Stainless steel is often people’s preferred material for kitchen and house appliances, especially sinks.
You may be tempted to clean your stainless steel with bleach.
It is a multi-use cleaner that helps to sanitize, and it should be fine.
You might also even clean items in your stainless steel sink with bleach, leading to bleach sitting on the stainless steel.
Unfortunately, bleach is corrosive and can cause stains in your not-so-stainless stainless steel.
We have been in your shoes, and because of this, have done some research on the best way to remove bleach stains from stainless steel.
Continue reading below to learn how to remove bleach stains from stainless steel.
What You’ll Need
Now that you have compiled your materials, keep reading below for step-by-step instructions on how to remove bleach stains from stainless steel.
1. Apply Bar Keepers Friend To Stainless Steel
Sprinkle some of the Bar Keepers Friend onto the bleach stain on the stainless steel.
Be sure to cover the entire stain with the powder.
If you have a gel version of Bar Keepers Friend, use a similar amount, but wet your sponge less in the next step.
2. Use Sponge To Scrub The Stainless Steel
Wet your clean sponge.
Consider whether you are using the powder or gel version of Bar Keepers Friend.
Using the gel version, you will not need to get it as wet as you might with the powdered version.
You want to be sure to create a frothy paste that can be spread and used to scrub the bleach stain but not to water down the Bar Keepers Friend.
Then begin to scrub the bleach stain on the stainless steel.
Be sure, when you scrub the bleach stain, that you follow the grain pattern likely visible on your stainless steel.
Following this will ensure you are not creating an obvious patch that sticks out from the remainder of your stainless steel.
You should see the bleach stain begin to be lifted from the stainless steel.
In some areas, it may take quite a bit of elbow grease.
If you are noticing very stubborn areas, be sure to apply more of the Bar Keepers Friend to the stainless steel.
Then continue scrubbing with the wet sponge.
If there is a lot of residual Bar Keepers Friend and suds on the stainless steel, you can rinse off the stainless steel to remove it.
- Step 1 (:45) — Apply Bar Keepers Friend To Stainless Steel
- Step 2 (1:28) – Use Sponge To Scrub The Stainless Steel
Why Does Bleach Stain Stainless Steel?
While it may be very tempting to clean various stainless steel items in your home with bleach, it is not a good idea.
Although known to be a very versatile cleaner, bleach is a reasonably harsh cleaner.
The harshness of the bleach will compromise the quality of your stainless steel.
The bleach may dull the finish of your stainless steel.
This dulling of the finish may even result in rust or marks over time, further compromising your stainless steel.
This means you will want to be very careful if you have a stainless steel sink so that you do not get any bleach on it.
Some people may wish to clean their cutting boards with bleach to sanitize them periodically.
If you do this, you will want to be sure that the bleach you use to clean the cutting board is thoroughly rinsed out of the sink once you are one.
If you get some bleach on your stainless steel sink, rinse it away as quickly as possible.
Can you Use An Abrasive Sponge To Remove Bleach Stains From Stainless Steel?
If you do not already have Bar Keepers Friend on hand in your home, there are other methods that you could use, but they may require more elbow grease, time, and repetition.
Some people can use an abrasive sponge, but not a wire or a harsh tool.
This slightly abrasive material may be able to remove the discoloration.
But it is still important to use caution with this method to ensure you do not scrape the stainless steel.
Can You Use White Vinegar To Remove Bleach Stains From Stainless Steel?
You can use white vinegar to remove discoloration from different stains, such as bleach stains.
The acidity of the vinegar should help to break down and remove stains.
Use a soft sponge to scrub the stain thoroughly.
Once the stains have been removed, you can rinse off the vinegar from the stainless steel.
Can Baking Soda Remove Bleach Stains From Stainless Steel?
You can also use baking soda to address bleach stains on stainless steel.
You can wet the stainless steel area stained with bleach and add some baking soda over the bleach stain.
Let the baking soda sit on the bleach stain for about an hour.
Then you can sprinkle the area with water and scrub with a soft brush.
Be sure to scrub vigorously but still carefully.
You can then rinse the spot with a clean sponge and water.
You may be able to try using a stainless steel polish to fix any discoloration.
You will need to purchase a stainless steel polish and follow the instructions on how to use the polish on your stainless steel.
Test a little of the stainless steel polish in an inconspicuous location to ensure it doesn’t harm your stainless steel.
You may be tempted to use more bleach to spread the bleach stain and create a new even stain, but that is not recommended.
As you will likely be unable to make a consistent stain, the bleach is unsuitable for stainless steel beyond aesthetics.
In the end, avoid any cleaner that contains chlorine, fluorine, and bromine, as these are in the same family as bleach and will impact the stainless steel finish.
Also, while you want to scrub the bleach stain away, you do not want to use too harsh of an abrasive.
Doing this will more likely create scratches in the stainless steel and further mar the surface.