Cleaning a Stainless Steel Sink

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
February 3, 2011

stainless steel sinkAfter cleaning my stainless steel sink, I realized it wasn't looking as shiny as it did years ago, when it was new. I remembered a old tip from a friend years before, so I got a nice clean soft rag (old socks make wonderful rags) and put some baby oil on the sink and rubbed the baby oil all around it. Wow, how nice! It looked like new (almost), it was so shiny.


I tried baby oil on everything I had around the house that was needing a shine. I even put it on the dinning room table and what a great shine. The whole kitchen looks bright and shiny now. It was so easy and baby oil is very cheap. Leaves everything so shiny. Be sure not to use to much though, a little goes a long way.

By dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV

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May 14, 2010

For quick cleaning of your stainless steel sink and drain squirt ketchup in the sink and wipe it around with a soft scrubber. The acid in the tomato will easily clean the scum in the drain and also the sink.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
March 10, 2014

After several years of using harsh agents to clean my sinks and destroying my hands in the process I have started using Brillo type (store brand, of course) soap pads to clean my stainless steel sinks. They look lovely and shiny and my hands are getting better all the time.

Drain strainer sittling next to drain in clean sink.

January 29, 2018

Here is a nice way to clean your sink. Before you think it's expensive it's not. The drug store has coupons through email.


There are coupons in the store, as well as coupons in the paper. You're always able to luck up on a sale.

Use Toothpaste for a Clean and Fresh Kitchen Sink


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
December 14, 2015

After several years of using harsh agents to clean my stainless steel sinks and destroying my hands in the process I have started using Brillo type soap pads (store brand of course). My hands are getting better and the sinks look fantastic!


May 21, 2018

We have a new RV that we live in. I used Lime Away to get rid of some hard water deposits and it blackened and my stainless steel faucet. After much ado I tried the Blue Magic metal cleaner. It works; all I can say is it works, it works, it works!


May 23, 2011

Stains resulting from harsh chemicals, etc. on your kitchen stainless steel sink can generally be removed by a gentle application of MAAS Metal Polishing Creme.


May 16, 2008

Spray some men's shaving foam into your stainless steel sink and spread it around with your hand. Let it set for about 5 minutes and then wipe it up with newspaper. Your sink will be shiny as new.


14 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 20, 2000

I would like to restore my stainless steel sink to its original newish shine. Can anyone help?



November 30, 20000 found this helpful

I use 000 steel wool on mine. I go with the grain of the sink and it shines it right up. SOS pads also work quite well. Use the old style metal not the plastic ones.



November 30, 20000 found this helpful

Use alcohol to clean stainless steel sinks for a clean sink and a clean smell.


November 30, 20000 found this helpful

This is a reply for the person who wanted to renew her stainless steel sink. i have heard that vinegar is supposed to make your stainless sink shine like a mirror.


November 30, 20000 found this helpful

I just read in a new book that to clean that stainless steel sink use hydrogen peroxside. I tried it and it makes it shine.

Mabel in MN

February 3, 20010 found this helpful

I use a product I bought at a "Smart & Final" store. It is called, logically enough, Stainless Steel Cleaner.


The manufacturer is Iris. If the cheaper alternatives don't do the trick, perhaps this will.

By Jeffrey Berezo (Guest Post)
October 5, 20040 found this helpful

We just had granite countertops installed with a $600 stainless steel undermount sink. Put the baking stone in there to wash, scratched the bottom of the sink horribly. The finish is a brushed stainless steel. Is another finish better or more durable? I may ask the installer to change it out.

By toni (Guest Post)
August 29, 20080 found this helpful

Use olive oil and will shine great!

By Connie S (Guest Post)
October 10, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with Mike and Stephanie, the stainless steel sinks today are junk. I am a teacher and they remodeled my room and replaced my 50 year old stainless steel sink with a new one that started rusting in just a few weeks. My other one did not have a speck of rust! I did not do any fancy cleaning or drying with my other sink and it was always beautiful. I think they are cheating on the metals being used in them.


Perhaps they are made in China where everything is not made to standard. If they put melamine in their babies milk I wonder what might be in our stainless steel sinks that are causing them to rust! I do not want to do constant cleaning rituals with my sink, I have a class to teach. Please give me back my old 50 year old sink, it was really stainless!

November 2, 20080 found this helpful


June 10, 20090 found this helpful

Hi. I use borax on the stainless sinks and the bath tub. It has many more uses, even laundry.

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January 3, 2010

I got a new stainless steel sink. It had dark marks on the inside, so I cleaned it with Gel Gloss, which is recommended for stainless steel. The marks came off, but the cloth I used was black, like I had removed tarnish from silver.

I now have cleaned it a second time, about a week later, and once again the cloth is black. I'm concerned I'm removing the finish from the sink. Has anyone else experienced this black residue when cleaning their sink?


By Beetlebeau from PA


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
January 7, 20100 found this helpful

I"ve had stainless steel sinks for many years. Wouldn't have any other kind! I've always used simple brill-o pads to clean them. Once it's cleaned good once, then just a dab of dish soap will keep it clean after that. And brill-o again if it gets real dirty or stained.


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January 8, 20100 found this helpful

If your sink is new don't use Brillo! Instructions for caring for your sink should mention this. If the sink is old, Brillo probably won't hurt it.

On a new sink though, it will ruin the finish faster. I just use Bon Ami or Barkeepers Friend on a sponge if it needs extra cleaning. Usually just a scrubby sponge and dish soap leaves it beautiful.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
January 8, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know what the black residue is, but stainless steel is virtually impossible to hurt. That's why it is called stainless. Don't worry about it.

February 21, 20100 found this helpful

The 'black' is a normal result from cleaning/polishing metals (S.S., Copper, Brass, etc.)
Gel Gloss is excellent. If you ever have scratches or stains that seem impossible to remove, get MAAS.
available practically everywhere.

August 10, 20100 found this helpful

I have had a stainless steel sink for 5 years and it looks like new, how do I keep it that way? I just scrub it with dish washing liquid and water, if it seems really dirty I use baking soda with a wet cloth to make a paste and scrub the sink. For an occasional rust mark after letting rinsed cans drain I use the Mr. Clean eraser, presto, clean sink, so shiny!

April 28, 20180 found this helpful

Barkeepers left black stains on my new stainless steel sink in my brand new kitchen :(

June 11, 20180 found this helpful

There are many levels of quality in stainless often indicated by a number etched in the surface. For instance, stainless steel used in boats is far more durable and lasting than stainless steel manufactured for home use.

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October 7, 2012

I need a thrifty cleaner for stainless steel sinks. Can you help me?

By s1johnston


October 7, 20120 found this helpful

Barkeeper's Friend is cheap and works great. Also works great on stainless pots and pans and glass stove tops!

October 7, 20120 found this helpful

I suggest using baking soda. It is a mild abrasive so it won't hurt the sink, and you can't beat it for cost.

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December 5, 2015

How do I remove stains created by a tarnish remover used to polish silver? I laid a sponge in the sink and now I have an outline of a sponge!


December 8, 20150 found this helpful

Use the same silver polish to clean the rest of your sink so it all matches.

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May 5, 2006

Is there a way to get light scratches out of a new stainless steel sink?

Sam from Clearwater, FL


By Myrna (Guest Post)
June 4, 20060 found this helpful

Have you tried buffing with SOS pads? On her website, Flylady talks about using them in another step to a shiny sink.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 3, 2010

Cleaning a Stainless Steel Sink. How do I get the smell out of a stainless steel sink?

Home and Garden Cleaning MetalMarch 22, 2012
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