I’m just going to say this bluntly. My stainless steel sink is gross. I try to wipe the sink down after doing the dishes to keep it clean but this doesn’t always happen. I just grateful that the dishes get done so we have clean dishes to eat off. Sometimes when I go on a cleaning spree, I like to make my stainless steel sink extra shiny, because I like shiny things, and I’m willing to share this secret with you. But, you have to read my tutorial on How to Clean Your Sink in order to find out.

  1. Scrub sink with hot water and soap.
    clean stainless steel sink

  2. Rinse stainless steel sink with hot water
    cleaning stainless steel sink

  3. Sprinkle baking soda in sink and scrub
    clean stainless steel

  4. Scrub disposal area with a toothbrush paying special attention to the rubber flap

    cleaning stainless steel

    WARNING the next photo is nasty and you may want to throw up just a little.

    Stainless steel

    The nastiness hiding just below the rubber flap and more than likely the cause of the sink stink.

  5. Rinse and buff dry

    make stainless steel shine

    My apologies for the previous photo, it needed to be shared.

  6. Secret Step! Pour oil onto cloth and buff the stainless steel sink for extra shininess
    make stainless steel shiny

I used olive oil on my sink because that’s what I had, you can also use baby oil or mineral oil. The oil helps to keep your stainless steel sink shinier for longer. However, if you apply too much and do not buff off the extra, the oil can make the stainless steel dirty more quickly. I cleaned my sink this way last night and when I got up this morning, I was still amazed at how shiny the sink was. Here’s the best part, you can clean your stainless steel appliances the same way. Even if you just wipe down your stainless steel appliance with hot water and soap, buffing it with oil helps to remove excess grime, like little finger prints, while giving your appliance extra shine.

Now lets some before and afters to prove that my sink is was nasty and now it’s shiny!

stainless steel sink


clean stainless steel sinks


I don’t think that was quite enough so let’s do one showing it all up close and personal.

make stainless steel shiny

How do you clean your stainless steel sink?


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54 Responses to The Secret to Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks

  1. I just use soft scrub or bar keepers friend to clean with. I also figured out (after desperately trying to make my old stainless sink look good for years), that there are different grades of stainless and some have more lustor. My new sink cleans up much easier than the old one, but I never heard of using the oil so that may have helped. I admit it’s not a job I look forward to, but I always like looking at it when it’s all cleaned up!

  2. Christine says:

    Pinned…this is awesome! Christine from Little Brags

  3. Great tips! Thanks so much for linking up to The DIY’ers!

  4. it looks great! I could going through all this for clients, but for my own sink I think just buffing with a microfiber cloth is good enough. I usually clean the basin with bon ami and the outside with a homemade vinegar/water AP spray.

  5. Kimberlee says:

    I clean mine with a mixture of Dr. Bronners peppermint liquid soap and baking soda – I am going to try buffing with the oil – never heard of that. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hahaha I’m terrible…I never have much time so I wait until just before bed (due to the smell, it dissipates over night) and pour a bit of bleach in, swish it around a bit, let it sit for 5 minutes, drain and rinse and presto! Super shiny sink! I really love your natural method however!

  7. Patchouli1971 says:

    I hand wash my daughter’s bottles with Dawn a few times a day and each time I use the bottle brush to clean the sink. It seems to be working just fine. That is, until my husband and teenage son get a hold of it.

  8. Great tips!! Thanks for sharing! You are one of the fan favorites at the Sunday Showcase from the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to the showcase so you can check out your feature! Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  9. Thanks so much Angela, my laundry room sink needs this treatment done today!

  10. Carol Smith says:

    The rubber guard in the disposal will come out and you can soak it in bleach water and then run it through the dishwasher. I just hand mine on the top rack onto one of the divider wires. I try to run it through every time I wash dishes and it doesn’t get so gunky.

  11. Cynthia says:

    Thanks, Angela I had never thought to clean under the rubber with a toothbrush. I had always used my hand the toothbrush will go farther . I’m a little afraid of pulling the rubber out and getting it back in. Any instructions? The oil pure genius!

    • You’re welcome Cynthia! I’ve never taken the rubber flap out but from a little research I’v figured out that some just pop out and others need the disposal removed to properly change the rubber flap. I think cleaning it with a tooth brush will work just fine until it really needs to be replaced.

  12. marci says:

    You can also wipe it down with furniture polish, like the old english oil polish.

  13. Carol says:

    I use an SOS pad and scrub in the direction of the grain of the stainless. Rinse and the water will bead up.

  14. Dolores says:

    Yes Carol Smith, I was just going to say the same thing. I take my disposal guard out and clean it weekly at least. Of course another {light bulb moment} is that you can pick up a new one fairly cheap if yours gets unsightly. I also had the kids leave a baking pan in sink with water over night= rust :-0. As upset as I was, it was probably more their prayers than anything but lime-away got it off with a lot of elbow grease. I wipe mine dry almost every time I use it too.

  15. kentuckylady717 says:

    I first clean with Dawn , then clean with Shaklee Basic H,then Shaklee Basic G.to kill germs, then I have to use vinegar & water for the faucet as Shaklee does not remove the water spots and the vinegar water does….but just using the Dawn and then rinse with the vinegar & water would be good enough….but since I bought the Shaklee, I decided to go ahead and use it, but would definitely NEVER buy it again……

  16. Lori says:

    Use lemon oil to make shiny and buff off. Smells good and looks fantastic!

  17. Christina Davis says:

    I used a bathroom cleaner on stainless kitchen sink and it dulled it and left water type spots that I could not get off. I will try this method. Do you have any other suggestions if it does not work?

  18. ann says:

    This is a good idea. I have my own cleaning business and use stainless steel cleaner on the sinks, but this maybe a cheaper idea to try

  19. Bobbi says:

    I have a BLACK Porcelain sink. Not my idea, the previous person in the home had it installed. How do I clean that, and keep it clean? Thank you

  20. Bobbi says:

    Hi, I have also used windex on a stainless steel sink.

  21. Mariya says:

    This is the right decision for sinks.

  22. Lynne Doyle says:

    I have a cleaning service and speed is as important as the result.
    We have bleach in a spray bottle. Spray the sink down, let it sit for just a minute and wipe out. it will be spotless.
    Next take Pledge Spray Wax and spray just a little in the sink. Take a clean micro fibre cloth an polish. Total time about 2.5 minutes. Results..outstanding!

  23. Abeni says:

    I have someone that comes to the house to clean and looks like she wiped my stainless steel fridge down with something that I cannot seem to get the smudges and the dullness out. Will this above help w/ that and the oil?

  24. Rikke Heskia says:

    Hi! The best and easiest trick for me for a super shiny and clean sink is to spray it with a mixture of regular dishwasher soap and vinegar. Scrub, let it sit for while, wash and dry – done!

  25. Beth says:

    If you clean the sink as stated and then pour in rubbing alcohol and wipe entire sink with the alcohol it will also give you a great shine.

  26. Inez says:

    Brilliant! I am going to use a little oil on my sink and my stainless trash can. I love getting all the crannies de linked on anything, but how much better when they stay that way. And the disposal thing is gross. A useful thing that needs a redesign to eliminate the gross factor. Thanks!

  27. nazeer says:

    Thanks for sharing with us all these informative tips in stainless cleaning
    Been really helpful
    Keep up the great work always!

  28. Socorro “CoCo”Alaniz says:

    Love this! The final step of oiling the sink is the step I was missing! So happy I found you on Pinterest!

  29. Jen says:

    Scrubbing bubbles make a stainless steel sink look great. If your in a hurry.Remember to wipe it dry for an extra shiny finish.

  30. Jerry Collins says:

    The rubber flap for the garbage disposal will pull up and off easily to clean instead of using a tooth brush.

  31. Judy Russell says:

    If I use oil on my appliances would that not cause dog hair to stick to them more!

  32. Susan minuto says:

    Thanks for the tips!! Stainless steel sinks and appliances are very hard to keep clean let alone shiny. Question..doesn’t the oil make them feel greasy??

  33. Angelique says:

    Angela, I tried your idea and talk about a big difference! Thank you! I also found another great idea that I thought I’d share with you. A friend of mine very recently told me to try WD-40 so I have that a try also and was amazed!!

  34. Lana says:

    My issue is with scratches in my ss sink. Do these options work on scratches?


  35. Lorraine says:

    Thanks for sharing the details.
    I, too have a sink that I love to shine.

  36. Joyce Simpkins says:

    Sometimes after cleaning, I buff with oil, or sometimes after rinsing good, I stop the sink and put a little water and a little Jet Dry. I kinda splash it around the sides and top and then drain the sink and let it dry. Ta-Da, it’s shiny!.

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