Battling Stains Off a Stainless Steel Sink

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Stainless steel is durable. It’s also, of course, stain resistant. Your sink can still get spotty, though, and it’s a good idea to brush up on your cleaning skills before battling tough stains. Cleaning the kitchen sink is an exercise in self-defeat when the proper tools aren’t used. To remove stains from your stainless steel sink, check out the at-home cleaning methods below.

Method One: Use Dish Soap and Baking Soda

First, settle on the cheap cleaning materials. Removing stains from a sink needn’t be a bank-breaking endeavor. Simply mix liquid dish soap with baking soda. Rub it into a paste, gently apply it to any stains, and use a microfiber cloth to buffer out the odd ends. Always rub with the sink's “grains.” Then, wash the stainless steel sink thoroughly. Dry it gently so you don’t create murky soap marks.

Method Two: Use Vinegar

Vinegar, too, is an excellent stainless steel stain remover. Pour some apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar, onto the stainless steel sink’s sides. If possible, apply it with a paper towel. Let the vinegar sit for five minutes. Then, rub the vinegar off with a soft cloth. Again, follow the stainless steel surface’s “grain.” Wash the surface with water, and let it air dry.

Method Three: Use Abrasive Pads

If your sink is sporting more than basic stains, you may need an abrasive pad. Purchase an abrasive pad with a grip anywhere between 80 and 120. Rub it against any lengthy scratches, deep stains and small damages. The pad, eventually, will buffer out any hard-to-remove stains. Sandpaper is a viable option if you can’t find abrasive pads. Be careful, however, as sandpaper can further scratch your stainless steel sink if it’s applied roughly.

Method Four: Use Stainless Steel Cleaner

Yes, it exists. If your stainless steel sink’s blemishes aren’t budging, try purchasing some stainless steel cleaner. Often, stainless steel cleaner is available in powdered form. Simply follow the product’s directions, apply it to any stains, and clean off. Stainless steel cleaners and polishers expertly remove discolorations, so you won’t need to worry about accidental scratches or fogginess.

Method Five: Use Lemon Juice

If you want an all-natural stainless steel stain removal formula, try out lemon juice. When mixed with baking soda, lemon juice is an excellent metallic stain remover. Even better: It’s the healthiest option you’ve got. Simply combine lemon juice and baking soda, making a paste. Apply the paste to a sponge, rub it into the sink’s stains and let the area sit for 20 minutes. Then, gently wash the surface with warm water.

Tough stains are annoying, but a little home maintenance goes a long way. In some cases, you won’t be able to remove deep stains—resulting in the need for a professional cleaner. Fortunately, the above-mentioned home remedies are pretty effective. In all likelihood, you already have a majority of the cleaning materials needed for stain removal. At the end of the day, your sink can be cleaned.

Be careful when using any commercial-level chemicals, however, as they can be dangerous when in contact with your face. Check out your options, consider purchasing these items from your local grocery store and jump into action. A lot of DIY cleaning materials are cheap, giving you incredible freedom when using a little creativity to buffer out those stains.


Robert G. is an independent contractor and article writer focusing on information-savvy approaches to various industries. With a well-rounded approach to a wide array of topics, Robert enjoys research and revisions to deliver quality content with quick turnaround times to serve tight schedules.