secret: i polish my stainless steel with coconut oil.

March 24, 2014

coconut oil spooncoconut oil clothcoconut oil on stove coconutoil7058 In the competition for the title of household multitasking hero, coconut oil is rivaled only by baking soda for its sheer number of uses coupled with extreme effectiveness. From moisturizing your own cheeks to keeping a different set of cheeks diaper rash-free, if you have a quandary, chances are that coconut oil can swoop on in to save the day.

In my latest installment of coconut oil worship, I thought I would share with you its most miraculous feat yet.

Our new apartment has a brand new stainless steel stove. After looking at one apartment that had no stove to speak of, and another with a relic from the 1970s so caked in grease it was barely recognizable, let me begin by saying that this stove is not something I’m taking for granted. Standing sentinel with the stove there’s also a stainless steel refrigerator and a dishwasher (I know…).

But all gratefulness aside, from an aesthetic point of view, I’ve never really gotten the appeal of stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel refrigerators strike me as looking like mid-century rocket ships ready for blast-off. And until we moved in, I wasn’t aware that there was also the added disadvantage of needing to keep all of this shiny metal—well—shiny.

When water drips down a stainless steel fridge or a certain toddling nephew hoists himself repeatedly against the shiny face of the dishwasher, telltale signs get left behind. Wiping them down with a soapy sponge or giving them a spritz with a multipurpose cleaning spray leave them looking even worse.

But: coconut oil to the rescue! Instead of shuffling to the corner store in search of a dubious “stainless steel cleaning product” I’ve been polishing my stainless steel with a smear or two of coconut oil. After cleaning my appliances in the usual way, I give them a good rubdown. I use just a spoonful of oil on a soft cloth, rubbed into the surface until it’s not greasy to the touch, but all of the stains and streaks have gone away.

I might be the last person on earth to know about this petit miracle. But in case I’m not, I hope I’ve given you yet another reason to enjoy your humble jar o’ coconut oil. Little victories, friends.

*What’s the strange strip of white above the white tile? Why yes, yes I did stick white contact up to cover an ugly mosaic tile.

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  • Reply Sarah Spitz March 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    So smart! Thanks for the tip!

    Greetings from Germany and a peek into life lately…



  • Reply Arielle Findley March 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    You've probably already been told, but coconut oil is perfect for avoiding stretch marks! I never got a single one! I've almost given up on cleaning my stainless steel appliances (having a 3 year-old and all), but I'll have to give this a shot! Thank you. 🙂

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      More on stretch marks one a these days…

  • Reply w March 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I enjoy every little post of yours. These tips make me want to take much better care of our rented place. So thank you.

  • Reply oliviajamie March 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    You're not the last one to know, Erin. ; ) This great tip is news to me, so thanks!

  • Reply andwontonmakesthree March 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the amazing tip! I was regretting our stainless steel appliances, never realizing just how much of a pain they'd be to clean, but now I'm excited to go home and try this!

  • Reply caitlin March 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Is there a certain kind of coconut oil that you prefer?

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Fresh-pressed virgin! Dr. Bronner's sells a nice fair trade/organic option!

    • Reply Pauline Marx April 1, 2021 at 8:15 am

      At last what i am looking for!!!!!!Tkanks for coconut oil!!!

  • Reply Pat March 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Olive oil works, too. 😀 I am also not a fan of stainlees steel.

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      But coconut oil smells so good!

  • Reply Debs March 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I know this may sound stupid or naive but where o where can you buy coconut oil?

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      The grocery store! Go get some!

  • Reply Caramel Latte Kiss March 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Good idea! My mum always swears by baby oil to keep stainless super shiny. Coconut oil really is a magic does everything substance though.

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Oh, I'm sure that works, too! I like coconut oil because it's not a petroleum product!

  • Reply Samantha Cabrera March 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    OMG this is perfect timing! Our new place has stainless steel appliances as well, and I was horrified when we used an all purpose cleaner and to clean up water drips and smudges from our kiddos and it left the surfaces looking dull and didn't remove all of the marks. I hurried out and bought those stainless steel wipes in desperation, but I am SO glad there is a natural alternative. Thank you, Erin!

  • Reply AGR March 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm


    Just curious as to the model of the beautiful stove? Thank you.

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Hi there: It's an Avanti gas range. Not exactly sure of the model!

    • Reply AGR March 26, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you Erin. Congratulations to you and James on your future bundle. John

    • Reply AGR March 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Also thank you for all the great creative ideas. Great work you do. 🙂

  • Reply Kari March 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I've been a fan of coconut oil for ages, but I didn't know about this tip. Hopefully I won't have to use it, because I'll never have stainless steel appliances ( I hope!). But the most genius tip is your use of contact paper to cover ugly tile. That's brilliant! I'd be interested to know how long it holds up.

  • Reply Jacquelyn | lark & linen March 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Umm I did NOT know this. Once again, coconut oil proves its worth. Is there anything it CAN'T do?!

  • Reply infusionfibers March 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Nice! I will definitely try this. I have actually found a little bit of Dr. Bronners rubbed on stainless with a damp sponge, then a clean rinse wipe, leaves it really clean too. And love your clever little apt hacks – I almost overlooked the strip on the tile completely. Love that you covered it : )

  • Reply Yelle March 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

    sounds lovely! i will have to remember this for when i have stainless steel appliances. i also would have never noticed the contact paper unless you had pointed it out, it looks great!

  • Reply DontBlameTheKids March 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Coconut oil: I put that sh*t on everything. (This is a hot sauce commercial reference, btw.) It's been great for my daughter's diaper rash. I'm not sure it's cloth-safe, but I use a liner anyway. It's the only thing that keeps my dry skin from cracking during the winter. I never thought to use it on stainless steel, which I also have in my kitchen and dislike. I just love finding new places to use coconut oil! (This is a Marilyn Monroe reference.) (I will stop now.)

  • Reply holt fletcher March 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Would love to know about your blender – it's so pretty! Is it an Oster, and do you like?

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Hi there: Yup! Oster. We've had it for about six years now and it's still going strong!

  • Reply Kim B. March 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Ok, it's (new, good) news to me, and I have to ask further — what consistency is your coconut oil, and where do you buy it? In the photos, it looks kind of face-scrubby if that makes sense . . .

    • Reply Erin March 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Hey there: You can find coconut oil at your local grocery store, for sure. It's solid at room temp (kind of creamy) and liquid when it gets warm!

  • Reply Kim B. March 26, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Fascinating. Thank you, I'm definitely going to give it a try!

  • Reply dervla March 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    seriously, is there no end to the uses for coconut oil?? Has to be my favorite discovery of the last 5 years. Hope you're feeling great!

  • Reply Aja Lake March 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This is awesome. We've been gifted a stainless steel dishwasher for our current kitchen reno project, but, with two little ones, I've been fearing keeping it polished. I can't wait to try this!

    P.S. If you're interested, I just wrote a post for Tomboy Style on coconut oil:

  • Reply Kate Harvey March 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I was researching something for my own house and came across these "tile tatoos" and it reminded me of this post. Might be a cute way to hide those mosaic tiles in your kitchen you mention!

  • Reply Carol March 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    this is great! i tried it out and it leaves the kitchen smelling wonderful too. as a new reader, i'm making my way through the archives and am really enjoying the posts.

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