I just moved into a home that has stainless sinks--not only in the kitchen, but in two bathrooms. I'm not used to cleaning or maintaining stainless, so I set myself to do the right research. I was amazed at the range of homespun solutions and conventional cleaning products that claim to handle the job. All said and done, I'm always ready for the cheap and easy homespun answer as opposed to dragging more chemicals into my home.
Shine writer Emily Shieh addresses one of my testier concerns--what to do when the sink is clean but the shine is marred by little, stubborn water spots. No, I am not obsessive, but what's the point of keeping the sink clean if it still looks crummy?
Emily's answer is to apply a home-made remedy, which makes me happy. Just use water and baking soda as a paste and use a slight abrasive pad to rub out any scratches. Go easy. For removing light stains, try plain old vinegar. To loosen rust, try rubbing alcohol. And for really obstinate water dots, use cream of tartar (three parts) and one-part hydrogen peroxide and wipe it all down with clean water.
Adding Sparkle to the Sink
The last step, Emily says, is to use all-purpose flour and water or club soda to polish it up and complete it with--surprise--a little baby oil for a glossy look. I've also heard of using olive oil to remove any streaks.
If you have a marble sink, you're in luck; they rarely scratch and last a long time when washed with dish soap and water.
For copper sinks, the writers at Cleaning With Vinegar recommend basic cleaning with soap and water, but avoid commercial products at all costs. In fact, they say, don't even use vinegar!