How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink to a Mirror Finish? 5 Effortless Steps

written by: Florie Malapit

Published: December 9, 2022
Updated: July 4, 2024

reading time:  minutes


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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink to a Mirror Finish? 5 Effortless Steps

Stainless steel sinks are trendy in the home, and with good reason. They're easy to clean and maintain, resistant to chips and scratches, and can be customized to fit any kitchen or bathroom design. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about cleaning a stainless steel sink. By following these five simple steps, you'll have sparkling new-looking stainless steel in no time.

A stainless steel sink needs to be cleaned for aesthetic considerations and to preserve corrosion resistance. If you need to learn how to clean a stainless steel sink and take good care of them properly, it'll look like a used tin can. Even worse, they develop surface rust marks due to water deposits buildup over time.

These deposits are a pain because they can't be removed with regular cleaning products, and even if your sink looks clean at first glance, these stains will still be under the surface unless you treat them properly.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to remove these unsightly stains from your sink, so your mirror-like finish returns as soon as possible.

Another easy way is to book a house cleaning service in Melbourne to have a professional clean and polish yours.

How to clean a stainless steel sink

What You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Clean cloth
  • Wet sponge
  • Scrub Brush
  • Rubber gloves


Step 1. Clean and Rinse the Sink

Rinse the kitchen sink with warm water and dish soap solution to remove waste residue and food scraps. Make sure any leftovers are cleared from the sink drain, too, as these crumbs can easily cause bacteria to multiply. Dry the sink with a clean towel or paper towel.

Use a disinfectant cleaner to sanitize the stainless sink. Mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 4 cups of warm water and pour it into your dirty sink.

The vinegar works as a natural disinfectant and water stain remover. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing the sink well with hot water.

Step 2. Sprinkle on Some Baking Soda

Baking soda as a soft abrasive cleaner

Pour a little baking soda into your damp sink and sprinkle some onto the stainless steel surface with non-scratch cleaning pads or an old towel. Covering a sink with baking soda is a magic ingredient for cleaning stainless steel surfaces.

You can add more water if needed, preventing baking soda from sticking. The water and baking soda will form a paste as you scrub, coating the sink's surface to remove iron particles.

Use firm pressure as you scrub in small circles until everything is clean. Scrub in the direction of the stainless steel grain, paying close attention to stained areas or stuck-on grime. Then rinse with hot water and dry with a soft towel.

Step 3. Scrub with a Soft Sponge or clean cloths

Scrub the sink with a soft sponge or non-scratch pad. Scrub in the direction of the stainless steel grain, paying close attention to stained areas or stuck-on grime. Use a non-abrasive cleanser, but baking soda is also a gentle abrasive sink cleaner.

The shape of your sink will determine how you hold the sponge. If it has rounded corners and curves, use one hand to hold the sponge in place and another to move it around.

You can use both hands on either side at once if it's flat across. Pay close attention to where you're scrubbing, as you don't want scratches.

An old toothbrush works well for tighter spaces and tricky turns around the sink fixture, countertop, and drain.

Step 4. Wipe Away Any Residue and Rinse

clean a stainless steel sink with lemon

Use a damp microfiber or soft cloth to wipe away any remaining residual soap, then rinse the sink with water.

If you’re concerned about any residue, use a vinegar-based cleaning solution with lemon juice to help remove the build-up. Buff the vinegar solution in the sink with a clean cloth.

White vinegar is one of the most common household ingredients to remove mineral deposits and hard water stains from sinks. The acidity of vinegar effectively dissolves the calcium deposits that cause water spots.

The lemon will help deodorize the sink. The high acid levels in lemon juice can help to fight bacteria, not to mention lemon can freshen your sink with a lovely citrus smell.

Step 5. Finish with a Microfiber Cloth

Avoid using greasy cloths when cleaning stainless steel sink

To finish your stainless steel sink, use a microfiber or dry cloth to wipe away any remaining residue. Make sure to dry the sink with a dry cloth so that the water does not evaporate and leave water spots.

If you use a sponge to clean the sink, make sure it is clean and dry before you use it again.

Adding a small amount of olive oil can make your sink shine and look good. The olive oil helps the steel shine while adding protection layers that protect your sink for extended periods. Another thing is that olive oil is good at removing rust from shards and making them easier to clean.

Ready for a Mirror-like Stainless Steel Sink?

So there you have it! Five easy steps to cleaning your stainless steel sink to a mirror finish.

It's not hard and doesn't require any special cleaners. Just follow these steps, and you'll be able to impress all your guests with your sparkling kitchen sink!

We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have questions about the process or want to share tips for cleaning stainless steel sinks, leave us a comment.

Check out our other articles if you want to know how to keep your kitchen clean!


How often should you clean a stainless steel sink?

The answer depends on the amount of use your kitchen sink gets. If you have a busy household with lots of people in the kitchen doing dishes and preparing meals, you'll want to clean your sink more often than if your home isn't as busy or doesn't involve a lot of cooking.

Every day is fine if you're using your sink for dishes. But if you're using it for basic cleaning and drying purposes, give it a good scrubbing once a week.

What is the best thing to clean a stainless steel sink with?

Baking soda is an excellent kitchen sink cleaning agent because the product is strong enough to eject rust-laden grease from surfaces and stains on surfaces and is not aggressive. Use baking soda with water to clean your stainless steel sink.

Baking soda is just abrasive enough to scrub away your light hard water deposits, but it's not abrasive enough to scratch the stainless steel surface. Moreover, baking soda removes sink odours without leaving behind the toxic chemical residue that some commercial cleaners might have.

Will vinegar harm a stainless steel sink?

Yes, vinegar can harm a stainless steel sink. Never let your stainless steel sink sit in vinegar, chlorine, or table salt solutions for an extended period since these substances can harm the metal.

Vinegar is acidic, and stainless steel sinks are made from stainless steel. When you combine the two, you get an oxidation chemical reaction that can eat away at your sink's protective coating. It is known as "stainless steel corrosion."

The good news is that if you have a stainless steel sink, it's easy to avoid this problem by ensuring your vinegar isn't too acidic.

What should you not use on stainless steel?

Here are some things you should never use for stainless steel care.

  • Never use bleach or harsh chemicals.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners or sponges that have been previously used.
  • Never use dish soap unless it says “for stainless steel” on the bottle.
  • Never use steel wool, steel brushes, or highly abrasive scrubbing pads.


DIY, Expert Guide, Feature Article, Green Cleaning, How to, kitchen, Sink

About the author 

Florie Malapit

Contributing Writer at Sparkle and Shine Today. She is a freelance content writer with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, major in Marketing Management, and more than two years of blog and content writing experience.

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