How to Clean and Maintain a Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel is a top-selling material for kitchen sinks, and for good reason: it’s durable, low-maintenance, heat- and stain-resistant, affordable, and impervious to chipping and cracking. While it may scratch, scuff marks are typically easy to soften and eventually become part of the sink’s unique pattern and grain.

Elkay Avado Deep Triple Bowl Sink

Stainless steel sinks are generally easiest to maintain, requiring no special treatment or cleaners. However, the life of your stainless steel sink can be increased with proper (easy!) care and a bit of attention to detail; maintain it properly to extend its life expectancy and keep it looking new and shiny for as long as possible.

Blanco Magnum Double Bowl Sink with Apron

To keep your stainless steel sink in top condition, follow these rules:

Do

  • Wipe the sink with a soft cloth after each use (ideally) to avoid water spots
  • Rinse the sink after use to prevent food particles from sticking
  • Clean the sink thoroughly at least once a week with soap or a stainless-friendly cleaner (refer to our list of good products below) and a non-abrasive sponge or rag; rinse thoroughly to remove all cleaning residue
  • Always clean with the grain, not against it
  • Use a stainless sink grid (not a rubber mat, which may cause staining) to protect the sink bottom from scratches and dings; many sinks have custom-sized grids to fit precisely
Vigo All in One Farmhouse Stainless Steel Sink

Don’t

  • Allow metal cans or food particles to remain in prolonged contact with sink surface
  • Use knives to cut directly on stainless surface
  • Leave cleaning products or wet sponges to dry on the sink; many may affect the finish
  • Clean with abrasive materials like steel wool or wire brushes – only non-scratch cleaning pads
  • Use bleach-based cleaners, which may corrode the steel
  • Store open containers of cleaners or chemicals such as acids, bleach, sodium chloride, lye, toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, or hard water stain removal products under your sink
Elkay Gourmet Deep Single Bowl Undermount Sink

Recommended products

  • Fantastik Antibacterial Heavy Duty
  • Formula 409 Antibacterial All Purpose
  • Windex Original
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Cleanser
  • Stainless steel cleaner & polish
  • Natural cleaning solutions:
    • Baking soda scrub followed by white vinegar rinse
    • Club soda for shine
    • Orange or lemon peel (rub clean surface with the peel for deodorizing and shine)
Empire Loft Stainless Steel Extra Large Farmhouse Sink

Follow these easy rules to enjoy your stainless steel sink for years to come!

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