Stainless Steel Appliances – Why Norwex & e-cloths Leave Streaks and How to Fix it!

streaks on stainless appliancesLa la la-la la la,
Sing a happy song.
La la la-la la la,
Smurf it all day long.

That’s you singing the Smurf song.  Why are you singing the Smurf song?  Because you just got your new Norwex or e-cloth® in the mail and you just KNOW it’s gonna solve the streaky, finger-printy problem that is your stainless steel fridge (or dishwasher or stove).

You tear the cloth out of the package, dampen it and wipe your fridge and… suddenly your happy Smurfy song turns to something foul.  Some sort of headache-inducing, Death Metal song with thrashing guitars and growling, screaming lyrics.

Because your Norwex or e-cloth® has left your fridge looking like a streaky nightmare and the more you wipe, the worse it looks!

Why, oh why, oh WHHHHHHHYYYYYY?

Please, take a minute and breathe.  I’m going to tell you how to fix that, but first…

Why Norwex and e-cloths Leave Streaks on Stainless Appliances

There is old Polish or Cleanser on the Appliance!

Both e-cloths and Norwex cloths will leave streaks if you (or the manufacturer) have used some sort of “cleanser” or “polish” on the appliance in the past.  These cleansers and polishes leave a very sticky residue behind.  They gather dust and cling to stainless steel.

Norwex and e-cloth microfiber will pick up some of the cleanser/polish but it won’t pick it all up sooooo, you’ll be left with a hideous streaky mess. Steaks of areas where the polish has been removed and areas where it has been removed.

But, but, but... “, you say.  No one told you that when you bought the darned cloth.

There, there. I know.  I’m sorry.

How to Get Rid of the Hideous Streaks

I’ve tried a few things with varying results. And I mean I’ve spent ages trying these.  I’ve worked hard so that you don’t have to.

  1. Call/email Norwex or e-cloth:  They suggested that I just keep wiping with the cloth and use a bit of elbow grease.  HONK! Absolutely does not work.  Well, it may work but I gave up after 25 minutes with no progress.
  2. Dish soap and water and a cloth: HONK! No luck after 15 minutes.
  3. Vinegar: Works a little but you’ll still spend hours and hours wiping. I spent 15 minutes with very little progress.
  4. Baking Soda and Water Paste: HONK! No luck. I got frustrated and gave up after 10 minutes.
  5. Norwex Cleaning Paste: Ding! Ding!  This works. It’s fast and effective. Removes the polish/cleanser almost immediately.  BE AWARE that the Norwex paste is slightly abrasive and can scratch the steel so be sure to test a small area first.
  6. Universal Stone: DING! DING! DING! This is my favourite solution.  It works in a matter of seconds, and is completely non-abrasive so absolutely safe on your appliances. Also, it leaves a bit of glycerine behind that gives your appliances a happy-smiley gleam.

Once you have removed all the polish/cleanser, keeping your appliances streak-free will be as easy as a quick wipe every day or so with your e-cloth or Norwex cloth – just like was promised to begin with – and you can go back to singing your happy song.

PS – I realize that the Universal Stone (and Norwex Paste) are pricey products and I wish I had a cheaper alternative (although I’m sure the Shaklee paste would work just as well – test on small area first). But, these are powerful cleansers that will last ages and can be used all through your house.  I’ve posted reviews on both products here in the past.  My thoughts on Universal Stone are here and here. And here is my review of the Norwex Paste.


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14 Responses to Stainless Steel Appliances – Why Norwex & e-cloths Leave Streaks and How to Fix it!

  1. L M says:

    Hi. Can the same thing happen with chrome bathroom faucets? The e-cloth is leaving dark streaks and blotches on them. I don’t know if the faucets are stainless steel or chrome.


    • LM, the e-cloths will leave streaks on anything shiny that has been cleaned with a traditional cleanser in the past. All that cleanser has to be removed. It took me so long to respond to you (sorry) that by now – if you’ve been using the e-cloth regularly – the streaks should be gone. In my experience, chrome is far more “silvery” and shiny then stainless steel. I have a chrome fixture in one of my bathrooms and sadly the hard water has caused pieces of the chrome to chip away.


  2. Mike says:

    Kate, great post- You should post before and after pictures. I was getting frustrated with my stainless ecloth and polishing cloth, and still saw streaks on my Stainless Dishwasher. Nothing fixed it. I don’t have universal stone, but have Bar Keepers Friend. Once I used Bar Keepers powder to take off existing oil, I’m able to use just the polishing cloth to clean with zero streaks!


    • Thanks Mike. I soooooooo wish I had pics. I had taken some and scoured my files but couldn’t locate them. Nothing like a before and after pic for proof. And thanks for the note on the Bar Keepers Friend. I had heard good things about that and had a feeling it would also work but haven’t tried it. How does it compare in price to the Universal Stone/Norwex Paste? And do you have a list of ingredients you can share? I’ll have to go check around to see if I can get it in Canada.


      • Mike says:

        Price point for Bar Keepers friend is inexpensive, $3.00 at most. It works very well on all stainless, including pots and pans, but no where as safe as universal stone ingredients. Since universal Stone, leaves a Veg coating, how long does it last for and how often do you need to reapply? Bar Keepers doesn’t leave any coating, so using e-cloth for cleanup is easy as you have bare stainless exposed.


        • Mike – thanks for the info on the Bar Keepers Friend. How long the glycerine coating left by the Universal Stone lasts depends on what it’s applied to. I notice it stays in my kitchen sink for a day – but then, I wipe my sink out with a General Purpose cloth after every use and I’m certain it picks up all the glycerine. It seems to stay on the glass shower doors for the entire time between cleanings. I do notice some minor soap scum buildup on the shower floor though so the glycerine must be getting rinsed away more quickly from that area. I don’t have any Stainless Appliances so I can’t say how long it stays on those. But once you remove any old stainless “cleanser/polish” with the Bar Keepers Friend or Universal Stone, it should be just an easy wipe with a Glass & Polishing cloth every day to keep the appliances streak/fingerprint-free.


  3. Rae says:

    The universal stone sounds awesome and I am excited to try it! I know it has been a sale item in the past. Any chance that it will be on sale again soon?


    • Rae – I don’t recall the Universal Stone being on sale although we did have a “friends and family” sale in the fall (you need to sign up for my newsletter to get invited to those, hint hint) that would have provided a discount on it for a couple of days. I can’t imagine it would go on sale otherwise. The friends and family sale has only happened once/year but if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, may I suggest you do it now so that you don’t miss the next one? Here’s a link:


  4. Cindi says:

    Love your honesty! And yes, it’s all absolutely true! Once we cleaned our SS dishwasher with Universal Stone it is streak free. And Universal Stone is great for SO many other things too. That and the cloths are my favorite products!



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