Stainless steel is a great look until you scratch it. Then it looks awful. But you can “sand” out the scratches with sandpaper (400 to 600 grit) and a sanding block, an abrasive pad, or with rubbing compound. Or buy a stainless steel repair kit and get everything you need. (The Scratch-B-Gone kit comes with three pads, a sanding block, lubricant and a video. It’s available at home centers and through our affiliation with amazon.com.)
The sanding technique only works on plain (uncoated) stainless steel panels. Never try this procedure on simulated stainless steel or stainless panels with a fingerprint-resistant clear coat. Hint: If your appliance fingerprints easily, chances are it’s plain stainless steel.
The key to removing the scratch is to start with the finest grit paper or pad and zigzag a stream of sanding fluid on it. Then sand the scratched area (photo). If the scratch won’t come out after sanding for a few minutes, move up to the next coarsest grit. When the scratch disappears, sand the rest of the panel until it blends in.
You’ll have to develop a feel for the technique, so start on an inconspicuous area of the appliance panel. Finish by applying a stainless steel cleaner/polish (Sprayway is one brand; at home centers and appliance parts stores).