How To Remove Scratches From A Stainless Steel Sink

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen

In many homes, the sink is the heart of the kitchen. It’s where people gather while cooking, washing the dishes, and washing their hands. It’s why many feel that the better their sinks look, the better their kitchens look.

However, even the best-looking sink can lose its appeal if its full of scratch marks. These can be especially frustrating to deal with on stainless steel sinks. However, doing so is definitely possible as long as you follow the right instructions.

To remove scratches from your stainless steel sink, you’ll need a scratch removal compound, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. Apply a small amount of the compound to a microfiber cloth and then rub it gently back and forth across the scratch. Then, wipe with a fresh cloth to remove any residue. Repeat as needed until all scratches are removed.

What Scratches Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is one of the most beautiful finishes you can choose for your kitchen sink. However, it’s also one that’s, unfortunately, very prone to scratching. There are several different ways that you can scratch a stainless steel sink.

First, because stainless steel is so easy to scratch, you can do so through normal daily use. For example, an action as simple as placing and removing dishes and silverware from your sink can scratch stainless steel. To a certain extent, some of this is unavoidable.

Additionally, there are some cleaning materials that can scratch stainless steel sinks. Materials like scrub pads, steel wool, and bleach are considered abrasive to stainless steel. If you use them, you may find that your sink is getting scratched often and is dulling.

Can You Remove Scratches from a Stainless Steel Sink?

Yes, you can absolutely remove most scratches from your stainless steel sink. In order to do so, you’re going to need to gather just a few materials. These include:

  • Stainless steel scratch removal compound such as Bar Keeper’s Friend
  • Water
  • Two microfiber cloths
  • Stainless steel scratch removal kit

Once you’ve gathered these items, you’re ready to get started with the scratch removal process. It is, however, important to note that the following step-by-step guide is meant for normal scratches, not deep ones. A separate set of instructions will follow for those.

How to Remove Scratches from a Stainless Steel Sink

  • Mix water with your powdered stainless steel scratch removal compound (if you’re using a powdered product). You should do this by adding just a few drops of water at a time. The end product should create a paste that has a consistency similar to toothpaste.
  • Apply a small amount of the removal compound to one of your microfiber cloths.
  • [b]Gently rub the compound on the cloth back and forth over the scratch[/b]You’ll want to work in the direction of the metal’s grain for the best results. Continue doing this until the scratch is out.
  • Gently wipe the surface with the second microfiber cloth to remove residue. The cloth should be fresh and barely damp. You may also want to dry the spot with a third microfiber cloth. However, allowing the spot to airdry is also fine.
  • Repeat as many times as needed to eliminate all scratches.

How to Remove Deeper Scratches in Stainless Steel

Unfortunately, some stainless steel scratches are too deep to be resolved with just a normal removal compound. If you have a scratch like this, then you’re going to want to purchase a stainless steel scratch removal kit. Popular options include:

  • Scratch-B-Gone
  • Cookware Scratch Remover
  • Siege Stainless Steel Sink

The benefit of these kits is that they include both a polishing compound and a set of abrasive pads. These are specifically manufactured to help stainless steel products rather than harm them.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to use one of these kits:

  • Start by reading through the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll also need to identify the direction of the grain in your stainless steel sink before getting started.
  • Select the appropriate grit pad and rub it against the scratch. This should be done in the direction of your sink’s grain. Additionally, move it only in one direction, not back and forth. Doing that could cause other blemishes to appear. Finally, use only the pressure needed. Don’t push too hard while working.
  • If recommended by the manufacturer, move to a smoother grid pad. Continue the buffing process that you began in step two. You may also be asked to add some water to the pad at this point in the process.
  • Wipe the surface with a clean microfiber cloth. This should also buff your sink into a clean shine.

Removing Scratches from Stainless Steel with Sandpaper

Some homeowners have also begun using sandpaper to remove scratches from their stainless steel appliances. This is an alternative method to the one shown above for getting rid of deeper scratches. It’s a bit too intense of a method for shallow scratches.

If you’d like to try this, you’re going to want to use 400- to 600-grit sandpaper. Select the lowest grit that you have and begin sanding the scratched area. If you work for a few minutes and the scratch doesn’t come out, then move up to the next coarsest grit.

Once you’ve managed to make the scratch disappear, sand the rest of the panel of stainless steel so that everything blends in nicely. This is another way to get the job done if you don’t feel like purchasing a complete stainless steel scratch removal kit.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

It’s also a good idea to develop a cleaning routine for your stainless steel sink that won’t damage it. This is especially important because many of the scratches that stainless steel sinks get come from improper cleaning processes.

Experts recommend combining a simple daily treatment plan along with a deeper weekly cleaning that utilizes a soft abrasive cleaner. Options like Bon-Ami and Bar Keepers Friend are great for this.

As you clean, it’s important to remember that you should only scrub in the direction of the polished lines in your sink. This will ensure that you aren’t actually scratching the surface that you’re trying to make look better.

Additionally, most soaps and detergents contain chlorides, which can cause corrosion in stainless steel. If you’re using soaps with chlorides during your daily cleaning, make sure that you rinse them off the surface of your sink as quickly as possible.

Finally, don’t use carbon steel brushes or steel wool while cleaning. Using these cleaning tools is really just asking for more scratches to appear in your sink.

How to Make a Stainless Steel Sink Shine

There are a few different materials that you can use to give your sink an extra sparkle. For example, club soda works great for this. All you need to do is put a bit on a soft cloth and rub it around your sink. Be sure to rinse once you’re finished to prevent water spots from coming in.

You can achieve a similar effect with baking soda and a vinegar rinse. Baking soda is abrasive enough to eat away at hard-water deposits and stuck-on grease, but not so abrasive that it will damage your sink. Vinegar will cause it to bubble and fizz, while also disinfecting the sink.

Finally, another option is to use olive oil to make your stainless steel sink shine. All you need is a few drops on a lint-free cloth to achieve the sparkle that you’re looking for.

How Do You Stop Stainless Steel From Scratching?

It can be difficult to remove some scratches from your stainless steel sink. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to learn what you can do to prevent scratches from occurring in the first place. Thankfully, there are a few actions you can take now to ensure that you don’t have to deal with as many scratches in the future.

First, it’s a good idea to invest in a sink guard. These sit on the bottom of your sink and allow water to drain through them. However, they feature enough protection to prevent your stainless steel sink from being scratched by dishes and utensils.

It’s also important that you clean your sink with the right materials. You should only be using non-abrasive materials, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend, Soft Scrub, and others. Doing this will preserve the original finish of your sink.

Related Questions

Can you use toothpaste to remove scratches from stainless steel?

Yes, toothpaste is another product you can use to get rid of the scratches in your sink. To do so, simply apply a fine layer of toothpaste to a soft cloth and begin rubbing with the grain.

Is Magic Eraser safe on stainless steel?

No, you shouldn’t use any Magic Eraser products on your stainless steel sink. Doing so is likely to leave you with a series of fine scratches and scuffs that will have to be removed with one of the methods covered above.

Can paper towels scratch stainless steel?

Yes, paper towels have been shown to scratch the surface of stainless steel appliances. Use a microfiber cloth instead. They have short, fine fibers that won’t cause any scratching.

Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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