How to clean a dull stainless steel sink

Updated April 17, 2017

Stainless steel sinks are wonderful to own but hard to keep looking spiffy and shiny. Here are two easy, inexpensive ways to clean your stainless steel sink to a sparkling shine.

Close the sink drain and run hot water into the sink, filling it nearly to the top.

Add one capful of bleach to the water and let the bleach water remain in the sink for about 2 hours.

Remove any objects from the steel edges of the sink. While the basin of the sink is soaking, soak several sheets of paper towels thoroughly in the bleach water. Lay the soaked paper towels on the rim of the sink basin, being careful not to overlap them onto your countertop. Press the towels down lightly and allow the bleached towels to soak into the edges of the sink for about 2 hours.

Drain the water and discard the paper towels. The bleach will have scoured away most of the accumulated dirt on the steel, but you can dip an old toothbrush in cold water and scrub any areas that are still in need of cleaning. The bleach will have loosened the dirt, making it easy to scrub.

Use the sprayer on your sink (or your hands, if you don't have one) to spray or sprinkle warm water over the sides and rim of the sink.

Sprinkle baking soda evenly over the steel areas of the sink and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. If your sinks are exceptionally dirty, place about 4 tbsp (or more, as needed) of baking soda in a small bowl and mix with a few drops of lemon juice until it forms a thick, gritty paste. Spread this on the sink areas to be cleaned and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Using the toothbrush, scrub the baking soda over the entire surface area of the sink. If you have a large sink, you can use a larger bathroom scrubber for this.

Wipe away the baking soda paste with a paper towel and then rinse the sink area with the sprayer or your hands. Use another damp paper towel to wipe clean any remaining baking soda. If rinsing reveals areas where more scrubbing is needed, sprinkle a bit of baking soda in your hand and mix it with some water or lemon juice, and then apply while scrubbing using the toothbrush. Rinse and wipe clean.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach or baking soda
  • Old toothbrush or scrubber
  • Paper Towels
  • Lemon Juice (optional)
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About the Author

Emily Elders has been writing for newspapers and magazines since 2003, and has been published in several poetry and fiction collections and various online publications. She is an experienced project manager and grant writer and is the former owner of a farm-to-table restaurant. She holds an Associate of Arts in English and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and natural resource management.