The Ultimate Guide to Care and Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks

The Ultimate Guide to Care and Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks


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I think it’s safe to say that there’s no greater kitchen fitting than beautiful stainless steel sinks – at least when they’re sparkling. Sadly, the effects of time and grim can quickly leave your residential or commercial kitchen sink looking a little worse for wear.


Don’t fear; help is here!


Whether you’ve moved a property to find that the previous occupant hasn’t given the stainless steel sink enough TLC, or you just need some tips to keep on top of the challenges that are regularly encountered doesn’t matter. Our guide to overcoming the toughest and most common cleaning challenges should work wonders.


General tips for cleaning your stainless steel sink


Stainless steels are heralded for their aesthetic beauty and long-term endurance. However, those rewarding features can only be enjoyed when the right level of care is implemented.


It should be noted that, unlike other materials, there is no threat of causing the looks to fade due to excessive cleaning. As such, many users will find that staying on top of the situation by adopting a ‘little and often’ manifesto is for the best.


The following tips should allow you to avoid most stains and prevent any serious problems;


  • Rinse around the sink after each use, even if it’s simply cleaning out a few cups,
  • When using your daily cleaning materials to scrub marks away, be sure to push with the polish lines for a greater impact,
  • Avoid using steel wire scrubbers as the iron particles can cause rust,
  • Wipe the clean stainless steel sink dry using a dishcloth to avoid water marks,
  • Employ a weekly cleaning ritual to keep on top of the situation.


The weekly cleaning ritual should include using a soft abrasive cleaner. For extra sparkle, you can use pug the sink before using club soda to remove tough stains.


What about general care that goes beyond the aesthetic?


All homeowners can appreciate the aesthetic benefits of a sparkly stainless steel sink. In reality, though, a comprehensive cleaning strategy should additionally cover other aspects of your relationship with the sink.


Crucially, your general sink care techniques should ensure that the sink functions as expected. Meanwhile, avoiding negative smells will inevitably enhance your experiences of the kitchen too.


One of the best things you can do is embrace the habit of clearing the pipes once per month (or sooner if they show symptoms of becoming clogged) through a drain unblocker chemical solution. Follow the instructions to pour the advised volume down the sink just before bed. In the morning, pouring two kettle’s worth o boiling water should do the trick. The benefits include;


  • Preventing blockages that slow drainage and cause stubborn marks,
  • Avoid blockages in the pipework that cause nasty smells to rise,
  • Actively provide a clean smell that will establish a strong foundation to support the daily cleaning,
  • Kill bacteria on the sink surface as well as in the pipes,
  • Prevent the threat of dirty water surfacing from the half sink, if applicable.


When the stainless steel sink is maintained in a way that supports the aesthetic beauty with clean smells and a good function, success is assured.


How can you remove water spots from your stainless steel sink?


Water spots are a very common issue for stainless steel sinks. Let’s face it; we’ve all been guilty of taking the lazy option by not drying the sink after cleaning up, especially when it’s late at night.


While some homeowners can escape major problems, others will see water spots surface very quickly. This is due largely to the water hardness levels, which is why anyone that has faced this issue despite usually staying on top of the challenge must pay extra attention to the task at hand.


This doesn’t fix the current issue, though. When your stainless steel sink shows water spots on the main sink, half sink, taps, or draining board, it’s vital that you take rapid action. Otherwise, they become more stubborn. The best trick is to use either lemon or vinegar, which are both acidic. The process is as follows:


  • Clean the sink as normal, taking extra care to cover the sides and taps,
  • Pour lemon juice or white distilled vinegar a spray bottle, before spraying the entire sink with the solution,
  • Let the acidic agent stand for 10 minutes,
  • Pour a small amount of baking soda around the sink and let it fizz,
  • Scrub the water spots with a sponge or cloth, and rinse the sink with warm water,
  • Repeat as required before competing one final rinse around the sink.


Voila. The water spots will be gone.


How to remove limescale from a stainless steel sink


Limescale is another frequent nuisance, especially for those living in hard water areas. If left untreated, it can create a very unsightly appearance while additionally posing a threat of contamination to your pots, pans, crockery, and cutlery.


Descaling the sink can be achieved by using store-bought descaling products. When using these, following the directions on the packaging should suffice. However, when wiping the materials and deposits away, you must use a sponge rather than scourers as to avoid scratching.


Another trick is to use vinegar or a mild abrasive solution. When taking this route, follow these steps for success;


  • Lay paper towels over the limescale stains and soak them in the distilled white vinegar,
  • Leave the agent to do its work for at least 30 minutes, adding more liquid as and when needed,
  • Rub the deposits away using a sponge and rinse the sink,
  • Mix baking soda (¼ cup) with liquid detergent (1 tbsp) and apply the paste to the tough stains,
  • After a few minutes, rub this away and rinse the sink,
  • Dry the sink with a dry towel.


The harsh reality is that limescale will return every so often due to the minerals in the hard water. Treat the issue as soon as it surfaces, and you’ll require far less elbow grease to remove the deposits.


What’s the best way to clean fingerprints from the stainless steel sink?


Fingerprints might not damage the sink with any long-term impacts. Nonetheless, they will stand out on the surfaces to ruin the otherwise stunning appeal. Whether it’s a child’s handprint or leftovers from when you’ve cleaned up, removing the fingerprint marks is essential.


Avoid cleaning the area through normal methods as this will only make the fingerprints even more visible as the surrounding areas become cleaner.


The best way to clean fingerprint marks (and pet paw prints) from the sink and draining board is to use a dedicated glass cleaner. Any standard glass cleaner solution will be up to the task. To see the best results, follow the simple steps;


  • Take a new microfibre cloth and spray some window cleaner onto the material,
  • Spray some of the window cleaner solution onto the affected area of the stainless steel sink,
  • Wipe the area using a circular motion until the fingerprints are lifted,
  • Dry with a cloth,
  • Rinse and dry with a cloth once more to check that the marks are definitely gone.


Job done.


How do you remove rust from a stainless steel sink?


A variety of materials and stains can compromise the appearance of your stainless steel sink. Ultimately, though, nothing causes more damage than rust. If you’ve noticed that your stainless steel sink has been hit by this problem, immediate action is needed.


Rust is usually caused by other metal items that may have been used for cooking and food preparation purposes. Meanwhile, any damage and oxidisation of the chromium film on the stainless steel surface can encourage the development of rust spots. The good news is that the material is self-healing, which is why effective cleaning can often remove the rust spots to restore the natural glow.


Nonetheless, you can take things to the next level with a simple baking soda solution. The following steps will allow you to achieve the desired results;


  • Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda 1 cups of water,
  • Use a toothbrush to apply the paste to the rust spots,
  • Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes,
  • Wipe clean using a wet paper towel,
  • Rinse the area to check all rust has been lifted,
  • Dry the sink with a dry cloth.


Once the rust has been lifted and removed, your stainless steel sink will back to its best. However, you must be sure to follow this up with greater care in relation to the use of other metallic materials.


Stainless steel sink cleaning: what to avoid


Knowing how to take general care of your stainless steel sink, particularly in relation to the aforementioned common issues, will go a long way to maintaining the gleaming looks that you crave. Unfortunately, a lot of that success will be undone if you all victim to common mistakes.


Many of the problems have already been covered, but it’s worth recapping them while also considering a host of other factors. Keep the following issues in mind, and you won’t go far wrong:


  • Never scrub against the natural grain,
  • Never use a scourer or items with iron particles for cleaning,
  • Never use strong abrasive cleaners (only very mild solutions),
  • Never use chlorine or bleach,
  • Never leave items in the sink as it allows bacteria to grow,
  • Never let grime sit,
  • Never leave the stainless steel sink with water on the surface,
  • Never allows existing problems to worsen.


When combined with the winning cleaning strategies, your stainless steel sink will maintain its glow forever.