How to Clean Hard Water Stains on Stainless Steel Sink

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hard water is highly concentrated with minerals. While many minerals are not bad for your health, they cause stains, even in the most expensive stainless steel sinks. If you’re looking for ways to clean hard water stains on a stainless steel sink, the trick is using natural solutions. The good news is that many of them can be found somewhere in your home.

So, before thinking about calling a pro or getting a new sink since you can’t stand the stained one, breathe in and read.

The following tips have helped many homeowners make their sinks look good as new!

Method 1: Use White Vinegar to Get Rid of the Stains

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant used to sterilize and clean surfaces, including sinks. Follow these steps when using vinegar to clean the stain on your stainless steel sinks:

  1. Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves.
  2. Put equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mix them well.
  3. Spray the solution on the stained parts of the sink.
  4. Let the acid sit for 15 minutes, allowing the solution to get the stains out faster.
  5. Scrub the sink using a brush or a non-abrasive sponge to ensure the sink’s surface won’t get scratched.
  6. Rinse the sink with tap water.
  7. Wipe the water using a damp piece of cloth.

Method 2: Use Lemon Juice to Remove the Stains

If the stain persists, you can substitute white vinegar with something more acidic, like pure lemon juice. Aside from being more effective, lemon juice will also leave a fresh citrusy aroma.

  1. Make sure to protect your hands by wearing gloves.
  2. Apply a generous amount of lemon juice all over the sink.
  3. Let the acid sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the sink using a brush or a non-abrasive sponge.
  5. Rinse the sink with tap water.
  6. Dry the area using a clean, damp piece of cloth.

Method 3: Apply Baking Soda to the Stains

Baking soda can effectively get rid of tough hard water and limescale stains. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean the sink of any debris.
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on all sink parts where the stains are most pronounced.
  3. Scrub the sink using any toothbrush or a non-abrasive sponge.
  4. Scrub in the direction of the steel’s grain.
  5. Rinse the sink well with water.

Method 4: Use Baking Soda and Vinegar/Lemon

Another excellent idea is to combine baking soda with acid to eliminate hard-to-remove stains. Perform the following steps for the best results:

  1. Clean the sink of any dust or debris.
  2. Put baking soda all over the sink’s surface.
  3. Scrub the surface using a soft brush or sponge until the mineral traces are loose.
  4. Spray lemon juice or vinegar over the baking soda to generate a fizzing effect that can last for a few minutes.
  5. Leave to allow the solution to sit.
  6. Rinse the sink.
  7. Dry the sink using a clean, soft cloth or towel.

Method 5: Use Club Soda in Dealing with the Stains

Club soda contains carbonation that can efficiently remove hard water stains. Here are the steps to get this done:

  1. Pour a generous amount of club soda over the stained parts of the sink.
  2. Rinse it off using tap water. Use a non-abrasive sponge or a clean cloth to scrub the sink in a circular motion.
  3. Dry the sink with a clean towel.

Method 6: Apply Olive Oil on the Sink to Remove Hard Water Stains

If the stains prove too tough to handle, the lubricating properties of olive oil might be handy. Not only will it remove the stains, it will also help bring back the steel’s natural shine.

Follow these steps to use oil to get rid of the stains:

  1. Pour a small amount of the oil on a paper towel or soft cloth.
  2. Rub the cloth with oil on the stains in a circular manner.
  3. Wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove any oil residue.

Method 7: Make the Water Softer

You can deal with the problem of hard water by making it soft. This is the best way to prevent the sink from having hard water stains in the future. Here are some of the most common methods to make your home water softer:

  1. Salt-free systems: They can alter how calcium deposits and magnesium react so they won’t cause staining on the surface.
  2. Ion exchange or salt-based systems: Ion exchange draws in hard minerals and replaces them with sodium ions.
  3. Reverse osmosis strips the water from chemicals and minerals using high pressure.

How to Prevent Hard Water Stains From Forming on a Stainless Steel Sink

Keep the following in mind to ensure your stainless sink will retain its excellent appearance and shine for a long time (sans the stains):

  • Avoid leaving wet cleaning pads, sponges, or rubber dish mats for an extended period at the sink because they can cause staining.
  • Always check the ingredients of any chemicals before using them in the sink, and make sure they’re safe for use with stainless steel.
  • Clean the sink each time you use it, leaving no residue that may be harder to remove once dry.
  • Keep your sink dry by wiping it with a soft cloth after every use.


How to clean hard water stains on stainless steel sinks? Know that the problem lies with the high concentrations of minerals present in hard water. To get rid of the stains on your sink or prevent them from happening, you can try the solutions you may already have at home. They include vinegar, lemon, baking soda, club soda, and olive oil.

You can also buy and use systems intended to make the water softer. The task may look tough, but you can effectively get rid of the stains in the sink with proper materials and regular maintenance and cleaning.

About Emily Leake

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