This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through our links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. HomePerch only promotes products that we use and love.
Walk into a kitchen, and you’ll probably find a stainless steel sink. These sinks are popular for their durability, low maintenance, and affordability, making them a popular choice for decking out kitchens.
Much of the beauty of a stainless steel sink lies in its enduring, shiny appearance and long-lasting durability. But to keep it sparkling for years to come, it’s essential to know how to keep a stainless steel sink clean. If you don’t clean it properly, your sink may become dull and prone to scratches. And what good is a stainless steel sink that doesn’t gleam?
Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on how to keep a stainless steel sink clean — so you can make the most of yours!
How To Clean A Stainless Steel Sink
Stainless steel sinks are resistant to corrosion but can easily be stained and are prone to limestone build-ups. The secret to keeping them clean is, well, to regularly clean them.
Here’s what to do for a quick clean-up of your sink:
Thoroughly Rinse The Sink
After preparing food or doing the dishes, thoroughly rinse the sink with hot water to eliminate any food debris and crumbs. Stainless steel resists the growth of bacteria, but keeping it tidy is important for good hygiene. Additionally, cleaning with food bits and grit in the sink can scratch the surface.
Use the spray attached to the faucet to ensure all corners are rinsed. If that’s not possible, fill a cup with water and use it to rinse all four sides of the sink. If you have a garbage disposal system installed, switch it on to avoid clogging the drain.
Use A Sponge And Dish Soap
Utilizing dish soap will suffice for your daily cleaning needs. Use an anti-scratch sponge and regular dish soap to thoroughly rub the entire surface. You may need extra force to remove stuck-on bits of food. Finally, end with a good rinsing.
You may also use an anti-scratch scouring pad or dishcloth instead of a sponge — and a general-purpose kitchen cleaner or dedicated stainless steel cleaner to do the job.
Dry The Stainless Steel Sink
Allowing water to dry naturally may contribute to water spots and mineral residues. To avoid this, use a microfiber cloth to thoroughly dry the sink. Microfiber cloths absorb water quickly and are lint-free, leading to a smooth and shiny finish.
How To Deep-Clean A Stainless Steel Sink
Regular cleaning every day should be complemented with a deep clean every once in a while. Generally, we recommend doing this once a week, though you may adjust the frequency depending on your kitchen’s needs.
Rinse The Sink
Start washing from the top of the sink, allowing hot water to wash the sides and bottom to eliminate any residue.
Clean The Faucet
Dampen a cloth with hot water and wipe the faucet. You may also want to repeat the process with a cloth soaked in a mild soap solution if any stains persist.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
Sprinkle baking soda all over the damp sink, including the faucet area. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that cleans any stubborn stains dishwashing soap can’t tackle and neutralizes any odors to freshen up the sink and drain. All of that while protecting the stainless steel from scratching.
Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
Use a non-scratch cloth or soft nylon brush and get scrubbing! Looking closely, you’ll see grains (or faint lines) in your sink. For the most effective results, follow these lines as you clean. For smaller areas, such as the corners of the sink or the edges of the faucet, you can use a smaller brush, such as a toothbrush. This is also useful for cutting through stubborn grease stains.
Top It With Vinegar
Spray plain white vinegar over the layer of baking soda, and watch it do its magic as it fizzes and bubbles. Vinegar works through calcium-based stains and other mineral deposits. It is also an excellent disinfectant. You may repeat the process once more if needed.
When the vinegar stops foaming, rinse it one more time with warm or hot water.
Treat Stubborn Stains (if any)
If you still have stains lingering, treat them with a stronger mixture. Add one part cream of tartar (readily available in grocery stores) to four parts of distilled vinegar and mix well. Apply the paste to the stained area and rub it in with a sponge. Let it sit for five minutes, and rinse.
Dry The Sink
Once the stains are all treated, and the mixture washed away, dry the sink with a microfiber cloth.
Add Some Shine
As the finishing touch, add a few drops of olive oil (or coconut oil for some extra scent) to a microfiber cloth and thoroughly rub it all across the sink and hardware. This will restore the sink’s original sparkle. Tip: Be sure to use a small amount of oil to prevent it from getting greasy.
Alternative Ways For Cleaning
Here are a few other methods you can try to keep your stainless steel sink clean:
- After sprinkling baking soda, use half a lemon to work through the sink. This is a good substitution for vinegar.
- Spray club soda all over the sink and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
- Mix lemon juice and vinegar to buff your sink. Alternatively, you may use a glass cleaner.
- Sprinkle a thick dusting of flour on a dry sink and thoroughly rub it with a paper towel. When done, wipe the flour out of the sink. This gives the sink a neat polish.
How Often Does A Stainless Steel Sink Require Cleaning?
The frequency of cleaning depends on where you’re using the stainless steel sink. Kitchen sinks should be cleaned (or at least rinsed) every time they are used. This removes any food particles and germs that may be lingering. Following this practice, you’ll need deep cleaning only once a week. On the other hand, outdoor, bathroom, and laundry room sinks should be cleaned daily.
What type of cleaner should I use for a stainless steel sink?
Dish soap is a great cleaner for stainless steel sinks. But if you’re looking for something more specific, consider specialist products such as Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser.
What damages stainless steel?
Abrasive cleaners and sponges, steel wool, and hard-bristled cleaning brushes can harm stainless steel sinks. Also, avoid bleach and oven cleaners.
Are there any precautions to take?
Baking soda and vinegar are non-toxic but may irritate the skin. Be sure to use rubber gloves while giving your sink a deep clean.
All of the above-mentioned methods for keeping a stainless steel sink clean will restore the shine and neatness of your sink. Be sure to regularly give it a quick clean (preferably as often as you prepare food and do the dishes) and complement it with a deep clean every few days. Consistency is key — and will help you maintain the glamorous look of your stainless steel sink for years to come!