Unilever logo
Cleanipedia PH logo

How to clean a stainless steel sink

Need to tackle a dirty or rusty stainless steel sink? Here’s our easy guide for how to clean your sink.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to clean a sink

Key steps

  • Scrub your sink after no more than 30 uses.

  • Use WD-40 or lighter fluid to remove rust from a stainless steel sink.

  • Use vinegar to get rid of limescale.

  • Use a baking soda paste to clean your sink.

  • Pour baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and boiling water down sinks to unclog them.

Banish bad smells and blockages in your bathroom and kitchen with our tips on how to clean a sink. We’ll share our step-by-step processes for cleaning stainless steel sinks and plastic sinks, as well as advice on how to clean rust from stainless steel sinks.

Want to know how to clean stainless steel sink stains easily? Just use a good quality detergent such as Surf mixed with water and rub in circular motions to avoid streaks.

How to clean stainless steel sink surfaces

Whether it’s soap deposits or food stains, many things can build up in your sink if you don’t keep on top of the cleaning. Here are our steps for how to clean a stainless sink.

  1. Wondering how to clean a bathroom sink or kitchen sink? Sometimes a bit of elbow grease is the best answer to this question.

    • We advise scrubbing your sink after every 30 or so uses.

    • Scrub your sink using a solution of washing-up liquid such as Sunlight mixed with warm water.

    • Use a sponge.

    • If you don’t want to make your own cleaner, try using an all-purpose cleaning spray.

  2. Rust is easier to deal with than you might think. Use these steps for how to remove rust from stainless steel sinks:

    • Use WD-40 or lighter fluid.

    • Put your chosen cleaner onto a soft cloth.

    • Alternatively, try using a lemon.

    • Add salt to the surface of half a lemon, and rub it over the rust stains.

  3. Limescale can also build up. Here’s how to remove stains from a stainless steel sink or other sink affected by limescale:

    • Soak a paper towel in white vinegar.

    • Wrap the paper towel around or lay it over the area of limescale.

    • Leave for 10 minutes.

    • Buff with a dry paper towel.

    • Don’t use this process if you have brass fixtures as it could lead to discoloration.

  4. Have you got a sink made of plastic? Here’s how to clean a sink with baking soda

    • Use soapy water to clean the surface.

    • Next, make a paste from baking soda and water similar to the consistency of toothpaste.

    • Apply the paste using a scrubbing pad.

    • Rinse thoroughly.

  5. Baking soda is not only a great idea for cleaning, but also for killing odors and keeping your drain clog free.

    • Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of salt and a ¼ cup of cream of tartar.

    • Every few weeks pour ½ cup of your mixture down the sink.

    • Follow this with 4 cups of boiling water.

    • Don’t forget to stop hair, grease, food and other debris going down your sink with it!

With this guide, you now have everything you need to know about how to clean a kitchen sink or bathroom sink whether they’re made of stainless steel or plastic.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

The Poll

Would you be more likely to buy a Cleaning or Laundry product that had a QR code visible on the pack over a product without a QR code? 

0 Votes

Frequently asked questions on cleaning stainless steel sinks

How do you polish a stainless steel sink?

For our simple steps for how to polish a stainless-steel sink, all you need is baking soda, white vinegar, olive oil and a lint-free cloth. Start by cleaning your sink with a baking soda paste made with water. Next wipe it down with white vinegar, this will help you to remove mineral deposits and hard water stains which can cause stainless steel to become cloudy. Finally, buff the surface using a lint-free cloth and a few drops of olive oil.

How do you remove glue from stainless steel sink?

The steps for how to remove glue from a stainless steel sink are simple. We recommend you wear gloves for this process. First, soak a cotton ball in acetone-based nail polish remover. Hold the cotton ball onto the glue. You should allow the acetone to soak into the glue for 5-10 minutes. As it begins to come loose from the surface of your sink, simply use a plastic scraper to remove the glue.

How do you sanitize a stainless steel sink?

Our advice for how to sanitize stainless steel sink is simple. Start with a clean, empty sink. Fill your sink with clean, fresh water. Add a cup of bleach to the water. Allow the liquid mix to sit for five minutes. While you wait, dip a soft cloth into the solution and use it to wipe down your tap and surrounding stainless steel areas. After the time has elapsed, drain your sink, and wipe it down with your soft cloth.

How do you use Liquid Sosa or liquid lye in a sink?

Not sure how to use liquid sosa in a sink? First, always wear gloves as the product is corrosive and can cause irritation should it come into contact with your skin. Make sure you open a window and keep the area well ventilated. For the best results, we recommend that you pour 2 tablespoonfuls of liquid sosa directly into the sink drain. Leave it for a couple of minutes before adding ½ a cup of water to push it further into the sink. Allow 30 minutes for the lye to do its job before flushing the sink drain with hot water to wash it through.

Originally published