How to Restore a Stainless Sink

Updated February 21, 2017

Stainless steel is an alloy of steel, nickel and chrome. Stainless steel sinks resist rust, withstand heat and are easy to maintain. Over time and use of the wrong types of cleaning products, stainless steel sinks can lose their lustre and show scratches. Restoring a stainless steel sink to its original state is possible.

Wet a non-abrasive sponge with plain water. Add a few drops of liquid dish washing soap to the sponge. Scrub the sink with the sponge to remove bits of food and dirt. Rinse the sink well with plain water.

Dip a clean rag into white vinegar and rub away hard water spots and mineral deposits. Rinse the sink to remove the vinegar residue and dry with a soft cloth, following the grain of the stainless steel.

Dampen a sponge with plain water and sprinkle baking soda on scratches. Use the damp sponge to buff and blend scratches. Rinse the sink well to remove the baking soda. If the scratches remain, buff the scratches with baking soda and a nylon scrubbing pad. If not thoroughly rinsed, the baking soda will leave behind a white hazy appearance on the surface of the sink. Dry the sink with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.

Apply rubbing compound with a cloth to blend deeper scratches. Allow the rubbing compound to dry and turn a hazy white colour. Buff the rubbing compound off the surface with a clean, soft cloth.

Drizzle mineral oil over the surface of the sink. Spread the oil with a soft cloth over the entire surface to prevent hard water stains, dirt build-up and fingerprints.


Wash your sink with dish soap and water after each use. Reapply mineral oil weekly to keep your stainless steel sink bright and shiny. Always follow the grain of the stainless when cleaning and drying. Consult a metal fabrication professional to restore deep scratches and dents.


Avoid using chlorine bleach based products on stainless steel, as they can pit the surface. Do not use abrasive scouring powder, steel wool or sandpaper on stainless steel surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Liquid dish washing soap
  • Rag
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Nylon scrubbing pad
  • Rubbing compound
  • Mineral oil
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About the Author

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.