How to clean a stainless steel sink

Whoever coined the term “stainless steel” was stretching a wee bit, in my humble opinion. Or else he never lived in the country. Here at the farm, where our water flows through a chemistry set before it ever reaches the taps, stainless steel is definitely not stainless.

Behold the laundry room sink.

How to clean a stainless steel sink (before)

Now, I will admit that I wash more paintbrushes than laundry in this sink. However, beyond the paint spatters, there are watermarks, film and just a general dullness.

In my sparkly new laundry room, this would not do.

I tried various methods to clean it.

Every cleanser I own. Nope.

Every cleanser I own with lotsa, lotsa elbow grease. Nope.

Pinterest remedies like a vinegar-soaked paper towel wrap. Nope.

How to clean a stainless steel sink

Nothing could break through the dullness and bring back the shine.

Then, about a year ago, I saw a tweet from Jordana at White Cabana mentioning Universal Stone. I bought it mainly for my silver, which it polished fairly well. However, as I read the back of the container, one phrase jumped out at me: “stainless steel.”

Might as well give it a try.

Using Universal Stone to clean a stainless steel sink

Gentle readers, the clouds parted, the seas calmed, the heavens shone… and so did my sink. There’s even a reflection!

How to clean a stainless steel sink

Turns out my so-called “stainless” steel sink had some kind of tarnish on it.

How to clean a stainless steel sink

It still took lotsa elbow grease, and the finish still isn’t perfect, but it’s a heckuva lot better than it was before. Oh, and I still don’t believe in stainless steel.

Do you believe in stainless steel? Any cleaning tips to share? Who else washes more paint brushes than laundry?

And a disclaimer: The Universal Stone people have no idea who I am. I bought my own Universal Stone with my own money.

8 thoughts on “How to clean a stainless steel sink

  1. Nice job! We’ve never heard of “Universal Stone,” but if you’d asked us, we’d have loaned you our can of “Never-Dull,” which we always used to clean the stainless steel on our boat, including the sink. It does a terrific job with little elbow grease. You are certainly right about stainless steel not being stainless, nor is it “rostfrei” (rust-free), as the Germans term it. There are many grades/types of stainless steel, the one used on boats being “SAE316” but it still rusts if left too long exposed to saltwater.

  2. I am not a completely “green” person but I try to use more natural ingredients at times and one of my favorite cleaners I found on Pinterest (of course 😉 ). Mix Dawn dish soap, vinegar and water. And if you need a little abrasive, sprinkle baking soda first to make a paste. It is one of the best cleaners I have used! Not sure how that would have worked with the paint on your sink but for everyday use it is my favorite!

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