Stainless Steel Protectors: Do They Work?

How well do stainless steel protectors prevent those pesky fingerprints and smudges on your appliances? We brought this issue to the homeLAB to find out.

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Do Stainless Steel Protectors Work?

Stainless steel appliances are prone to fingerprints, smudges and water stains. The refrigerator and dishwasher in our homeLAB are no exception. So I used them to test products that claim to not only clean the surface, but help it resist fingerprints and smudges. I bought three stainless steel cleaning products — Scotchgard, Weiman and Magic — and put them to work.

The homeLAB test:

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I taped off four sections on the refrigerator and the dishwasher — one for each product — and left another section bare. After applying the products, I did my best to create fingerprints and smudges, repeating the process over a couple of weeks. I also applied water to make water stains, which I did three times.

The Results:

These products do not offer the protection you’re looking for. All three did a good job cleaning the stainless steel, but were less impressive preventing fingerprints, smudges and stains. The treated sections showed only slightly fewer marks than the untreated section. And even that small amount of protection seemed to diminish within a few days. There wasn’t much difference in protection among the products, but Scotchgard and Magic performed slightly better than Weiman.

Plus, if you own stainless steel kitchen appliances, you may want to consider using car wax to clean them.

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