How to Use Windex on Metal

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Windex can safely be used to clean stainless steel appliances.
Windex can safely be used to clean stainless steel appliances. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Windex is a household cleaner that comes in several different varieties. While Windex was originally a glass cleaner, there are now a number of different formulations, including three different Windex products for multiple kinds of surfaces. All but two Windex products include ammonia, so they should not be used on metals that ammonia would cause to discolor. If you desire an ammonia-free product, you should reach for Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar and Windex Outdoor Multi-Surface, the products that do not contain ammonia.

According to the manufacturer, all Windex products can safely be used on chrome and stainless steel.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels or micro-fiber cleaning cloth
  • Soft polishing cloth

Determine that the metal you are cleaning can safely be cleaned with Windex. If you are not sure if the metal you want to clean is chrome or stainless steel, and you are concerned that the Windex will discolor it, you should test the surface before cleaning. Apply some Windex to a small, inconspicuous spot on the metal, and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. If the finish is unchanged, it is safe to use Windex to clean the surface.

Spray the Windex on the metal surface. If there is baked-on dirt or grime, as there may be on a stainless steel cooktop, allow the Windex to soak into and soften the crusted substance.

Wipe the Windex off the surface with a clean, dry microfiber cloth or a paper towel. Do not use an abrasive pad that might scratch the metal. Be sure to dry the surface completely, rubbing in the direction of the grain.

Buff the clean dry surface with a soft polishing cloth to bring back the shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although Windex should not be used on painted surfaces, it can be used on enameled paint on appliances.
  • While Windex is not usually recommended for routine cleaning of silver, Windex with vinegar can help to remove the beginnings of tarnish from silver. The silver should be carefully washed with soap and water, and then thoroughly rinsed to remove all traces of Windex after the tarnish is removed.
  • Do not mix any Windex product that contains ammonia with a bleach-based household cleanser, as dangerous gases can be produced.

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