Right after you get engaged, comes your wedding registry. For us, that process was pretty stressful - considering we had no idea where we were going to live, or what kind of house/apartment/etc. we'd be living in. So when it came to choosing kitchen appliances and storage containers, I just went with "stainless steel" - figuring it would last the longest, look the nicest, and match just about any decor.
That was 2 and 1/2 years ago. Today, I'd like to scream out "FALSE ADVERTISING", because there is nothing "stainless" about my steel tea kettle, crockpot, trashcan, paper towel holder, or countertop containers. "Smudgy Steel" would be a better name for it, as I tried everything to clean it - Lysol Kitchen Cleaner, Lysol wipes, Windex - and still it was covered in smudges and streaks. It was so frustrating! We'd spent extra money to get the "stainless steel" items, because I thought they were the best/wisest investment. And now, my kitchen countertops were covered with disgusting looking appliances and storage containers.
On my last trip to TJ Maxx, I found this miracle working bottle of Caldrea Stainless Steel Cleaner. (Seriously? You have to clean "stainless steel" with something specific? Why has no one told me this before now?! And if that is true, why is it not called "special steel" instead of "stainless steel"? Are you all laughing at me now? Was this in the "How to be a Good Wife and Keep a Clean House" handbook I didn't get a copy of?!) This cleaner smelled amazing (I bought the "Herbs of Provence" scent), and I loved that it was non-toxic, so I brought it home to give it a try. It only took about 2 minutes before I was pulling my husband in the kitchen to "watch this" and buffing with glee! My stainless steel was finally shiny and smudge free again!
Maybe I'm an idiot, and you all knew about this incredible stainless steel cleaner - but - if you've been living under a rock (like me) and are frustrated with your smudgy, streaky, "stainless" steel then I hope I've helped you out with a great recommendation!
(*Note - I found mine at TJ Maxx for $5.99, but I've heard it is also available at Target. Just be sure you only use a little and that you "buff it off" with a clean towel after you've wiped down your appliance. If it still looks smudgy - keep buffing - it takes a little elbow grease. It's so worth it to get the shine you're looking for though! It even seems to repel fingerprints... BONUS! :)