Stainless steel is now commonly found in many kitchens. This material is able to give even the smallest kitchens a professional and beautiful appearance, making it unsurprising that it has become popular for cookware, sinks, and appliances. Although stainless steel is great to look at, it can be a true challenge to clean. Because the material is delicate, if you don't know how to clean stainless steel sink or other appliances, you can easily add spots or scratches.

The following instructions will help you learn how to clean stainless steel without damaging it, whether it is cookware, appliances, or a sink. As stainless steel is delicate, always test the cleaning method in a small space before using it all over the given area.

How to Clean Stainless Steel

The following methods can give you tips and instructions for cleaning stainless steel sink basins and other surfaces.

Method 1: Clean with Water and Cloth

Your first attempt when cleaning stainless steel should always be with water and a cloth as this method will not cause any damage to the metal.

What You Need

● Warm water

● A cloth

How to Do It

1. Take a cloth (preferably microfiber) and wipe following the polish line directions.

2. Afterwards, use a dry cloth or towel to dry the surface, preventing water spots.


Method 2: Clean with Mild Detergent

Always try to clean the stainless steel with a mild detergent before moving on to try a stronger one as more abrasive cleaners and detergents are more likely to damage the metal.

What You Need

● Soapy water

● A basin

● Thick sponge or damp cloth

● Warm water

How to Do It

1. Clean up the spill or stain as quickly as you can to make the task easier.

2. If you are learning how to clean stainless steel cookware, begin by soaking it in soapy water to remove stains and burnt-on food. You can add ammonia to the mixture for tougher stains.

3. Take a thick sponge or damp cloth and scrub your stainless steel. You should not press hard.

4. Frequently rinse and then ring out the rag.

5. Always scrub with the stainless steel and not in a circular motion.

6. Thoroughly rinse the stainless steel using warm, clean water. Remove any detergent residue.

7. Repeat the process (if needed).


Method 3: Clean with Abrasive Detergent

What You Need

● Mild abrasive cleaner

● Baking soda

● Water

● Soft cloth

How to Do It

Note: Before trying this method, first make sure you have tried all methods of how to clean stainless steel via scrubbing.

1. Create a paste using baking soda and water.

2. Rub this paste onto your stainless steel using a soft cloth.

3. Rinse the stainless steel thoroughly.

4. If it isn't clean, grab a cleaner that is more caustic and abrasive (e.g. Ajax, Comet).

5. Wet a sponge or cloth using hot water, adding the abrasive to just one side.

6. Apply the side with the abrasive cleaner, always moving with the grain.

7. Flip over the towel (on the side without an abrasive) and remove the cleaner. You don't want the towel to be dripping, but it should be hot and damp.

8. Thoroughly rinse the stainless steel.

9. Dry the stainless steel.


After Cleaning: Polish With Olive Oil

What You Need

● Detergent

● Cloths

● Water

● Olive oil

How to Do It

1. Before doing this method, ensure your stainless steel is clean. Try one of the above methods of how to clean stainless steel.

2. Make sure the surface is completely dry.

3. Put one to two tablespoons of olive on a cloth rag and start buffing.

4. Buff the area vigorously for a few minutes so the oil will penetrate all the small pores and grooves in the metal.

5. Don't drench the surface, but coat it thoroughly. There is too much oil if it is slick.

6. Use a clean damp cloth to clean off leftover olive oil.

7. Buff the stainless steel.

  • If you need to quickly get smudges and fingerprints off of the stainless steel, use a window cleaner and then wipe the surface using a paper towel. Either opt for a cleaner like Windex or create your own by mixing one part of household ammonia and four parts of water.
  • Do not ever use an abrasive cleaner, steel wool (i.e. Brillo pads), or abrasive sponges on stainless steel since this may scratch the metal's finish. Even the abrasive cleaners mentioned in the above instructions for how to clean stainless steel are not completely abrasive and should be used as a last resort.
  • If the stainless steel contains rust stains, opt for an oxalic cleanser.
  • Do not use polishes or cleaners designed for silver on stainless steel. Doing so may stain the metal, creating a problem that is difficult to fix.
  • If your stainless steel sink contains water spots, then first try to rub them out using a soft cloth with enough olive oil to dampen it. Afterwards, buff the sink dry using a cloth. Following this method should remove the water spots and improve the shine of the stainless steel sink so it appears new.
  • If stainless steel utensils have water spots, then try to rub them out by using a bit of distilled white vinegar. Afterwards, rinse the utensils using warm water and then thoroughly dry them using a soft towel.
  • When cooking with stainless steel cookware, be careful. Do not leave the cookware on top of a burner which is on high heat for any extended period of time. Doing so could lead to discoloration you will find impossible to remove.
  • You should never let boiling water completely evaporate in a stainless steel pot or other piece of stainless steel cookware as doing so can lead to permanent discoloration.
  • If the above methods fail, you can try buffing your stainless steel sink using flour. Coat your sink in flour and then use a cloth or rag to buff it out. At the end, pick up extra flour with your rag to leave your sink looking like new.

Please Log In or add your name and email to post the comment.