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How to clean your stainless steel sink, sanitize it and make it shine

in Cleaning - Lisa Van Groningen - 25 min read
Best wayt o clean you stainless steel sink

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How many times have you left the dishes sitting in the sink way longer than you intended? Only to find your sink is a little gross and is needing a little refresh.

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Maybe your sink is looking a little less polished these days.

Stainless steel sinks are some of the easiest sinks to care for. So let’s dig in on what to use to clean your stainless sink and how to make it shine.

What is the best cleaner for a stainless steel sink?

When it comes to an easy and natural way to clean your kitchen sink. Baking soda and vinegar are two household items you will need.

No you don’t need harsh chemicals that most commercial cleaners introduce.

Vinegar naturally disinfects, helps to fight bacteria, and reduces water spots in your sink. While baking soda will create the natural scrubbing power.

The towels/scrubbers you use to clean your sink also play an important part. You are going to need to determine the type of sink you have.

For example satin finish with no grain vs brush matte finish. This is important because you will need to use different cleaning sponges as well as scrubbing techniques.

Stainless steel sink care guide:

  1. Always check with your manufacturer for proper care/cleaning
  2. Know the finish of your sink so you can properly clean it
  3. Always scrub with the grain and not against the grain
  4. Avoid bleach and corrosive materials when cleaning

The most common sponges to use to clean your satin finished sink with no grain are a soft sponge like this one. Or my ultimate favorite is Scrub daddy products.

For brushed matte finish you are gonna wanna get a rougher scrubber. The most commonly suggested one is the 3M Scotch-Brite General Purpose Scouring Pad. It is rough enough to clean stuck on dirt but soft enough to not damage the finish of the sink.

*CAUTION – ACIDIC BASED STUFF CAN HARM YOU SINK IF YOU DON’T REMOVE PROMPTLY

What does it cost to clean your sink?

Amazingly when you use baking soda and vinegar to sink your sink you are saving tons of money.

Vinegar about $7.99 (small bottle)

Baking soda about $2.99 (small box)

Scrubbing sponge about $2-$7 dollars depending on your sink

So for under $20 bucks your should be able to clean your sink a whole year. Again I prefer using the Scrub Daddy because it is dish washer safe. So I can clean it.

What you should never clean your sink with

While a stainless steel sink is very durable. It’s important to never clean your sink with the following materials. Doing so will create scratches, dents and ruin the finish of your sink.

  • Metallic Brushes
  • Steel Wool
  • Wire brushes

Materials like I mentioned above can even leave behind metal pieces that get embedded into you sink.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink, Step-by-Step:

Step 1:

Empty sink and spray down the entire sink. Make sure to wet the sides and the faucet. You want to use hot water to remove as much stuck on food as you can.

Step 2:

Take 1 cup of baking soda and sprinkle it all around your kitchen sink be sure to sprinkle the sides and evenly.

Step 3:

Grab your scrubbing sponge according to the type of sink that you have. Begin to scrub.

For stain finished sinks you will want to scrub in a circular motion to clean it.

For brushed matte finished you will want to scrub in the direction of the grain.

Be sure to scrub the faucet and sides around the counter. To clean the hard to reach areas around your faucet use a toothbrush with baking soda. The small bristles will get into the grooves and remove the built up gunk.

Step 4:

Next you are going to want to spray your entire sink down with vinegar to help sanitize and remove bacteria. If you have ever mixed vinegar and baking soda you know it will fizzle.

Wait a few mins to allow the mixture to work in its natural state.

This fizzle will help to remove anything that may be on the surface. It will remove water stains, calcium deposits, and disinfect.

Step 5:

Rinse thoroughly the entire sink and then dry it. We need to dry it well to prevent water spots and to move on to the optional next step of polishing your sink

.

How to polish a stainless steel sink

If you want to get back the luster and make your sink shine. After doing the cleaning steps above you can buff it.

To make your sink shine after drying it. Take a microfiber or lint-free towel and apply a quarter size drop of olive-oil. Fold the towel into quarters and then rub it into your entire sink.

Once done buffing you will want to polish it by using a clean side of your folded towel to polish. Removing all access oil off.

Be sure not to add too much oil. As this will not not be the results we desire.

After buffing the sink you will see how the water beads right off. It also stays cleaner until your next weekly deep cleaning.

How often you should clean your stainless steel sink

As a mom who cooks daily and uses her sink regularly. My daily maintenance includes scrubbing the sink down with a little dish soap each night. Leaving the sink clean and ready to go for the next morning.

I recommend deep cleaning your sink at least once a week especially if you cook everyday. The other reason why I recommend this is because often times we have cutting boards and utensils that we used to cut raw meat especially chicken.

This can spread through out the kitchen sink so I personally like to be sure I reduce the cross contamination by doing a minimal weekly deep cleaning.

How to prevent stains and corrosion of your steel kitchen sink

When it comes to keeping your sink clean. I personally prefer that every night I wash all the dishes and wake up to a clean kitchen sink.

But here is another compelling reason you might find it imporatant to get those dishes done before bed.

Foods that are very acidic can begin to cause stains or corrosion inside of your sink.

So it’s important to not leave those dishes with foods like this in there.

Also dirty dishes in the sink attract bugs and other things that you don’t want in your home.

Using a stainless steel grid to help protect and keep your sink clean

If you are considering using a protector for the bottom of your sink. I highly suggest using a stainless steel one like this one.

When choosing a sink protector you want to avoid the plastic or rubber ones. Because over time they can trap food and bateria.

Plus seriously trying to clean one of those mats are a nightmare.

Reasons why you need a sink protection grid

  • reduces scratches
  • can use it to dry dishes on one side
  • can thaw food on it
.

Don’t forget to clean your stinking garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal throw a few lemons slices down there to help refresh and clean it. You can also freeze lemons, lime and orange scraps to make a DIY disposal cleaner.

READ MORE:

How to clean your microwave the easy way

What Should You Be Wiping Down, Cleaning And Disinfecting

House Cleaning Checklist and weekly cleaning schedule

Lisa Van Groningen

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About Me

About Me

Hi, I'm Lisa

I am your former career-driven mom turned stay at home mom of 3. Here you will find real life solutions to help you manage your home. Tips to help you organize and clean. So you can create the haven your desire while making time to do the things you love most. Check out the shop for printables!

Lisa

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