Have you ever looked at your sink and wondered why is my stainless steel sink dull and cloudy? In most cases, the culprit is as simple as hard water. However certain products such as bleach and cleaners containing chloride can also stain and even damage your stainless steel sink.
Keep reading to learn how to fix a dull stainless steel sink by getting rid of stains on your sink and how to maintain its shine.
How to remove scratches from a stainless steel sink
Fortunately removing the scratches is relatively easy. Follow these steps to remove scratches on your stainless-steel sink.
Note: you can only use these techniques on stainless steel that does not have a protective clear coat or synthetic surface finish.
For Fine scratches
Use cleaners such as Comet, Revere Stainless Steel, and Copper Cleaner to gently buff stainless steel. You can also use stainless-steel polish to remove minor scratches.
For deep scratches
You are going to need elbow grease to handle deeper scratches. Use a piece of wet fine-grit sandpaper to remove deeper scratches. Ensure the sandpaper stays wet, and follow up with a rubbing compound.
- Start with the scratch and then blend it in.
- Determine the direction of the grain.
- Then start sanding in one direction only, following the brushed pattern.
- Do not sand back and forth and NEVER sand against the grain.
- If you need to use a courser-grit paper to remove deeper scratches, follow up with a finer grit, and then finally a rubbing compound.
- The sanding technique only works on plain (uncoated) stainless steel panels.
For home remedies, use the following products:
Here are some additional DIY methods you can use to make your stainless steel sink look new again;
Olive oil can remove small scratches on your stainless steel sink. Apply olive oil on a paper towel or soft cloth then rub it on the scratch and wipe the area dry. You can repeat these steps multiple times to minimize the appearance of any small scratches.
3M Scotch-Brite® blue pads are non-abrasive making them perfect for buffing stainless steel. Use the pad to stroke the stainless steel surface in long smooth strokes. Make sure you are rub the sink in the direction of the grain.
Bar Keepers Friend
The Bar Keepers Friend is designed to remove and minimize the appearance of scratches in stainless steel. Start by applying the product to the scratched area of the sink and rub it in by following the grain with a non-abrasive cloth or a 3M Maroon Pad.
How to Clean and Polish Your Sink
After removing scratches and unwanted marks, clean and polish your sink using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe down the newly sanded surface. This will remove sanding and metal dust, as well as leftover polishing compound or water. You can use vinegar to clean the surface and remove all traces of other compounds and cleaners.
Remember to rub and buff in the direction of the grain. Once the sink is dry, polish the sink with oil using a clean microfiber cloth. You can use mineral oil, vegetable oil, or even olive oil. Rub the cloth against the steel, in the direction of the grain, to polish the metal. Add more oil as needed and rub in the oil until the entire surface has been polished.
How to remove stains from a stainless steel sink
Lime scale buildup and chloride bleach corrosion stains are an eyesore on your kitchen sink. Use these methods to fix your cloudy stainless steel sink;
- Boiling water
- Paper or microfiber towel
- Baking soda
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- White or apple cider vinegar
- Heat water to boiling in a kettle with a spout that will allow you to pour the hot water safely.
- Place a paper towel or microfiber towel over the stained surface.
- Pour enough of the boiling water onto the paper towel to wet it.
- Allow the steam to work for five to 10 minutes.
- Once the surface has cooled, rub the surface with the paper towel, moving with the direction of the grain.
- If this does not remove the stain, try the next solution.
- Apply the mixture of baking soda and liquid dish soap to a microfiber cloth or another soft cloth.
- Then rub at the stain, moving back and forth in the same directions as the grain in the metal.
- After rubbing, rinse the stainless steel surface thoroughly and towel it dry.
- Examine the surface. If this has not removed the stain, try the next technique.
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- Pour a little white vinegar or apple cider vinegar onto the stained surface.
- Let it sit for a few minutes; the gentle acid in the vinegar may lift out the stains.
- Rub the stain with a soft cloth, following the grain of the steel.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry the surface with a clean towel.
- Examine the stained area; if discoloration still is present, you should consider a commercial product.
- If the stains still do not budge, try a commercial cleaner or a stainless steel sink polishing kit.
- Barkeeper’s Friend is one such powder formula that can clean without excessive scratching.
- Follow the directions, rinse thoroughly, and towel dry.
Note: Do not use standard abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. Do not under any circumstance use steel wool, wire brushes, or other abrasive cleaning tools on stainless steel.
How to keep your stainless steel sink looking new and shiny
Here are the Dos and DONT’s to maintain the shine on your new or recently cleaned and polished stainless steel sink. Or rejuvenate a stainless steel sink.
- Do dry your sink to prevent water and surface rust marks.
- Do a quick, light cleaning each time you use it. Clean up waste residue before it dries and don’t let liquids sit for long.
- Do rinse off any soap left on te sink as it may contain chlorides that can corrode and damage your sink.
- Do not let soap cleansers, sponges, towels or rags dry on the sink’s surface. They can dull the surface beneath them as well as harbor bacteria or other unwanted items.
- Do not mix cleaners. As some products react to create dangerous gases.
- Do Not use steel wool pads on a stainless steel sink. The iron particles that are left behind can lead to rust and corrosion.
- Do not leave steel and cast iron cookware in your sink for extended periods of time. Iron plus moisture on top of stainless can lead to surface rust and staining.
- Do not leave rubber dish mats, wet sponges, and cleaning pads in your sink. They retain water which can cause discoloration and staining.
- Do not use your sink as a cutting board. Knives and other sharp kitchen instruments will naturally damage the surface of your sink.