Stainless steel is essentially iron that has more than ten percent chromium. Although it is resistant to stains, it is prone to dullness and will show fingerprints or smudges. Stainless steel is known for its hardness making it a good material for appliances, sinks and table tops as well as flatware. The oxide coating on the surface of stainless steel flatware is what protects it from rusting, however without proper care, this surface will corrode and the flatware will then rust like regular steel. There are several methods to keep flatware looking like new.
With clean water, rinse off any food that is particularly salty or acidic, especially if the flatware is going to sit for any amount of time before being washed.
If you're washing flatware in the dishwasher, take care not to spill any undiluted dishwasher detergent directly on the flatware as it may cause dark spots.
When loading flatware into the dishwasher, load the stainless steel flatware away from any silver flatware to avoid damage. Occasionally, washing your flatware in the dishwasher will cause it to take on a blueish color. If this happens, gently rub it with silver polish until the color is normal and then wash by hand.
If washing by hand, use a mild dish soap and rinse well. Drying the flatware immediately will help avoid any spots or smudges. Although harsh abrasives are not recommended, cooked on food can be removed by using either cleaning powder that is fine abrasive or a thick paste of water and baking soda.
Undiluted white vinegar can be used to both polish and clean your stainless steel flatware. Heat stains can be removed by gently rubbing them with vinegar.
To remove streaks from your flatware, gently rub it with olive oil or club soda. Polish dry with a soft cloth.