Many homes these days have at least one stainless steel appliance, and even more have stainless steel kitchen sinks. Of all the items that are made of stainless steel, it’s likely your sink gets the most direct usage and wear and tear. Protecting your sink from the ravages of spots, stains, rust and scratches takes a little work.
But what if your sink is already scuffed up? Here are tips on how to clean your sink, and how to remove stains, rust and scratches out of your sink.
- Thoroughly rinse your sink with hot water after using cleansers. Since most detergents contain chlorides, this will prevent any corrosion.
- Regularly drying your sink with clean dry towels works wonders to prevent water marks.
- Examine your stainless steel surface and determine the direction of the grain pattern. Always clean in the direction of the sink’s grain. Scrubbing against the grain could cause small scratches.
- Never use steel wool, or a carbon steel brush as it will scratch the surface and might even lead to rusting and corrosion.
- Avoid leaving steel and cast-iron cookware in your sink for extended periods of time. Iron plus moisture on stainless steel can lead to surface rust and staining.
Stainless steel sinks are easily cleaned by many different methods. Many household items will do the trick. Stainless steel thrives with frequent cleaning, and it is impossible to “wear out” stainless steel sinks by excessive cleaning.
Common Household Cleansers and Tools
- Baking soda for rust and stains
- Vinegar for general cleaning
- Mild liquid dish detergent for general cleaning
- Rubbing alcohol for removing grease
- A drop or 2 of olive oil to buff and shine
- Lemon to deodorize
- Commercial stainless steel cleaners
- Paper towels
- Soft microfiber cloths
For everyday cleaning add a few squirts of dish detergent to a cup of warm water, dipping the cloth into it and scrub along the grain. Rinse with hot water and wipe dry with paper towels.
Baking soda makes a great stainless steel sink cleaner because it is abrasive enough to scrub away minor hard water deposits and stuck-on grease and food, but not so abrasive that it will scratch shiny stainless steel fixtures like faucets. To use baking soda effectively, repeat the above steps for everyday cleaning but don’t dry the sink. Now, sprinkle the sink with baking soda. Scrub in the direction of the grain. Rinse and dry with a clean soft cloth and use a few drops of olive oil on a soft cloth to buff and shine.
Rust and Stains
For rust and stains, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water. Rub the baking soda solution on the rust stain using a soft toothbrush. Rinse and wipe the spot with a wet paper towel. You will see the rust on the paper towel.
To remove stains with vinegar, pour a little white vinegar onto the stained surface and let it sit for a few minutes. Rub the stain with a soft cloth in the direction of the grain, rinse thoroughly, and dry the surface with a clean towel. Examine the stained area; if discoloration is still present, consider a commercial product.
For minor scratches, first rinse your sink and plug the drain. Fill your sink with warm water and liquid dish detergent. Use a sponge to wash your sink. Remove the plug and rinse with water to clear the suds. Go over any areas you missed with a sponge. Wipe the sink with a lint free towel and look for the location of the scratches.
Using a non-abrasive cleaning product poured onto a microfiber cloth, rub back and forth gently over the scratch to blend it in with the surrounding sink area. Be sure to rub in the direction of the grain. Wipe the area clean occasionally to see if the scratch is fading or has disappeared. Several applications of cleaner might be necessary. Wash the sink down once all the scratches have been removed. Use warm water, liquid dish detergent and a clean sponge. Then dry the sink with a clean towel. To add shine, use a little olive oil or stainless steel sink polish.
Some very deep scratches may not respond to a simple repair. Most deep scratches need to be sanded out and it may be worthwhile to try a DIY sanding kit. These kits often contain an instructional DVD and all the items you’ll need such as abrasion pads in different coarseness for light to deep scratches, sanding fluid, microfiber cloth, and a tool to attach abrasion pad. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
For the very best in appliance repair and maintenance, you can count on C&W Appliance Service. Get in touch with us at (214) 358-1496 or (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form.