Gentle, inexpensive, and simple routine cleaning are the keys to maintaining your stainless steel sink.
- Clean regularly with a mild detergent solution and/or clean water applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Rub gently.
- Rinse and towel dry after every use (to prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface of the sink).
- Deep clean once a week with a recommended cleanser (be sure to rub in the direction of the finish lines) and a soft cloth or sponge rather than an occasional aggressive single cleaning. Cleaners should state “suitable for stainless steel”.
- Do not use coarse abrasive powders, metallic scourers such as steel wool or brushes with metal bristles.
- Do not use the so termed “silver cleaners”.
- Do not leave wet sponges, cloths, cleaning pads, rubber mats or dishpans in the sink. This could lead to surface rust or possible pitting.
- Do not leave standing solutions of chlorine bleach and water in the sink for extended periods of time. Always rinse the sink after using such solutions.
- Do not allow liquid soap or other cleansers to dry on the surface of the sink.
As with most metallic surfaces, your stainless steel sink will get scratches. These are merely “usage scratches” and over time will blend in with the overall finish of your sink. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the appearance of scratches. Use a nylon pad (such as Scotchbrite) with an iron free abrasive polishing compound. Follow the direction of the original polish lines and you can blend out the scratch in a small area. Be careful not to overdo it. If you get too aggressive, you can’t go back. You will end up with a bright spot.
Regular routine cleaning can usually prevent lime scale deposits from hard water. Do not allow excessive build up before treating. Soaking in a 25% vinegar solution or a 5% nitric acid solution can treat these hard water spots. Periodically rub with a nylon bristled brush or fine synthetic scourer pad. Then, rinse and towel dry.
If you develop rust marks due to the presence of or contact with ferrous (iron containing) materials, swab with a sponge wetted with a dilute (10-15%) solution of nitric acid (HNO3) and follow with routine cleaning. Avoid prolonged contact of ferrous materials (e.g. cast iron pans) with stainless steel. Dilute nitric acid in strengths of up to 20%, is a “friendly” acid to stainless steel. It is the ONLY acid that may be used with no risk to stainless steel.