If there's one thing we at Ideal Home love to try our hand at, it's a hack, so of course we had to get to establish what the best stainless steel cleaning hack around actually is.
Knowing how to clean a stainless steel sink properly definitely pays, as neglecting this task can leave it looking a little dull, tired, and riddled with watermarks – which admittedly, doesn't leave a great impression in your kitchen.
I tried three different cleaning hacks for cleaning a stainless steel sink, and after much trial and error, this was the method I found most effective and will be recommending to others.
Jullia is Ideal Home's Junior Writer. She is an expert at following trends and viral hacks on TikTok and Instagram. She collated the most popular hacks for cleaning a stainless steel sink and tested them all to conclude which the most effective method out of the bunch was.
3 ways to clean a stainless steel sink
These three ways to clean a stainless steel sink are all well-known hacks popularised over social media and recommended by cleaning experts to ensure a gleaming finish every single time.
1. Washing up liquid and water
Starting with the most basic and straightforward out of the three. This one is pretty self-explanatory and just consists of wetting your sink, applying a small amount of washing-up liquid onto a sponge or cloth and cleaning the surface.
Afterwards, just rinse the sink clean and dry with a soft microfibre towel. If you always need one to hand make sure you check out the Mr Siga mutlipacks- a favourite with some of our team.
To be honest, this method does do the job for the purpose of a daily wipe-down (this is what I do every day in my own kitchen). However, if your sink needs a little extra TLC, Lily Cameron, cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services warns that this method won't work well if your sink hasn't been cleaned in a while and has some stains on it.
That's where the next methods I tried come in handy.
For this method, simply cut a lemon a half and rub it onto the surface like you would a sponge. Leave the juice to sit for a while and then rinse and dry with a microfibre cloth.
Lily from Fantastic Services confirms that the acid in the lemon helps break down mineral deposits and brighten the surface of the sink, which is ideal if you're looking to remove water spots or discolouration from the stainless steel surface.
I found this method super effective in getting rid of those pesky streak marks. Not only that, but it was also very easy to execute and good for the pocket seeing as lemons don't break the bank.
3. Baking soda and vinegar
This is probably the strongest method out of the three, ideal for stainless steel sinks that have been neglected for a while.
Make a paste with baking soda and water and use a cloth to scrub the surface of the sink, going in circular motions over any areas that are specially stained.
Afterwards, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the surface of the sink. The baking soda will react with the vinegar, foaming up (this is my favourite part, I always love watching it happen!). Then, just rinse the sink with water and dry it with a microfibre cloth.
'This is probably one of the most popular and effective DIY methods for stainless steel sink cleaning,' says Lily from Fantastic Services. 'Baking soda is abrasive enough to remove light water deposits and any stuck-on grease or food, but not abrasive enough to damage the surface.'
If you're dealing with a stubborn sink, this is definitely the method to try.
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (Pack of 3) | £7.20 at Amazon
If you tend to use baking soda for a lot of cleaning jobs, it's probably worth buying them in bulk and storing them away for easy access when you run out. It'll prevent you from having to keep topping up those tiny little ones you normally buy for baking.
Which cleaning hack was the most effective?
After testing all three methods, I can safely say that the baking soda and vinegar hack was the most effective by a long shot and put in the work for lifting even the most stubborn of marks. However, I think an important thing to note is how clean you need your sink to be, as each hack varies in strength level.
Despite crowning the baking soda and vinegar hack as the most effective, truthfully, I use the washing up liquid method way more on an everyday basis.
At the end of the day, it's all dependent on multiple factors! All three I tested were great and I've since incorporated them into my day-to-day cleaning routines. They've all got a yes from me.
Cleaning the kitchen sink every day is one of the top things that people with always clean kitchens do, so best believe if I'm going to implement it into my daily routine, I want to make sure I'm doing it the most efficient way possible.
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Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.
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