Disadvantages of stainless steel appliances

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Stainless steel is a sleek and stylish material for your home's appliances. It is easy to clean, does not rust and adds an element of modern beauty to your kitchen. Along with several advantages, however, the news on stainless steel isn't always good. This common appliance material also has some specific disadvantages when compared to other materials.

Scratches and Dents

Stainless steel is durable and has an attractive appearance. Stainless steel is also fragile when it comes to scratches and dents. If a sharp object bumps into a stainless refrigerator, for example, there is a significant chance there will be a ding in the metal. In addition, the stainless steel may be rust proof, but it isn't scratch proof. In fact, abrasive materials or sharp points on utensils or other objects can put a visible scratch in the stainless steel surface with little force.

There are some products on the market that claim to make stainless scratches disappear, but the fact is that if it is more than minor surface scratches, you will probably just have to look at it for as long as you have your appliance.

Dirt Shows

Stainless steel is simple to clean. That's why they call it stainless. Be prepared to clean it often. Stainless steel shows dirt, smudges and fingerprints more than any other surface used on appliances. Even the slightest touch with an oily finger or a bump into an appliance with an elbow may leave a spot on the steel that can't be ignored. The smooth, beautiful look of stainless steel is interrupted by the slightest imperfection, meaning this isn't an appliance you can just clean occasionally.

The good news is that a little soap and water will take just about anything off of stainless steel. Warm water and a squirt of liquid soap can be applied with a cloth and will usually wipe off whatever is there. For minor fingerprint removal, glass cleaner and a paper towel will typically take care of it.


The most obvious disadvantage of stainless steel appliances is the cost. Stainless steel is expensive to fabricate, and the companies that sell you the appliances at retail will pass the expense on to you. An appliance in another finish may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars less than one of equal quality with a stainless steel outer shell.

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