How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

Who knew it could look this great?

There are some things in life that are inevitable. Yes, death and taxes as the saying goes, but also doing the grocery shopping, waging war against the laundry pile, and occasionally polishing the silver and your stainless-steel sink. When it comes to those last two, you may not need to polish your sink very often, but if you want to get your kitchen really spic-and-span, use some elbow grease—and some all-purpose flour. To turn this baking staple into a cleaning mainstay requires nothing more than hot soapy water and a rag.

How Often to Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

If you have been putting off polishing the sink because it seems like a hassle, there's a neat trick you should try. According to cooking website The Kitchn, you won't need to make a special trip to the hardware store for cleaning supplies, but instead just a trip to your own pantry. They claim that the best way to polish your stainless-steel sink is with plain old white flour. This baking staple pulls out lingering grime in stainless steel's tiny etches, and buffs the stainless steel out so it's smudge-free and gleaming.

This technique works wonders on other stainless steel items too, like stoves, refrigerators, and tea kettles.

Considerations Before Getting Started

This project calls for a cloth or soft brush. Don't use scouring pads or stiff cleaning brushes, say the pros at Bob Vila, because they can scratch your sink and lead to rusty spots.

What You Need:

*Cleaning rags

*Dish soap or kitchen cleaner

*Flour

*Olive oil (optional)

How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink with Flour

  1. Clear out any dishes and rinse any bits of food down the drain.
  2. Clean your stainless steel sink with your favorite kitchen cleaner or hot soapy water.
  3. Dry the sink with a clean towel. Make sure to sop up any puddles or drops of water from the sides and bottom of the basin.
  4. Then pull out the flour and give your entire sink a dusting. Use around ¼ cup.
  5. Grab a clean rag (or a paper towel if you prefer) and start rubbing in small circles. The Kitchn suggests that if you start buffing "like you are waxing a car," you should see results soon. You should see results soon. Work your way around the sink, including the sides, the drain, and even the faucet. Keep rubbing until any bits of stuck-on food disappear and your sink is gleaming. Wipe up any remaining flour.
  6. If you want to take your now-shiny sink to the next level, use a few drops of olive oil on a microfiber cloth to do an extra round of buffing.

How to Keep Your Sink Cleaner Longer

Your sink is gleaming, and short of not using it again, how can you keep it that way? The truth is, a kitchen sink, even if it doesn't look dirty, is a germ magnet. Your sink needs to be frequently washed with soapy water and disinfected also after contact with raw meat or poultry. Bonus—a low-stress, regular routine will also keep your stainless steel sink looking its shiny best.

How to Get Rid of Water and Rust Marks on a Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel sinks are tough, but stains happen. If you're dealing with extra-tough water stains, the Bob Vila technique is to make a paste of one-part cream of tartar and four-parts vinegar. Leave the paste on the stain for five minutes, rub gently, and rinse. Keep damp sponges, clothes, and rubber dish mats out of the sink to prevent more water stains.

Rust marks on stainless steel are usually caused by leaving utensils or cast iron pans in the sink. Avoid leaving these items—and metal dish racks—in your stainless steel sink. If rust stains happen, use Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser to get out these stubborn stains: wet the sink and use a soft sponge or cloth to rub the cleanser with the grain of the stainless steel. After one minute, rinse and dry the area.

Hooray, you have a picture-perfect sink! If you want to feel even more satisfied, freshen up your microwave with these deodorizing tips.

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