When I bought my first house it had white appliances. They were in good condition, and I was thankful that I had them, but truly what I wanted was that crisp professional kitchen look; I was all about that stainless steel baby!
The first white appliance to go down was the stove, not because it broke really, but because it was ceramic, one of those glass top ranges, and I loathed cooking on it though it worked just the way it was supposed to, about like it was broken. Then one day, well I don’t know what happened, or how I got there, but I found myself at the appliance store, and a new shinning stainless steel gas range was soon delivered to my door. Of course, like making a clean spot, the one appliance began a chain reaction; soon there sat across from the stove a beautiful two door stainless steel refrigerator, and that is where the problem began, ‘cause there’s nothing so upsetting as having something shinny and new with fingerprints all over it!
Fingerprints and smudges quickly made my gleaming tower of coolness a slovenly obelisk that was reflective of life back in a college rental. Don’t get me wrong, I cleaned it, it was very clean, and yet it still bore the scars of every digit that touched it, and every hand that swung it’s doors shut. I concluded that I was just ignorant in the ways of stainless steel, after all the stuff is everywhere, and it never looked so bad as in my kitchen. So, I called my friend Amy who usually has good ideas, and coincidentally also owned stainless steel appliances, and told her of my soiled Samsung, only to hear that she hated her stainless steel appliances, and couldn’t wait to get rid of them, would never have them again, and so on.
Now, I was expecting to hear of some sort of near magic stainless steel cleaner that would cure my smudgy woes, not to hear of a pandemic of hand prints that stretched across town! So, I did what any modern red blooded American boy would do when such a dilemma was at hand: I Googled it. Turns out I was right, there are lots of products that claim to un-smudge a fridge, but these products were obviously making someone rich cause they weren’t cheap, and there’s a lot of stainless out there.
I wasn’t having it. I knew with all the stainless steel in the world there had to be a better way. What was the underlying cause I asked myself?
Since the stove didn’t share the problem that the fridge had there was obviously a missing link. Fingerprints left traces of oil on the fridge, but not on the stove, so the stove had an abundance of oil on it all the time from wiping the cooking splatter off, and therefore I deduced that oil was the problem, and the answer!
If I applied oil to the fridge like the stove then it too logically should shine again! But what oil? Olive oil, motor oil, WD-40…all too thick and/or smelly. Mineral oil came to mind, but I didn’t have any on hand. What did we have around the house? Baby Oil! My wife had baby oil for some reason. I still don’t know why to this day she has it, but I wiped the fridge in baby oil, and it changed! All the prints began to fade away. I wiped on more, and soon my two door root cellar was gleaming like a new Airstream trailer. Eureka baby! Baby oil… it’s not just for sunburning teenagers anymore!
Well, the next day I discovered that there was a bit of a wrinkle in my solution, more of a sag really: turns out that the baby oil goes on flat, and looks great, but it flows downhill like cold paint when you’re not looking. I’ve learned though, I’ve taken to putting less oil on of course, but the cure for smudgy fridges is really a two part cure. Wipe the oil on as thin as possible, but thoroughly, and the next day, with a dry paper towel, wipe off the excess. This application generally will last about two to three weeks before needing another coat! One bottle of baby oil can go a long way in a kitchen, but I wonder what other household uses are left to be discovered?