The sleek look of stainless steel makes it a popular choice of material for kitchen sinks. It is a durable material that can withstand constant use. However, it is unavoidable to get sink scratches. They might be superficial or deep, but scratches make a sink look dull and old. How do you remove them? We researched ways to do this and will share them with you.
Different cleaning tools will remove scratches on the stainless steel sink. Use any of these items to achieve a better-looking sink:
- Oil and a soft cloth
- Non-abrasive pad
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Scratch remover kit
Restoring your sink to its original look is easy with readily available materials. Read on to find out what causes scratches in a sink and how to use the materials listed above in removing them.
Why use stainless steel sink?
Having a stainless steel sink adds aesthetic value to a kitchen. The characteristics of the material also make it a good choice for residential and commercial use.
Stainless steel is a material that is resistant to corrosion. Its durability will keep the sink from easily cracking or chipping. Restaurant kitchens favor this material because it withstands extreme heat.
Sinks made of stainless steel are also low maintenance. Easy cleaning can retain its luster. However, it can get scratched with daily use.
Tips to Remove Scratches on Sinks
Solutions on how to remove surface or deep scratches are easy. Some even use items you have at home. There are a few things to remember though before you started.
Clean the sink thoroughly before starting to work on the scratches. Remove dirt with the use of dishwashing soap and a sponge. Then rinse and dry the whole area with a clean cloth. Doing this cleaning routine will help pinpoint the areas with scratches.
Make sure that you follow the grain of the stainless steel when applying the cleaning material. This will keep the cleaning agent from leaving any residue on the sink. The surface will also be shinier when cleaning along the direction of the grain.
Oil and a Soft Cloth
The simplest way to remove surface scratches is with oil. Vegetable or olive oil are good options, as these are easily available in the kitchen.
Dip a soft, clean cloth into the oil and start wiping the areas with scratches. Doing this several times will slowly make small scratches disappear. The result is a shinier and sleeker sink.
A nonabrasive pad is a soft, smooth cleaning sponge. This pad is gentle enough to not leave any scratches on the stainless steel surface.
A drop of dishwashing soap on the pad will make the sponge glide on the surface. Gently scrub the scratches several times to get good results. Lastly, wash off the soap and wipe with a dry dish cloth.
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Constant use of the sink can cause deeper scratches. Fortunately, buffing with the use of sandpaper will remove the scratches.
The texture of sandpaper ranges from very fine to ultra fine. The grit number is the guide on how fine the sandpaper is. As the grit number goes up, the finer it is. Superfine sandpaper with numbers between 400-6oo grit is best to buff stainless steel sink.
Do use gentle strokes in the direction of the stainless steel grain when buffing. Moisten the sandpaper with water for ease of use. Also, clean the surface with water after buffing to see if there's a need to repeat the process.
Special Scratch Remover Kit
Deep scratches on the sink can be removed by special scratch remover kits. This kit contains a stain remover solution, grit pads, and a soft cloth. Each kit will have specific manufacturer's instructions so refer to them before use. Special scratch remover kits are readily available online or from the hardware store.
The process starts with a stain remover applied to the scratch. Then use a grit pad with light pressure. Remember that too much pressure can cause damage to the sink. Next, buff the area with a soft cloth until you get a well-polished sink.
What causes scratches in stainless steel sinks?
What can be done to prevent scratches on the sink? Proper use of kitchen tools will prevent scratches on the sink. Also, there are cleaning tools that are not advisable for use if you have a stainless steel sink.
Knives, cooking tools, and utensils made of metal have sharp edges. Do not drop these items on the sink so as not to scratch the stainless steel surface. Handle these tools carefully when washing so the sharp edges do not hit the sides and bottom of the sink. Additionally, avoid using the sink to cut things.
An abrasive cleaner has granules to aid in removing stains and cleaning off the dirt. However, this texture can lead to scratching stainless steel.
It is recommended to use cleaners that have no granules. Nonabrasive cleaners are still effective in cleaning and polishing the sink.
Steel Wool Ball
A steel wool ball is an effective cleaning tool for those pots and pants with stubborn stains, but you should avoid using this for cleaning stainless steel sinks, as it can cause damage to the surface.
How can the sink be protected?
A sink protector mat is a way to cover the bottom of the sink. This comes in several sizes so it can fit any sink. The mat will cushion sharp objects if they drop on the sink while washing. Using one will also protect your plates from chipping. A mat that is elevated allows airflow, so it works as a drying rack as well.
Why is the kitchen sink so dirty?
Sinks see a lot of daily use, especially in the kitchen. Frequent washing of dishes, utensils, and pots leaves food scraps and oil on the sink. These accumulate and make your sink look grimy. Avoid accumulation of dirt and grime by cleaning the sink after use. Doing this will also keep your drain from getting clogged.
Hard water also leaves water marks on the sink. This mineral-rich water that dries up will leave white spots on the stainless steel, making your sink look old and dirty.
What is the best way to maintain a stainless steel sink?
Regular cleaning is the best way to make your sink look shiny. This will prevent dirt and grime accumulation on the sink. Also, cleaning the sink right away after using it will remove any acid that can cause corrosion. It will also prevent water stains from forming.
Make it a habit to clean the sink after use. All you need to do is scrub it gently with a sponge and dishwashing soap. Do additional scrubbing on areas that are sticky or where dirt has gathered. Rinse and wipe dry the sink thoroughly after scrubbing.
Baking soda is a good cleaning agent as well. This is not a harsh cleaning agent, so it will not damage the sink or leave any scratches. It can disinfect the sink too.
Pour baking soda on the sink and gently rub it with a non-abrasive sponge or soft nylon brush. Finish it off by cleaning off the dirt and leftover baking soda with water.
Another way to maintain a stainless steel sink is by polishing. There are stainless steel cleaners available that can make the sink have its original luster again. Do check the label of the cleaner to make sure it's safe for use on stainless steel surfaces.
The stainless steel cleaner can be applied or sprayed directly on the surface. Some cleaners need to be mixed with dish soap and water.
Polish the area with a soft or microfiber cloth. Use water to clean up to ensure there is no residue. For extra convenience, stainless steel cleaning wipes are also available. These not only clean but also repel dirt on the surface.
Now you know what can be done to remove existing scratches on your sink. Continue to care and clean your stainless steel sink to prevent scratches and keep it looking sleek.
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