Natural Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner

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how to clean a stainless steel sink

Stainless steel has become the norm in today’s home kitchens – from the sink, to the cookware, to the appliances. Some really snazzy kitchens are made entirely of stainless steel! That’s way too much steel for my taste, but I do love my trusty stainless steel sink.

And although I scrub it down with a soapy sponge once a day, over time it accumulates a light film. A slight discoloration from days and weeks of all the liquids, food scraps, and dirty dishes that have graced its surface. It’s such a gradual process, but one day you look down and there it is…the dreadful brownish tinge staring back at you reminding you of your lack of diligence in cleaning.

how to clean a stainless steel sink

And that’s when I bust out 2 of my favorite little kitchen helpers: baking soda and salt. If you remember, I used these guys to help me “scrub” my grapes clean a few weeks back – and they worked wonders! So this time, I decided to test them on my sink in this natural stainless steel sink cleaner.

how to clean a stainless steel sink

Natural Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner

And guess what? Again, they worked wonders! After finishing a load of dishes, with the entire sink nice and wet, I scrubbed it with a soapy sponge (I keep a separate sponge near the sink just for cleaning – not the same one I use to wash the dishes), then sprinkled some baking soda and some salt all over the base of the sink.

Then, I went to town scrubbing away at every little crevice that my hands could fit into – all around the base, in the corners, up the sides, all up in the nooks and crannies of the drain, everything. It took all but a few minutes before I was satisfied that I’d covered every spot. To finish off, I just rinsed the whole sink clean with warm water.

how to clean a stainless steel sink

I’ve tried to clean my sink with just baking soda before, but a) it never really scrubbed as well as I’d like, and b) the grittiness of the baking soda always left a white film on the sink, unless I scrubbed it down again while rinsing – double scrubbing? Not for me, sorry.

So the salt served two purposes here: it gave some extra scrubbing power and it also helped to minimize the left over grittiness from the baking soda – Score!

how to clean a stainless steel sink

Baking soda and salt are cheap, non-toxic, and readily available in my pantry, so this is just a no-brainer :)

What’s your go-to natural stainless steel slink cleaner? What helpful tips can you offer from your home cleaning routine?

This post was shared here: Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Living Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday,


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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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  1. Keri says

    I’ve been doing baking soda and a little soap – works amazing. Didn’t think about adding salt, I will try that next time. Thanks for the tip.

      • Susie M says

        have you tried wetting your sponge with vinegar and scrubbing quickly with that? It comes clean so fast! lots of fizzy bubbles too – I use a brush on a handle tho’ sponges can really hold onto germs – nylon scrubbies are better – then you can let them run under hot water, or soak in a water/vinegar solution to make sure you are not spreading germs ;D

  2. says

    Well unfortunately, Sarah, I have this ugly old white acrylic sink that some goofball installed in our condo years before we bought it, and it is a nightmare to try to keep clean (seriously… WHO installs a WHITE sink? I’ll tell you the answer: someone who never uses it!). So far the only thing I’ve found that works is bleaching it once a month. I’ve tried *everything* natural but the surface is just so darn pourous and damaged from years of wear and tear that I just fill the sinks up with hot bleach water once a month to get it back to at least beige (its never really white anymore). If the Lord ever blesses us with enough money to get a new sink, stainless steel ALL the way, baby! Thanks for sharing this tip today. :)

    • Sarah says

      You know, I always wondered who the heck would purposely get a white sink..for the kitchen?!? And now I know…people who don’t use it LOL 😉 Well, here’s praying that you’re blessed with a new sink sooner, rather than later :)

      P.S. Like the new name 😉

    • Lisa says

      Have you ever tried plain ole peroxide on your white sink? Just pour in, spread around to the sides and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Your sink should get white fast!

      This works on tile grout too! If really dirty leave standing on it for longer. Scrub with a brush. Leave a little longer then mop it up with clean water!

      • says

        i have just learned about all the things you can do with peroxide,and this was one of them. it is almost as good as baking soda, no as good as! all these years and now i’m in my sixty and just learning all this good stuff!

    • tracey says

      I had An Older Enamel Sink In A Old House We Lived In, And The Only Thing That Would Clean It Was Bleach & A Magic Eraser. It Was A Job That Took Forever & Had To Be Done All The Time, Until One Day After Cleaning It I Got The Idea To Use Car Wax On It! I Used Old Fashioned Turtle Wax & Followed The Directions On The Package Just Like I Was Waxing A Car! It Sealed The Pores & Scratches & The Wax Would Last Sometimes For Up To Two Months!

      • Rita says

        I have to try this. We bought a house in the country a few years back and it was not very well taken care of. The old enamel sink has seen better days. It was and is nearly impossible to get really clean though I scrub and scrub. A day or two after cleaning it looks nearly as bad as before the cleaning. I’m off to buy some Turtle Wax. I hope it works as well for me as it has for you. Thanks so much for the tip!

      • ronald says

        I also use Turtle wax not for the sink but for our stalls it stops the build up of soap sum on the shower walls for a long time and I even use a elec. car buffer to really bring it to a shine.

      • Janet says

        It’s been more than a year since this blog post but I’m just reading it today. This is off the topic but I noticed how you have every word capitalized. How do you do that? Just manually? Seems like a lot of extra finger maneuvering. Very unique. Just curious. :)

    • blueskies says

      I would use some cleanser, a scouring pad, and using a bit of muscle power to scrub the old white porcelain sink with. And so after that, I would repeatedly rinse with clear water to remove all residue. Then, wipe dry with a cloth to get it to feel somewhat smooth, spotless, and to appear clean-looking. That is the only method I would use on how to clean those types of old-fashioned sinks.

      • Deb says

        I wondered why no one had thought to suggest the magic sponge. I buy mine at the dollar store and they work just as good as the expensive ones, and it works really well. I couldn’t live without magic sponges in my cleaning arsenal.

    • Robynn says

      Try using Comet w/ Bleach or Ajax w/ Bleach. I know they aren’t Natural, but they are the only thing I’ve found that works on that kind of porous material. I use it on my Antique Bathtub.

    • Susie M says

      if you use the peroxide tricks, pour it on an old cloth/towel and let that soak on the base of the sink – so you are not pouring your peroxide down the sink…. 😀 my stoppers never worked properly on those yukky old acrylic sinks I had them in my bathroom, but replaced them.

    • kim boggs says

      bar keepers friend will take all marks off a white sink, find it near comet in the cleaning isle.

  3. AZZA ibrahim says

    Hi baby thank God I have stainless steel and its still new but yes I’ll try this later maybe when u come over lol

  4. says


    Just wanted to say I so appreciate the traffic I’ve been getting because of you linking to me (or so says my blogger stats page! :) ) and just how cute your blog is in general I linked to your post about dandelions on my current post about the same and I also added you to my homemaking blogroll. I cant promise you as much traffic as you’ve sent my way but just wanted to let you know. Blessings. :)

    • Sarah says

      I wouldn’t use this on your appliances for fear of scratching the surface, but check out my laminate floor cleaner post. That’s what I use on my stainless steel appliances and it works like a charm :)

  5. says

    Hey sarah just wondering- have you ever thought of doing tiny tip thursday as a blog carnival? i would totally join every week if you did, I like the idea of one quick useful tip and Id like to join and see others’ tips as well. Just a thought. :)

    • Sarah says

      Hey Nicole, I actually have thought of it! I was just waiting for my readership to grow a little before I felt confident enough to get one started 😉 I think we’re getting there, but your comment has given me an idea – I’m going to check with my Facebook fan page peeps to see how many of our fans have blogs and would be interested in linking up every week- yay!

      I’ll keep you posted :)

    • Sarah says

      That sounds wonderful, Kendra! Thanks so much for sharing – I’m off to check out your site now :)

  6. Holly says

    I didn’t think my sink could even BE this shiny!!!!! I used your laminate floor cleaning solution yesterday and decided to try this one today and I might be in love with you now. Lol Thanks for the tips! :)

  7. says

    This is an amazing tip! I was cleaning my kitchen, scrubbing the sinks down and I made this face because I noticed how ‘brownish’ the bottom of my steel sink was. No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t come off. So I went to good ol’ Pinterest and I found your tip! Thank you, it worked wonderfully!

    • Sarah says

      That’s awesome, Amy! You’re very welcome. LOL, I know that face 😉 Glad it worked for you, and thanks for coming back to comment!

  8. says

    That is amazing. Baking soda is an handy item that can also be used in many area including countertop.

    Do you know that you can use baking soda for your stains on your granite counter top? You simply mix the baking soda with some soapy water into a paste, and cover up the stains for at least 12 hours. Then simply rise off the water, and you will notice the stains disappear, or at least dimenish.

    • Sarah says

      It really is amazing, isn’t it? Thanks for the granite tip, Karine! I don’t have granite, but my mom does, so I’ll be passing this on to her. :)

      • Maryanne says

        Hi Sarah! I am new to your site…I am writing down all the great tips to try this weekend. Question – do you think the baking soda paste might work to remove hair dye stains on my vinyl shower floor?

        • says

          Hi Maryanne, welcome! I’m not sure if it will work on hair dye – that stuff can be pretty stubborn! I would try adding some peroxide and maybe even a little dish soap to your paste, and see how that works out for you. Good luck and let me know if you find a solution!

  9. Ashley says

    I have a cast iron sink that had that awful brown staining on it. I scrubbed it with everything I could think of (including baking soda), but nothing worked. Finally, I tried the following: 1-2 inches hot water, a splash or 2 of vinegar (probably 1/2 cup or so), a squirt of liquid dish soap. I let that sit in the sink for 30 minutes or so and then scrubbed with my green dish scrubber (didn’t take too much elbow grease). Like new! Just thought that might be helpful for those with cast iron sinks!

  10. Laurie says

    We are moving in less than two weeks and with my husband painting and using our kitchen sink as a rinse station, it was getting grimy and gross so I just tried this and it came out so shiny and clean! This will for sure be the first thing I do when I get into my new place. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Sara says

    I’ve been using borax and vinegar on my sinks and it works really well too! I will try this tho, sounds awesome!

  12. Ann Richardson says

    This comment is not meant to be overly critical but I wondered if you had thought about spreading germs as you clean. I think your scrubbing sponge looked gross. I appreciate that you don’t wash dishes and clean with the same sponge, but if your sponge is dirty then you’re just spreading germs around no matter the task. I microwave any cleaning clothes or sponges several times through out the day, but I also toss my sponges into the laundry with the load I pit liquid bleach in. I used to put my sponges through the dishwasher until suds built up and stopped my dishwasher from cleaning the dishes well.

  13. Lynn Leazenby says

    I recently started cleaning homes and had a client tell me how to clean her stainless steel. Im sure some of you will say this is not green way but for a quick and no scrubbing required clean your stainless steel with WD-40. spray on cloth and watch the smears and scratches disappear. The odor disappears quick;y.

  14. Lynn Leazenby says

    for cleaning stubborn black stains out of your showers and bathtub this is amazing, so simply and amazing. Make a paste from comet and oven cleaner, spray oven cleaner on bottom of tub or shower, sprinkle comet and start in circle motion to form paste. While your cleaning the rest of bathroom let stand for 10 minutes depending on stains let it start to dry and then just rinse away. stains are gone.

    • Ellie Green says

      Oven cleaner is NOT green! Oven cleaner has a lot of REALLY toxic stuff in it. I wouldn’t have it in my house!

  15. Erik says

    You could just use steel wool, works just fine, and you don’t need salt OR baking soda. Even better tip I must say.

  16. says

    wet those sponges with water n a little lemon juice n sanitize them and clean your microwave all at one time, 30 to 45 seconds does it, microwave wipes clean n germs on sponge gone!!

  17. Cotten Candy says

    After you get the sink clean, you can dry it well and squirt some baby oil in it. I use my hands and rub it in well, all over the stainless, including faucets. Walk away and let it soak in. It will stay shiny for days and repels new stains. Learned this from a friend that worked for a dentist. It was required by him for office sinks. Makes them look like new!

  18. Melissa says

    Ajax works just fine on stainless steel and porcelain. It is so fine, it doesn’t scratch and leaves a nice clean smell. That’s what I’ve used for years on everything. Gets rid of water spots too. No need to mix and measure. You don’t have to invent the wheel all over again. My mother and grandmother used ajax too. :) Tried Comet, but it will stain your caulk green. Stick with Ajax, it does work wonders.

  19. says

    Those waxing their sinks to retain the just cleaned look may want to consider wash n wax totally biodegradable, and really kind to the environment from all aspects – no chemicals whatsoever, which is promoted for waterless washing of vehicles, but also good for boats, caravans, work surfaces etc.

  20. patrick crudden says

    Recently i decided to clean up our Stainless Steel Kitchen sink, I spray on a Cleaner Liquid called, Bar Keepers Friend, Available from Lakeland Home wear store. I leave for 4 or 5 minutes, then i use a dish scrubbing sponge and scrub all parts of Sink Vigorously, making sure to get into all nooks and crannies.Then i rinse the Sink surface off with Warm water This gets you a real Sparkling result, I also do a Similar clean to the chrome type Taps, Wow, The Tap comes up Gleaming, A great job which took less than Ten Minutes to complete, I Highly recommend using Bar Keepers Friend to get a Super clean on a SS Sink, Also it is capable of Cleaning Various surfaces, Read instructions on side of Spray pack before use, Tip To bring up a Good shine, allow surface to Dry, Then use a Dry Micro Fibre cloth or some Kitchen roll and wipe surface to achieve a Lovely Shine on Surface. Patrick.

  21. says

    PLEASE do not use bleach products on Stainless Steel! (This includes Ajax and Comment) This may cause the stainless steel to darken, and it cannot be fixed. I highly recommend a product called “Bar Keeper’s Friend”. It is like a Comet Cleanser, very cheap and very effective. If you want to stay all natural, Cream of Tarter works great! Also I polish mine with just a bit of olive oil from time to time! I cook a lot, so it is more important for me to keep the sink clean and disinfected than it is to worry about the looks. Bar Keepers friend would also work wanders on the white sinks.

  22. Raelene Gilks says

    I need desperate help its a little different to the kitchen sink. Mine is I carnt get the glass of my shower with water stains on it. Ive tried everything you can think of to buy. Meaning ajax, shower power and so on. Any ideas please would be great.

  23. April says

    Please be additionally amazed: after you’ve done your bit with salt and baking soda (I love them too) use a Mr. clean Magic Eraser sponge over your stainless steel sink! KABLAMMO! Get out your sunglasses. Something in the “magic” takes even more grunge away. Works safely on enamel sinks too. You don’t HAVE to use any cleaner first, but it’s super-wow if you combine your favorite trick, and the Magic Eraser.

  24. Julie says

    Omg, I’ve just tried this and it’s just brilliant! I hope more people read this! I’m so much into nature friendly lifestyle and I was looking for something like this!


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