Stainless steel cookware has been popular for quite some time because of its durability and stain-resistance. More recently, many consumers are also opting for stainless steel appliances for a clean, contemporary addition to any kitchen space. However, despite the many benefits of stainless steel products, these products are susceptible to the normal wear and tear associated with most metallic products. While stainless steel doesn't stain easily, its finish can be scratched with repeated usage. Luckily, you can remove many basic scratches within just a few simple steps.
Dab a little bit of vegetable oil onto the scratch and then wipe it away with a dry paper towel. This will diminish the appearance of small scratches. In some cases this will successfully make the scratch unnoticeable, but for most scratches rebuffing is necessary.
Buff the stainless steel surface by rubbing it with a "non-metallic abrasive pad such as a Scotch Brite pad," as recommended by the Stainless Steel Information Center, an informational service of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America. This will remove most small scratches. However, if this does not work, there is yet one more option you can try.
Use a commercial scratch remover product like the popular Scratch-B-Gone kit (see "Resources" below). The kit contains a similar abrasive pad, but it also contains professional-grade scratch removal chemicals and stainless steel polish for the best possible DIY results. While commercial scratch removal products work the best, they cost upwards of £32. So lower cost vegetable oil or simple Scotch Brite removal should always be tried first, leaving this expensive option as a last resort.
While the above method works for shallow surface scratches, deep stainless steel scratches must be professionally restored for optimal results.
The Stainless Steel Information Center cautions that DIY scratch repair can result in a duller or uneven finish, and the best results are only achievable by a professional refinisher. However, when on a budget or dealing with small scratches, DIY scratch removal is a viable option.