14 December 2020

Scott's Liquid Gold and me


A couple of weeks ago, I received a box of product samples from Scott's Liquid Gold Wood Care. Although it's a product I use and recommend already, I am being compensated for this post.

Many years ago, when I was starting out as a kitchen and bath designer, stainless steel kitchen appliances had hit the mainstream in a very big way. I was interning under a kitchen designer in the '90s and we spent a lot of time talking to clients and potential clients about caring for stainless steel.

Stainless steel refrigerators were just starting to catch on and at the time they were a lot more expensive that the-then default finish colors: white, black and bisque (shudder). People who had them already complained that they were impossible to keep shiny and people considering them wondered why they should spend more money for something that would look bad in the long run.

Stainless steel, like any shiny surface, shows fingerprints and smudges very easily. But because stainless is practically a mirror, especially when it's a large vertical surface like a fridge, those prints and smudges are really obvious.

I had lunch one afternoon with my Sub-Zero representative and I brought up the fingerprint problem as an objection I needed to be able to address when I was talking to clients about stainless in general and Sub-Zero in particular.

She told me to use a furniture polish, Scott's Liquid Gold specifically, to clean stainless steel. I was taken aback because it seemed like such a strange recommendation. All I knew about furniture polish in a can I observed from my mother's obsessive dusting with the stuff. Every surface in the home I grew up in had a almond-scented oily surface. That's not what popped into my head when I thought of sleek, shiny and modern stainless steel.

After that lunch with my rep, I went back to the studio and set up and experiment over the following week. Our studio was set up with a couple of kitchen vignettes and one of those vignettes was a fully-functioning kitchen. In that kitchen was a Sub-Zero refrigerator with stainless steel doors. All of us in that studio used that refrigerator every day and clients were forever pawing it so it had a surface that saw a lot of hands touching it. Our cleaning crew had a stainless steel cleaning product that they used on it but it still ended up looking pretty dingy pretty fast.

I asked the crew not to clean it for a week and instead to let me take charge of it for a couple of days.

Clients back then reported to me that they cleaned their stainless with window cleaner. Honestly, it's the same thing I'd have used. I mean, it's shiny like a mirror so clean it like a mirror. Right?

Wrong. Window cleaner is lousy on stainless steel because it leaves streaks and it evaporates completely so skin oil from touching the steel just stays on the surface and deflects light.

When I sprayed a towel with Scott's Liquid and then wiped down the refrigerator door something really cool happened. All of the streaks and prints disappeared with a gentle rub and as a bonus, a very tiny bit of the oil in the polish stayed behind. That leave behind stopped prints and smudges from appearing all together in the days that followed. My sub-Zero rep was right after all.

In the years that followed, Scott's Liquid Gold stayed on my short list of product recommendations for maintaining a new kitchen. I used it to this day on my own stainless appliances.

As I mentioned at the outset, Scott's sent me some samples to use and clean with in exchange for this post and I'm really grateful for the products and the opportunity. Included in their box of samples was something new from them.

This is Scott's One Clean Home. It's new for them and a revelation for me.

My current kitchen has dark granite counters. On some levels, granite is a practical surface and depending on the color of the granite, it's either a breeze to live with or a nightmare. My dark granite falls onto the nightmare end of the spectrum. Dark and shiny has a lot of the same problems reflective and shiny stainless steel has in that it shows a lot of smudges and fingerprints. 

I find my granite to be difficult to keep clean and my next kitchen will not have granite counters. Add to my granite my gloss-finished cabinetry and my kitchen is a gallery of fingerprints and smudges as often as not. When I clean I have to wash down all these surfaces and then buff everything dry to prevent water spots. It's a pain and honestly, I let it go far too often.

When I read the label from Scott's One Clean Home I read that it works on all manner of surfaces:

  • Finished Wood
  • Wood Laminates
  • Stainless Steel
  • Tile
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Porcelain
  • Vinyl

I was skeptical until I started cleaning with it. Holy cow talk about a home run! Scott's One Clean Home cleans just about everything in my kitchen and it does almost as good a job on stainless as Scott's Liquid Gold.

Honestly, One Clean Home made a believer out of me and it's really great to find a single product that will clean every surface in my kitchen. From my travertine floors to my glossy cherry cabinets, it's all clean and clear. As a bonus, it smells like grapefruit and I'll take that anywhere I can find it.

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