How to Remove Overspray Paint From Stainless Steel

Stainless steel
Stainless steel (Image: Stainless Steel Sink image by Hedgehog from

Stainless steel is a resilient metal alloy. It does not stain or corrode as easily as regular steel, but is not stainless--it just stains less. To clean paint or other mishaps off of stainless steel, you should start off with light cleaning methods and work your way up to avoid potential damage to the steel.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap, detergent, or ammonia solution
  • Household caustic cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Soft Cloth
  • Fine nylon scouring pad

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Soak the stainless steel in warm water first. Attempt to rub the stain off with a sponge, soft cloth or nylon scouring pad before using any cleaning solutions. Always go with the grain of the steel and not a circular scrubbing motion.

Apply a mild soap, detergent or ammonia solution to the stainless steel and scrub with a sponge if warm water alone does not work. Use a sponge, soft cloth or nylon scouring pad rubbing with the grain of the steel and not in a circular motion. It may be necessary to repeat the process several times if the first time does not completely clean off the steel.

Use a household caustic cleaner on the stainless steel, scrubbing with a nylon scouring pad. Thoroughly rinse off the stainless steel after using the caustic cleaner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always progress from light to heavy cleaning methods to avoid marring the surface of the stainless steel.
  • Using a caustic cleaner may affect the surface of the stainless steel, proceed to this extreme carefully.


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