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Why I hate stainless-steel appliances


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I adored my stainless sinks. Stuff bounced rather than broke. Yes, scale could buildup and scratches happen, but it doesn't chip like porcelain or stain like it either. Can't wait to own one again. After a while the scratches fade into a relatively uniform used look that is fine with me.

Don't want a stainless fridge if it's not good with magnets. I like magnets.

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I don't think of a sink as an appliance, however I agree that for sinks stainless is the way to go because it gives. For refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers there is no pragmatic advantage to stainless that I can think of. Ranges in stainless seem to make more sense but I can't put my finger on why.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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you could paint it with magnetic paint :laugh:

Or chalkboard paint. Heck, you could put the chalkboard paint over the magnetic paint and have both.

Oh no, this is giving me ideas. Don't think the wife will go for it, though.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I have a few stainless steel appliances (oven, warming drawer, dishwasher). I also have a large kitchen island with cabinets that have stainless steel doors.

I agree that there is some maintenance needed and I was a little surprised in the beginning, but now I just use barkeeper's friend once a week and I am good to go. Also we try to use the handles as much as we can on the cabinets to avoid fingerprints!

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you could paint it with magnetic paint :laugh:

Or chalkboard paint. Heck, you could put the chalkboard paint over the magnetic paint and have both.

We've got some 'boards' like this on playroom walls - works like a charm!

/End Hijack

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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I don't think of a sink as an appliance, however I agree that for sinks stainless is the way to go because it gives.

Gotta disagree with that one, Mr. Shaw....

I had a stainless sink when I first moved here. After three months we ripped it out and replaced it with a granite composite. The granite composite still looks great after three years. The stainless looked horrible after just three months.

I don't expect things to look brand-spankin' new forever, but it shouldn't age a year every week, either.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd hate to think of our 4' wide Sub Zero in anything but stainless. Avocado?? :shock: Also, a double door stainless oven, stainless dishwasher, and a double stainless and single stainless Kohler sinks.

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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... The stainless looked horrible after just three months. I don't expect things to look brand-spankin' new forever, but it shouldn't age a year every week, either.

It will look better after a year or so as it acquires an evenly worn look - or it can stay rather new looking if you use a Scotch type abrasive scrubber aggressively to keep a shiny new look. But that is extra work. The "natural" worn look for stainless is something of an equivalent to a butler finish on silver.

Until it has acquired the butler finish, stainless looks ratty. The only place I scrub for esthetics is in the sink bottom itself since that does get beat upon. All the ss countertops I let alone except for the very few really eggregious scratches.

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+1 WD40

I'm neutral on stainless and the concept of keeping the kitchen looking as new as possible. For most all of us the kitchen is the only place in the home we create a mess doing manual labor several times a day. It's a workspace and eating place that sees a lot of traffic as a room to socialize.

Stainless looks nice and is easy to clean. Unless guests are talking behind our backs, no one cares about the stray finger prints that could use a quick wipe-down.

Edited to add: Consider stainless steel sink discoloration patina. It'll make it a lot easier to live with.

Edited by Mano (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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It's SOOOO nice not having crap all over the doors.

My big upright freezer, located in the pantry, holds about 200 novelty magnets that have been gifted to me over the years.

I like them but don't want them on my kitchen fridge.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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When I was shopping for appliances a couple of years ago, I was definitely in the anti-stainless camp. I was reinstalling my almost new white Bosch dishwasher and wanted a white fridge too. I looked and looked for a 36" white fridge with the features I wanted and couldn't find one, they were all stainless. So I gave up and bought stainless. It's grown on me, I'll admit. Maybe it's my kitchen, which has very pale grey walls, but the stainless looks very neutral. I've gotten over the no magnet thing.

As for the range, I had options because was buying a BlueStar, which can be ordered in 190 different colors--only the range top itself is always stainless. I was VERY tempted, despite cautions from friends about resale value issues. Indecision kept me in the all-stainless camp, which I somewhat regret. Not because I mind the stainless, but the color would have been a lot of fun. If I move and re-do another kitchen, I'll go with color next time. If you're curious, you can play with the most popular color choices here.

As for cleaning it, microfiber cloths work great. All in all, I find it much less trouble than I thought.


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Take some plastic wrap (like SaranWrap) and cover the exterior surfaces with it (I don't mean to wrap the whole fridge in it, but think of it as wall paper). Then you won't have to worry about fingerprints or dirt, and just replace it once every so often.

What a great thread!

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry for the terrible picture from my phone, but they are installing my appliances and one of the first things I had to do was try to stick a magnet on it. In the upper right-hand corner of my freezer door, you can see that magnets do stick to the stainless steel on these appliances. It also has the special coating that doesn't leave fingerprints. It does still dent, however. And the reason I wanted to try a magnet so quickly is that it came with a little dent, which is now under said magnet. :hmmm:

IMG00467-20110728-1409.jpg

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I agree wholeheartedly....stainless sucks. I have a stainless sink, and it's a pain in the ass. Always looks terrible, unless you've just scrubbed, dried, & polished it. My next kitchen will have a porcelain sink and WHITE appliances with "no fingerprint" finishes.

I have a white porcelain sink and I have to use Soft Scrub on it every day to get rid of the staining and there is nothing to do about the black dots that appear with it gets chipped. There are white resin sinks that look like enameled porcelain. I'd suggest you take a look at those for your next kitchen.

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Responding to Norm who recommended the resin sinks...please, think again. I've had two Blanco resin sinks; one white, one black...both were awful to keep clean. Think, impossible. The white was pretty until it inevitably became etched enough to show marks. The black was simply a disaster. All in all, since I've had every imaginable type of sink over my many years, I'd only recommend a high quality stainless. It looks the best of all of them after years of use.

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  • 6 months later...

You can buy them with scratches on them for a good discount... My wife and I got a home refrigerator this way because we'd just spent a lot of money on something else but still wanted to get a better refrigerator when the old one died.

By the way, I was able to hide the scratches by rubbing them (exactly following the original grain of the finish) using one of those scouring pads that lightly scratches stainless steel.

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