How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel Sink

Do you know how to remove rust from a stainless steel sink? Rust is iron oxide’s yellowish-brown or reddish flaking coating, formed on your stainless steel sink due to oxidation. It happens when your sink is always moist and never get proper care and maintenance.

Some stainless steel sinks come with an aesthetic touch and give your kitchen a modern or fashionable statement. But all of these can change when the sink rusts.

How to Remove Small Rust from Stainless Steel Sink Using Baking Soda:

Step 1: Mix Baking Soda and Water

Small rust spots don’t require much effort to remove. You only need to measure two cups of water and pour them into a container or bowl. Then add a tablespoon of baking soda and mix.

You may get worried that the baking soda may damage your stainless steel sink, but you need not. As a mild abrasive, baking soda is also chemical-free, guaranteeing to remove any corrosion on your sink without damaging its surface.

Step 2: Rub the Mixture

On the spots with the rust, apply the mixture, and follow the sink’s grain direction as you do so. Then rub the mixture using a clean, soft cloth until the rust spots are gone.

Step 3: Rinse Using Clean Water

After all the rust is gone, use clean water to rinse the area. Then take a soft towel and wipe the area gently until dry.

How to Remove Huge Rust from Stainless Steel Sink Using Baking Soda:

Step 1: Clean the Area and Sprinkle Baking Power

Use clean water to wash the rusted parts and ensure all dirt and debris get removed from the sink basin and drainage hole. Then take some baking soda and sprinkle around the affected areas. Ensure the baking soda coats the entire parts with rust.

Step 2: Allow the Baking Soda Coat to Sit for 30 Minutes

When all rusted parts get well covered with baking soda, please leave it to sit for about half an hour. During this time, the baking powder will penetrate through the rust, making it easy to remove.

Step 3: Scrub the Rusted Area

After 30 minutes are over, take your soft bristle brush and scrub the affected area. You need not panic if you have no soft bristle brush; look for your old toothbrush and use. It will work like magic!

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

When all the rust is gone, rinse the areas with clean water until sparkling clean. Then take a soft towel and dry the water.

How to Remove Rust by Using of Oxalic Acid-based Cleaners:

Items Required:

  • Soft sponge
  • The oxalic-based cleaner

Cleaners containing oxalic acid are powerful compared to baking powder. They are perfect for cleaning a stainless steel sink covered with too much and deep rust.

Have you ever left your sink uncared for a long while it was wet? The decorating sight of rust not only scares you but also makes you not to forgive yourself.

Fortunately, by the use of oxalic acid-based cleaners, you can get rid of the mess. It’s also important to note that not all stainless steel acts the same. You may not be successful in removing all the rust stains using baking powder in some stainless steel sinks.

In such a case, the oxalic acid-based cleaners come in handy. Follow the following steps to get rid of the rust using an oxalic-based cleaner.

Step 1: Apply the Oxalic-Based Cleaner on the Rusted Area

Open the oxalic-based cleaner package and read the application procedure carefully. Following the application process, apply a fair amount of the cleaner on all the parts with rust. Luckily, oxalic-based cleaners are not hard to find. You can find one in the store next door.

Step 2: Rub the Cleaner

After applying enough cleaner on all the rusted areas, use a soft sponge, which is a little damp to rub. Ensure you follow the direction of your stainless steel sink’s grains while rubbing in the cleaner. To give your sink a sparkling finish, you may need to add small elbow grease amounts as you rub.

Step 3: Rinse Clean

When all the rust is out, use clean water to rinse off the cleaner and rust. Then use a soft towel to wipe the areas dry. Viola! You’re done, and the sink is now free of rust and looks as good as new.

There are good and bad practices in every process, and removing rust from your stainless sink is no exemption. To enlighten you on the things to do and avoid when getting rid of rust, check out the following;

Rust Removal Worst Practices

As illustrated above, there are several ways you can remove rust from your stainless steel sink. But whatever method you may decide to go for, avoid using the following

  • Steel wool: It scratches the surface of the sink, making your sink get prone to rust
  • Steel brushes: They leave bad marks and damaging scratches on the sink’s surface
  • Cleaners containing fluorine, iodine, chlorine, and bromine: They will mar the surface of your sink, making it to rust easily

Rust Removal Best Practices

Once rust gets removed, it isn’t a guarantee that it won’t reoccur if the sink doesn’t get cleaned or appropriately managed. It is, therefore, essential to exercise some practices while maintaining or removing the rust. Here are some of the best practices you can do to avoid or minimize your sink from rusting.

  • Always use a soft sponge or cloth while removing rust or cleaning your sink. The sink’s surface remains safe from scratches, meaning it doesn’t get prone to rust.
  • Always keep your sink dry. After carrying out any water usage activity in your sink, ensure you get rid of all the water. A damp paper or soft towel works out great in drying the water.
  • Always maintain your sink and keep it clean. Sometimes the sink’s faucets and nuts may get loose, allowing water to drip around their location and into the sink. If such problems don’t get solved early enough, those damp areas may rust. Also, a dirty sink creates an ideal environment for your stainless steel sink to rust.
  • Always keep the sink protector away from your sink. Water gets trapped underneath of these mats and can cause discoloration or water stains.
  • Metal dish strainers corrode quickly. Avoid leaving them on or inside your stainless steel sink as they will make it rust.

Causes of Rust in a Stainless Steel Sink:

  • When you leave metal pans or cast iron pans on your sink to soak
  • Leaving flatware or utensils in your stainless steel sink
  • Setting metal cans such as those of vegetables or pet food in the sink
  • Using dish soaps made with metal or containing a built-in soap dispenser.
  • Leaving running colored towels and wet sponges on or inside the sink.

Your stainless steel sink may have rust, and you want to get rid of it but don’t have either baking soda or vinegar. It can be a frustrating situation, but you need not worry. There is good news; you can use alternatives. More so, these options get found in your kitchen’s cabinet or the shop next door. They include the following;

Alternative Options to Using Baking Soda or Oxalic Acid-Based Cleaners

  • Vinegar

You can use vinegar instead of baking soda. It is renowned for is many cleaning uses. Vinegar has acetic acid responsible for eating away dirt and rust. Substituting vinegar is also simple, as you can use lemon juice. What’s impressive about vinegar is that you can use it regularly to clean your stainless steel sink to prevent it from rusting.

  • Use Cream of Tartar

It is common in most kitchens to deal with stains and works wonders in getting rid of rust on stainless steel sinks. It consists of powdered tartaric acid, which removes rust with ease. If it’s not in your kitchen, you can’t miss it in the store near you.


Stainless steel sinks are appealing in our kitchens but can change the course if not taken care of well. Though dirt, moisture, and lack of maintenance are the leading causes of rust in a sink, other things also contribute to the sink’s corrosion, as described above.

Fortunately, there are various ways of removing rust from your prolific stainless steel sink, as illustrated above. But it is better to prevent the rust in your sink than undergoing through the hustle of removing it.

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