How Do You Fix a Bleach Stain in a Stainless Steel Sink?

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One would wonder why a stainless steel sink would get stains. It’s stain-less! Well, although it is less susceptible to discoloration than regular steel, it does stain as well.

Stainless steel keeps its luster longer than other types of steel because it has a protective layer of chromium oxide. The layer protects the iron content of stainless steel from reacting to alkaline or acid compounds in your food.

When exposed to harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach, your stainless steel sink will most likely get corroded. What looks like a stain is, in fact, permanent damage to the surface of your sink.

And although chances of removing the corrosion are minimal, you can at least improve the appearance of the sink in a few simple steps.

How to Get Rid of Bleach Stains from Stainless Steel

You’ll require:

  • Stainless steel polish
  • Rubber gloves
  • Green scrubbing pad
  • Soft cloths

Bleach stain removal instructions

  1. If it’s a light stain, all you need to do is scrub the surface of your sink using the green scrubbing pad. This will help remove the corrosion.
  2. To avoid scrubbing the dry metal and further damaging your sink, keep the area you are working on moist at all times.
  3. Follow the grain of the steel to avoid creating additional marks.
  4. After removing the corrosion, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water.
  5. If the stain persists, apply stainless steel polish on a soft cloth and use it to rub the affected area with gentle pressure.
  6. Add the polish and repeat the process as needed.
  7. After removing the stain, buff your sink with olive oil. You just need to apply a few drops of the oil to a lint-free cloth and the sink until it sparkles.

Additional Tips

  • Use more bleach – Clean the rest of the sink with diluted bleach until you get a uniform color across the surface.
  • Replace the surface – Although simple, this is the most expensive method of getting rid of bleach stains from your stainless steel sink. Use it only as a last resort.
  • Check the sink’s manual for care tips – The manual might have specific tips on how best to remove bleach from stainless steel. With the directions, you should get the job done fast and with ease.
  • Always wipe or scrub in the direction of the grain – Look closely at the sink, and you will notice that the metal is organized into thin strips pointing in one direction.
  • Wipe the sink immediately if it comes into contact with bleach – This prevents the bleach from corroding the sink.
  • Avoid using products that can damage your stainless steel sink. Cleaners containing chlorides can cause damage to stainless steel. Avoid them at all costs.

Preventing Bleach Stains

To avoid bleach stains on your stainless steel sink, follow the dos and don’ts listed below.


  • Always consult the safety instructions listed on the label of the bleach bottle. This will give the guidelines for the materials you can clean with the bleach.
  • If you have to use bleach, reduce its corrosive properties by simply diluting it with cold water.
  • Check to ensure that your common household cleaners don’t contain bleach.


  • Avoid mixing bleach with other substances as they can provoke dangerous reactions.
  • Don’t let the bleach sit on your stainless steel sink for a long time, as this can cause corrosion or discoloration.
  • Don’t expose bleach to your skin, as it can cause severe damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What causes the discoloration of stainless steel sinks?

Although stainless steel sinks are resistant to rust at room temperature, they can get discolored at elevated temperatures by oxidation. This is because they contain chromium and other alloying elements such as molybdenum and titanium.

Q2. How do I remove discoloration from my stainless steel sink?

To remove the discoloration, try cleaning the sink with water and baking soda paste. After that, rinse it with vinegar, which helps to disinfect and remove hard water stains from the sink.

Q3. What should you not use on a stainless steel sink?

Don’t use steel brushes or steel wool to scrub your stainless steel sink as they are abrasive and can scratch it. Avoid using harsh chemicals on it as well.


With the right materials, it’s possible to remove bleach from a stainless steel sink. And while carrying out the process, avoid using harsh abrasives like steel bristle brushed and steel wool scrubbing pads.

Any product with grit can damage your stainless steel sink.

Note that in addition to causing scratches, steel wool can also leave behind tiny steel particles. These particles can rust and lead to new discoloration.

To keep your stainless steel sink in its best shape, always clean it after use. Should it come into contact with bleach, rinse it clean immediately.


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