How To Clean Stainless Steel Sink - Tip From Reader

Below I've gathered tips for how to clean a stainless steel sink, and then keep it looking good and shiny afterward.

This originally started with some really good tips sent in by a reader, Fiona, who lives in Egypt, but since then I've expanded the page as more and more readers have shared their best tips.

Fiona says:

My kitchen sink is made of stainless steel. I've got a dishwasher, so usually most of the dirty dishes go straight in there. I have a large family and there's usually something going on in the kitchen which means the kitchen sink doesn't stay clean for long.

If it is really grimy, a squirt of Cif cream and a buff with a damp sponge, or a sprinkle of Comet, and a scrub with the damp sponge, before rinsing thoroughly will do the trick.

However, to maintain a clean sink on a daily basis, mix some baking soda with a squirt of Fairy Liquid, (I prefer the lemon one). Apply to your sink with a damp sponge, leave about ten minutes and rinse well with hot water.

Magically, all grease stains and tea and coffee splashes will have disappeared leaving you with a sink as good as new.

Taylor says:

Thanks Fiona for sharing how you clean your stainless steel sink with us.

I'm not familiar with Cif or Fairy Liquid, I guess since I'm from the United States and you are from Egypt. If you want, tell me in the comments what these cleaning products are.

***Update: Fiona shared this with me
in response to my question:
Well, I'm actually from the UK, and moved to Egypt only recently. I was happy to find that the cleaning products available here are about the same as in the UK. I've done a little bit of research on comparable US brands, and believe AJAX Cream or Power Scrub Cream to be similar to Cif, which is sold throughout Europe. Fairy Liquid is the UK's number one dishwashing liquid. A similar product in the USA would be Dawn Ultra. I do hope this helps!

Baking Soda Alone Or With Other Ingredients Is Great On Stainless Steel!

Basically what Fiona suggests is using homemade soft scrub for everyday cleaning, because she is combing baking soda with dish soap.

This is a great everyday option which is gentle enough, but still can get much of the general grime off, plus it uses ingredients you most likely already have on hand.

Similarly, other readers have seconded the use of baking soda, either by itself or in combination, for cleaning their sink on a daily basis.

For example, Lea says, "Just sprinkle baking soda like you would cleanser. It's nonabrasive, cheap and bio-friendly."

In addition, Momma-T said, "I clean my stainless steel sinks with a paste made from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Rub over entire surface with a damp cloth and rinse thoroughly. This method also works on stained pots and pans."

Now that I've mentioned some home remedies for cleaning up your sink, below I've got some suggestions for a good commercially available product you can use for this task.

How to clean your stainless steel sink and make it shiny {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of granite-charlotte

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I Use Bar Keepers Friend To Clean Stainless Steel Sink

by Eve

Eve shared how she uses Bar Keepers Friend to clean her stainless steel sink.

Eve says:

I've used Bar Keepers Friend powder on my kitchen sink, which is stainless. I knew about it because we actually used it when I was a bartender.

It is easy to use, and gets the sink nice and sparkly when you are finished using it. When used correctly, it doesn't leave any type of scratches and cleans amazingly!

Bar Keepers Friend Products {Referral Links}

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your tip Eve.

Here's a picture from David Verba (courtesy of, who took a before and after picture of his industrial stainless steel sink he got from a commercial kitchen, and then placed in his garage.

It's a double sink, and the basin on the left has not been cleaned, whereas the one on the right has been cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend.

before and after of stainless steel sink cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend

I've gathered lots of reviews of Bar Keepers Friend here, so you can read even more of them if you're interested.

Make Sure If Using This Product Not To Let It Sit Long On Your Sink

I got this comment from an SR101 Reader, who wrote in to share the problem she experienced when she used this product on her stainless steel sink. She stated: "Bar Keepers Friend discolored my stainless steal sink. It says in the tiniest letters on the can not to leave it on for more than a minute. When I did, my sink was discolored in tons of spots. When I called to complain they hang up on me!!"

This intrigued me, because I definitely don't want anyone to use the product improperly, so I will write out the exact directions it states on the can, since I have one in my home that I reference.

The back of the can's instructions state, in relevant part:
Sprinkle BKF on a thoroughly wet cloth and rub gently. If applying BKF directly to metal, porcelain or plastic, make certain surface is wet -- then rub gently until rust or discoloration disappears. Rinse. For difficult stains, rust spots, tarnished surfaces . . . make a paste by adding a few drops of water to BKF. Let paste remain on stain no longer than one minute before rubbing. Rinse immediately.
It seems they probably should have warned of discoloration if left too long. Don't have what happened to this reader happen to you! Make sure you follow the directions for the product.***End Update

***Update 2: Another reader, Mariana, also shared her secret for cleaning her sink made of stainless steel. She uses Murphy Oil Soap.***

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Shining Up Your Stainless Steel Sink After Cleaning

Several people have suggested that after cleaning your sink, that you can make it shiny as well.

Shine It Up With Lemon Oil

The main suggestion has been to use lemon oil. For example, Vickie Cornejo, from New Caney, Texas, said, "After cleaning your stainless steel sink rub a small amount of Old English Lemon Oil all over the stainless steel. This removes any hard water spots and helps keep new spots from forming."

Similarly, Ann Margaret says: "I have a cleaning business and I use Comet or Barkeepers Friend, dry the sink and sprinkle lemon oil in the sink and rub it around. Simple. Easy. Effortless."

Finally, Sandra uses orange essential oil, but it is the same principle: "A bit of my dish soap and baking soda clean my stainless steel sinks wonderfully. I dry and rub on a few drops of orange essential oil, a lovely sheen and a great fragrance."

Rubbing Alcohol Works Well Too

In addition to lemon oil, another common suggestion to use is rubbing alcohol.

For example, a reader, Heather said, "Rubbing alcohol makes all my stainless steel soooo shiny!"

You can read even more about this suggestion here, where another reader suggested it to polish many types of metals, such as chrome as well as stainless steel.

10 rubbing and isopropyl alcohol uses for cleaning and stain removal

So how do you clean and shine up your sink? I'd love to hear. You can share your own tips here, and I'll add the best ones to the site.

Tips for how to clean stainless steel

In addition, you can read stainless steel cleaners reviews here if you'd like to use a commercial product.

Stainless steel cleaner reviews

Finally, you can get even more cleaning tips here on the site, for all around your home.

100's of cleaning tips from A to Z

How to clean your stainless steel sink and make it shiny {on Stain Removal 101} #CleanStainlessSteelSink #SinkCleaning #CleaningSinkuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Comments for Shining Up Your Stainless Steel Sink After Cleaning

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by: Rachel

I use Brillo pads.

what I do
by: Brenda

Normal dish washing liquid, hot water and a steel wool pad.

by: Laura

I use Comet.

soap pads
by: Rachel

I use Brillo pads or SOS pads.

window cleaner
by: Elloise

I found that window cleaner is the best thing to clean stainless sinks.

Soft Scrub
by: Laura

I use Soft Scrub. Works great!

dish soap and scrub brush
by: Billie Jo

After I'm done with dishes, I just clean mine with dish soap and my scrub brush.

Easier ideas than the ones suggested...
by: Anonymous

I use a Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes.

lemon-lime Kool-Aid
by: Anonymous

I worked for military dining facilities, serving hundreds of meals a day, with a need for quick, sanitary clean-up. Lemon-lime Koolaid works the best, cheap too!

dishwasher powder
by: Carol

I rinse the sink then put a small amount of dishwasher powder on a sponge, it makes a great cleaner and leaves the sink sparkling.

cream of tartar
by: Anonymous

Cream of tartar works really well. Sprinkle in sink, use a little water on sponge or paper towel and rinse!! Comes out beautiful.

Stainless cleaner
by: Anonymous

Magic Eraser!

Clean / Shine Stainless Steel Sink
by: Jean Gray

Coca Cola and lemon juice - let sit, then rub with a soft, damp cloth, rinse. Lemon polish / soft, dry cloth. Repeat as needed.

sink sparkle
by: Josie

Use hair conditioner. Just wipe on, allow to dry, and polish off. Amazing. Use any cheap conditioner.

Natural cleanser
by: Anonymous

I use Shaklee's 'At Ease' product. It's made of ground up cherry pits. It smells great, is safe for your hands, and works with a little bit of elbow grease on the toughest stains.

I use Tilex
by: Lyse

Tilex. I use it on my stainless steel sink. Spray and watch the coffee stains and everything just disappear before your eyes in seconds. Rinse, smile and walk away.

by: Samantha

Yes, Magic Eraser blocks do an amazing job on my stainless steel sinks. You can feel any grease lifting right off.

Instead of lemon oil
by: Anonymous

A little vegetable oil works just the same 😀

by: Tracy

I left Bar Keepers Friend on my stainless steel sink too long also. Any success fixing that?

Cif & Fairy Liquid
by: Toni Bennett

Cif is a mildly abrasive cream cleanser, great also for doing ceramic jobs. Fairy Liquid is the leading washing up liquid. I use both in the UK.

Stain removal for stainless steel sink
by: Marie

How to have a shiny sink without any stains? I tried so many things already and just cannot get rid of the stains.

Clean Stainless with CocaCola
by: Jean Gray

Pour coke directly into the sink, full strength. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth or sponge. Let it sit. Rinse and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Repeat as needed.

by: Anonymous

I like to use Bar Keeper's Friend. It doesn't scratch the stainless steel and also works great on stainless steel pots and pans. And it is not too expensive.

Brillo pad
by: Beverly

I clean my stainless steel sink with a Brillo pad. Just scrub and rinse.

by: Anonymous

How do I remove rust stains from my stainless steel sink?

by: Katrina

Pour vinegar on a damp cloth, wipe sink and taps, leave overnight and shiny sink in morning.

magic eraser
by: Shirley

Magic eraser cleans and shines my stainless steel sink, wet it clean and rinse.

BKF or Bon Ami
by: Peggy Dee

If I run out of Bar Keeper's Friend, I use Bon Ami. I know both brands have been around for years! I don't have a stainless steel sink, but I've tried many products, mostly smelly, to clean copper bottom pot set we received as a wedding present over 35 years ago. These two low abrasive cleansers worked the best with minimal odor, immediate brightening of the copper, and without leaving swirls from scrubbing (using nonscratch sponge or cloth). The trick with copper is to rinse the cleaner off the pot leaving the copper bottom for last, shake off excess water, and dry the copper bottom first with a soft dry towel. Do Not let air dry. It will develop the characteristic swirls and rainbow of colors, etc.
Happy cooking!

BarKeepers Friend With Window Cleaner
by: Anonymous

I Use The BarKeepers Friend Soft Scrub Formula To Clean My Stainless Steel Sink. I Scrub It Well! I Finish It Off With A Squirt Of Glass Cleaner! Buff It With A Microfiber Cloth! AMAZING RESULTS!

Shine stainless steel sink after cleaning
by: Anonymous

Baby oil. Wash and dry the sink. Pour a little baby oil on a dry clean rag. Wipe all stainless steel surface of sink. Use dry cloth to wipe up excess. Beautiful shine.

Using baking soda and salt
by: Pam

I keep a container with a mixture of baking soda and a little salt near my sink. Makes an excellent cleaner for non stick pans or other things I don’t want to put in the dishwasher or for cleaning the sink. The container I have has a sprinkler insert but you could easily use any small container.

lemon peel
by: Anonymous

A lemon peel does a good job on my stainless steel sink.

salsa stain in new sink
by: Michelle

I just got a new stainless steel sink. Someone spilled some salsa in it and did not clean it up. When I saw it the next day it stained. Looks like spilled marks in my new sink. I can't figure out a solution.

rust stains
by: Francesca

I have a stain removal question about rust on my stainless steel kitchen sink. I scrub which gets most of it off, but the color stain remains. Please let me know what you think, thank you!

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.