How to clean soot from stainless steel or chrome

Written by claudia henning
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How to clean soot from stainless steel or chrome
Stainless steel gas stoves can build up soot near the burners. (detail of classical cooking stove image by Tomo Jesenicnik from

Cleaning soot from stainless steel or chrome items is not as complicated as it appears. Soot can collect on stove pipes, car exhaust tips, pots and pans and stove surfaces. Resist the urge to grab a scouring pad and scrub. That method does more harm than good by leaving permanent scuffs and scratches. Removing the soot may require cleaning in stages, depending on how soiled the items are. You can restore the lustre to both stainless steel and chrome within a few minutes of starting the cleaning process.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Buckets
  • Soft rags
  • Distilled white vinegar

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  1. 1

    Mix 1/2 cup of dish soap with a gallon of water in a bucket. Dip a soft rag into the soapy water and begin scrubbing the stainless steel or chrome surface. Rinse the rag frequently to remove the soot. Rinse the surface with clear water and let it air dry.

  2. 2

    Use a clean rag to wash the stainless steel or chrome a second time. Rinse well with plain water. Allow it to air dry once again. Repeat this process until the surface is streak free.

  3. 3

    Add a small amount of distilled white vinegar to a clean rag and wipe the metal surface(s). Buff with a dry rag for a bright clean look.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the area well ventilated. Vinegar fumes can be very strong.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals to remove soot from these metal surfaces. Stainless Online states, " Stay away from all steel wool pads and harsh scouring powders such as Comet or Bon-Ami. These will scratch your stainless steel surface because of the abrasives found in them."

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