Home Remedies for Stainless Steel Sinks

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home remedies for stainless steal sinks

Stainless steel sinks are attractive because they tend to add an elegant touch to kitchens and other settings. The material is durable and pretty easy to clean, disinfect and deodorize. You don’t have to use corrosive substances or harsh cleaners to treat these types of sinks. Instead, consider the benefits of using home remedies for stainless steel sinks.

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more than 10% of chromium. The material is a popular choice in building and decorating a kitchen, especially when it comes to sinks. While stainless steel is good at resisting stains, it can occasionally dull or attract the oils of unsightly fingerprints. The hard oxide coating of the sink surface is made up out of the chromium in the alloy. When the coating is taken off – the steel rusts just like regular steel.

Common Issues with Stainless Steel Sinks

For many stainless steel sinks, the beauty of the material becomes more enhanced the older it gets. You still need to help the process along the way with maintenance, cleaning and proper care. Stainless steel kitchen sinks face a range of threats. The soaps and bleach-containing products you may use can cause damage to the steel. Hard water is not a friend of stainless steel and can leave stains behind on the finish. Over time, the sink wears out faster when it constantly comes in contact with hard water.

Stainless steel can get scratched and commonly occurs with regular use. Some scratches will naturally blend into the finish of the sink, while others are easier to see. As you rinse out your pots and pans or toss unwanted food into the garbage disposal, your stainless steel sink can come in contact with a variety of corrosive agents. You should use caution when dealing with acetic acid, lactic acid, sulfite cooking liquor, fatty acids and beet juice.

Stainless Steel Sink Home Remedies

Before you get ready to clean your sink, first use hot soapy water, and then use a follow-up method to remove dirt or create a sparkling shine. The following home remedies for stainless steel sinks can improve the appearance, scent and germ factor:

a) Cream of Tartar and Hydrogen Peroxide:

Mix three parts cream of tartar with one part hydrogen peroxide to create a paste that cleans stainless steel sinks. Use a damp cloth to apply the mixture, and then massage into the surface. Let the sink dry and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

b) Vinegar:

Soak a soft cloth in white vinegar, and scrub the surface of your stainless steel sink.

c) Baking Soda:

The gentle abrasive action of baking soda is good at creating a clean shine for stainless steel sinks. Sprinkle a small amount into the basin, and scrub down using a damp sponge.

d) A Quick Rinse:

A good way to keep soaps and bleaches from harming your stainless steel sinks is to quickly rinse after using. Leaving leftover soap or bleach can damage the steel over time.

e) Olive Oil:

To add shine to your sink, rub in a small amount of olive oil. This remedy will also help remove water spots from stainless steel. Rub with a soft cloth moistened with olive oil, and then buff with a dry cloth.

f) Type of Scrubbing Tool:

Using abrasive scrubbers, brushes and sponges will harm stainless steel, so when washing the dishes – opt for soft nylon bristle scrubbers or nylon pot scrubbers.

g) Rubber or Plastic Mat:

To decrease the number of scratches that appear on a sink, lay down a rubber or plastic mat with perforations. This comes in handy when cleaning bulky pans or sharp tableware.

h) Orange and Lemon Peels:

The peels of citrus fruit (such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit) can deodorize a smelly garbage disposal in your stainless steel sink.

i) Salt:

To eliminate buildup in the sink drain, boil one quart of water, and then add ½ cup of salt. Pour the mix down the drain two times per month to remove the gunk and grime that can accumulate in the drain or garbage disposal. The salt helps to cut down on greasy buildup, as well as kill the bacteria that cause odors.

j) Avoid Steel Wool:

When cleaning your sink and other items, avoid using steel wool, which can leave behind scratches on the finish.

k) Wipe Away Water Splashes:

To cut down on the damage associated with hard water – wipe down your sink after cleaning dirty dishes and do a thorough cleaning at least once a week to remove lingering dirt and other particles.

l) Window Cleaner:

The majority of window cleaners on the market offer a degreasing agent. Apply the cleaner to fingerprint smudges or greasy food residue. This quick-drying remedy will not leave behind streaks. Use a soft towel to wipe off the cleaner or a paper towel if you’re leaving lint behind.

m) Towel:

Keeping a stainless steel sink dry is an effective way to prevent dullness from setting in. Control water marks and spotting by wiping the sink after using with a clean, dry towel.

n) Vinegar:

To clean the stainless steel fixtures of your sink, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a spray bottle. Use a soft cloth to buff and bring out the brightness.

o) Vinegar and Dishwashing Liquid:

To make a multi-purpose cleaner that treats stainless steel sinks, add two parts water, one part distilled white vinegar, and a couple drops of dishwashing liquid[1] to a spray bottle.

p) Club Soda:

To remove streaks or heat stains from your stainless steel sink, try rubbing with club soda.

q) Baby Oil:

Treat a dull stainless steel sink by rubbing in a few drops of baby oil using a soft clean cloth. Use a towel to rub the sink dry. You may have to repeat the process to achieve the look that you desire.

r) Flour [2]:

To restore the glow of your stainless steel sink, sprinkle a bit of flour over it, and then lightly rub using a soft, dry cloth. To bring out the shine, rinse out the sink.

s) Hair Conditioner:

Apply hair conditioner to your sink faucet to eliminate dullness. Use a soft cloth to make the shine come out.

t) Baking Soda:

To shine up your stainless steel sink, sprinkle a bit of baking soda, and then rub down with a moist cloth – moving in the direction of the grain.

u) Borax and Lemon Juice:

Remove heavily stained sinks by making a paste out of one cup Borax and ¼ cup lemon juice. Put a small amount of the remedy on a cloth or sponge, and rub into the stain. Use running warm water to rinse off. The stain should wash away with the paste.

v) Toothbrush:

To scrub around the drain and treat faucets of your stainless steel sink, you can use a toothbrush to reach inside crevices and spot-treat dirt, grime and food stains. Gently scrub and rinse well with warm water to send all of your hard work down the drain.

w) Baking Soda and SOS Pad:

Shake on a nice amount of baking soda onto the interior of your stainless steel sink, and use an SOS pad to scrub the sink clean. The baking soda acts as a buffer for the harsh abrasive power of the scouring pad. Make sure to thoroughly rinse all of the cleaner from the sink – leaving no residue behind.

x) Bleach[3]:

Some people have successfully cleaned their stainless steel sinks with a diluted solution of bleach. After a quick rinse of the sink, fill ¼ of the way full with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. Let the mixture sit for no longer than 30 minutes – any longer and the bleach could start to corrode the metals. Drain the water, and thoroughly rinse the sink. Make sure to clean the walls down as the water drains out.

y) Brightening Agents:

To achieve an attractive shine, polish your stainless steel sink with a cloth dipped in vinegar or ammonia. You can also sprinkle a bit of baking soda on a sponge and gently rub across a dampened sink. Use paper towel to finish up the shine.

z) Lysol:

To disinfect your stainless steel sink, use Lysol[4] to clean the surface, as well as leave behind a fresh scent. Wipe with a soft towel after rinsing with clean water.


[1] http://www.dawn-dish.com/us/dawn/product

[2] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 172.

[3] https://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-concentrated-regular-bleach/

[4] http://www.lysol.com/products/search/1684-sinks/