Troubleshooting Your Stainless Sink

Scratched Sink

Scratches like these are a common problem when you don't care of your sink

There are a few common issues that come up regularly with stainless sinks. We’ll try to address them in today’s blog post!


As with most metallic surfaces, your stainless steel sink will get scratches. These are merely “usage scratches” and over time will blend in with the overall finish of your sink. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the appearance of scratches. Use a nylon pad (such as Scotchbrite) with an iron free abrasive polishing compound. Follow the direction of the original polish lines and you can blend out the scratch in a small area. Be careful not to overdo it. If you get too aggressive, you can’t go back. You will end up with a bright spot.

Water Quality:

Regular cleaning can usually prevent lime scale deposits from hard water. Do not allow excessive build up before treating. Soaking in a 25% vinegar solution or a 5% nitric acid solution can treat these hard water spots. Periodically rub with a nylon bristled brush or fine synthetic scourer pad. Then, rinse and towel dry.

Rust Marks:

If you develop rust marks due to presence of or contact with ferrous (iron containing) materials, swab with a sponge wetted with a dilute (10-15%) solution of nitric acid (HNO3) and follow with routine cleaning. Avoid prolonged contact of ferrous (i.e. cast iron pans) materials with stainless steel. Dilute nitric acid in strengths of up to 20%, is a “friendly” acid to stainless steel. It is the ONLY acid that may be used with no risk to stainless steel.

These are just a few of the more common occurrences. Are there other things you have questions about? Drop us a comment and we’ll try to get it answered!

A couple additional items to consider:

The best finish for a stainless steel sink is “brushed” which reduces the appearance of scratches. Mirror or bright finishes (such as the sink shown above) are particularly susceptible to scratching and should be avoided. Scratches in quality sinks with a brushed finish like Eclipse sinks can be repaired. Scratches cannot be removed from the mirror finish products. Sinks can further be protected from scratching by the use of grates which are made to fit in the bottom of the sinks.

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