Does Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Scratch?

Fingerprints have always taken away from the sleek appearance of stainless steel, and for many, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel is the answer. However, just because the stainless steel is fingerprint resistant doesn’t mean it’s scratchproof.

Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel has a durable coating that reduces how often the steel smudges and how often you’ll need to clean it, but it doesn’t prevent scratching.

Does Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Scratch?

In this article, I’ll explain how to prevent scratches in fingerprint-resistant stainless steel and remove any scratches if they occur. Let’s get to it!

* This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Preventing Scratches in Fingerprint-Resistant Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used for appliances in the home, but it often appears dirty and smudged because of fingerprints, especially for people with many children in the house.

Thankfully, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel reduces the smudging issue, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scratch.

The durable steel is a clear topcoat that sheds the oil and grease in fingerprints but can still scratch.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent scratches in your stainless steel appliances.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners have harmful chemicals that strip the protective covering from the stainless steel, which makes it more vulnerable to scratching and other damage. You should always use gentle cleaners and avoid anything with the ingredients calcite, silica, and quartz.
  • Don’t use bleach. Bleach is an abrasive cleaner that does the most damage to the protective coating, and using it too often eats away at the coating until it becomes easy to scratch.
  • Scrub with the grain, never against it. One of the most common reasons stainless steel gets scratched is scrubbing it against the grain. Luckily, this is an easily avoidable mistake.
  • Avoid using damaging tools. Some cleaning tools do more harm than good. If you use brushes with hard bristles or steel wool, you’ll likely end up scratching the stainless steel instead of cleaning it. I recommend using a microfiber cloth when cleaning the steel instead of other scrubbing tools.
  • Clean the appliance often. After reading the above tips, you might be hesitant to clean your fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. However, this is not the solution. Suppose you let dirt, grime, and fingerprints sit on the protective coating for too long. In that case, it’ll become more difficult to get the appliance clean without using potentially damaging cleaning materials and tools.

Following these tips can keep your stainless steel looking as clean and beautiful as possible. I like using the MR. SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloths from Amazon for cleaning my fingerprint-resistant stainless steel appliances because they are ultra-soft, highly absorbent, and lint-free. I also appreciate that they are made with high-quality stitching, making the clothes durable and long-lasting.

How To Remove Scratches in Stainless Steel

Removing the scratches in coated stainless steel isn’t always easy, so it’s best to do everything you can to prevent the scratches in the first place.

However, if a scratch does occur, here’s what you should do to get rid of it:

  1. Make a thick cleaning paste by mixing two tablespoons of baking soda with water. The paste should be thick, so avoid mixing in too much water.
  2. Apply the mixture to the scratch. Wrap a damp cloth around your hand and use it to scrub the mixture into the scratch.
  3. Rub the mixture in so it’s with the grain, never against it.
  4. Keep checking the scratch until it appears to be removed.
  5. Once the scratch is gone, wipe the spot with a damp rag to remove any baking soda residue.

You can also try using whitening toothpaste instead of baking soda.

I recommend trying the baking soda first because the toothpaste can be a bit abrasive and might cause some damage if you’re not careful.

The most important step is to get the right toothpaste. I recommend the Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste from Amazon because stainless steel’s cleansing and whitening properties are strong enough to fight against scratches. I also like that the toothpaste has up to 100% stain removal in just five days, which means it’s powerful and useful for use on the teeth and as a cleaning agent.

Once you have the toothpaste, follow these steps:

  1. Apply the whitening toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ensure that you get a toothbrush with soft bristles because hard bristles may cause even more scratches and worsen the situation.
  2. Scrub the toothpaste into the scratch, following the stainless steel grain.
  3. Check to see if the scratch is gone by continuously wiping the area clean with a lint-free microfiber cloth.
  4. If the scratches are still there after all the toothpaste is wiped away, apply more and keep scrubbing with the grain until the scratch is gone.
  5. Wipe the surface clean with a microfiber cloth.
  6. Apply some virgin olive oil to seal the area. Choose a high-quality olive oil because it won’t have any additives that could harm the stainless steel, and will give it a pleasant shine. The benefit of using olive oil is that you likely already have some in your pantry, making it an excellent multi-use product.

If baking soda and whitening toothpaste don’t work, the last resort is a multi-surface or steel cleaner.

These products can be damaging, so I only recommend using them as a last resort.

Just be sure to use a soft cloth and not a hard bristled brush or another potentially harmful tool with the cleaner.

A cleaner I can recommend is the Weiman Store Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish from Amazon because it is a pH-neutral formula that isn’t as harsh as other cleaners on the market. It leaves a protective barrier that repels dirt, dust, and other debris. Finally, I appreciate this cleaner comes with an included microfiber cloth.

These are the best ways to eliminate a scratch in coated stainless steel.


Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel doesn’t get as dirty as often as regular stainless steel, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scratch as easily.

Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel can still scratch, especially if you use abrasive cleaning materials and tools.

Luckily, if scratches do occur, there are some things you can do to remove them.

Cheers, tools owners!

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.