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How to clean a stainless-steel sink

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Stainless-steel sinks are a popular option when designing a new kitchen due to their classic look and durability. Whilst stainless steel sinks are great at retaining their shine; they can be quite difficult to clean.

This article covers the best techniques and products to use when cleaning a stainless-steel sink to ensure that your kitchen is spotless and sparkling all year round.


How often should I clean a stainless-steel sink?

To keep your stainless-steel sink looking pristine, you must keep it maintained regularly. It’s recommended that you rinse your sink with warm water on a daily basis to remove any food or residue from using washing up liquid. After you have given the sink a good rinse, it’s ideal to wipe it dry to keep it looking spotless.

Whilst a simple rinse can help keep a stainless-steel sink in order, if you find the sink starts to look dull over time, then it’s time to begin the process of a deep clean. If you are rinsing your sink daily, there shouldn’t be a need to do a deep clean more than every two weeks.

How to deep clean a stainless-steel sink

Neglecting a stainless-steel sink can leave it prone to rust, food stains, limescale and soap build-up. Conducting a thorough deep clean, however, can help restore the shine of a stainless-steel sink. The following steps will help your sink look brand new-looking and sparkling:

Rinse for a clear surface

As with any process, it’s essential to start with a strong foundation. Therefore, it’s useful to start the sink cleaning process by rinsing and removing any food with hot water, so you have a clear surface to work with.

Coat with baking soda

Baking soda has been used as a secret cleaning ingredient for years as it helps dissolve both dirt and grease when mixed with vinegar or water. As a result, coating your stainless-steel sink with a thin layer of baking soda is excellent for removing any stubborn stains.


Once you have layered the sink with baking soda, the next step is to scrub the baking soda into the sink. Whilst this will help remove stains and restore shine, it’s important to not be too abrasive during this process to avoid scratching the sink. It’s essential to use a soft sponge to allow for a gentle scrub and use a toothbrush to scrub around any edges.

It’s vital when scrubbing a stainless-steel sink that you scrub in a consistent direction. There are various types of stainless-steel surfaces, such as a brushed finish to a satin polish. You should be able to see faint lines in the stainless-steel, and it’s important to scrub in the direction of these lines as this will provide a thorough clean and help your sink last longer.

An additional tip during the sink scrubbing process is to wear gloves to protect yourself from dirt and germs.

Spray vinegar

Vinegar is yet another secret cleaning ingredient loved by many homeowners. The vinegar has a chemical reaction when sprayed against the baking soda, helping combat those tough sink stains. It is best to use a spray bottle when distributing the vinegar, as this will allow you to coat the sink evenly. However, a spray bottle isn’t entirely necessary as it is still possible to achieve the same outcome by slowly pouring over the sink. If you don’t have vinegar in the house, lemon juice is another excellent alternative.

Rinse again

Once you have evenly coated the sink with vinegar, leave the vinegar and baking soda to react for around five minutes. Once the bubbles have lessened, it’s time to give it another rinse. If there are still stubborn stains after the vinegar and baking soda have been washed away, you may want to repeat these steps to remove the dirt thoroughly.


Once all stains have been removed, the next step is to dry the sink. This is a key step in the sink cleaning process as it helps to prevent any water spots. Choosing a cloth that will not shed is another critical factor; otherwise, your sink will be filled with fuzz. Alternatively, you could also use several paper towels to dry the sink. Again, make sure these are of good quality as you don’t want bits of paper in the sink.

Target spots

With the sink now dry, you should be able to properly assess if any trouble spots are remaining. If this is the case, you can take a further step to combat these problem areas.

Mixing one cup of vinegar with a quarter cup of cream of tartar will eradicate any remaining problem spots within the sink when left for five minutes and rinsed. Whilst this process is suitable for targeting spots, it shouldn’t be used on the whole sink and shouldn’t be used as a first step.


The final step to excellence is to buff the sink using a cloth and a few drops of olive oil, bringing out the shine of your stainless-steel sink. Only use this process on the sink itself and not the taps, as this can leave residue on your hands.

You should now have a beautiful stainless-steel sink restored to its original brilliance. A clean sink can make all the difference in creating the perfect kitchen, as it’s the little details that can quickly elevate the overall look.

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As this post is all about cleaning, make sure you don’t miss our guide on how best to clean and mantain your boiling water tap.

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