Stainless steel sinks are favorites for many owners. They are sleek and shiny and look more stylish than many other options. Stainless steel is also known for its durability. Stainless steel sinks will not chip, crack or fade.
However, these sinks can be difficult to clean and can be quite noticeable when dirty. If you’ve been wondering how to restore your stainless steel sink to its sparkling original splendor, look no further. I have made a simple how to clean the stainless steel guide to make your sink look like new easily.
How often to clean a stainless steel sink
First, some tips on how often should you clean your stainless steel sink. Trust me, you will find it much easier to clean your stainless steel sink if you do it more than a few times a year before the guests come.
With each use of the sink you should rinse it with lukewarm water. Rinsing the sink after washing dishes will remove leftover food and dish soap. To really keep your sink in tip-top shape, you should also wipe it dry after rinsing it with warm water every day.
If you’ve been rinsing your sink after use, you should only need to deep clean it once every two weeks.
However, do not use this number as an end-of-all command. If your sink looks dirty, has food stuck in the steel, or looks dull, that means it’s time for a deep clean. Wondering how exactly to deep clean? Here is a step-by-step guide.
Steps to a clean stainless steel sink
The sink could have food stains, rust, soap build-up, or coffee grounds like mine. No matter what’s causing the mess, this cleaning guide should help.
Ready to clean the kitchen sink? This step-by-step guide will have your sink looking like new again with minimal effort and time on your part! Let us begin.
1. Rinse the sink
It should start without chunks, grains, or other bits of food, so rinse your sink well.
Start by rinsing your sink thoroughly with hot water. If you have a dispenser in the sink, you can run it a couple of times to make sure it’s not clogged.
The cleaning process is easier if you start with a somewhat clean surface. If there are pieces of food stuck in the sink, you can run hot water over them for a few minutes until they loosen and come out on their own.
2. Cover the sink
Fill the sink with an even layer of baking soda across the entire surface.
Filling a sink with baking soda is one of the magic ingredients in cleaning stainless steel. In fact, I often joke that baking soda or vinegar or both can solve whatever cleaning problem you have. I’ve used them to clean the sink, clean the tub, remove hair dye stains, and even unclog toilets.
To clean a stainless steel sink, you will start by covering the sink with a thin layer of baking soda. Do this in a damp sink, which will help the baking soda stick. This will allow you to cover the edges of the sink and the bottom.
3. Rub in the direction of the grain
Rub gently with baking soda to begin cleaning.
Once you’ve applied the baking soda in layers, you can begin scrubbing it onto the stainless steel. Here are some important notes.
- Do not use a very abrasive scrubber. Steel wool can damage the sink and cause rust. Even the rough side of a normal kitchen sponge can be too abrasive. Instead, use the softer side of a sponge or cloth. You can use a toothbrush to clean around the drain and the corners.
- Wear gloves. Although you can see from the photos that I didn’t wear gloves for this stage, I wish I had. The baking soda made my skin feel dry and uncomfortable. In general, it is always smart to wear gloves when cleaning.
- Rub in the direction of the grain. If your sink is brushed steel (you can see faint lines in the steel), rub in the direction of those lines. This will help you clean better and make your sink last longer.
4. Drizzle vinegar
The reaction of white vinegar and baking soda works wonders for cleaning hard water stains, as well as unclog drains and toilets.
Once you’ve scrubbed the baking soda in the kitchen sink, it’s time to spray on white vinegar and see how the chemical reaction happens. The vinegar and baking soda will start to bubble, which will help to thoroughly clean your stainless steel sink and remove hard water stains.
This is easier if you have a spray bottle and can spray the white vinegar evenly over the kitchen sink. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can pour slowly and carefully, trying to disperse the vinegar evenly.
5. Rinse the kitchen sink
If your second rinse picks up as much dirt as mine, you can repeat these first steps again before continuing.
Let the vinegar and baking soda sit for at least five minutes. Once the bubbles have subsided, you can rinse the sink again.
If your sink still looks especially dirty or the baking soda / vinegar solution turns brown, you may want to repeat steps 2 through 5 again. If there’s just a stubborn little smudge, keep reading this guide for spot targeting.
Use a soft, non-slip towel to dry the sink and avoid water stains.
After rinsing the sink, use a cloth to dry it. You should always dry the sink after cleaning to avoid water stains.
You must make sure that the towel or cloth you are using does not fall off. You don’t want your clean sink to get full of lint! You can also use a paper towel to dry your sink, although it can take more than one since you don’t want scraps of paper in the sink, either.
This power combo can tackle any especially tough spot.
Now that your sink is dry, it should be easy to see the trouble spots that are still stained or dirty. If there are stains, don’t worry. Here’s how to treat specific stains.
Mix one cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of cream of tartar. This combination will clean tough areas. Simply rub the mixture with a soft cloth, let it sit for five minutes, and then rinse.
While this combination works well, you shouldn’t use it all over the sink and shouldn’t start with this mix. It is always best to start with the baking soda and use it only on the areas that are still stained.
8. Polish the sink
A little olive oil goes a long way in adding extra shine to your stainless steel sink.
Finally, the last step to make your sink look good is to polish the sink with a cloth and a few drops of olive oil. This will add some shine to the steel and create a protective coating to keep the sink cleaner longer.
An important note here is that you want very little olive oil. If you add too much oil, your sink will look greasy instead of shiny. If you add too much, you can use a clean towel to wipe up some of the oil.
Another note is that while olive oil can make steel look great, you should only use it to polish your sink. Cleaning the handles and the faucet will leave an oily residue that you won’t want on your hands when you try to wash your hands or have a glass of water.
Voila, a clean sink!
As you can see, the finished sink is much cleaner than the original. By cleaning the sink every time you use it and doing a deep cleaning every two weeks, your sink will be shiny, neat, and easier to clean in the future.
I hope this guide on how to clean a stainless steel sink was helpful!