How to Care for Stainless Steel Sinks

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Despite the name, stainless steel sinks can indeed stain and, although they are scratch-resistant, these sinks can get scratched. Metal dishes, soap holders, decorative kitchen knickknacks and other items can all leave brown stains on the sinks where they've been sitting. Knives and other items can scratch the sink. However, stainless steel is, nevertheless, still one of the most durable and easy-to-care-for sinks available. Just a few extra minutes caring for stainless steel after doing the dishes, and a once-a-week (or more frequently, depending on your household) thorough cleaning can keep your sink looking beautiful.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Mild soap
  • Dish towel
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Club soda
  • Rinse the stainless steel sink thoroughly after washing dishes. According to Just Manufacturing, this is necessary to remove soaps or other substances that can, in time, dull the finish.

  • Clean and remove metal pots and pans quickly from the sink to avoid staining the sink. Don't leave damp objects in or on the sink for the same reason. Even plastic soap dishes will leave behind a brown rust-like stain.

  • Clean the sink thoroughly at least once a week. You can do this by running an inch or so of warm water into the sink, with the stopper in place. Dampen a clean sponge and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the sponge. Scrub this all over the sink, paying special attention to any discolored areas, rinse very well and towel it dry.

  • Remove stains (accidents do happen) promptly. Most stains can be removed using either club soda or olive oil (rubbed gently over the stain, according to Creative Homemaking).

  • Polish the sink whenever the finish loses its luster. You can do this by using a cloth dampened with vinegar and gently rubbing the finish. Finish off by buffing it with a soft cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have hard water, be especially vigilant about drying the sink after use so that deposits won't form, making the finish less attractive.
  • Avoid dropping heavy items into the sink -- this can create unsightly dents or scratches.

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