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How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

The upgrade to a stainless steel kitchen sink is always exciting. With a sleek and modern look, these high-end sinks give your entire home a noticeable boost and make for a more pleasant experience for the inner chef in you. But after several cooking sessions and a couple of nights when you leave the cleanup for the next morning, your stainless steel sink might be due for some TLC. If you’ve started to notice spots on your sink surface and that its new look is fading away, it’s time to figure out a cleaning method to keep it looking shiny and refined.

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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink with Cleaners

Commercial cleaning products are an easy way to keep your sink sparkling and germ-free, but not all cleaners are made the same. Some chemicals that can damage your stainless steel sink include solvents, chlorides, and acids. When in doubt, read the labels and ingredients in your products. This will help avoid unwanted reactions and permanent damage to your sink.

Popular stainless steel cleaning products come in a variety of presentations. You can purchase cleaning wipes, sprays, or powders that help you get the polishing job done in a matter of minutes. A pair of gloves and a soft microfiber cloth are all you need to tackle the task.

Remember to always scrub in the direction of your sink’s polish lines to avoid scratching or damaging your stainless steel. Once you’re done, rinse with clean hot water and dry the sink with a clean towel. Voila! Your sink will be gleaming again.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink With Vinegar

Using common household products, you can give your sink a deep clean that’s effective, non-toxic, and ecological.


  • Start by rinsing your sink with water from the faucet.
  • Then, coat the sink with a thin layer of baking soda. This will create a paste that you’ll scrub in the direction of the sink’s grain.
  • Spray the paste with vinegar and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • As bubbles start to appear, you’ll know that those tough sink stains are dissolving.
  • Rinse and repeat, as needed.
  • When you’re done polishing, remember to dry your sink with a clean towel.

Pro Tip: Grab a soft cloth and some olive oil to give your sink that extra shine that stands out. A few drops of olive oil should be enough to buff the entire sink surface. This handy hack also creates a protective layer to keep the sink clean for longer periods of time. But don’t use olive oil on your sink handles, because that’ll make them slippery and greasy.

Tips for a Black Stainless Steel Sink

If you have a black stainless steel sink, you’re a pretty swanky fella. This trendy twist on the traditional stainless steel delivers a striking look and an extra layer of protection for your sink. That’s because these sinks are easier to clean and prevent corrosion better than the traditional metal finish.

A cloth and soapy water are all it takes to clean your black stainless steel sink. No abrasive cleaners, household products, or other tools are needed. In fact, baking soda and cleaners can create permanent damage to your black stainless steel sink.

Tips to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

Avoid scratches: Prevention is part of caring for your stainless steel sink. To avoid scratches, never clean your sink with steel wool or steel brushes. These will damage its surface and leave you with unsightly scratches on the sink.

Don’t use a rubber mat: While it may seem like a good idea to protect your sink with a rubber mat, they can lead to water accumulation and unattractive discoloration. A sink grid is a better alternative that allows water to evaporate and safeguards your sink from scratches. They’re especially helpful to protect black stainless steel sinks from scratches caused by silverware or jewelry.

Polish in one direction: When cleaning your stainless steel sink, remember not to scrub against the grain. Polishing in the direction of your sink’s finish lets you clean better and keeps the steel looking great.

Everyday care: Daily maintenance such as a quick rinse after every use goes a long way. Start with a damp sponge and wipe down any leftovers on your sink. Then, use a clean dry towel to absorb water from the sink’s surface. This helps prevent stains and corrosion.

Weekly polish: Routine cleaning ensures the durability of your sink and gently eliminates hard water stains without scratching. Whether you choose a soft abrasive cleaning product or make your own blend at home, a regular polish restores the shine of your sink and keeps it looking like new.

What should you not use on stainless steel?

When cleaning your stainless steel sink, it’s best to avoid:

  • Harsh soaps
  • Chemical cleansers with chlorides
  • Commercial products not formulated for stainless steel
  • Steel wool pads or brushes

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