Stains on a "stainless" steel sink

by Ingrid

Stainless steel is NOT stainless... I have stains on a Kohler deep sink in my kitchen that are blackish gray and will not come off... no idea, what causes them

I've tried not using bleach , bleach is not the cause... one by one eliminated other things : Jewelry cleaners, tarnex.... no idea what makes them show up..

I've tried all my friend's well meaning remedies : Ajax, steel wool pads, DW40, various stainless cleaners....NOTHING works ! I need help. This sink was expensive, is less than 4 years old and I don't have the time or money to replace it.... Desperate in Colorado. How do I clean my stainless steel sink?

  9 answers
  • Barb Adams Barb Adams on Mar 30, 2018

    Try "Barkeepers Friend" (I buy mine at Dollar General). It's a non-abrssive powder. Whatever you use, scrub in the direction of the grain or it will leave scratch marks across the grain that are permanent. Been there, done that.

  • Pjo26908388 Pjo26908388 on Mar 30, 2018

    Not sure if you have tried Bar Keeper's Friend? If you live where the water has high minerals it may just be a continuous problem. (Tarnex ruins most things and shouldn't be used on anything ever.) BKF has worked for me and I've flipped many homes with dodgy sinks...

    If it is rust- Navel Jelly or potato skins (let them sit on the stain for a bit) will remove the spots. I know you've tried many things, so ignore these suggestions if you've tried them.

    Kohler has a decent warranty, it may be a defect of the sink- check to see if others have had problems with the same sink model. Replacing it is a pain and I hope it doesn't come to that.

  • Kac32568501 Kac32568501 on Mar 30, 2018

    I use Dow Bathroom Cleaner (scrubbing bubbles) Works great for me.

  • Ken Ken on Mar 30, 2018

    Acids will discolor stainless. I made the mistake of tossing a *nearly* empty bottle of toilet bowl cleaner in the sink on my way out the door, to be rinsed for recycling when I got home. Dark gray stain.

    There is an industrial Scotch Brite pad. It is a maroon color. Some hardware stores or industrial supplies carry it, but it is available on Amazon. Rub it in the direction of the original finish of the sink and it will remove the stain.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Mar 30, 2018

    The best cleanser I have found is Bar Keepers Friend. It has removed the worst stains I have had, including rust from a pan. You can find it in the section with Comet and Ajax cleansers

  • Barb Barb on Mar 30, 2018

    I know it sound crazy but try covering the sink in catsup. The acid in the tomato might take it off . It cleans copper on pans if you let it sit over night

    Or baking soda and vinegar .Wet the sink sprinkle the backing soda all over the sink and then in a spray bottle spray the vinegar over it this will make it foam up .Repeat either of these if you see it is helping until it comes off . Hope that works for you .

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Mar 30, 2018

    Try something like Vim or Comet. Check at the store where you purchased the sink and they should be able to help you. You did not say what the sink was made of.

    • Ingrid Ingrid on Mar 30, 2018

      Tried them already, thanks so very much ... You guys are the BEST !

  • Ann Ann on Mar 30, 2018

    Baking soda is used in commercial kitchens to clean coffee stains on stainless steel and aluminum pans.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 30, 2018

    make a paste with baking soda and water