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How To Remove Chemical Stains From Stainless Steel Sink

By January 13, 2022Home Maintenance
dirty sink

Doing the dishes is not everyone’s favorite past-time. Let’s say that you are up from the dinner table and tasked with the dishes. As you load the dishwasher and empty the sink you see an orange ring in the sink. Thinking that it might be food residue, you take the sponge and scrub the ring with soap and warm water. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work to your liking. How to remove chemical stains from stainless steel sink? Luckily, you can use some home remedies with baking soda, water, vinegar, and even soap.

Let’s take a look at some details on what to use and how to use it on our stainless steel sink.

What Is Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is created by combining chromium metal with allow metal and adding additional elements. Those elements are typically nickel and manganese. By adding those metals to the steel, it now has increased durability and workability. By doing this, the metal becomes non-magnetic, so it won’t be attracted to other metals and stick.

What to Use to Remove Chemical Stains From Stainless Steel Sinks

There are a variety of items that you can use to try and remove chemical stains from your stainless steel sink. Keeping the sink looking shiny and in top-notch shape should be a priority as it is often the focal point of your kitchen.

  • Baking Soda
  • Hot Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Paper or Microfiber towels
  • Soft cloth towel, sponge, or old toothbrush
Cleaning the sink that has brown stains.

What Is the Best Approach

Just like with any other project, there is always a step-by-step process that you can follow to ensure that you are completing the project properly.

  1. In a bowl, mix dish soap and baking soda until it is a paste.
  2. Take a soft cloth towel, sponge, or old toothbrush and soak it in the paste you made. Make sure it is saturated.
  3. Wipe the stains over and over and do this gently until you see the stains disappear.

How Much Does It Cost

Fortunately, getting your stainless steel sink looking good should only cost you between $4 and $8 per product. Product choices are best made by comparing consumer reports and blogs that suggest what products have been effective in removing stains from a stainless steel sink.

If the stains do not come out and you need to replace the sink altogether, you are looking at a cost range of $100 to $800. The range varies based on the type and size of the sink you have chosen and also labor for installation.

Types of Stains

Hard Water

You will find that in any sink, the minerals in hard water can collect on the surface. The minerals, also known as calcium deposits, will turn the water cloudy. When you see brown rust stains, that is from dissolved iron.

Bleach can cause a permanent stain in a stainless steel sink.

Chlorine and Chlorides

If you leave salty water or water with chlorine bleach too long in a stainless steel sink, it can cause staining that you can’t get out.

Bimetallic Corrosion

Most corrosion can happen in the sink when you have an exchange of electrons between metals. An example would be salty water mixed with a metal, such as aluminum. The electrons that are exchanged between these two can cause corrosion.

Acid Staining

Unfortunately, liquids with a low pH stain stainless steel. An example is some drain cleaners as they may be sulfuric acid-based so avoid using them in your sink.

Iron Staining

One big no-no is wiping your stainless steel sink with steel wool. Another one to be aware of is small pieces of iron left on the surface of the stainless steel. Unfortunately, this can reduce the chromium concentration. Then, when it falls below 10 percent, rusting will occur in the sink. You can remove this rust and the iron that caused it, and when you do, the chromium oxide layer will repair itself and prevent more rust from forming.

Faucets can have calcium build-up.

Other Recommended Maintenance

One area to take a look at is the faucets and see if there is calcium build-up. If there is, you can install a water softener or use non-toxic methods, like white vinegar to remove the calcium build-up. This happens because of hard water.

While looking at the faucets, maybe you noticed that you haven’t tested your well water in a while. If you find out after testing that the water has coliform, you can shower in it but cannot drink it. Only adults can shower in it as they are old enough to know not to drink it. Then, well treatment is needed.

You might notice that your countertops are dirty in the kitchen. Also, if you have an oven cleaner that cleans really well so can you use it on the countertops? No, the chemicals are too harsh and will damage the countertop. Instead, you can use vinegar, baking soda, or beeswax.

Lastly, you might notice that the dishwasher drain needs to be unclogged. You can also do this by locating and removing the dishwasher filters, cleaning the filters and the drain, checking the plumbing connections, turning on the garbage disposal, checking the air gap on the sink, and clearing the drain.

When Do I Call A Professional

Using a professional contractor to clean the chemical stains in your stainless steel sink is likely only going to happen if you are not capable of scrubbing the sink yourself. This is a very do-it-yourself project that most can accomplish. Additionally, consider calling your local home inspection team to determine if a replacement of the sink is recommended.

Keeping items up to par in your home can increase the home’s value if you look to sell one day. Also, consider a home inspection, this allows you to learn what other projects are needed around the home.


Calling on a professionally licensed contractor is a great idea here. They will assist you in making sure that the stainless steel is cleaned properly and efficiently. You can also call on your local home inspection team. The local home inspection team will recommend other projects that should be upgraded at the home, while you have your professionally licensed contractor out at the home.

Easy projects like cleaning can often take on a bigger expense if the wrong products are used. Alpha building inspections conducts home inspections in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and surrounding areas.