How to Clean a Dull Stainless Steel Sink

It sounded like a match made in kitchen heaven: You're a busy person and your stainless steel sink would accommodate your lifestyle by being delightfully low maintenance. In reality, though, you can ignore a stainless steel sink for only so long before it, like a mischievous child, cries out for attention. Silence those cries and restore its shine with a two-step approach: Give it the daily care it requires and shower it, quite literally, with some special attention about once a week.

Clean sink and kitchen towel
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Avoid putting rubber mats in a stainless steel sink or risk surface rust.

Step 1

Clean the sink after every use with soapy water and a soft sponge. Drench the sink with water and then buff it dry to prevent water spots and mineral deposits from forming on the sink. This step alone will do wonders in keeping your sink looking its best day to day. Don't store the wet sponge in or on the sink, however. Wet sponges – as well as wet cloths and cleaning pads – can eventually cause surface rust on stainless steel.

Step 2

Bring the shine back to your stainless steel sink by making a cleaning paste of baking soda and water. Cover the sink with the paste, rub the sink in the direction of any natural grain or in circular motions with a sponge, drench the sink with water and wipe it dry.

Step 3

Remove water spots from your sink and make it shine by spraying it with white vinegar. Alternatively, pour some club soda on a sponge and wipe the sink. In both cases, wipe the sink with a sponge soaked with water before wiping the sink dry.

Step 4

Eradicate surface rust and other stubborn stains – and the accompanying dullness – by soaking a rag or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and wiping the sink. Alternatively, combine 3 parts cream of tartar to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Cover the stains with the mixture and let it sit for 15 minutes. In both cases, flush the sink with water and wipe it dry.