Fun fact: a kitchen full of stainless steel will look gloriously shiny for a few weeks. Then one day out of the blue you’ll notice dirt and grime you swear wasn’t there the day before—and then that’s all you’ll see until you finally break down and clean. The beauty of stainless steel lies in its durability and eternal good looks. But certain high traffic areas (ahem, like the kitchen sink) are going to need a little more attention and TLC than others. That’s why knowing how to clean a stainless steel sink is a skill we should all have in our cleaning arsenal. With just a few key ingredients and bit of elbow grease, your sink—and your sanity, if you’re a neat freak like me—will be restored to like-new condition in no time.
How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink
Stainless steel isn’t as low-maintenance as appliance manufacturers would have us believe. It’s beautiful, yes, but it needs to be cleaned regularly to preserve both it’s corrosion resistance and it’s luster.
While some daily elbow grease can keep your sink looking shiny and new for a while, a once-a-month deep clean is vital for maintaining the longevity of your sink. But don’t freak out about the time commitment. Just 1 minute a day and 5 minutes at the end of every month will do wonders.
A daily clean will help make the unpopular task of cleaning your stainless steel sink a little easier to tolerate. Simply remove all the dishes and rinse food particles down the drain. Next, use baking soda (a soft abrasive) and a sponge to get rid of grime and stuck on food. That should keep your sink sparkling until it’s time to give it a more thorough cleaning.
Every month or so, you should give your sink a really deep clean. Not only will it help keep your sink looker newer for longer, it also sanitizes it and prevents any corrosive ingredients from eating away at your precious stainless steel.
First up, gather your supplies:
Empty your sink and give it a good rinse. Remove all dishes and wash food down the drain so you have a blank canvas to work with. Use the hose to rinse down the sink basin and clean the sides of the sink.
Gently scour away grime. Sprinkle baking soda (or a homemade baking soda scouring powder) liberally over every nook and cranny of your sink. Using a soft sponge, gently scrub in the direction of the grain to get rid of grime. The baking soda should act as a mild abrasive, helping to break down stuck-on grime without scratching the sink itself.
Rinse with white vinegar. Pour distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and liberally the basin. Don’t worry, fizzing means it’s working! You want to let the vinegar sit long enough to break down the baking soda so it can flush easily down the drain.
Scour again. Once the fizz action has died down, gently buff the sink again. Wash whatever is left of the baking soda/vinegar mixture down the drain.
Let dry. Either wipe your sink down with a clean towel or let air dry.
Protect and shine. To really make your stainless steel shine, pour a little olive oil in the sink and gently rub it in (again, in the direction of the grain) using a soft microfiber towel.
When you’ve finished that, just click here and we’ll show your how to deodorize a smelly garbage disposal using old coffee grounds.22