Almost every kitchen is equipped with a stainless steel sink nowadays. Their popularity can be attributed to many factors, including the versatility, durability, and attractive design they offer, provided you know how to maintain them properly.
We tend to be drawn to kitchen stainless steel appliances and fixtures because their gleaming shine is so appealing, but maintaining them requires some effort. Even though you wipe the fingerprints off your stainless steel refrigerator almost daily, the sink probably gets less attention. It is still possible for them to look dull and stained even though they do not chip or crack.
Regardless of how dirty your sink looks, we can show you how to clean stainless steel sinks and return them to their original gleaming state.
How often should you clean your stainless steel sink
Likely, you don’t deep clean your sink enough, like so many other items in your home. Clean the sink thoroughly when you cook raw meat, poultry, or anything else potentially hazardous. Afterwards, you should deep clean a stainless steel sink at least once a week.
What tools you should use to clean your stainless steel sink
Stainless steel cleaners and commercial disinfectants are available, but they are not really necessary, so you don’t have to buy them if you don’t wish to. When learning how to clean a stainless steel sink, you likely already have most of the items you need in your pantry or cupboard. If your finish is dull, there are stains and minor scratches. You can remove them with these simple items.
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Nylon scrub brush
- Vinegar (white or cider)
- Spray bottle
- Cream of tartar
- Microfiber cloth
- Olive oil
To clean a stainless steel sink, follow these steps once you’ve assembled your tools and products:
Rinse the Sink
It’s impossible to properly clean a stainless sink if it’s covered in scraps, bits of produce, or last night’s dinner. Use a little dish soap if anything is stuck to the sink surface after rinsing everything with hot water.
Bring on the Baking Soda
Make sure all surfaces of the damp sink are covered in baking soda. You should also ensure to get it on the sides as much as possible. The benefits of baking soda are that it neutralises odours naturally and can clean stainless steel surfaces without scratching them. Moreover, it’s completely safe and non-toxic.
You will realise that the metal has a grain that goes in a specific direction, and you should follow that grain when you scrub. Use your nylon brush to clean, but follow the grain to avoid damaging the metal.
You can also use scrubbing pads made from acrylic or nylon. Just ensure that they are not overly abrasive. Speaking of abrasive, you should never use hard materials such as steel wool, steel brushes, etc., as these can damage the surface.
Baking soda will gradually erase or lessen those tiny scratches as you scrub. Grab an old toothbrush to clean any grimy spots, such as crevices or the seam around the drain.
After cleaning the sink with baking soda, spray plain white vinegar all over it before rinsing it away. The solution will start fizzing and bubbling as soon as you do this, so let it sit for a few minutes and work its magic.
As a result of its natural acidity, vinegar will also remove calcium-based spots. In addition to being a great disinfectant, vinegar is also a great cleaner. Rinse everything thoroughly after the fizzing stops and wipe it with a cloth. Depending on how dirty the sink was in the first place, you may have to repeat this step.
Treat Any Remaining Stains
You can use a mixture of vinegar and tartar cream to spot-treat stubborn stains on the sink that didn’t come off during the initial cleaning. Rub the stained area with one cup of vinegar and one-quarter cup of the cream. Alternatively, you can mix and use vinegar and tartar on almost any surface in your home.
Apply the mixture of your choice directly on the stain, rub it gently, and let it sit for about five minutes. After that, thoroughly rinse the sink and dry it with a cloth. Despite its effectiveness, this should not be your go-to method for cleaning the whole sink. For general cleaning, continue using vinegar and baking soda.
Make it Shine
While cleaning a stainless steel sink, you may not think this step is necessary for cleanliness, but it sure does improve its appearance. When the sink and hardware are clean and dry, buff them with a cloth dipped in olive oil until they are gleaming and gorgeous. You don’t want a greasy sink, so avoid using too much oil.
Some additional tips for cleaning a stainless sink
Wear Rubber Gloves
Baking soda and vinegar are non-toxic and great for cleaning the house, but they still hide a risk. Those cleaning solutions can be very damaging to your skin. Especially after using baking soda, you can easily feel how dry your hands are.
Use lemon instead of vinegar.
When vinegar isn’t available, some people use baking soda and water for the first scrub and then a lemon half for the second scrub. Since lemons are acidic, they should work as vinegar substitutes.
The Flour Polish Method
Using regular flour from your pantry is an alternative to using olive oil to polish stainless steel sinks. If you want to polish a stainless steel sink, you must start with a clean and fully dry sink – using flour is not a way to clean one. To remove stains from the sink, sprinkle a thick flour dusting into the sink and rub. Remember to keep buffing with a paper towel or a soft cloth. Ensure you don’t rinse the flour down the drain after you’re done. Drains can become clogged as a result. Make sure the sink floor is clean by wiping it.
Regardless of the cleaning method you decide to use, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that might scratch the stainless steel sink. In addition, most soaps and detergents contain chlorine, so ensure that you rinse them thoroughly with hot water to prevent corrosion and keep surfaces germ-free. Keeping your sink stain-free is as simple as rinsing well after each use and using a mild cleaner daily or weekly. To match the sink’s surface, always scrub according to the polish lines. However, if you struggle with home cleaning duties, you can always hire someone to help.