How To Clean A Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Rack

Sean Jarvis
by Sean Jarvis

Not many people have a kitchen sink rack, but those that do know that its both a lifesaver and a major pain. A great way to protect your sink from scratches and rust, if you can fit it in the dishwasher than its easy to clean. If not, you are going to be scrubbing and scrubbing and trying to get inventive to cut back on your cleaning time.

To clean your stainless steel sink rack, you can throw it into your dishwasher, scrub it with soap and water, use a strong chemical compound, or use a steam machine to kill the bacteria. You always have the option to bring it in for professional cleaning, however, that can be expensive.

Cleaning your kitchen sink rack is important in maintaining its aesthetic as well as preserving its lifespan. Read below for the specifics on how to clean your sink rack and keep it in tip-top shape!

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Kitchen Sink Rack Preventative Care

If your kitchen sink rack isn’t too dirty you can use soap and water and a sponge to clean it. This is a good idea even if you are going to deep clean it once a week. If you take care to wipe it down daily, it will take much longer before any noticeable buildup occurs.

Simply fill the sink with hot soapy water, so that the kitchen sink rack is covered. You can also flip it over so that the rubber legs are facing up, that way you won’t have to fill the sink as high. Let it soak for about 20 minutes and then take the scratchy side of a regular sink sponge and clean off the grates.

Make sure to get the corners as well, as this is where most buildup happens. This quick and easy maintenance will help cut back on the deep cleaning time later.

Using Cleaning Agents on Your Sink Rack

There are many different cleaning agents on the market that will help you clean your kitchen sink rack. Just make sure they are good to use on stainless steel before purchasing, so you don’t risk damaging the finish.

With these, you will want to follow the manufactures directions, as their applications can be quite different. Typically, you will spray these on and let them sit while they do their magic work, breaking up the grease and grime.

Then you will use a sponge to clean off the cleaning agent and everything that was stuck to your rack. Although these are a good way to get things clean, many people nowadays feel hesitant using harsh chemicals in their homes.

Using Natural Cleaning Agents

One of the best ways to naturally clean your stainless-steel kitchen sink and rack is to use baking soda. Baking soda causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water, making it a very effective kitchen tool. When combined with lemon and white vinegar, it is a powerful grease-fighting combination.

Cleaning With Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as an abrasive cleaner and it will not cause the stainless steel to become scratched. This is common to already have in your house and makes a very handy cleaner.

Items You Will Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon
  • White Vinegar
  • Sponge (optional)

Step 1: Baking Soda Application

When using baking soda, you will want to liberally coat the surface of your sink rack. To do so, flip it upside down so the rubber feet are facing up and the rack is flat on the kitchen sink bottom. Wet the rack then sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface.

Using a sponge or cloth, buff the rack, really working in the baking soda. Make sure to get into all the crevices and seams.

Step 2: Adding Lemon Juice

You will then take half a lemon and squeeze the juice over the baking soda. You can also make a paste with lemon juice and baking soda, to apply separately. Take the other half of the lemon and use that like a sponge to apply the paste and work it into the rack.

Step 3: Soaking in White Vinegar

Once finished, pour white vinegar over the rack. This mixture will fizz which means it is interacting and cleaning your sink rack. This is why you want to flip the rack upside down so that it can soak in the white vinegar. Let this sit for a few minutes before rinsing your rack.

Steam Cleaning Your Sink Rack

One of the easiest ways to clean your kitchen sink rack is to use a steam cleaner. These machines use pressurized, high-temp steam to loosen and dissolve dirt, grease, and grime. They will reach into every nook, cranny, and crevice and kill 99% of the bacteria. Your kitchen sink rack will look brand new and in a much quicker time than it will take you to scrub it by hand.

Step 1: Preparing the Steam Cleaning Machine

To start, you will want to attach the nylon brush. This is the best attachment to use when it comes to cleaning your stainless-steel sink rack. It will allow you to reach all the corners and do some scrubbing as well.

Fill the reservoir with water and turn it on. Wait for the light to signal that the water is heated to temperature. These features will vary depending on the machine you are using, so check the user’s manual first.

Step 2: Spraying Down Your Rack

Place the brush against the kitchen sink rack and pull the trigger to allow the steam out. Using the wand in the same way you would a scrubber, lightly move up and down the rack. Go in the same direction as the rack slats and cover both sides. Allow the steam to do the work here, no need to scrub very hard, just hard enough to help it work where needed.

Make sure that you are cleaning your rack in a place that won’t be negatively affected by the steam. If you are using your hands to hold the rack, wear rubber kitchen gloves to protect yourself from steam burns.

Why You Should Use Kitchen Sink Racks

These racks come in all shapes and sizes. They fit at the bottom of your sink, being held off the floor with their rubber feet. This will stop your stainless-steel sink from getting scratches from silverware and your pots and pans.

If you leave items too long in your sink you might notice rust spots accumulating that are a pain to get out, but with a sink rack, this won’t happen. You can also use them to break up the sink into different sections.

Because these come in all shapes and sizes, you may have one that fits inside your dishwasher. This is really handy as you just pop it in with your regular dishes, once or twice a week, to keep it clean. If yours doesn’t fit then you are going to have to hand wash it, which can be a strenuous and long process.

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Related Questions

Are Kitchen Sink Grids Necessary?

Sink grids (or racks) are a great way to protect the bottom of your sink from rust and scratches. Even a stainless-steel sink isn’t impervious to abrasions, and a grid will help keep things from scraping it. This will help maintain the look of your sink and keep it looking new, longer.

Can I Use Bleach to Clean My Stainless-Steel Sink?

Although bleach has its uses, cleaning your sink should not be one of them. Bleach and stainless steel react with each other in a way that can corrode and turn it black. If you leave bleach in the sink it can also make it porous and easily stained, making it much harder to clean later. Bleach can also damage the stainless-steel strainer and chrome p-trap beneath the sink.

What Should I Not Use When Cleaning My Stainless-Steel Sink?

Refrain from using any abrasive materials, such as steel wool or brushes, as these will scratch the surface of your sink. They will also make your sink and rack more susceptible to rust and staining. Their abrasiveness will leave scratches in the stainless-steel and dull the finish, leaving an unattractive result. Your sink may be clean, but it won’t look pretty.

Sean Jarvis
Sean Jarvis

Sean Jarvis is an interior decorator, writer, and expert handyman. Well versed in everything home improvement, he is a savant at manipulating words and spaces and upgrading everything around him. Sean specializes in writing concise guides about appliance repair and installation, home and lifestyle, and other residential projects.

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