How to remove fine scratches from stainless steel appliances?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Fletch, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    I thought that this might be a good place to ask how to do this considering people work with metal here.

    We have some minor scratches in our SS appliances (stove top, fridge, etc.) that we'd like to get out.

    I just did a quick search and one thing that was suggested was using 3M scotchbrite pads- the courser gray one and then the finer maroon/purple. Another suggestion was use 3M liquid compound (1000-1200 grit) from an automotive shop.

  2. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    I'd hit it with silver solder to fill it and bring it down bondo style.

    Sanding straight stainless is a pain, and you have to take the original finish off when you sand. (whether it's brushed or not)

    I'd fill it and buff it - circular buffer would do it perfectly!
  3. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    Thanks DuctTaped... I've attached a couple pics to show the degree of scratching (minor). Would you take the same approach with these light scratches?

    What do you think about that suggestion I read to use 3M automotive compound and scotchbrite pads?

    I'd like to be able to just fill the scratches without having to redo the entire surface to make it look even. I tried using a dremel buffing pad on one spot after these pics and it made it look shinier than the rest of the stove top, and took out the grain.

    Attached Files:

  4. professor

    professor Active Member

    You know these scratches will return after a while. You actually have to remove some material to get rid of them. Practice on the back side after you make some scratches on the back if you really want to go ahead.
  5. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    or you could just realize the appliances still work, even with the tiny scrtches....

    waste of effort, ever hear of OCD?
  6. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    It's going to be tough due to the grains. Silver solder would work contrary to what professor said. Usually you do have to remove some material, that's why filling is so great - you are adding to it and taking away from that, not taking from your original surface. But, those are really light, which would make it tougher to fill. You wouldn't be losing much material if any if you did this...vvv

    I would use the dremel buffer to clean em up. After it's buffed, it's going to have /essentially/ melted the small ridges of steel together. Then, try to emulate the original grains with the 3m compound.

    I agree with professor - practice on the back side, try and buff a smooth spot, and see if you can reasonably emulate the original grains with the 3m compound.

    I just thought of a great idea separate from all the other ideas - Sandblast the whole thing. :D
  7. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    Haha.... I might print that out and show it to my folks (it's their stove). I'm with you 100%, but I like to do favors for them and thought I'd try to get them out if possible.
  8. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    I like your last idea.. I'm jut going to hold off on this until they are ready to sell the house. Maybe then it would be worth the effort. I'll remember to reference this thread though. At least I can convince them it isn't forever ruined because someone used the wrong material to clean it. ;)
  9. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Ouch, is that what happened? Looks like steel wool on a very fat grit for only a few seconds but a lot of elbow grease, like an "OH TROUT" moment.

    Personally myself, I will NEVER purchase a brushed stainless steel appliance. If there ever was a chance to get something that was brushed and really cheap, I'd get a large scale buffer to take all that nasty brushing off, so much easier to maintain!

    Another idea actually - chrome or electroplate it, or as I just mentioned, large buffer from a rental shop and take the brushing down to nothing.
  10. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    ahhhh... its your parents stove, THEY want the scrateches out, and they want you to do it for them?

    they sound like my dad.... i totally understand.
  11. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    It's not so much they want me to do it as I like to do favors for them if/when I can... no matter how unnecessary or ridiculous they may seem (to a point ;) because I'm staying with them temporarily at 31 and I seem to be a lot more mechanically adept or better at trouble shooting than they are. When they are not using the heater to save money and I'm freezing my *** off!.... and then they turn around and buy new replacements for things that can be easily fixed and waste money, I think blood is going to shoot out my ears!
  12. Bob Gurkin

    Bob Gurkin New Member

    I have worked on appliances for many years and I can just about guarantee that you will not end up with a satisfactory job on removing the scratches and ending up with a smooth job. If this is a small plate containing the switches your best bet would be to replace it. There is not a stove made that won't have minor scratches here and there. Heck, my 58 year old stove even has a chip on one side. Still works just fine tho :)