How Do I Remove Stains From Stainless-Steel Cutlery?

Written by catherine hiles
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How Do I Remove Stains From Stainless-Steel Cutlery?
Remove stainless-steel cutlery stains with baking soda and water. (cutlery image by Andrzej Solnica from

Stainless-steel cutlery is relatively stainproof, but occasionally a cleaning solution or hard water can leave stains or marks. Common causes of stains on stainless steel include hot grease, strong detergent and condiment vinegar. Steel-wool fragments can cause stainless-steel cutlery to develop a rust-coloured stain. Silver cleaner contains acid that etches the steel to a dull grey. Careful cleaning and care of your stainless-steel cutlery can help prevent and treat stains.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth or brush
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Nitric acid
  • Cotton bud
  • Ammonia
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Mix together 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 1/2 teaspoons water to make a paste. Wash your stainless-steel cutlery with the paste, using a soft cloth or brush. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

  2. 2

    Rub your stainless steel-cutlery with a soapy cloth dipped in mild dish detergent. Rinse the detergent off the cutlery with warm or hot water.

  3. 3

    Apply a solution of one part nitric acid to nine parts with a cotton bud to remove rust stains. Rinse thoroughly with ammonia.

  4. 4

    Dry the cutlery thoroughly with a towel.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your cutlery away from acid and bleach to avoid staining or ruining it.
  • Handle concentrated nitric acid with care. Wear rubber gloves while mixing the solution and dilute extensively before discarding the mixture down the drain.

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