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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

Find out how to clean and polish a stainless steel sink with a few household items.

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White kitchen built with shaker style cabinets and white granite. Shows stainless dishwasher, granite back splash. Brushed chrome faucet and hardwareBerkay Demirkan/Shutterstock


Find out how to clean and polish a stainless steel sink with a few household items.

Tools Required

  1. Cleaning Cloth
  2. Soft Sponge
  3. Spray Bottle

Materials Required

  1. Baking soda
  2. Lemon or Lime
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Vinegar

Cleaning the kitchen sink often falls into the category of forgotten chores, keeping company with dusting the baseboards and vacuuming under the bed. But, shining up your stainless steel sink so that it looks like new is actually easier than you think. You’ll you need are a few household ingredients that are probably already sitting in your pantry. Read on to for a step-by-step guide on how to clean a stainless steel sink.

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A kitchen sink with dropsNika Art/Shutterstock

Empty and Rinse the Sink

First, empty the sink entirely (including any rubber mats or metal sink grids). Then rinse the sink thoroughly with hot water, using the faucet sprayer, if you have one.

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White powder in silver spoon over white background. Top view. Detailed close-up shot. Icing, caster, confectioners or powdere sugar pileEva Orlova/Shutterstock

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle the damp sink with baking soda. Cover the entire surface of the sink with a thin layer of baking soda and be sure to include the sides.

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glove spong cleaning kitchen stainless steel sinkSeDmi/Shutterstock

Scrub the Sink

Using a wet sponge or cleaning cloth, scrub the sink with the baking soda. Scrub in the direction of the stainless steel grain, paying close attention to areas that are stained or have stuck-on grime. You can add a little bit more water if needed. The water and baking soda will form a paste as you scrub, coating the sink. The baking soda works as an abrasive cleaner but is gentle enough to not scratch the stainless steel surface.

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hand holding half lemonShannon West/Shutterstock

Using a Lemon, Scrub Again

Cut a lemon in half and use the lemon halves to scrub the sink again with the baking soda paste that is still coating your sink. The high acid levels in lemon juice (and lime juice!) can help to fight bacteria, not to mention freshen your sink with a lovely citrus smell.

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close up sink stainless steel running waterPaul Michael Hughes/Shutterstock


Rinse away the baking soda paste and lemon juice with water. Run the used lemon halves through the garbage disposal to clean and freshen it.

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water spray bottle vinegar spongeFotoHelin/Shutterstock

Vinegar for Water Spots

With a spray bottle filled with vinegar, spray the entire sink. Then buff the vinegar into the sink with a clean cloth, the vinegar works as a natural disinfectant and water stain remover.

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stainless steel kitchen sink dryingtab62/Shutterstock

Dry and Shine with Olive Oil

Finally, dry the sink with a dry cloth, removing any remaining water or vinegar. Then, to really amp up the shine, use olive oil. Pour a small amount onto a dry cloth and rub it onto the sink, working in the direction of the grain. Wipe off any access oil and admire your glistening sink!

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.