Tip #16: Toast to This!

Over the years my stainless steel toaster has built up a sticky skin that I couldn’t get rid of…until today!!  I even tried Goo Gone and that didn’t work.  You’re not going to believe what did the trick!

 It’s so smooth and clean now!  I just want to rub it each time I walk past.  Haha!

I was even more surprised that the top came as clean as it did.  It looks brand new again.
All it took was a little Cream of Tartar mixed with a few drops of water, coupled with some scrubbing!


After several people commented about using Bar Keepers Friend to clean and shine stainless steel, I tried it out! It is easier and cheaper than using Cream of Tartar. See my review.

You might also like:

How to Clean Big Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Clean Your Shower Head

Steam Clean Your Microwave

Get Greasy Splatters off Appliances


    • Anonymous says

      Toothpaste works for stove tops really well. Warm the eye be sure it is not hot put on the toothpaste leave for about 5 mins and sponge off!

    • Shawntil says

      Totally used baking soda and water to clean my stove last night and that worked wonders too! So amazing and to have options too!

      • Brandie says

        If you have gas burners and can take the grates away. I put mine in a gallon zip lock add about 3/4 cup of ammonia and close. Let sit overnight and the fumes from the ammonia strip all the gunk right off!

        • Genie Huval says

          Thanks for the great tip I hated scrubbing my grates with a steel wool pad the ammonia sounds terrific can’t wait to try it.

        • Ruth says

          Use this on the grill grates too and put your grates from your oven in a garbage bag and add ammonia and put in the garage because of the smell for a day and rinse and wipe off maybe need a scrubbie to help but it works.

    • Ariel says

      Easy Off oven cleaner will remove browning/yellowing spots around burners on stainless steel! Just spray on, let set (ours was a moderate spot, but I let it set for 30 minutes and most of it wiped right off\), wipe with a damp rag, then polish if desired! (You can use the oven cleaner while it’s warm or cooled.) Hope it helps! =)

      • Denise says

        A paste of baking soda and vinegar works wonders also. I just used it to clean my stainless steel stove top last night. I am embarrassed to say I let my stove get fairly dirty before cleaned it. working a lot and just not having the energy to do it. anyway there was also spilled and cooked on oil that i was having trouble getting off so i made a paste of the baking soda a vinegar and covered them and let sit for a bit and they scrubbed right off. Baking soda and vinegar is a wonder cleaner and safe and natural. I have used it for cleaning other things in my kitchen like my stainless steel cooking sheets and stainless steel posts and pans, but first time i used it on my stove. and I always use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water to soak and keep my stainless steel coffee pot clean. just be careful when you add the vinegar to the baking soda it will foam for a second.

    • Jerri says

      I use pledge on my ss I spray it on and leave it for 1 min. then wipe it off, it works like magic, even on the water spots that run down the door from my ice maker.

    • says

      I use a lot of baking soda to clean with. Baking soda is an ingredient in cream of tartar I think,,,I could be way off. but I have only used cream of tartar on burnt pots and pans. Baking soda works on the stove top, countertops etc. without scratching

    • says

      It’s showing using those sponges that have the abrasive side, if you use this on stainless steel, it will scratch. I’m witness to it. I spray WD40 on and, on heavily soiled areas, let it sit. Leaves a nice shine without scratching. I then follow up with a dry rag sprinkled with cornstarch. Takes any oily film off and saves from fingerprints.
      This works also on wood furniture after you’ve polished it. Really saves on the dust too.

    • Morgan says

      The scratches are most likely from the sponge; the green sponges are more harsh than the blue sponges. Use this with the blue sponges and you shouldn’t have any trouble at all!

  1. Anonymous says

    @ Kelley

    It looks like in the original pic that the toaster already had some light scratch marks on it. I don’t believe the tartar has any harsh parts to it that would cause scratching. I would also assume to use the soft side of the sponge to avoid scratch marks as well.

  2. Marie says

    I pinned this about an hour and a half ago. I tried this and it did not work.
    I am now going to un-pin it :(

  3. Anonymous says

    Thanks for this reminder! My great aunt and grandmother too, used this method for cleaning their pots and pans!

  4. Anonymous says

    Bar keepers friend works with little effort on a variety of surfaces from porcelain scratches ti gunk on SS

        • Michael says

          I used Bar Keepers Friend on my grimey stainless steel tea kettle this afternoon and it looks brand spankin’ new! Make sure you use(d) a blue sponge though… :)

        • Melanie says

          I used Bar Keeper’s Friend on my toaster which I have had and used since 1969 (45 years) and it worked wonderfully well! I couldn’t believe it. I used the nylon scratcher/sponge and it made NO scratches. WOW…. it looks like new. I had never been able to get the “yucky” stuff off on the top. Thanks for the tip.

    • Heidi Jordan says

      You can actually use Barkeepers Friend on you collectible Pryex bowls and casseroles. Just don’t scrub hard on the decorations. The inside curd and yellow stains go away amazingly. Pick up a tag sale bargain and try it. I think I’ll try in om my cookie sheets ….

  5. Anonymous says

    I’ve successfully used baking soda for this kind of task – it works and is LOTS cheaper than cream of tarter, which never worked all that well for me.

    Diluted ammonia would likely help as well.

  6. says

    This is amazing! Just what I need, I hate that grimy stuff, and it’s so difficult to remove!

    (Found this post and your blog from Pinterest!)

  7. says

    rubbing alcohol dissolves that greasy oil too, but you hardly have to rub at all and it definitely won’t scratch. I’ve used it on computer keyboards I wanted to sell, oven hoods that had years of buildup, etc. Used it just this past weekend (paper towel and rubbing alcohol) to get all the grease off my sister’s kitchen cabinets around her stove.

    Just so you know.

    • Stephanie says

      Thank you! Just tried it and it worked great. I was going to try the cream of tartar but didn’t have any and then saw your comment. I tried a little on the wall by the stove but it took a little of the paint off too so I guess I will try the CoT for that. I love the magic erasers as much as this next person but they didn’t not work on this grime for me. So glad to have something that works!

      • Mother's Voice says

        If you move into a new house and your trying to figure out if the old paint is “oil-based” or “water-based” then do an alcohol-on-cotton-ball-test. In a hidden spot, dab the cotton (with alcohol) in a little circular motion then look at the ball. If the paint came off the wall and you see it on the cotton then it is a water based paint. If the alcohol does not do anything to the paint then it is oil based paint.

  8. Deborah says

    WOW !! what a GREAT tip !!! THANK YOU !!! I did it today on my toaster and it looks AWESOME !! My husband wants to try it on the outside of the grill… might need to buy more !!

  9. Anonymous says

    Agree with everyone else on Magic Erasers! Haven’t actually tried the cream of tartar but my mom moved in a new home and the stainless steel oven had years of baked-on grease and the Febreeze Foaming Magic Eraser effortlessly made it look brand new! And no scraches or harmful chemicals.

  10. Anonymous says

    wouldn’t baking powder work just as good? instead of the cream of tartar? it’d be cheaper too!

  11. Anonymous says

    Baking soda. It’s the answer to everything. It even spit-shined my 5 year old stainless steel grill. Looks like new now!

  12. Anonymous says

    Baking soda works too, but the person who said “Magic Eraser effortlessly made it look brand new! And no scraches or harmful chemicals.” Magic Eraser does have chemicals in it! I know because I’m allergic to that and other cleaners.

  13. says

    Found you on Pinterest and just tried this on my tea pot today. Worked great and didn’t take any scrubbing at all! I included it in my blog. I’m using a recipe, tip or project from Pinterest every day for a year. You were day 48! :) 365ishpins.blogspot.com. Linked back to you!

    • Sharon says

      I have a 10 year old stainless steel tea kettle that I put in the dishwasher when I have extra space. I use the Costco brand (Kirkland) liquid dishwashing detergent, and it leaves no spots on the kettle. It still looks brand new. Couldn’t be easier.

  14. Wanece says

    I use Spray 9 for my SS items. I have S & P shakers and Cannisters that after a while sitting by the stove will get that build up of grease and dust. Just spray it down with Spray 9, let it sit for a little while and then use a soft thistle brush to help remove the grime. Your items will come out all shiny and will look like brand new!!!

  15. Christi H. says

    I made a semi-runny paste of baking soda & hydrogen peroxide, applied it with a craft sponge brush-let it set for 5 min and everything just wiped off-it cleaned the glass top, oven door & all of the stainless steel surfaces. I did go back & wiped the surface with a damp micro fiber towel. I also cleaned the outdoor grilll but used a pan scrubber to agitate the mxture-it worked great!

  16. Tamara Blatt says

    You saved a family heirloom! My (almost) 90 year old grandmother recently gave me her electric waffle maker (I’m guessing it’s from the 50’s). It had 60 years of grease and grime on it and I was afraid to use any harsh cleaners on it. I just cleaned half of it, and with a LOT of elbow grease, it’s is shiny and beautiful again! Thank you!!!

  17. Tara says

    Thi did not scratch my toaster and it was pretty sticky. My toaster looks and and sparkly and I’m super happy. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  18. Monica says

    I don’t know who did it for you but where it has the directions it says “srub” instead of scrub. I hate to see something so great and a misspelled word. Thanks for the information, Im going to try it tomorrow!!!

  19. Kim says

    Barkeeper’s Friend works beautifully on things like this. I’ve tried it on the glass door of the toaster oven, on casserole dishes and cake pans among other things and have seen great and fast results with no scratching. It also gets gray knife marks off of white dishes.

  20. C says

    I use windex. It works wonders. Put on my stove and let it sit and all the scum comes right off. But ill have to try this bc ive used every remedy to try and get off the gunk on the stove fan and nothing as worked

  21. Danielle says

    WD40 is great on stainless steel. All our appliances (fridge, double ovens, hood, etc) are stainless, and I keep them sparkling with that stuff. I just put a spritz on a paper towel and wipe the items. No strength needed. Takes the grease, water spots and fingerprints off immediately with ease :-) I know it’s not “eco-friendly” but I haven’t found anything that works as well.

    • madi says

      WD40 is organic. Do a goggle search. It’s made from fish and has a huge amount of uses. It’s completely safe so just know it’s ok to use it!….and for sure, goggle it’s uses… pretty amazing!

  22. Joede F says

    Cream of Tartar is expensive for cleaning. Lemon juice or any citrus product or dawn will cut through the initial grease and baking soda will scrub it up nicely. You can also use the lemon juice and baking soda to clean in your oven. Let soak with a bit of water for a few mins and it’ll almost take no scrubbing even on an aquired oven that hadnt been cleaned in a decade.

  23. Patricia says

    For cleaning the burners of the stove or the oven racks or the grill from the BBQ, just brew a pot of coffee, soak racks in coffee mixture over night and they will look like new.

  24. Steph says

    Liquid barkeepers works great for sinks and oven tops! To clean the grates you can use barkeepers and a S.O.S pad! The black cooked on stuff comes right off! Just dont use the S.O.S on the stainless steel areas it will scratch it! I clean houses and i swear by it! For the sink just squirt some in the sink and use a sponge rinse n wipe dry! Sink looks brand new! Hope this helps!

  25. Steph says

    Also Weiman stainless steel cleaner. (Cleaner and polish)works really well on any stainless steel!! Just use a dry rag spray a little on the rag and wipe! it is my favorite stainless steel product! its cheap and you can get it at target!

  26. Natalie says

    You can still find cream of tarter? I have looked for it for baking purposes and can’t find it anymore. If you know which stores still carry it I would appreciate the name.

  27. Blondie says

    Try WD40 for all stainless, use a cloth and not a paper towel. Use this for your stovetop, won’t scratch and cuts the grease with ease. I’ve been using it on my stainless appliances for 7 years and they look like new. Just be sure to use a cloth and not a paper towel, paper is made from wood and will scratch.

  28. says

    something that works better than this on stainless steal is Bar Keep scouring powder, works awesome with no scratches. If you get stainless steel that has stains or rust marks I use olive oil on soft cloth .. takes the rust away product looks like brand new!!
    Sure any cooking oil would probably work for rust and stains …

  29. Lindy says

    Cream of Tarter will work, but the scratchy side of the sponge clearly scratched the Stainless Steel. Better options are….Barkeeps Friend or Magic Eraser. Never use the scratchy side of the sponge!! I’ve cleaned professionally for over 12 years, trust me….unless you don’t mind scratched stainless steel.

  30. linda says

    To clean the hob top or oven shelves, fill bath with hot water to cover, mix in biological washing powder and leave overnight, everything just floats off and just needs a light scrub.

  31. Carrie says

    My stove burners were a mess…..I could scrub and scrub and were never clean. I tried putting each burner in a sealed gallon back with 1/4 cup ammonia. I scrubbed lightly and my burners are as clean as the first day I bought my stove!!

  32. Pat says

    I have a new stainless steel fridge that shows all fingerprints all the time, looking for best quick clean for this….never thought of fingerprints when I bought stainless or I never would have.

    • Emmitt says

      Take wax paper and wipe over stainless once It has been cleaned and free if fingerprints. It will prevent the fingerprints and water spots on your faucets and other SS. Good Luck!
      I have also read in several forums that fabric softener is a very good polisher for SS, even after they have been used….

  33. DaFish says

    If you should feel the need to use a green (or any other color) scrub pad on stainless steel, scrub gently along the grain of the metal, NOT AGAINST IT OR ACROSS IT.
    Better yet, use barkeepers friend and a plain old sponge.
    As you can see in the pictures, the finish on that stainless steel toaster is ruined after the scrub pad was used on it in an incorrect manor.

  34. alie says

    I use baking soda, squeeze of blue dawn, and for smelling good….a drop or two of peppermint oil. Put just enough water in it to make a past. I rub in on my trash can and wipe off. Very cheap and easy, also environmentally friendly.

  35. Barbara says

    I also like Bar Keepers Friend for cleaning my glass top stove. I use the blue scrubbing sponge with water and buff with a clean paper towel. It is beautiful and shinny. I told my bachelor son about it and his stove top now shines too!

  36. Mrs Z says

    Amway LOC full strength works much better on sticky grease on appliances and cleans just about everything and smells pleasant too.

  37. Kasha says

    Does anyone if this will work on a coffee maker? It’s plastic so I’m wondering if it will work as well on that…

  38. says

    I have to agree with the commenter who said to polish “with the grain.” This is a must when using Bar Keeper’s Friend or (even better) Bon Ami. I would never use Bar Keeper’s Friend on metal or enamel cookware.

  39. Tina says

    I just used the cream of tarter idea to clean paint off my mothers car after I drove too close to the mail box and scraped it. It did a great job, didn’t scratch the paint, and then we cleaned mold off the mailbox with it!
    Can’t wait to go home and use it on my tea kettle.

  40. Beverly Craig says

    Try a mixture of baking soda and peroxide. I’ve started using this as a cleaner for all my sinks, appliances, toilets . . . you name it. Cheap, natural with no fumes and way less $$. No more commercial cleaning products for me! One (minor) down side is that you really have to make sure to wipe the baking soda residue off whatever you’re cleaning. Not a big deal, though.

  41. Sandi says

    I also use cream of tarter to remove burnt on pans. Just add a TBSP in enough water to boil. Let it boil about 5 minutes. Cooked on food will come right off. The faux magic eraser can be bought at the dollar store, and I think it is equal to the brand names.

  42. Liz Brown says

    Thank you. Fun stuff. If you figure out how to clean the INSIDE of the toaster, let me know. It drives me crazy.

  43. Anon says

    You scratched the piss out of that toaster. If you have a brushed metal finish, at least try and scrub and scratch it in the same direction as the original finish.

  44. Kasha says

    Do you (or anyone) know if this work work on a coffee maker (plastic, not stainless steel)? I have tried everything to get the residue off of that and nothing works!

    • April says

      If you are referring to the water spots on the plastic vinegar is best. Use it just like you would if you were cleaning the calcium inside the machine. Dawn will take off any sticky film and grime.

  45. k8 says

    Be very careful using the green Scotch-Brite pad, it will take off any stain AND scratch the crap out of your metal.

  46. Liz says

    Never use a sponge to clean stainless steel appliances. You’ll notice that the toaster is now scratched in the direction in which you scrubbed with it. If you have the proper cleaner a sponge is redundant, anyhow. It’s suggested you simply use a microfiber cloth.

    • April says

      You are correct! The green sponge used in this picture has a grit equal to sand paper. If you use a good cleaner you don’t need that much elbow grease.

  47. Anonymous says

    I just tried this on my fridge and range hood. Very disappointed as it didn’t work, and actually left marks on my fridge!

  48. Maria Sa says

    Instead of using a sponge it’s better using a steel wool pad, bc it doesn’t scratch! I use it to clean all the chromes parts of our bycicles and others chrome things, it’s good also to clean any real glass, like the windows or even the car windows but NOT the plexi glass or others transparent plastic parts

  49. Ginny says

    I just found out several days ago that COT is a miracle cleaner indeed. I had a rust spot on a burner pan. No matter what I used to clean it, the rust stain kept reappearing and it frustrated me that the rust made all the burners look dirty, and that made my stove top appear dirty, even though I clean the heck outta my stove (and oven).

    Well then I was reading online about COT and thought I’d give it a try on me and my daughter’s burners. Hers were worse than mine. Our drip pans have never looked cleaner and brighter. I’ll be including COT in all of my homemade cleaning recipes. It may even be a good substitution for baking soda. I’m definitely gonna try making an oven cleaner with COT very, very soon.


  1. […] 5. “Toast to This”:  My toaster had some gunky build up. It also has some permanent scratches. I read this article and decided to try both products that were mentioned. The Cream of Tartar was hailed for it’s effectiveness and the Bar Keepers Friend for it’s low cost. Sometimes you get what you pay for. They both worked but the Bar Keepers Friend took off a little of my beautiful red finish & I did not like that. Cream of Tartar is not super expensive & you are only using a small amount. I highly recommend the Cream of Tartar (mixed with a couple of drops of water) to make your toaster shine like new. […]

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