The care of stainless steel flatware varies somewhat from the care required by other types of dinnerware. Citrus cleansers, and cleansers containing bleach may be suitable for other types of serving and cookware, but are certainly damaging to stainless steel. Follow these simple guidelines for gentle maintenance of stainless steel flatware. Finish types and base materials can vary somewhat, so test any technique on an inconspicuous spot or a single piece of flatware before using on the entire set or washing in a group.
To help prevent pitting, stainless steel should be washed separately from sliverplate or sterling, and from aluminum. If using a dishwasher, stainless steel can be washed with a mild non-citrus detergent. To remove spots by hand, spot clean with a soft rag and either vinegar or rubbing alcohol. For added conditioning and shine, stainless steel can be buffed with a clean soft rag dampened with a small amount of olive oil.
Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.