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How to clean rust from a stainless steel sink

A stainless steel sink can be beautiful, yet durable enough to withstand years of use. As durable as stainless steel is, you must maintain stainless steel regularly to keep it in good condition. This involves daily and weekly cleaning with products designed to protect the finish. If rust occurs on your stainless steel sink, scrub the rust from the sink with a nonabrasive cleaner and sponge.

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  1. Rinse the sink of all debris before applying the stainless steel cleaner.

  2. Dampen the sponge and apply a quarter-size circle of cleaner to the sponge.

  3. Apply the cleaner to the rust stains on the stainless steel sink. Rub the sponge along the grain of the stainless steel to remove as much rust as possible.

  4. Rinse the sink and assess your cleaning progress. If more rust remains, switch to the plastic mesh scrubber and apply more cleaner to the scrubber. Scrub the rust stains with the mesh scrubber, always scrubbing with the grain of the stainless steel.

  5. Continue applying more nonabrasive cleaner and scrubbing the sink until all rust stains are gone.

  6. Rinse the sink with warm water.

  7. Moisten the sponge with white vinegar and apply the vinegar to all the surfaces of the sink. This will make the stainless steel sparkle.

  8. Wipe the sink dry with a towel to ensure no water spots remain on the stainless steel.

  9. Tip

    Perform weekly cleaning with the stainless steel cleaner to prevent rust from beginning to form. Stopping rust before it begins is best.


    Never scrub against the grain of a stainless steel sink. This will create tiny scratches that will mar the surface of the stainless steel. Never use steel wool because it will scratch the stainless steel.

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Things You'll Need

  • Nonabrasive stainless steel cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Plastic scrubber
  • White vinegar
  • Absorbent towel

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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