How to clean a stainless steel sink using baking soda, vinegar, club soda and more

This is how to clean a stainless steel sink using baking soda, vinegar, and club soda for shine. Time to remove stains and water marks – without any harsh cleaners

shiny stainless steel kitchen sink
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how to clean a stainless steel sink properly, makes all the difference. And by using trusty baking soda, white vinegar and club soda (honestly), you can have a shiny, clean stainless steel sink that is free from watermarks and other unsightly stains in no time at all. 

Quick and easy to do, with very satisfying results, take five minutes out of your day to get kitted out for this household chore. Then you can treat yourself to a nice sit down with a glass of something lovely...you've earned it after all.

For our guide to cleaning all things stainless steel, from hobs to saucepans, take a look at our guide to cleaning stainless steel.

To clean stainless steel you will need:

How to clean a stainless steel sink

Make this expert step by step part of your cleaning ritual for the best results if you have a stainless steel sink.

1. Rinse the sink out

rinsing off a stainless steel sink

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First pop on some rubber gloves and remove any food debris from the plughole. Then rinse the sink with clean, warm water from the tap.

2. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda all over

baking soda

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Sprinkle baking soda or bicarbonate of soda over the entire sink including the taps. This is a great stainless steel cleaner as it’s abrasive enough to scrub away stuck on grease, food and lime scale, but not so abrasive it will scratch the shiny steel.

3. Work the solution in to the sink

how to clean a stainless steel sink

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wipe the cloth around the sink. Get into the corners and around the taps, using an old toothbrush if necessary. Make sure you don’t scratch the stainless steel sink by using a damp, soft cloth instead of a scourer.

4. Put the kettle on

Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes while it does its work. You can put your feet up and have a cup of tea for this bit.

5. Spray with white vinegar

bottle of white vinegar

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Cleaning with vinegar is a failsafe method for lots of different areas in the home. Spray undiluted white vinegar over the baking or bicarbonate of soda residue left in the sink. The vinegar and soda will fizz when they come into contact with each other. Vinegar is a good disinfectant and great for removing water spots. 

6. Give it a final rinse

Once the sink’s looking clean, rinse using warm water from the tap and buff dry with a soft, clean rag.

7. Apply a little oil for a gleaming sink

shiny stainless steel kitchen sink

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your sink isn’t shiny enough, you can polish it by buffing oil into it using a dry cloth.

How do I remove stains from stainless steel?

Using baking or bicarbonate of soda will help remove water marks and light stains from a stainless steel sink. However, if you have bigger stains from 

1. Mix a paste of equal parts washing up liquid/dish soap with baking soda.

2. Use a microfiber cloth again to rub this gently over the stains, ensuring you do this in the direction of the grain. 

3. Rinse and dry, then follow with your favorite sink shining method. 

How to prevent water spots and other stains on a stainless steel sink

spotless stainless steel sink

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To avoid having to clean a stained stainless steel sink in the first place, follow these guidelines on a daily basis:

1. Rinse off your sink after each use: As soap dish contains chlorides, rinsing it off helps reduce the appearance of water marks and any corrosion.

2. Scrub in the direction of the grain: This will better blend the surface texture of your sink.

3. Leave out scourers: Regular carbon steel brushes can not only leave scratches on the surface, but any iron particles deposited when using them can later lead to rust. 

4. Dry thoroughly: Finally, wiping down and drying your stainless steel sink's surface is a must to avoid any water spots or rusting over time. Ensure your dry towel is clean and free from old oil for the best results. 

How do you restore a stainless steel sink to shine?

Sparkling water can be used to renew the shine in your sink. Yes, buffing your sink once cleaned with a cooking oil as mentioned in our video is one great method to shine your sink. But this alternative using club soda is worth a shot. 

1. Simply pour sparkling water into the basin after placing the plug back in your sink.

2.  Rub it in to your sink with a clean microfiber cloth.

2. Dry and buff with a separate soft cloth.

How to clean a sink like Mrs Hinch

clean stainless steel sink with garden views

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There are Mrs Hinch sink cleaning hacks galore, and when it comes to cleaning stainless steel kitchen sinks, Sophie Hinchliffe recommends using Cif’s Ultra Power stainless steel, leaving the it to soak in for 10 minutes before cleaning it off.

Cif ProFormula Stainless Steel Cleaner 0.75L

Cif ProFormula Stainless Steel Cleaner 0.75L

Mrs Hinch's recommended product for cleaning stainless steel sinks. 


Enjoy your stainless steel sink that shines like new!

Laura Crombie
Laura Crombie

Laura is Brand Development Director for Real Homes, focusing on digital content. She has written about homes and interiors for the last 12 years and was Deputy Editor and Editor of Real Homes before taking on her current position. She's currently renovating a 1960s house in Worcestershire, doing as much as possible on a DIY basis.

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