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Does Stainless Steel Sink Rust?

stainless steel sink

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Everyone who owns a stainless steel sink has a notion that it is resistant to stains – due to the name. However, the reality that comes with this unique material most times is that no matter how you care for your sink, it may still have stains. There may smudges, fingerprints, water spots, or rust. 

While we can easily clean out the others with a mild mixture, rust remains one of the hardest stains that appear on stainless steel appliances. It seems on mostly kitchen sinks as it is one area that is always exposed to moisture. More so, the iron content of water may also cause the incidence of rust. 

This article tends to answer the frequently asked question, Does Stainless Steel Sink Rust? While the answer may be obvious, the write-up also discusses the causes and remedies for rusted kitchen sinks. 

Do you want to know how possible? Read on. 

Can Stainless Steel Sink Rust? 

Yes! That’s the obvious answer; Stainless steel sinks can rust, although not all grades. The 304-grade of stainless steel has been certified rust-resistant. But the other qualities prone to rust. What do you think maybe the cause of the smudging occurrence on our kitchen sink? 

Why Does Stainless Steel Sink Rust?

Here’s the main reason.

When you expose the surface of a stainless-steel sink to oxygen, the oxide of iron forms, water reaction, and sit on the sink’s surface forms the reddish Ferric oxide, which occupies a large part of the steel. When the red coating wears off, it exposes the raw steel, thereby starting an endless rust cycle. 

Furthermore, if there is a factory mistake, such as a misplaced or missed step in the manufacturing process, the sink is likely to rust. For instance, if the stainless-steel surface contains impurities during the manufacturing, then there is a high chance that the sink will rust in the future. 

More so, other factors can lead to the rusting of stainless steel. Here are some of them. 

· Frequent Exposure to Salt Water 

Saltwater contains a high chlorine content which is very abrasive to stainless steel. Hence, when the chlorine reacts with air (oxygen) and a little moisture on the sink’s surface, it forms rust. 

· Use of Corrosive Liquid 

Some of the cleaning agents we use on the sink contain powerful chemicals like bleach which can cause rust. You may miss some quantity of bleach in the edges and crevices of the sink during cleaning. When they are trapped there for a long while, it begins to react with the surface to cause rust. 

· Elongated Sink Sewage 

Sink users tend to leave a lot of sewage water on the sink most times. This is confirmed as one of the most frequent causes of rust on the sink. 

This is due to the large amounts of impurities or abrasives in the pungent fluid. These substances may scratch the stainless-steel sink surface while the salt content of the sewage will further react with the streel to cause rust. 

Stainless Steel Sinks

· Humid Climate 

The primary cause of rust on stainless steel sinks is moisture. When water on the surface keeps reacting with open-air oxygen, it forms the red ferrous oxide known as rust. 

Hence, if you live in a coastal city where the relative humidity is high, there is a tendency that your stainless-steel sinks will be exposed to rust. This is because the atmospheric moisture reacts with the sink, and rust occurs. 

· Constant Wetness on Sink Area

Constant humidity around the sink may lead to eventual rusting of the stainless steel. This occurs because, under humid conditions, the moisture-filled air reacts with the electrons and oxygen on the stainless-steel sink surface. 

And, the longer the exposure, the quicker the reaction and corrosion. This corrosion exposes the raw steel, and rust occurs. 


    How to Prevent Rust in Stainless Steel Sinks?

    Yes, it’s right. You can prevent your stainless steel sink from rusting. There are steps you can take to avoid the red stain on your stainless steel kitchen sink surface. 

    The first and most crucial step is to ensure that you abide by the regulations listed in the manufacturer’s manual. 

    Here are some other actions that help to prevent rust from the surface of your steel sink.

    · Avoid washing the sink surface with harsh chemicals or disinfectants that may contain bleach. Formulas like chlorides, Ammonia, and alcohol are fast ways of calling rust, so if you avoid them, you can prevent it. 

    · Always endeavor to dry out your kitchen sink after every use or wash. This would help reduce the reaction rate with air and water, thereby preventing the occurrence of rust. 

    · Wash the sink with mild soap mixtures and formula. There is a recommended detergent for every stainless-steel grade, so endeavor to use one that is recommended by the manufacturer in the sink’s manual. 

    · Remove rust spots from the sink with steel-friendly cleaners like Bar Keeper’s friend. You can also take out hardened spots by wetting them with water first. Do not use hard sponges or scrub pads as they may be abrasive to the surface. 

    Kitchen cleaning

    · Check the content of every sink cleaner before using them. Some of these grout cleaners may have muriatic acid content, which can cause rusts on stainless steel sinks. 

    · Avoid having sewage in the sink for long periods. As we earlier mentioned, sewage may contain abrasive substances that would injure the sink’s surface and expose it to rust. 

    · Use only stainless-steel cleaners that contain mineral oil. These additives help to maintain the glitter and sparkle on stainless steel sink surfaces. They also help to protect 

    · You can also use baking soda to remove tough stains from the stainless steel sinks. Mix with water and apply with a soft fabric. 


    Although the name says it can’t, the fact remains that even stainless steel sinks can rust or get stained. However, the good news is that you can prevent it and also remove it. This informative piece has done enough justice to the question – Does Stainless steel Sink rust? We hope you had an enjoyable read. 

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