How to Remove Dents from Stainless Steel Appliances
It is bound to happen sooner or later. Whether your ambitious child, just free from bicycle training wheels, slams into the side of your car, or you accidentally bump one of your stainless steel appliances, dents are inevitable.
Unfortunately, inheriting some pieces that presented both major and minor dents, my husband and I have actively sought out various ways to address them over the years.
Because dents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and presentations, your method of approach may also vary depending upon the nature of the dent.
Whether on your car, a home appliance, or elsewhere, have you ever had to remove or repair a dent?
You Can Do It Yourself (at Least You Can Try)
If you're lucky enough to have a stainless steel appliance set in your home kitchen, you know just how nice they look and how badly you want to protect them. Try as you might, damage to your refrigerator, stove and other pieces is inevitable, so the best thing you can do is learn to mitigate the damage that can occur.
Dent repair isn't necessarily a difficult or expensive thing to do, and sometimes it's a DIY project that's totally within your grasp. Before shelling out cash to get an 'expert' to fix the problem, why not try taking care of it yourself?
We will look at a few trusted methods that just might work and we'll talk about cost, procedure and effectiveness.
Let's get started!
Pull It Out
If you're stuck with a dent in your appliance, don't fret. There are professionals out there who can pull it out for you quite easily. While it may not look 100% ever again, it will look much, much better than it does with an ugly ding in its skin.
However, there are some cheap or even free methods to try. Most will not harm the appliance, so they don't hurt to test out!
The basic principle behind dent repair is that you must 'pull' the dent out. The easiest way to do that would be to simply push it from the opposite side to make it pop out again.
Unfortunately, in the case of most appliances, this isn't possible. It's the same principle as when you crush an aluminum can, and then try to get it back in shape. The best way to do it is to figure out a way to grip the metal from your side and pull it out.
Here are a couple of techniques that are known to work in some cases.
Yep, the noble plunger is useful outside of bathrooms and drains. The same suction that can clear a clogged pipe can be used to hang on to the side of dents in a fridge or oven.
To use this technique, simply carefully 'suction' the plunger (preferably a clean one!) onto the dent. Once you've got a good hold on it, gently pull, steadily using more force. Hopefully the dent should pop right back out!
This kind of dent removal typically works with larger dings, since it covers a fair amount of real estate. Little tiny imperfections won't really be affected by this method, unfortunately.
Go slowly and be careful. An overzealous plunging can actually cause more damage.
Pops a Dent or a Similar Suction Cup Strategy
By using a Pops a Dent, you can target smaller dings and dents in stainless steel fridges and stoves using a similar method to the plunger technique.
Again, suction is the key here. The trouble is, a small suction cup won't have the same hold that a plunger would have. solves this problem by utilizing a glue gun to really make it stick. It's a great strategy: attach the suction cup, glue it in place, then use a frame placed around it to gradually pull the dent back out. Pops a Dent
Again, this won't work on all dents. It works best on imperfections that haven't creased or damaged the metal. A nice clean little bump will probably pull right out.
A controversial technique is the dry ice and heat method. This uses the metal's natural propensity to expand and contract under extreme temperature changes. Ever notice how a baking sheet will warp when super hot? This is the same idea.
The technique works as follows:
- Use a heat gun or blow dryer to heat up the surface where the dent is until it's very hot. It can't just be warm, it has to be hot to the touch!
- Then place the dry ice (carefully, use gloves!) on the same hot spot.
- Sometimes the expansion and then sudden contraction of the metal in that spot will cause the dent to pop right out, just like that! It's a cool 'science experiment' and it just might work for you!
When All Else Fails
Ultimately, you're only going to be able to do so much. Sometimes dents need to be taken care of by a professional of some kind. A professional might use techniques that mirror what we were just talking about, or they might take the form of something more drastic, like hammering or metal replacement.
Typically, the service isn't cheap when you have to hire someone to do it, but it's still a great deal less expensive than a whole replacement. Do check your extended warranty, since often it will come with some sort of coverage for that kind of damage.