How to clean a stainless steel sink

How to clean a stainless steel sink



Preferred in commercial and residential kitchens, stainless steel sinks are reasonably priced, durable, simple to maintain, impervious to heat and stains, and even recyclable. Stainless steel sinks are versatile because there are so many options available. You might pick a stainless steel farmhouse sink, top-mount sink or under-mount sink. While most stainless steel sinks are readily available in every imaginable shape, including square, D-bowl and circular, you can get customized and unique shapes for your kitchen, depending on your needs and preferences.

You can enhance your kitchen's aesthetic value by picking the right type of stainless steel kitchen sink. It's a beautiful element to have in your home because of its bright metallic sheen. Additionally, stainless steel sinks are comparatively simple to keep clean and maintain. They don't call for any complicated techniques or stainless steel cleaners. With the right maintenance, your stainless steel sink's life span can be increased. 

This article looks at how to properly clean and maintain a stainless steel sink so it stays pristine and gleaming for a very long time.


How to properly clean a stainless steel sink

The shiny and immaculate stainless kitchen sink can look amazing in a kitchen. However, once it is covered in grime and grease, it can significantly reduce the look and feel of your space.

Don’t fret. Cleaning your stainless steel sink is easier than you think. You might have the required cleaning products already lying around your home. Keep reading this step-by-step guide to learn some great tips on how to keep your sink looking shiny and new. 

1. Wipe away any food and rinse

The first step is to empty the sink. Begin by removing any food particles stuck in the basin of the sink. Start at the top of the sink and rinse away any buildup on the sides and bottom using the spray arm of the faucet or a cup of hot water. 

Use a moist, clean cloth to clean the faucet and sink. To remove the particles of food and dishwashing residue, use the faucet’s spray attachment if you have one. Remember to rinse and clean the faucet and the surrounding area of the entire surface. 

You should avoid cleaning the sink’s surface with abrasives like steel wool. Instead, use a smooth, non-abrasive dishcloth, microfiber cloth or sponge. If the food particles prove hard to remove, use dish soap and hot water to break down any residue before you attempt to continue cleaning or buffing the sink. 

2. Coat the sink with baking soda

Baking soda is helpful because its powdery texture gives it a gentle abrasive quality, so it doesn’t scratch the sink’s surface. It is ideal when deep cleaning your kitchen sink, and it’s great at removing stubborn stain buildup. It also works well on those difficult stains caused by hard-water deposits. 

To clean with baking soda, sprinkle it in a wet sink to form a paste. Add a thin layer of baking soda to the sink's surface, ensuring that you cover the sides as well. You might not need a lot of baking soda if you are just cleaning water stains or soft streaks. However, going with a thicker paste might be a good idea if you are tackling tougher stains. The consistency of the paste shouldn’t be similar to cement. 

3. Scrub the sink in the direction of the stainless steel grain

The texture of stainless steel resembles that of wood. If you look closely, you’ll see some very thin lines running alongside the finishings of your countertops or appliances. When you find them, you'll want to scrub in that direction. If you don't, dirt and cleaning agents may accumulate over time within the fine crevices of the grain and reduce the sheen and overall appeal of the material. 

For maximum shine, it's crucial to scrub your sink back and forth or up and down in the direction of the grain. Ensure you don’t use abrasive cleaners such as steel wool, a wire brush or an abrasive sponge. A powerful way to deal with stubborn buildups without leaving scratch marks is by using an anti-scratch scouring pad. You could also use a soft toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach areas in your kitchen sink.

4. Spray on undiluted vinegar, wait a few minutes, then rinse again

One of the best and cheapest ways to clean stainless steel is to mix water, white vinegar and a little baking soda. Vinegar works as a natural disinfectant and a very good stain cleaner. After you finish scrubbing the sink’s surface in the direction of the stainless steel’s grain, use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar to spray the entire sink. Then buff the vinegar into the sink with a clean cloth. 

Natural disinfectants like vinegar have various applications in household cleaning. Its acidity makes it excellent for removing sticky buildup, rust and hard-water stains. Since water spots are calcium deposits that accumulate over a long period, vinegar and its acidic nature help to dissolve the deposits and remove stains. Remember that it is important to wait until the solution stops activating (the fizzy noise subsides) to rinse the sink’s surface thoroughly.

5. Dry the sink thoroughly to avoid water spots

After scrubbing and cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, you’ll need to rinse the sink surface with warm water and dry it thoroughly. You should use clean, dry towels so that the warm water used to rinse the sink’s surface doesn’t evaporate and leave water spots. It is important to dry your stainless steel appliances to avoid waterstains and rust marks.


How to make a stainless steel sink sparkle again

The shimmering luster on the sink’s surface makes the stainless steel sink appealing, but one of the main reasons a stainless steel kitchen sink looks dull and lackluster is because it has been scrubbed with a cleanser that contains chlorine. Although stainless steel sinks naturally resist corrosion, exposure to strong chemicals like chlorine bleach and steel wool cleaning pads cause the steel, nickel and chromium to tarnish with rust streaks and cause discoloration.

1. Use club soda

Club soda is water that has been carbonated by adding carbon dioxide gas (CO2). You can use club soda to polish your sink’s surface by applying some to your stainless steel appliance and rubbing it with a soft cloth. 

2. Buff your sink with olive oil and a lint-free cloth

If you are looking to add an extra shine to your kitchen sink after cleaning, you can use olive oil to polish your sink’s surface. More than just a good cooking oil, olive oil has many uses.

All you need to do is to apply a few drops of olive oil to a lint-free microfiber cloth. Then use the cloth to buff the entire sink and the fixtures until they sparkle. Your sink will look pristine again with this DIY hack.


The do’s and don'ts of stainless steel sink care

There are certain tricks, tips and daily habits to keep in mind while maintaining a stainless steel sink. To maintain its sleek appearance, you need to remember the do’s and don’ts of stainless steel sink care and establish new cleaning practices. Here’s what you need to know.

What to do when cleaning a stainless steel sink

Keep these guidelines in mind while cleaning a stainless steel sink:

  • Use a stainless steel cleanser.
  • Go with the grain while cleaning the stainless steel sink’s surface.
  • Add a metal grid to catch any food particles.
  • After each use, rinse and wipe down the sink frequently to avoid food or other buildup on the sink’s surface.
  • Use non-abrasive and non-scratching cleaning methods. 
  • Use sponges and cloths instead of steel wool or steel brushes.
  • Avoid soaps and detergents that contain harmful chemicals, like chlorine bleach. 
  • After each use, clean the sink's surface with warm water, either with or without the use of a little dish detergent.
  • Use vinegar to remove hard-water stains.
  • Use club soda or olive oil to buff and sparkle the sink’s surface.

What to avoid when cleaning a stainless steel sink

You need to remember the following don'ts while cleaning stainless steel sinks:

  • Prevent soap cleaners from drying out on the sink's surface. 
  • Rinse frequently to prevent the chlorides in most sink cleaners from reducing the stainless steel's inherent luster.
  • Chlorine or chloride chemicals shouldn't be left on stainless steel surfaces because doing so could harm the sink's surface. It might lead to discoloration of the entire sink.
  • Avoid keeping harsh chemicals (such as acids, chlorine, bleaches, etc.) under the kitchen sink.
  • Don’t use steel wool pads because rust and corrosion can result from improper use.
  • Don’t leave cookware made of steel or cast iron in the sink for a prolonged time. It can cause surface rust and discoloration on stainless steel from the presence of iron and moisture.
  • Don’t use your sink as a chopping board. Sharp knives can scratch and damage the sink’s surface.


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Stainless steel sinks often get covered in grime, food particles and grease. This article provides a how-to guide for cleaning your stainless steel sink.

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