May 14, 2013

How to Remove Rust From a Stainless Steel Sink

Speaking of rusted things...

I left a baking sheet sitting in our sink too long and was left with a bunch of rust marks after I put it in the dishwasher:

This one in particular was really bad:

So was this one:

I've had this happen before so I turned to my trusty method of removal. There's many tutorials on how to remove rust stains from stainless steel sinks out there but none are very detailed. While this tutorial isn't new or original, I thought it might help someone else who is a visual learner like me!

Gather your supplies:

Pour some baking soda in a bowl. I used two tablespoons here but you can eyeball it if you want:

Slowly add a little bit of vinegar to the baking soda so it doesn't explode on you like a 3rd grader's science experiment:

Mix everything together until you get a paste that's a little runnier than toothpaste. If your paste is too watery, sprinkle in a little more baking soda and mix again. If it's too thick, add a little more vinegar.

When your paste is ready to go, spread it onto all of your rust spots:

I let mine sit for about 10 minutes:

Then I gently rubbed the paste into the rust stains with the back of a spoon (fingertips work too!):

After the paste has been rubbed in, I let the spots sit for another 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how bad the stains are) and then I rinse everything off with soap and water:

This is what one of the really bad stains looked like after about 30 minutes:

It was looking better but it wasn't completely gone so I mixed up some more paste and went through the process again:

When the final stain was removed, our sink looked brand new!

Minus the scratches of course haha

Everyone loves a before and after :)

What's your go to rust remover?


  1. Awesome job! I've heard cream of tartar and lemon juice work the same way. I'll have to keep this one in mind...thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Thanks Gabbi! I tried using cream of tartar with vinegar but it didn't work as well as the baking soda did. Maybe the lemon juice is what it needed!

  3. We used a similar technique for pet stains on carpet. Vinegar and baking soda are miracles!

  4. Thanks for the great tip Caroline! I'll have to try it out :)

  5. I use Comet. Yours is a little more chemical-free friendly. I'd try this but I HATE the smell of vinegar. Bring on the chemicals. :P

  6. Freaking magic! Now if only I had a stainless sink to try this out on. Any magic cleaners for ancient ceramic sinks?

  7. I just did the very same thing a week or so ago. I didn't go to the trouble of mixing the 2 in a bowl. I simply sprinkled the powder on the stain and dribbled the vinegar around on top. I didn't let it sit either. Just a bit of elbow grease scrubbing it and it was gone. My stains didn't seem to be quite as profound as yours though, so maybe it would have taken a bit more scrubbing.

  8. You are a genius. Never would have known this.

    And it really does look like new!

  9. Wow! I need to try this! Our sink is lookin' kinda rough as of late. Didn't know it was so easy!

    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  10. Just tried this on two stainless steel mixer attachments that had been soaked in water and had rust stains, and the bowl for the mixer. I rubbed this mix on the inside of the bowl and all over both attachment pieces, let them sit for probably about 15 minutes and rinsed it off. One of the attachments is COMPLETELY free of rust stains, but the other attachment and the bowl still have a little rust on them so I'll have try it again. I also tried it one side of our stainless steel kitchen sink and it looks so much better!

  11. Just tried this and it worked fabulously! Thanks:)

  12. Worked great for us too. Was looking for a different solution than the general cleaners out there. thanks. SGH

  13. Hi, This article makes perfect sense and will work if applied. There is also an alternative Organic cleaner, NSF approved Innosoft B570, that will remove heavier rust that the above recommendations will not be able to take care of or if you don't want to spend the time mixing. It will also remove the hard calcium stains in California.

  14. I would love to know what is in vinegar and baking soda. They seem to be the main ingredients in getting rid of things in your home that you don't want. It goes to show how powerful each substance is, considering that they can removed rust and its terrible effects. Would anyone know what each item possesses to do such a job?

  15. That's quite the mix you have there, can that work on any stainless steel surface? I have a few stainless steel appliances in my kitchen that have rust and stains all over them. It seems like vinegar and baking soda are always a good resource to use in a mess, but is that really all you need to get rid of the stain? That almost seems like an easy way out, I'll have to try it and see how well it works!

  16. I just used this on my stainless fridge and it worked wonders!

  17. Nice blog, Thanks for providing such an important information. non toxic degreaser

  18. Thank you! I didn't have any straight vinegar, but dill pickle juice worked as a fine substitute :)

  19. Just tried this as well...definitely had to put some muscle into it, but it worked GREAT! Thanks for the tip!


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