How To Remove Stains From Stainless Steel Sinks (5 Best Methods)

Are you looking for effective and safe ways to remove stains from your stainless steel sink? Here we will briefly discuss some effective methods to remove stains from stainless steel sinks. You can apply these methods to any products made of steel. Before we jump to remove stains from stainless steel sinks, let me give you an idea of why stains occur on steel.


A stainless steel sink is an important part of the kitchen. Many people like stainless steel sinks because of their smooth and shining appearance. They are really good with a more sophisticated appearance than many other options. 

Stainless steel is also noted for its long-lasting properties. Stainless steel’s long-lasting wear and superb appearance are part of what makes it so attractive. Sinks made of stainless steel are resistant to chipping, cracking, and fading. 

Stainless steel is stain resistant to a degree, but it isn’t fully impervious to stains. The surfaces of the sink can stain from time to time. When we clean our filthy dishes in the sink every day, the grit in the water causes obstructions, which create a coating of color on your stainless steel sink. 

methods to remove stains from stainless steel sinks
Cleaning Of Stainless Steel Sink

What Is Stainless Steel?

Steel is a metal alloy in its most basic form. Iron is the main component, but it also contains up to 2% carbon and trace amounts of other elements like silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen.

Manufacturers incorporate chromium in stainless steel alloys and a significant quantity of it—from 10% to 30%. Other components, like nickel and manganese, are generally added for further durability and workability. Stainless steel is normally non-magnetic as a result of this composition.

How Does Stain Occur?

People might get confused that a material labeled “stainless” is impervious to all forms of stains, but this is just not the case with stainless steel. The stains come from various reasons. These are:

1) Hard Water Stains

The problem caused by hard water is the most common problem of every modern household. Hard water minerals can accumulate in any sink.

Calcium deposits will obscure it, and dissolved iron is what causes the unattractive reddish rust stains that may be found on many antique bathroom and kitchen fixtures.

2) Due To Chlorine & Chlorides (Pitting Corrosion)

Pitting is far more harmful than hard water residue because it is generated by chloride ions from water settling into the steel surface and eating away at the ions of the stainless steel metal. 

Short-term exposure isn’t a concern, but extended exposure, such as allowing salty water or water containing chlorine bleach to sit in a stainless steel sink, can result in irreparable stains. 

Once pitting begins, it will begin to eat away at the coating of chromium oxide on stainless steel, exposing the steel to additional corrosion by water and air once the chrome oxide layer is destroyed. As a result, if this condition is allowed to occur once, it will quickly spread.

3) Acid Staining

It is a very common problem that causes sinks to stain. Stainless steel can be stained by any liquid with a pH of less than 1.0.

Although a liquid with such a low pH is too powerful for everyday use, certain sulfuric acid-based drain cleaners may qualify. It’s best not to put them in the sink.

4) Bimetallic Corrosion

It occurs if we let salty water collect in the sink. If it is done for an extended period of time, it causes staining and corrosion. The salty water has a lot of electrolytes and they carry charges. If the sink contains another metal, such as aluminum, the electrolytes will transfer charge between the two metals, causing rust to occur.

5) Iron Staining

Iron staining occurs due to the cleaning of the sink with steel wool. Steel wool should never be used to scrub away fat from the sink surface, no matter how much of it there is. 

Steel wool not only scrapes the stainless steel’s chromium oxide layer, but some pieces break off into fine particles that enter the surface and stay there. 

Because they are so little, they sometimes go unnoticed until they generate a large rust accumulation from which there is no recovery.

6) Bleach Stain

Bleach is used as a disinfectant that is used to clean surfaces. Some people might use bleaching agents occasionally to keep up the hygiene of the kitchen. But the effect might be quite contradictory.

Bleach comprises sodium hypochlorite, which produces chlorine gas when it combines with carbon dioxide. This gas is now a powerful oxidant that will react with the stainless steel’s oxide layer and then with the metal within it. This will unavoidably expose it to further corrosion.

Methods To Remove Stains From Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel is extremely durable and responds well to a variety of cleaning methods. Here we will need certain affordable materials to remove the chemical stains from the stainless steel surface. We should wear gloves and masks to keep ourselves safe from harmful chemicals during these removal processes.

Here are some effective methods to remove stains from stainless steel sinks.

Method 1: Steam Cleaning or Vapour Cleaning Method

This is the first method to remove stains from stainless steel sinks. It is a less damaging method. The action of steam vapor will lift many stains off stainless steel. In this method, we need a paper or microfiber towel, some boiling water. 

The paper or microfiber towel should be placed over the stained surface of the sink. Enough of boiling water is then poured onto the paper towel to wet it. 

We can wait for 5 to 10 min to allow the steam to work. When the surface is cool enough to handle, it is massaged with the paper towel in the direction of the grain. After then a new look will come in the clean sink.

Method 2: Baking Soda Andand Dish Soap (Lid)

In this method, an equal portion of baking soda and liquid dish soap is mixed well to make a nice paste. It can gently rub out the stains.

We can also use one tablespoon baking soda and two cups of water as an alternative. The paste is dabbed onto an old toothbrush or a nylon scrubber.

The stain is scrubbed in a gentle but thorough manner along the stainless steel grain. Warm water is used to rinse the paste away.

Using a paper towel, the stainless steel sink is wiped down. The stains will go away and your sink will look differently.

Method 3: Using Vinegar

In this method to remove stains from stainless steel sinks, a little amount of vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar) is poured on the stained surface. After waiting for a few minutes, the gentle acid of the vinegar will lift out the stains. 

Then the stain is rubbed in the direction of the grain with a soft towel. After then the sink is rinsed thoroughly to get a new look to the sink.

Method 4: Using Ammonia And Water

In this method first, some water is poured on the stain. An equal portion of ammonia and water is mixed in a bowl to make a paste.

The paste mustn’t be too runny or too thick. The stain is covered with this paste very well. After waiting a few minutes, the area is wiped out. A new look can be seen.

Method 5: Using A Stainless Steel Cleaner

If you have a stubborn chemical stain, you may need to employ a professional sink cleaner and polisher. 

The best stainless steel cleaner should be used to clean your stainless steel without scratching it too much. Following the instructions and we can thoroughly rinse and dry the sink.

Final Words

So these were some best methods to remove stains from stainless steel sinks. According to the type of stain apply one of these methods. I hope it will work. If you know any other methods to remove stains from stainless steel sinks, let me know in the comments.

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1 thought on “How To Remove Stains From Stainless Steel Sinks (5 Best Methods)”

  1. Your ideas are very helpful to clean stains out of a stainless steel sink. However, I am confused by method #4. How can you make a paste out of ammonia and water? Is something left out?


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