1. Push Out the Dent
Pushing out the dent from the back side is the easiest approach, but this may be impossible depending on the specific appliance. If you can remove the stainless steel plating without causing further damage with a few screws, it’s worth attempting this fix. If the dent is shallow, you may be able to push it out with your hands. If the dent is deeper or larger, you may need to use a rubber mallet. Before you push on the dent, put some hot water on the stainless steel to heat up the metal and make it more malleable. Wear gloves if you push with your bare hands because the metal will be hot after the hot water pour.
2. Using Heat and Cold
All metals expand and contract as the temperature changes, and you can use this characteristic to your advantage when you’re trying to remove a stainless steel dent. There are a few different approaches to try, start with a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the area for several minutes. The heat source should be moved to ensure that the stainless steel is heated evenly. In many cases, this will remove a minor dent and if it doesn’t work apply some compressed air or dry ice to cool it rapidly. If you do use dry ice, always wear gloves to protect your hands against the cold. If you’re using canned air, make sure that the space where you’re working is adequately ventilated to disperse the chemicals. Any cold source should be applied to the heated stainless steel for 1-2 minutes to evenly change the metal temperature.
3. A Cup Plunger
This is a simple tool used to change the air pressure on a flat clogged drain. A cup plunger may be able to pull out a smaller dent that’s directly at the center of a stainless steel surface. First, cover the surface with water to make a firm seal, and then place the suction cup over the dent. Then press the cup plunger down as far as it can go and pull up gently. This may pull the dent up, and you can release the plunger with your fingers at the edges of the rubber flange to remove the pressure.
4. A Commercial Dent Remover
Many hardware stores carry dent remover kits that typically include suction rings or similar parts that can be applied to the dent. These usually work in a similar way to the cup plunger method shown above but on a much smaller scale. Apply the removal rig to the surface according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and it may remove a small dent. Avoid using dent removers that use adhesives because they can damage clear coated stainless steel surfaces.
If you have an aging appliance with multiple dents or corrosion issues, it may be time to consult a professional. An experienced appliance repair specialist can advise you if a repair or replacement is the best option. The money spent on multiple repairs can really add up, and an upgrade may be a more cost effective solution.
If you’re considering a new stainless steel appliance, you can rely on a professional home appliance installation and repair technician to help you get the best out of it.