There is nothing that sets off your kitchen like a sparkling stainless steel sink. By the same token, no one wants a streaked or dingy one. It’s not enough to wipe it with soapy water. Instead of putting up with a dull sink, use some tried and true methods to solve this annoying problem.

Bleach can’t be paralleled in its ability to strip away dirt and grime. So run a sinkful of very hot water, adding to it a capful of bleach. Let this concoction sit for at least two hours. During this time period, you can clean the rim of the sink by soaking paper towels in the bleach water, laying them around the basin, and gently pressing down. Take care not to let the bleach touch your counters. Remove the paper towels when you drain the sink. After discarding the bleach water, scrub any remaining spots of dirt with an old toothbrush.

Another readily available household substance often praised for its power to clean and deodorize is baking soda. To brighten your sink with baking soda, first wet the entire basin and sides with warm water. Spread baking soda evenly over the whole surface and allow it to stand for at least fifteen minutes. If your sink is especially dirty or dingy, take four tablespoons of baking soda, mix with a few drops of lemon juice, and mix until it forms a paste. Spread the paste on the affected areas and let it sit for five minutes or so. Use your old toothbrush to spread the mixture over your entire sink, then wipe the baking soda away with a paper towel. Rinse and examine the area to see if there are any stubborn spots. If so, mix up some more baking soda and lemon juice in your hand and apply, scrubbing and rinsing as before.

There are some basic tips to keep in mind if you want to maintain your sink’s bright luster and integrity. Thoroughly rinse your sink after using it. Wipe with a clean sponge and dry the area. Do your best to keep strong chemicals away from your sink. If you accidentally spill paint remover, oven cleaner, or some other similar substance, flush the sink with cool water right away. About once a week, give the sink a thorough scouring, making sure to go in the direction of the finish. Take care not to let food, liquids, or even household soap congeal or dry on your sink. Don’t use the sink as a cutting board, since a slip of the knife can result in unsightly deep scratches. Avoid putting hot pots or pans into the sink and don’t use steel wool to clean it. This type of pad can shed small particles that may become imbedded in your sink and rust, making it appear as though the sink itself were rusting. Surface rust can also be caused if you leave dish pans or mats in the sink. If you want to use this kind of accessory to protect the finish, consult your sink’s manufacturer to see if they sell coated sink grids, draining baskets, and other items that will not damage the finish.

Your sink is beautiful and durable. Because it is made of lustrous stainless steel, it will not crack, chip or nick. Even the cheapest stainless steel sinks age better than those made of other materials do. With the proper care, your sink will provide you with quality, beauty, and service for many years. All you need to do is take care of it.

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