. Though, I shutter the thought of replacing my refrigerator, pray daily too, it last me as I research to find my next refrigerator in white. What I have discover is as I find a model, it is not available in white.

    I hate to say that if I where to do it again knowing what I know now, I would go SS just because they are more readily available and easier to replace when an appliance goes on you.

    So, I guess SS is not only neutral but more readily available, something to add into the equation when designing, remodeling or just replacing your appliances.

  40. I agree, Maria, that SS appliances are far more versatile than any other color. That said, if someone wants white with a white kitchen, I think they should go for it. That’s what I did, with the benefit of your advice on cabinet color and the fabulous pop of deep blue in my Lacanche stove. The beautiful range was very important to me, much more so than the integrated appliances I would have preferred, and I couldn’t afford both. The white appliances do not detract from the blue range, as SS definitely would have done.

    What you have to be extremely careful about with all white is not making it look sterile, which it will if you match the cabinet color to the appliances. The prettiest white kitchens have pops of color and plenty of detail and texture. And IMO, an all-white kitchen really needs the warmth of a hardwood floor, preferably in medium brown.

  41. I so wanted to go to your color class in Corte Madera (north of SF), but have been in the middle of a remodel of our home in the Bay Area. We chose stainless steel appliances and they look beautiful and go well with maple cabinets and white quartzite with veining. I agree with the fingerprint situation and appreciate the cleaning tips.

    I hope you come back to the Bay Area, as I would very much like to attend your next class. Beautiful day to go to Napa. Cheers.

  42. I think things go out of fashion because they never made any sense in the first place. I don’t believe that applies to stainless. There’s something from every decade that becomes a classic because it works and people decide they don’t want to live without it. So that fashion just becomes part of the world that works and you no longer have to think if it is in fashion or not. Harvest gold and avocado were never going to be classics because they only went with stuff from that era. If you separate them from their 70’s context they didn’t make sense. Stainless made sense last decade, it makes sense this decade and it will in the next one too because it compliments any style as shown in the above pictures. Isn’t that the true definition of a classic?

  43. I have stainless appliances because the stove and dishwasher came with the house, which was fairly new. So we bought a stainless fridge to “match.”
    The stainless is ok, I guess, as far as coordinating, though I’m not sure I’m on board with it being timeless yet. It seems to me a very industrial finish. Not usually what I would pick for my home.
    Regarding finishes and smudging, our fridge is a no-smudge (maybe faux stainless) finish, and it’s fine. Easy to clean. The stove and dishwasher are actual stainless and a nightmare. There are drips showing on them that I’ve been trying to get off for years (since we bought the house). Nothing seems to work. I love the dampened microfiber cloth for windows, but it doesn’t work for this. It’s the tiny ridges in the stainless brushed finish–you can’t get anything out of those! Horrible! And believe me, I’m not an OCD housekeeper. I like things clean, yes, but I’ve NEVER had any other finish where fingerprints and smears bothered me.

    • Something acidic probably etched your stainless. It will need to be buffed out. You can google DIY methods or hire someone.

      • Thanks, KJ. I will check into that. Lots of acidic stuff in a kitchen – which begs the question why people so often recommend stainless, while at the same time saying carrara marble is too high-maintenance because it will etch!

  44. The thing about white appliances in a wood kitchen is that your eye always goes to the point of highest contrast, which would be the appliance next to wood. The appliance just sticks out if it is next to a darker wood. Also, with white appliances and painted cabinets, there are a million whites – if your appliances are white, you would have to color match your cabinets to the appliances. Also, you would have to make sure that all of your appliances are from the same manufacturer because whites differ from different manufacturers.

    I have stainless appliances in my kitchen, and they are just fine. The only thing I would consider changing would be to have the dishwasher and fridge panel ready, so they would blend in more with the cabinets.

  45. With the exception of a copper finish, I think I have tried every one and IMHO, the worse has been ‘black’ due to the fact that it shows ‘everything’ including the smallest scratch! That said; my favourite of all time was (and still is) the Almond/Bisque colour and I particularly loved the fridge as it had a textured finish. (No smudges or scratches to contend with and very easy-peasy maintenance.) In summary, with my proposed kitchen upgrades I am hoping to go with at least an integrated fridge, dishwasher, microwave but am still undecided re the stove as I am not fond of the current SS comparing it to a stove that I once had which I believe had a commercial finish and only got rid of because of its age. (‘It’ was at least twenty-one years old and a Moffat brand with all the bells ‘n whistles, never showed finger prints and you could use any cleanser on it unlike that of today’s.) -Brenda-

  46. There are many, many types of stainless steel which, by definition are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. Other alloying elements such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and copper are added to achieve specific mechanical and physical qualities for a particular application or environment (e.g, cookware vs. surgical implant vs. architectural sheathing vs. marine setting).

    The challenge with cleaning stainless steel appliances is that the majority of residential appliance manufacturers, regardless of price point or brand use a very low quality grades of stainless steel (i.e., lower levels of chromium with little, if any nickel content). This approach delivers the desired look of stainless at a lower cost. Part of the rational is that the skin of your appliance won’t face the same level of wear and tear that your cookware would.

    But, you sacrifice corrosion resistance and cleanability. This is why there are legions of consumers complaining about their stainless steel appliances “rusting” only to discover that their warranty specifically excludes coverage for rusting or rust spots. The grade used will vary from product to product which is why in the comments here, you’ll see some people swear that a microfiber dampened with water is all they need, while others pull their hair out trying to find something, anything that works.

    Consider stainless steel flatware as an example. When shopping for flatware you’ll see numbers such as 18/0 or 18/10. These numbers refer to the % of chromium and nickel content respectively. Flatware labeled as 18/0 has zero nickel content and is a lower quality flatware than 18/10 which contains 10% nickel. Flatware labeled as 18/0 is duller, more prone to staining, cheaper, and what you might find in a commercial cafeteria type setting.

    The stainless steel used in 18/10 flatware is a high quality, corrosion resistant stainless with is a breeze to clean. I’ve never heard anyone complain that their 18/10 flatware is hard to clean or covered with streaks and fingerprints that are hard to remove. The same goes for stainless steel pots and pans.

    It always come down to cost versus quality. Commercial / industrial grade stainless appliances, sinks and countertops are a breeze to clean and keep clean but are significantly more expensive and cost prohibitive for most in a residential setting.

    • Thank you so much for the explanation even though that it makes me regret getting rid of the stove that I mentioned in my comment above. Oh, if I had only known …. ☺…. but it came with the house we purchased reason why I stated ‘I believe it had a commercial finish’. That said, my daughter has high-end SS appliances but the finish is already showing wear just after four years compared to the old stove that I mentioned so buyer beware and do your research. -Brenda-

  47. I agree with this post. I think white or black appliances could look nice if repeated in kitchens, but most of them still look cheap. We had white appliances before switching to stainless and I don’t understand why they aren’t designed to be more attractive. I actually think I like some of the older models compared to newer ones.

    Damp microfiber cloth is all I’ve ever needed for any marks on the stainless. I half stressed over this issue before buying ss and it works perfect. If you have product build up it may take a little while. Less labor intensive than wiping down my counters! And not being snarky, but we’ve also taught our small children not to touch the appliances. This will lessen the wiping.

  48. I would love to see the low grade stainless steel appliance trend die. Form follows function and the most important consideration with appliances should be function! The comment above by SDC is spot on. Don’t be a sheep and buy into the stainless steel finishes on appliances look “higher end”. Cheap stainless finishes (which is exactly what residential appliances are covered in) = special cleaners, special cloths (you aren’t even supposed to use a paper towel, lol), fingerprints, dings and dents, constant cleaning. Good ole fashioned enameled finishes = toughest finish that is easiest to maintain. Period. White with white or light cabinets and black with wood or dark cabinets. The white color of the appliances does NOT have to be the precise color of the cabinets either. If you want to “upgrade” the look of black or white, switch out the handles for stainless. Don’t make yourself a slave to HGTV or marketing trends, because with the inferior grades of stainless used on residential appliances, that is exactly what you will be.