How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink for a Spotless Shine

Updated June 15, 2021
Kitchen stainless steel sink

While cleaning your kitchen, do you notice your stainless steel sink is starting to look a bit drab? Not to worry. With a little baking soda and vinegar, you can have your kitchen sink looking clean and smelling fresh.

Materials for Cleaning Your Kitchen Sink

Sinks get dirty. You'd think they wouldn't since they are always filling with water, but all the gunk and grime builds up after a while. Therefore, if your sink is starting to look and smell a bit off, it's time to reach for your cleaning supplies.

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon
  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Dawn dish soap

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink With Baking Soda

One of the best ways to clean and deodorize your stainless steel sink is to use a baking soda and Dawn combo.

  1. Remove all debris and dishes from the sink.
  2. Rinse the sink with warm water.
  3. Coat the entire sink with a thin layer of baking soda.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Add a drop or two of Dawn to a damp microfiber cloth and work it in.
  6. Use the cloth to gently scrub the sink going with the grain of the stainless steel.
  7. Pour a bit of white vinegar onto the baking soda and let it fizz for a few minutes.
  8. Rinse the sink.

Clean Hard Water Stains on Stainless Steel

Hard water stains on your stainless steel sink can be frustrating. Thankfully, white vinegar is acidic enough to eliminate them.

  1. Clean any gunk out of the sink and rinse with water.
  2. Add full-strength white vinegar to a microfiber cloth.
  3. Lay it on the hard water spot for a few minutes.
  4. Rub the hard water spot, rubbing in the direction of the polish lines.
  5. Repeat as necessary. You can also add a little baking soda to the spot for extra scrubbing power.
  6. Rinse with warm water and dry.
Sink with hard water stains

How to Clean Limescale With Lemon

If you don't have any white vinegar on hand, you can also remove limescale and hard water stains with lemon and baking soda.

  1. After cleaning the sink, sprinkle baking soda on the hard water spot.
  2. Cut a lemon in half.
  3. Put the lemon half right on the spot and scrub in a circular motion.
  4. Add more baking soda and use a fresh lemon piece until the stain is gone.
  5. You can also put the baking soda right on the lemon wedge for scrubbing the sides of the sink.
  6. Rinse and dry the sink.

Deal With Water Spots on Stainless Steel Sinks

Are you getting a few stubborn water spots on your sink? Knock them right out by grabbing your handy white vinegar.

  1. Wet a cloth with straight white vinegar.
  2. Lay the cloth over the water spots.
  3. Let the spots soak in white vinegar for about five or so minutes.
  4. Lift the cloth and buff in circular motions.

Eliminate Scratches on Stainless Steel Sink

Now that your sink is sparkling like your bathroom mirror, you might notice a few scratches. This happens with stainless steel. It's not something you should have to tolerate. Instead, grab the olive oil.

  1. Apply a bit of olive oil to a dry microfiber cloth.
  2. Use the olive oil to gently buff out the scratches.
  3. Repeat as necessary until your sink looks as good as the day you bought it.

If olive oil just isn't cutting it, several commercial manufacturers make scratch remover specifically for stainless steel.

How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Sink Looking New

Stainless steel is durable, but there are a few cautions when cleaning it.

  • Never use cleaners that contain chlorine! Chlorine can seriously damage stainless steel, so avoid contact between bleach and chlorine-based cleansers and the sink.
  • Avoid steel wool and scrub brushes. These can seriously damage the beautifully shiny finish and leave scratches and marks on the metal. Always use a soft cloth to clean stainless steel.
  • Never leave wet sponges or other objects on the edge of the sink. Use a container, cup, or plate so that the wet material isn't resting on the steel. Although stainless steel is durable and resists rust, it isn't totally impervious to prolonged exposure to water. Rust stains can develop.

Clean a Stainless Steel Sink With Ease

The timeless beauty and durability of stainless steel make it a popular choice for kitchen sinks, and getting them clean is fairly easy. Keep your stainless steel sink looking beautiful for many years to come by adding a special cleaning session to your weekly list of cleaning chores.

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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink for a Spotless Shine