Saturday, May 12, 2012

Out Damned Spot! Out I Say! Cleaning your not so stainless stainless steel sink

Do you agree that the term stainless steel is an oxymoron when it comes to your kitchen sink? My stainless steel kitchen sink is always stained so lets be honest, it is really just a steel sink. In fact, I find sometime my stainless steel cutlery stain from tea and coffee. Do you find this too?

So, I set out to find the best method to clean the stain out of our stainless steel sinks. I have my favorite method, but I thought I would test out a few others and see how they hold up vs mine.

I tested the following 6 methods to clean a stainless steel sink:
  • Fantastic cleaner (This did nothing to remove the stains so I won't share photos)
  • Magic Eraser
  • Baking soda paste
  • Stainless steel cleaner
  • Dawn dish soap and peroxide
  • Vinegar and dish soap
I personally hate bleach and try to avoid it as much as possible. So you will very rarely see me use it in any of my cleaning. So if bleach is your trick and gives you great results...let me know.

Magic Eraser

This is a staple in my cleaning bucket and under my kitchen sink. It is actually how I have always cleaned my kitchen sink prior to this test. Please note I have never had a new sink so mine are always scratched..so I cannot guarantee it won't scratch a brand spankin new sink. Mine are so sctrached up I didn't see a difference.

I dampened my magic eraser with water and lightly scrubbed the bottom of the sink. The magic eraser pulls the stain off immediately with very little scrubbing. You can see a clear line where I stopped and you can see the dirt on the eraser.
I highly recommend this method because you can get the eraser into the cracks and even all over the drain plug.

Baking Soda

I sprinkled baking soda on the sink and added a little water to make a paste. I then scrubbed the paste over the sink using a kitchen sponge.
 

To be honest with you, this method did very little to remove the stains. I was a little disappointed with the results because I find baking soda usually does a good job on kitchen projects. But I have to say next to the magic eraser, this was a fail.

Dawn Dish Soap and Peroxide

Using the same recipe I used to remove dirt from my grout here (mix 1 part Dawn with 2 parts peroxide) and scrubbed the sink. This recipe did well with the grout so I had high hopes, but it didn't do anything for the staining in the sink.
 So Dawn dish soap and peroxide is not fix to a stained sink problem.

Stainless steel powder cleaner
I have this powder cleaner for my Logastina pots and pans. It works great on them to remove staining and discoloration so I thought I would try it on my sink.
It worked amazing but scratched my sink. As mentioned, my sink was already really scratched but this created little fine scratches so you could see where I scrubbed. Don't recommend this one at all if you worry about your sink being scratched.

Here is a photo comparing the first four methods.
 
I then thought I would try one more since the Dawn dish soap spot was still really stained (I could have done it on the other sink but you wouldn't be able to see them all together then).

Vinegar and Dish soap

 I poured white vinegar onto a kitchen sponge and added a drop of dish soap. Scrubbed away and found it worked surprisingly well. Is it as good as the magic eraser...no. But it did a fairly good job.
Ranking of the methods to remove stains from your stainless steel sink (after I disqualified the pot cleaner for scratching too much and Fantastic for doing absolutely nothing):
  1. Magic Eraser - Clear winner
  2. Vinegar and Dish soap -Did an Ok job
  3. Baking soda
Here are the before and afters again:
 Here is the sink after it was entirely cleaned with the magic eraser. So my personal favorite won hands down!
Do you have any tricks you use to keep your sink from being stained?

Up next in Out Damned Spot! Out I say- Cleaning windows. You know spring is here so we can go outside to clean the outer windows.
Have a great Mother's Day weekend everyone!
Stephanie

60 comments:

  1. I agree... a man must have coined the term "stainless steel" because my stainless steel sink always seems dirty.
    I've used magic eraser on mine, but don't like the cost of them. I actually have really good luck with baking soda. I find I have to put some elbow grease behind it, but I can get my sink really sparkly using just baking soda and a sponge.
    I also love Bar Keepers Friend for my sink. I use it as often as plain baking soda, and I don't find that I have trouble with scratching (although like you, my sink is already scratched a bit)
    To keep my sink clean between scrubbings, I spray windex in it every evening after cleaning up dinner. That seems to keep me from having to scrub as often.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Try Scrubbing Bubbles, dry then wipe down with lemon oil.

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  3. I'm loving this series, thanks so much for sharing all this info! For the sink, I'm like Kim, I use Bar Keepers Friend (I also use this on my stainless pans) and it works great. I don't typically sprinkle it directly onto the surface, Instead, I get a cloth, sprinkle it on there and dampen it a little, then rub it into the sink. My sink is already scratched, so I don't notice a difference there, but I haven't noticed any scratches on my pans from doing it this way.

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  4. I never use bleach as we try to use the non toxic cleaners in our house but I will use milton fluid. I dunno if you have that there but it's the baby's bottle sterilising liquid. Any brand will do! For sinks etc I pour a good dollop into some warm water in the bottom, leave it to sit for half hour then come back and scrub gently with a sponge.

    This is also great for clearing tea and coffee stains from mugs, cups and teaspoons. (Am I the only person who ever seems to get stained tea spoons?!) you just leave them to soak in a water/steriliser solution for half hour or so and then wash in soapy water with a sponge and they come up sparkling and it's not dangerous like bleach. It can't be, it's for sterilising baby's bottles right?!

    Anyway, sorry for the essay, it's just my favourite hardcore cleaning product when trying to be a bit more eco friendly and less toxic!

    Samantha xx

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  5. I use liquid dishwasher detergent. It works like a charm!

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  6. Bar Keepers Friend works wonders! My sink just gleams.

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  7. I definitely agree with Barkeeper's Friend! It's amazing stuff. You only need a really little bit sprinkled on a damp cloth and all my tea stains come out so easily and leave the sink sparkling!

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  8. ditto on bar keepers friend. loving all the tips! thanks

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  9. I've had at least 6 or 7 stainless steel sinks and I'm an avid coffee and tea drinker (many stains) -- I swear by Soft Scrub with bleach -- brings everything out (so far).

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  10. I use a paste of baking soda and peroxide. I use it all over the kitchen and bathroom. It cleans and shines the faucets like nothing I've ever seen. It gets tough stains out of my formica counters. It cleans and shines my baking sheets and stove top. And it makes my stainless sink positively sparkle.

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  11. Hi, I love your blog =D I use bleach for my sink (to clean the gross stuff and disinfect once a week) with a toothbrush along all the edges. To make it shine, I used baking soda on a half lemon and scrub away. It works like a charm.

    I can appreciate that you don't want to use chemicals in your kitchen if you don't need to, but aren't you worried about the chemicals that you using in the magic eraser? I won't touch them with a ten foot pole... I don't like that it disintegrates in my hands.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Another vote for Bar Keepers Friend - love that stuff!

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  13. Love it! I use Shaklee heavy duty scour off paste on our stainless sink! :) Love your blog, found you via pinterest! :)

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  14. Actually, the term 'stainless' makes perfect sense. Stainless steel differs from regular steel in that is contains chromium, which keeps it from rusting or corroding, and makes it significantly less subject to stains than steel without chromium.

    Get it? It stains less. It is not stain free. :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. My sink isn't stainless, it's Corian, but I find that dishwasher detergent cleans it really well. I think most dishwasher detergents do contain some bleach though.

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  17. Sounds like too much trouble to clean a sink..... All I use is Lemon scented (Yellow lid) Soft Scrub, and a wash rag. I am a picky housekeeper...Trust me, this is all you need. My sinks look brand new, with the exceptions of the scratches from my pots and pans.

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  18. Another vote for BarKeepers Friend. I've noticed no scratching, but the clean gleam it leaves makes my little heart go pitter patter! LOL Actually, over time I've noticed the slight scratches I had in my sink are looking more like the original patina from the manufacturer. I'm always being asked how I keep my stainless sink so sparkly. Sometimes I tell, sometimes I just smile....

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  19. Hello Friends,
    Stainless sinks are nice because stainless steel is a durable alloy that will not rust. It is strong and can withstand corrosive liquids. Hot or boiling water will not affect it in any way whatsoever. It is easy to clean and disinfect, and will not tolerate staining the way that porcelain will. Thanks...

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  20. Have you tried a mix of vinegar and baking soda? I put baking soda down first then add the vinegar. I wait a couple of seconds and it always seems to come off pretty easily.

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  21. A little something I learned while working as a house cleaner - for stainless steel anything (sinks, stove element rings, etc...) we always used a stainless steel scrubbie. You can get them at the Dollar Store, usually in a three pack - it takes seconds and bare minimum effort. No chemicals, no residues, and amazing results!

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  22. Hi Stephanie, I also use a magic eraser but when finished, I dry with a paper towel. Then take some Turtle car was and rub all of the sink. When it gets hazy, buff and it will help with the overall look. We've had the same sink for 17 years and it looks no worse for wear. It does have a few scratches like yours but I don't care about those. Give it a try. Rose

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  23. SOS pads work wonderfully!

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  24. The weight of a stainless steel sink is relative to the gauge of the steel used in its construction. The lower the gauge number, the thicker and heavier the sink. A stainless steel sink with a gauge higher than 18 should be avoided, however, because a higher number means thinner steel that has the potential to dent or scratch more easily.

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  25. Barkeepers is my favorite, but before I found it, I had some good results with a baking soda/cream of tartar/vinegar mixture. I found barkeepers because, well, cream of tartar is expensive to clean with!

    ReplyDelete
  26. i usually use some grill cleaner i found at the dollar store... spray it on, wait a few minutes, then use the scouring side of an old sponge to scrub. you see the brown go down the drain. then once it's all rinsed off i look for places i missed. i usually do because of all the suds.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I know everyone hates to get into the chemicals... but being a landlord for the past 30 years, I've seen plenty of truly grubby sinks (all of our units have stainless steel). For a quick and easy clean, I use oven cleaner. Must wear gloves and avoid fumes, but cleans in minutes. Love your blog! Great ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I know it has bleach, jut Ajax works beautifully and is super cheap

    ReplyDelete
  29. Try BAR KEEPER'S FRIEND. IT IS IN THE POWDERED CLEANER AISLE AND IS AMAZING. I WET THE SINK AND THEN MAKE A LITTLE PASTE WITH IT AND RUB IT GENTLY OVER THE SINK AND LET SET FOR A LITTLE WHILE. RINSE AND WIPE DRY WITH A SOFT CLOTH. IT IS THE VERY BEST I HAVE FOUND. MADE FOR BARTENDER'S SINKS WITCH ARE ALWAYS STAINLESS STEEL.IT ALSO KEEPS THE SINK CLEANER LONGER. ALSO, GREAT FOR RUST STAINS ON CLOTHES AND OTHER SURFACES!! MAKE PASTE AND LET IT SIT AND RINSE.

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  30. Baking soda and vinegar works very well. Just sprinkle baking soda in the sink, add vinegar and wait a few minutes for it to start working. Then wipe the sink down, scrubbing around the drain a little. Rinse and it will be beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I haven't tried the magic erasure method or the peroxide combo, but I use Cameo (aluminum & stainless steel cleaner) and have had great luck with it. Make a paste with hot water and use a sponge. Rinse well and wipe dry with papertowel. Lasts a couple of weeks for me. Thanks for starting this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  32. What I do, and it works like a CHARM, is fill the sink with water (hot if I can recall) and dump in about 1/2-3/4C of bleach. I leave it for about 1/2hr or whenever I remember to go empty it. When I'm rinsing at the end, I rinse with a sponge and gloves to give it a good (easy) scrub. I do it maybe once every month or so, it stays relatively clean for a while after that.

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  33. I just tried the liquid dishwashing soap and I was AMAZED, it ACTUALLY WORKS.
    Thank you all for posting about using it. Now, I know how to get those ugly coffee, tea and pop stains out...........

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the post and information sharing with all. Our organization also help to remove strains from house or offices.Stainless Steel Cleaning

    ReplyDelete
  35. Baking soda then pour some vinegar and scrub. It does sparkle and remove stains

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am also a landlord, and I use dawn and baking soda to clean our stainless still sinks. It works great, and can also be used to clean shower stalls. A side note though, don't every use a magic eraser on your glass shower doors. It will remove the protective finish on the glass and can cause etching.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Um, folks I'm afraid you've misconstrued what the term "stainless" means in stainless steel. It refers to its rustproof properties. It's not some sort of guarantee that residues won't build up on the surface. I doubt there is any material out there that can make that guarantee. I've found that a Magic Eraser pad is usually all I need to get the brown buildup off provided I keep up and don't let it go too long.

    ReplyDelete

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  40. Hey really wonderful post your have shared here, I have bookmarked your blog
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  43. The given information is really very helpful. Thanks a lot for providing such useful information. Hope, I will get more information regarding the same. Environmentally friendly degreaser

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  45. Sponges made from the identical material as the Magic Eraser are available online at www.spongeoutlet.com for as little as $0.29 per sponge with free shipping! These are not cheap, potentially dangerous Chinese knock-off sponges that are available in some discount retail stores or online. Chinese sponges have been tested and may contain high levels of dangerous chemicals. Spongeoutlet eraser sponges are made from Basotect - from Germany - same as the Magic Eraser.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sponges made from the identical material as the Magic Eraser are available online at www.spongeoutlet.com for as little as $0.29 per sponge with free shipping! These are not cheap, potentially dangerous Chinese knock-off sponges that are available in some discount retail stores or online. Chinese sponges have been tested and may contain high levels of dangerous chemicals. Spongeoutlet eraser sponges are made from Basotect - from Germany - same as the Magic Eraser.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The results are amazing! You’re just an experimenter and you did a great job for all of us! By the way, our organization also takes part in the war against stain – we remove stain from houses and offices, you we do it well, too.

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  49. I think we can easily clean the stainless steel kitchen sink with the sponges, lemon liquid and scrub. If sink has full of oil and it is not cleaning easily you can use the lemon liquid and scrub. Definitely it will remove the oils and all waste from the kitchen sink.

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  50. This is a great post, very interesting points and I have enjoyed immeasurably. Lots of thanks!

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  53. I used a damp Magic Erasure and creamy peanut butter. Rinse with warm water and buff dry with soft cloth. Now my frig is like the new smudge proof models. I can lay my whole hand on the stainless and not leave a smudge. Try it!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Combine vinegar and baking soda. What I use on my lagostina set and sink. Scrub with sponge or brush. Don't need to be too generous with the baking soda as you can generally just add more vinegar if the chemical reaction stops. I was given the tip to combine these by an elderly woman who gave me the set as a wedding gift.

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