How To Clean and Disinfect a Stainless Steel Sink

Here’s the thing about your stainless steel sink: It doesn’t seem like the kind of place bacteria would like to grow in (especially if you’re cleaning it with soap and water on a regular basis). But bacteria is sneaky and can grow pretty much anywhere. Which is why it’s a good idea to disinfect your sink every once in a while. Here’s how to do it.

A Note on Bleach

In this How To, we recommend using bleach to disinfect your sink. That’s because bleach is a highly effective disinfectant that eliminates mold, bacteria, and viruses. That said, bleach can be dangerous if it’s used incorrectly. Here are a few watch-outs to make sure you’re using bleach safely.

  • Clean the surface with soap and water before using bleach to disinfect. Bleach is a disinfectant, not a cleaner, so you’ll want to make sure you’re starting with a clean surface.
  • Do not overuse bleach. A little goes a long way! We’re talking about a capful (or about a tablespoon) per gallon of water or a ratio of about 1:50.
  • Do not mix with other cleaners. The biggest no-no with bleach is not to mix it with other cleaners, like vinegar, ammonia, or rubbing alcohol. The chemical reaction will create toxic fumes.
  • Use cold water, not hot water. Hot water actually decomposes the active ingredient in bleach, so make sure to use cold water when diluting it.

How To Clean and Disinfect a Stainless Steel Sink

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Bleach
  • Rubber gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Clean, dry microfiber cloth or dishtowel



  • You can use rubber gloves if you want, although they’re not necessary. The diluted bleach solution is strong enough to get the job done, but not so potent that you need to worry about getting it on your skin.
  • If you’re anti-bleach, try vinegar or hydrogen peroxide instead.
  • Finally, you can use flour — yes flour! — to polish your sink.

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