GE Clean Steel Appliances and Refrigerators
General Electric saw a problem with stainless steel and tried to solve it with a trademarked CleanSteel line of fridges. It’s supposed to be easier to clean. It also helps to reduce fingerprints. Every time I walk past a stainless steel fridge in a showroom I think “Look at how messy it is. There’s no way I would ever get that”. I was curious about whether or not this finish held up well in real life and if it also was cheaper.
If you want a traditional top freezer give it a high end look with this finish. Pricewise, it was pretty close to what I’d expect from an energy star rated top freezer unit. It seems to come in between the white models and the stainless versions that I’m used to looking at.
CleanSteel also tends to come with reversible hinges although you will have to check with your specific model to see if this is available. Usually this isn’t a feature on most stainless fridges. If you plan on moving or changing the layout of your kitchen, but keeping your fridge, these hinge options can really come in handy.
Complaints about this fridge centered mostly around a somewhat erratic temperature control. What’s more alarming is that at least two reviewers were changing the way that they shop and eat to accommodate their fridge. One was sick of frozen vegetables in the fridge; so no more fresh veggies. Another one had stopped using the freezer altogether because of freezer burn.
There weren’t a lot of reviews either good or bad about the actual CleanSteel finish on this. One reviewer did state that there is a tendency for it to scratch or get dings on the finish. In this case there was only about a $100+ dollar difference between the CleanSteel and the stainless option so you’d probably just want to choose whatever matches the rest of your appliances and whatever works best for maintenance.
General Electric GDSL0KCXLS
This one was a little bit of an anomaly just because there wasn’t any price difference between the CleanSteel and the stainless. The black & white options on this bottom freezer fridge were still a few hundred dollars cheaper.
Reviewers seemed to be pretty happy with this model; especially that they could get expensive looking finishes for small spaces. Overall this fridge also had several reviews saying that vegetables were staying fresher longer than their old units. Unfortunately one reviewer complained that the seal on any of the drawers wasn’t affixed properly. It seems to run pretty quietly too from what I’ve read.
You can also get this finish on a side by side fridge. This fridge didn’t have as many reviews as the previous one but almost all were favorable. I couldn’t find as many reviews on this color specifically but in general this model seems to run pretty well with only minor complaints about shelving and hinges.
You’ll also want to check descriptions for the actual handles. In this case they are supposed to be stainless steel. This makes it have a higher shine. However, this is also where you’re going to see the fingerprints the most. However it then provides you with multiple options for the rest of your appliances. Maybe you have a stainless steel range but you want easier maintenance on your fridge; they will still coordinate this way. Again, the price was exactly the same as the stainless steel. The white, black, and bisque refrigerators were all less money.
This is a bottom freezer unit also. Some reviewers did have problems with the fan as well as maintaining an even temperature. Some complaints were also due to noise. Again, one reviewer did take the time to mention the finish and that there weren’t as many fingerprints as on stainless steel.
Whether you will be satisfied with the appearance of CleanSteel is all about perception. If you want a really shiny fridge then stainless steel is your only option. This tends to imitate more of a brushed stainless steel. I have seen these models in stores before; and it’s pretty easy to tell it’s not stainless. However, it will blend nicely with all of the gray wall colors and cabinet options that are around. I was surprised to find that it usually isn’t any cheaper than stainless.
Another problem that CleanSteel solves is the use of magnets. I always smile when I see this complaint on fridges that cost thousands of dollars. People are disappointed that their stainless steel won’t hold a magnet. For a contemporary look you can just do without all of those pictures and then show off the finish that you paid so much money for. It never did make sense to me to just cover this up. In most cases stainless steel isn’t going to be magnetic.