How do I Clean Tarnished Stainless Steel at Home?

Updated February 21, 2017

Stainless steel is used for countless items, most often cookware, appliances, cutlery and jewellery. While the name may imply the metal is stainless and incapable of losing its shine, this isn't always the case. If the steel is in contact with corrosive materials, such as acids, for long periods, it can cause the steel to tarnish. When this happens, you must be careful about what you use to remove the tarnish as some cleaning supplies can make it worse. A homemade multipurpose cleaner can be used to bring the shine back to stainless steel.

Put about 1 tbsp of baking soda in a small bowl. If you need to clean a large piece of stainless steel, you may need to use more.

Add a drop of water at a time to the baking soda while simultaneously stirring the mixture with a spoon. Do this until the ingredients form a thick paste, about the same consistency of cake frosting.

Dab a soft cloth in the baking soda paste. Make sure a portion of the cloth is covered with a thin layer of the paste.

Rub the paste on a section the tarnished stainless steel. Buff it into the steel in a circular motion until it retains its normal appearance. Depending on how bad the problem is, it could take anywhere from a minute to 10 minutes of scrubbing a small area to get it back to normal.

Repeat the process for the rest of the stainless steel until you are pleased with the results.

Rinse the stainless steel under cool running water and dry it with a clean, soft towel.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Soft cloth
  • Soft towel
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About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.