How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink in a Few Simple Steps

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Don't worry, you're not alone in the dread of having to deep clean your sink, especially if you're not sure how to clean a stainless steel sink in the first place. It can be easy to forget all about the sink when you're juggling so many other chores such as vacuuming, washing dishes, doing laundry, stripping the bed, and meal prepping. But sinks, especially stainless steel ones, do require regular attention and upkeep.

The stainless steel sink is a classic and modern kitchen staple, and its timeless popularity can be credited to its sleek finish and durability. The famous shine and polished look, however, can start to get stained and dirty if not properly taken care of. Not only will your sink look dull; bacteria can also build up if you don't take the time to properly clean the surface. With all of the dirty dishes, food residue, and cleaning chemicals, it's easy for your sink to build up germs, completely unbeknownst to you.

Luckily, it's super easy to keep your stainless steel sink clean, and maintain healthy habits. We've found some of the best stainless steel sink cleaners, as well as affordable at-home alternatives, that you can use the next time you need to clean your sink.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

If you don't want to purchase a stainless steel sink cleaner, we found a great alternative you can make with ingredients you might already have at home. All you need is a microfiber cloth, some water, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and half a lemon or lemon juice.

Before doing anything, make sure your sink is empty and all the sides are rinsed down. Next, you'll sprinkle baking soda over the entirety of the sink. Don't be afraid to use a heavier hand, as the baking soda will help give you a deeper clean. Take your clean microfiber cloth, or a new sponge, and scrub the baking soda into the sink. If there are stubborn stains or smudges, focus on those areas and scrub hard.

Once you've given it a proper clean, rinse everything away with warm to hot water. Make sure there is no leftover baking soda, and use your cloth or sponge to wipe any extra buildup or residue.

You'll then take your lemon, or lemon juice, and rub it all over the surfaces and sides of your sink. The acidity of the lemon will help break down the stains even more. Once you've finished, take the white vinegar and pour a little bit onto your cloth or sponge. Gently apply it over the sink's surface — you won't want to scrub as deeply as you did with the baking soda, but make sure all areas are covered. Once you've finished, thoroughly rinse down your sink with warm to hot water again, to remove all of the lemon juice and vinegar.

The Best Stainless Steel Sink Cleaners

If you don't want to make the at-home alternative, or you don't have the items readily available, we found a couple stainless steel sink cleaners you can buy. The first one we recommend is the Hope's Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish ($10). It's both affordable and very easy to use. It's a gentle cleaner with a fresh lemon scent. It is also a water repellant, formulated to create a water repellent barrier, making it easier for future cleans. This cleaner can also be used on other sink surfaces, not just stainless steel ones.

On the flip side, the Hope's Perfect Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish ($16) is specific to stainless steel items and sinks. This extremely easy-to-use cleaner is streak free and self-polishing. The formula allows it to self-polish and self-buff as soon as you spray it on and wipe it away. This cleaner is great for keeping your sink looking shiny and new.

All in all, cleaning your stainless steel sink is a fairly easy process, but we know it can be a little time consuming. And while it's good to keep your sink relatively clean daily, we recommend using this deep cleaning technique every two to three weeks.