How to restore stainless steel sink shine

Updated February 21, 2017

When a new stainless steel sink with gleaming surfaces makes its debut in your kitchen or bathroom, it stands out as a brilliant shining focal point that you can't help but notice and admire. Over time, however, it can become dull and lacklustre due to dirt build-up or the use of the wrong cleaning products. You can renew your sink's shiny finish with a bit of effort and a few common household products that are safe for use on a stainless steel sink.

Pour 1/2 tsp of mild liquid detergent onto a non-abrasive scrubbing sponge, and scrub all areas of the sink thoroughly to remove any surface dirt or food particles.

Rinse the sink surfaces with a sink sprayer set at a hot water setting, or use 3 to 4 cups of hot water to remove all of the detergent.

Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar into a bowl or container, and dip a cloth in it to dampen it. Wipe down all areas of the sink basin with the cloth.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda over the surfaces of the sink, and scrub with a clean non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Hold your sink or sponge under the tap, and add more water if the baking soda clumps while you are working with it.

Rinse thoroughly with a sink sprayer set to a hot water setting, or 3 to 4 cups of hot water, and dry with a clean towel to avoid water spots from forming.

Apply a few drops of olive oil or baby oil to a paper towel, and rub all surfaces of the sink to make them shine. Add more oil to the towel, if needed, to sufficiently polish the entire sink.


Try spraying a few spurts of window cleaner in your sink and buffing it to a shine with a clean towel as an alternative to olive or baby oil.


Never use any type of abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools to clean a stainless steel sink. Even if your sink doesn't have a mirror finish, abrasive materials can cause noticeable surface scratches to appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing sponge
  • Hot water
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl or container
  • Clean cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels
  • Olive oil or baby oil
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About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.