You got a brand new stainless steel counter-top installed, and are admiring its clean lines and beautiful shine… Then suddenly notice it. A scratch mark on your beautiful stainless steel sink or worktop. Can it be fixed? The answer is yes! Scratches happen usually due to a dish or cutlery hitting against the steel, which is why is more common to see them on the sink. However, our guide can also be applied to other surfaces such as the worktops. Keep reading to learn how to get scratches out of a stainless steel sink, and how to take care of it properly to minimise future damage.
Removing Scratches From Stainless Steel Sinks And Worktops
Usage scratches will, over time, blend with the overall looks of your sink and make it look aged in a beautiful, rustic way. Which is perfect if you like that, but if you prefer a more pristine look then you’ll need to arm yourself with a nylon pad (Scotch-Brite or similar) and an iron-free polishing compound. This needs to be slightly abrasive so the scratch is blended out and can only be used on small scratches. Follow the instructions and remember that you can’t unpolish your steel sink, so don’t overdo it. You may end up with a bright spot otherwise, which won’t look better than the scratch. If you aren’t sure, just err on the side of caution and work slowly, following the direction of the original polish lines so the scratch blends away.
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Cleaning Stainless Steel Countertops Or Sinks
You should aim to clean your kitchen surfaces often using a light cleaning product suitable for stainless steel. This saves you from having to perform in-depth cleaning with a much harsher cleaning agent. For more stubborn stains, water marking or rust, you can use a mild, non-abrasive cream or polish applied with a soft cloth. Don’t forget to rinse afterwards with clean water, and dry with a clean cloth to prevent water marks and chlorine staining your steel sink.
Once a week, you should deep clean your steel kitchen surfaces using a suitable for stainless steel cleanser, rubbing in the direction of the finish lines. A soft cloth or sponge can be used but avoid anything too aggressive such as a metal scourer (steel wool) or metal bristled brushes. Be careful to use cleaning products suitable for stainless steel, and not anything for other metals. For example, “silver cleaners” are not suitable.
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I Have Rust Stains On My Stainless Sink!
Rust shouldn’t happen on stainless steel countertops or sinks but occasionally contact with iron containing materials can cause rust marks over time. For example, if you have cast iron pans or a cast iron kettle and you leave it on your stainless steel worktop for too long you may end up with a rust stain. Most of the time, the steel surface will be fine and not rusting, is just a deposit on top of it.
There are commercial products that can be used to treat them, or alternatively a solution of nitric acid under 20% applied with a sponge can be used to rub away the stain. Afterwards, wash out with water and dry. Avoid using wire wool which usually has carbon on it, as it can leave rust marks on stainless steel.
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How To Avoid Stains And Scratches On Your Stainless Sink
There are some things you can do to keep your sinks and worktops looking great for longer. For example:
- Avoid using coarse, abrasive cleaners (particularly powders), brushes with metal bristles or steel wood. They can cause scratches and damage the finish.
- Keep your sink or worktops as dry as possible. Avoid leaving water spills, wet cloths, sponges, cleaning pads or drying mats on top of your steel surfaces. Water leaves water marks, and chlorine can damage the finish.
- Do not use silver cleaners, only stainless steel cleaners. And don’t let them dry on your sink, wash them off to avoid stains.
- Chlorine (present in bleach) can damage the steel, so avoid leaving a bleach solution in the sink for long and if you do it, rinse carefully and dry afterwards.
- Do not let limescale accumulate: clean with a diluted vinegar solution (1 to 4 with water should work well for light stains) regularly, and it will save you a lot of scrubbing later.
How to get scratches out of a stainless steel sink is not difficult, but it requires some elbow grease and the right products. If you are not a fan of that, regular cleaning and maintenance can avoid them altogether.