The year I spent living in Florence, Italy, taught me a lot about the many uses of olive oil. In cooking classes I learned about using olive oil for cooking, dipping bread, and dressing pasta and vegetables, of course, but it was from my Italian friends and neighbors that I learned olive oil can function as a skin and lip moisturizer, a hair conditioner, and as a grease for a sticky bicycle chain as well. However, no one in Italy ever told me about using olive oil as a cleaner for stainless steel appliances.
Of course, those were the days before the stainless steel appliance trend, so maybe this was simply an omission of circumstance and nowadays the Italians are all about cleaning their stainless steel appliances with olive oil. If they are not, they should be.
Just a couple years ago, I walked into The Seasoned Chef cooking school in Denver, where I’ve taught cooking classes since 2002, and caught the previous owner and her aid cleaning an enormous stainless steel refrigerator door with olive oil and a soft rag. I was entranced because I can’t stand the toxic smells that pollute my air space and the caustic formulas that seep chemicals through my skin of commercial stainless steel cleaning products. As I watched them using the olive oil, not only were smears, smudges, and grime easily wiping away, but, after a quick buff with a dry cloth, the door was shiny-clean and fingerprint-resistant, too.
And there was no toxic smell!
Try it on your stainless steel appliances and you’ll become an olive oil fan, too.