Lime-Away destroyed stainless steel sink
Q. I used Lime-Away on the "crust" around my sink faucets, and got some on my stainless steel sink. Now the stainless steel has turned black, and stainless steel cleaner does nothing for the problem. Is there a product that will restore my new sink?Tim H
homeowner - Fort Scott, Kansas
A. Try to clean it with a cleanser like Bon-Ami.Simon D
- Roseville, Minnesota
A. Lime Away is very hard on stainless steel. I think they have a warning on the bottle about this.
You can get rid of the lime stains with a citric cleaner safely, but once you have the black surface from the LimeAway it is very hard to fix. Best solution most people find with safe materials is to refinish the steel with ScotchBrite (TM) or similar non-iron containing abrasive. It will be some work. You can use an electrical polisher, of course. This all depends on whether your sink surface is capable of doing the mechanical process.
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
A. Use car polish (not wax), a good amount of clean cotton rags, effort and a lot of patience. It will shine again.Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Q. I have a question regarding stainless steel sinks. I have a new Elkay sink that was installed in my home during a recent remodel. Shortly after we finished construction, I noticed some deep scratches in the finish. I was told to use water proof metal sandpaper w/ a cleaner/polish as an agent to remove the scratches. In the process, I actually created some hazy areas in the sink and I am unable to recapture the original finish. Is there anyway to refinish or buff out this hazing and the scratches?Dan E
homeowner - San Mateo, California
Q. I used Lime Away to clean a hot glue gun (long long story) & when I was done I rinsed out the sponge, put it in the stainless steel sink and forgot about it till about 18 hours later when I hear my mom scream. Where the sponge was laying is discolored; apparently I didn't rinse it out well enough. I didn't know it would hurt the sink so didn't rinse it out that much. A little of the discoloration is dull medium-gray but most of it is only slightly dull gray.
I read the responses to the first/starting question and was wondering if anyone knew what brand of car polish (if it matters) should be used.
- Lutz, Florida
A. I don't think the brand will matter as much as that you want polish (abrasives, cutting action), not wax.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Q. I used Don Aslett's shower and stuff for my stainless steel sinks. It contains phosphorus and acid as far as I remember. Forgot the stuff on the sinks and let it dry. Now my sinks are discolored. One worse than the other. I used fine steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] and Barkeepers Friend, which made it better. I can still see some black streaks. Is there anything I can use. I know that it is in the metal. Am I causing more problems using abrasives?Joan S
housewife/ cleaner - St Martinville, Louisiana
A. Don't use steel wool on stainless steel, Joan! I know it is hard to believe, but even the tiniest traces of plain steel will cause stainless to rust; stainless steel items receive a special chemical treatment called "passivation" before leaving the factory to dissolve any traces of plain steel left on them from contact with steel tooling during their manufacture.
If those green scotch brite look like they scratch the stainless and you don't want to use them, please try bronze wool =>
Stainless Steel Black / Gray discoloration stains from Drano/ lemon juice/ hot water/ clogged drain cleaning process. We had a recent clogged drain in our kitchen sink. Like everyone, proceeded with several home remedies like hot water and lemon juice, Drano MAX, baking soda etc.
As the drain was clogged, it started fuming. Put a towel on it and called the plumber. 2 hours later, the drain was unclogged and the sink clear.
But now the sides of the sink (above water level) are badly discolored. I have tried Barkeepers friend, Vinegar etc to little and no effect. Cameo seems to have limited success in making the stains a bit lighter.
Any suggestions? I read stuff about using Car polish. Will that help in this case?
Thanks so much
Consumer - Aurora, Illinois
Q. Thanks for reading. While cleaning the water/ice dispensing portion of the fridge with Lime A-way, she failed to recognize that some of it had dripped off both edges, running the entire three feet down the front of the door to the bottom of the fridge. The fridge is a Whirlpool Stainless steel; Needless to say, two distinct lines running 3 ft each on the same door doesn't look great. Could somebody please give me some step by steps on how to repair this without settling for replacing the door. Thanks again.Matthew C
hobbyist - O'Fallon, Illinois
Q. Does anyone know if you can use lime away on granite - calcium buildup from hard water? I have very hard water - there is a calcium buildup around the bottom of my faucet on the
consumer - Florham Park, New Jersey
A. I wouldn't try it if it were my granite counters, Donna! Not unless the supplier said it was okay. The color patterns in granite are from varying chemical compositions in the rock, and pending assurance from the manufacturer, I'd be concerned that some areas might have enough calcium and other light metals to be soluble in a calcium dissolver.
Letter 6901 includes an inquiry from a homeowner who now has a haze on her granite after using Lime-Away.
Q. Adding a stainless steel coat to kitchen sink ? There was a chemical reaction in my kitchen sink which caused the stainless steel lining to be damaged. It appears the chemicals ate right through the top lining. Now the sink looks dull.Derek Smith
contracting - Bergenfield, New Jersey
A. Cameobrand aluminum and stainless steel cleaner and lots of elbow grease almost made the discoloration marks disappear that were left behind from the Lime A-way.Micca Wootten
- Blue Hill, Maine
Q. Stainless Sink Bleach damage. I had some cleaner that leaked onto my stainless steel countertop. It's now all blotchy and cloudy. Is there any way to repair the damage? Will it wear away?Cindy Strickler
consumer - Aldergrove, BC, Canada
January 12, 2008
Q. I put limescale remover into my stainless steel sink and now the sink has become discoloured. Is there anything l can do to restore the sink? Thanks so much.Ciara Conneely
hobbyist - London, UK
A. Hi all, leaving chemical cleaners, which contain chlorine such as bleach and CLR, in the sink or counter for prolonged period will 'stain' Stainless steel. Scratch-B-Gone will remove this easily and effectively. Thanks and good cleaning.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
April 9, 2008
Q. I have used bleach on a stainless steel splash back which has scratched it how do I remove it please?Mandy Palin
stainless steel splash backs - Crewe, UK
July 25, 2008
Q. My 5-year old building has lousy drains - the bathroom sink & tub need constant snaking, but the super always has something else to do.
So I recently tried a "clog blaster" that contains sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide. It cleared the drain, but turned the metal drain ring gray and black. Is there any way to restore the metal shine? Would chrome polish work? (The sink is porcelain-covered cast iron and is OK).
Any suggestion are most welcome.
consumer - New York, New York
July 30, 2008
Q. I have a stainless steel spoon that was used at work for eating yogurt. It has turned black. What causes this and is there any way to get the original color to return.Toni Ryan
user - St. John's NL Canada
A. There is a product which will clean the sinks with less effort than most. It worked great for me. Look up cleanroot on the web.Michael Butler
- Nashville Tennessee
October 9, 2008
Q. Well, I went and did it. I put lime away in my toilet. Then the phone rang and a minor emergency came up and yes... I left it in my toilet. Now I have big black etched marks which I have worked on to try and get rid of. Is there hope?Sharon Lee
house wife - Northeast, New York
October 20, 2008
A. Wow! Here is a SOLUTION and it is FAST! I put Lime-Away in my sink and came back after working all day and my stomach felt sick! Brand new house,granite counter and stainless undermount sink! Well thank goodness my husband has something to fix everything so here you all and anyone new can do!
- Albany, Wisconsin
Never Dull Polish
February 4, 2009
A. I have been cleaning homes professionally for over 6 years now, and 10 years prior to that was supervisor for Retirement home. I have used Limeaway to clean stainless steel sinks of a variety of ages and craftsmanship. I have never had this occur. What I wonder is, are the folks having trouble leaving it on the surface for any length of time? When I used Limeaway on anything, I apply it and promptly rinse it off. The only surface I have damaged happened to be a marble countertop, I assumed to be granite. It was easily repaired by sanding and buffing. Now I ask what countertops are made of. But one thing to remember about any cleaning product if you have not used it on a surface before, always do a test spot first. Also read the product instructions for use is a absolute must when using any product. Good LuckBrenda Rupel
housekeeping - Sequim, Washington
March 4, 2009
A. Perhaps I can help. Without question - the best all-purpose cleaner I have found is
Simple Green. A gallon bottle will last for years and can be purchased at a discount club store for approx. $10.00. I use it to clean just about all surfaces (stainless steel, cooking grills, stove tops, etc...). It has many uses - just read the bottle. If I have a big build up of grease etc... I use a Scotch Brite pad (lightly) and that does the job. This is a concentrate - read the bottle for light, medium or heavy applications. It is also great on porch furniture (even the pads). After cleaning stainless steel - apply a polish.
- Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
Simple Green Cleaner
March 19, 2009
Q. I have a polished stainless steel sink and there are workers in my home that have made scratches on it. The scratches go in a circular motion. I have received numerous tips on products. They all say to go in the direction of the grain. Does that mean go in the direction of the scratches? Or against the scratches?Jean Cavallari
- Brooklyn, New York
March 24, 2009
Q. I NOTICED SOME BODY/FACE PAINT ON MY STAINLESS STEEL COUNTER TOP & WHEN I WENT TO WIPE IT UP WITH WATER, I WAS LEFT WITH A DISCOLORED SPOT THAT APPEARS BRIGHTER, AS THOUGH I BLEACHED IT. IS THERE A WAY TO REPAIR THIS?EVA HICKEY
DESIGNER, HOMEOWNER - METAIRIE, Louisiana
A. I went out and bought car polish tonight after googling "black stain from Lime-away." It doesn't take the stain completely away, but enough so that it's not noticeable. I used it just on my faucet in the kitchen to get rid of the build-up from the hard water.
By the way, I looked all over the bottle and saw nothing about a problem with stainless steel. Oi.
- Santa Barbara, California
July 11, 2009
A. My wife used bleach to clean the sink but left it to soak in, when she came back to it the sink was badly stained. We tried many cleaning products to remove the stains and failed. I was fixing a scratch on my Toyota with T-Cut compound and decided to try it on the sink, it worked a treat. The sink was completely stain free with the best shine we had ever seen on it even when new. While using T-Cut I also tried some Brasso, this also worked well.
I hope this helps someone. T-Cut or Brasso.
- Ennis, Ireland
November 13, 2009
A. The problem with all the concerns with the stain in the stainless steel sinks are this. They are a low grade stainless and will not take kindly to harsh cleaners like Lime away. The elkays and Briggs sinks are low grade bought in bulk from overseas. The good grade stainless is very expensive $400 to $800. It is the thickness covering the sink. Even a new house will have a low grade sink in it unless you pay for the upgrade.Chuck Crivella
- Reading, Pennsylvania
December 6, 2009
A. All these cleaning ideas are fine (especially the
Simple Green, which is a great product), but when the problem is fine nuisance scratches where they should not be, we need an abrasive that will obliterate them.
Note the original finish on these sinks was very likely put there by use of a Scotchbrite pad on an industrial polisher. Scotchbrite is THE commercial stainless polishing medium. Virtually all "brushed" stainless is finished with Scotchbrite. It is polished in one direction to give it a grain effect.
Get a fine Scotchbrite pad and polish only in the direction of the grain. Go GENTLY at first until you see it is the right grit. If you think it scratches or tears up the surface, you're using too coarse a grit, so to fix it just go to a finer grit.
St. Louis, Missouri
January 24, 2010
A. Just had this problem of a limescale-removing bleach spilling on a stainless steel sink. I found that Autosol metal polish did a good job in removing it.Jack Doughty
- Cullompton, Devon, United Kingdom
February 12, 2010
A. Hope'sStainless Steel Polish works very well. Needs elbow grease and patience but it will bring up most stainless sinks very nicely. Hard to find - I order it on the Web.
Cameo, also applied multiple times. On really, really bad stain, made from contact of Tarnish liquid silver polish wash, I had to use Brasso, again repeatedly.
- Lake Worth, Florida
February 25, 2010
Q. Last year we put up tile in our kitchen as a backsplash and the grout residue was cleaned off the sponges in my stainless steel sink. After this I noticed that the side that was used to clean the grout filled sponge has a film/haze on it. Can you tell me if there is a product or way for me to remove this film from my sink?Lisa Sides
homeowner - Maryland Heights, Missouri
March 18, 2010
A. Most all grout cleaners on the market today contain corrosive acids which will damage the appearance of Stainless steel. Scratch-B-Gone (just using our gray pad and Ultra Shine proprietary chemical will quickly and permanently remove this discoloration.
Restore It Yourself, Inc
April 5, 2010
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June 30, 2010
Q. I used Lime-Away on my fridge water/ice dispenser and it dripped down the front and left drip stains on my stainless steel. Can I use Car Polish to get rid of it?Vanessa Gionis
- Sugar Land, Texas, USA
A. Vanessa, the harsh chemicals like CLR should never be used on stainless steel as they will compromise the chromium barrier of stainless and result in staining.
Scratch-B-Gone will restore the finish of damaged stainless. Best
Restore It Yourself, Inc
November 22, 2011
Q. I have been finding small black spots on my new stainless steel sink. They are surrounded by a brown stain which gets bigger the longer the brown stains remain. I have scrubbed off the brown (frankly it looks like rust but is smooth) and the black spots remain. I thought I did something but last night I found more black dots with the brown rusty rings. I didn't do anything but put water in a dog bowl.
Does anyone know what causes these spots?
new home owner - Gardiner, New York
February 8, 2012
Q. I spilt limescale remove on my stainless steel sink and Brasso wadding got rid of the black marks. Takes a bit of elbow grease - have to keep using the wadding to polish the stainless steel (until it goes black) then wipe the surface clear and start again with a fresh piece of wadding. No sign of any black marks now and I've got a very shiny sink!!Deb Flynn
- Sunderland, Tyne and \'Wear, UK
April 21, 2012
Q. I have a bathroom vanity with a "brass" colored metal sink and faucets. Because of the hard water, the sink how has some green spots, and hard water deposits.
What can I use to first, clean the spots and second, "finish" it so this will not occur in the future? Thanks.Cynthia Edwards
- Houston, Texas
A. Cynthia, what you have is corrosion due to reaction with the copper base metal (brass contains copper) which results in 'green' staining. Restore It Yourself, Inc specializes in DIY cleaning solutions for Stainless and copper based materials. Just give us a call to discuss
Restore It Yourself, Inc
June 26, 2012
Q. I just purchased a house and the ring around the drain in the stainless steel sink where is shows the brand name of the sink was blackened/ dark in color so I used Bar cleaner for stainless steel and now it's turned blueish. Any ideas as to why and what I can do? Have I ruined the stainless steel? Thanks. CindyCindy Greenslade
- Long Beach, California, USA
December 6, 2012
Q. I used Lime-A-way on my tile floor grout and some got on the tile and left a sticky film. How do I get it off?Audrey Maes
- Antelope, California
A. Hi Audrey. Lime-A-Way is designed to be a tile cleaner, not something you must avoid getting onto your tile. I think there is something else going on.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 20, 2013
I came to this site looking for a answer to my problem with Lime Away on Stainless Sink. Well, someone recommended car compound, so I bought Meguiars Compound in a bottle and could not believe it worked! I have tried so many things but this took out the stain, you can see the black on the rag, and it's so shiny! I hope this helps someone else because I thought I had to buy a new sink. No more Lime Away near the sink.Sharon Risley
- West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
March 17, 2013
Q. I have tried 5 popular stainless steel cleaners, lime away, fantastic ,vinegar water and vinegar baking soda mix for my drip stains from the ice maker on my new stainless steel fridge . . . nothing has worked. Would silver polish be an option? Very stubborn . . . not even a little better after spending so much on these possible solutions. Thanks for any thoughts.Celeste Fasone
- Woodland Park, New Jersey, USA
August 4, 2013
Q. I spilled powdered pool shock on my stainless steel sink
now it is badly discolored with what looks like giant bleach spots. is there any help for this sink
It is a double undermount sink with a granite countertop
replacing it would be a lot of work and money.
- Freehold, New Jersey, USA
September 17, 2013
A. For water stains on the stainless fridge, use WD40. Yep ... I tried EVERYTHING and this works great. I now clean all stainless steel products with WD40.Billie Dias
- Kapaa, Hawaii
February 23, 2014
I am so grateful for the tips on the car polish and the Nevr Dull -- it saved my brand new stainless steel sink that was damaged and turned black when I used Zap to spray some other glass item over my sink. Both worked like magic to erase and shine my sink back. It took some elbow grease but worked great. I had a previous sink stain and did not know what did it and could not clean it until this happened again with my new sink.mona samaan
- foxboro Massachusetts usa
June 13, 2014
A. I had the same problem..."Lime Away" residue on my stainless steel sink; I used "Cape Cod" metal polish [link is to product info on Amazon] ... worked like a dream ... no more dark stain. Does require a little elbow grease. Hope this helps someone.Tina Strong
- Las Vegas, Nevada
June 15, 2014
Q. I used OxyClean to get rid of stains in the sink, and it has stripped off the coating. Is there any way to fix this?Des Cooper
- Vancouver, Canada
A. Hi Des. Stainless steel is solid all the way through, rather than coated. What kind of coating do you have or think you had on a stainless steel sink?
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
September 22, 2014
Q. I read on Pinterest that I could rub a cut open lemon to erase water streaks on my stainless steel. I did this a few times and it worked great. I rubbed the lemon on the areas and promptly wiped off the appliances with warm soapy water. It shined like new.
Recently, I had several water lines running down my refrigerator door. I used my lemon technique and it didn't come off completely, only took some of it away. I thought I should let the lemon sit on the fridge a little longer ... got distracted, FORGOT about it and noticed it dried on the spots the next day. When I cleaned with warm soapy water, the stainless steel now appears as one big light circle on the door (lighter than the original stainless steel color). The fridge is only a year or so old. Have I ruined it? Is there any way to clean it with something that will make the color look even throughout? I want it to appear as dark as the rest of the stainless steel. HELP! Can't afford to buy a whole new fridge (Whirlpool Gold). I have a photo but the link to send it would never open?Rebecca Nielsen
- Mechanicsville, Virginia, USA
Ed. note: We aren't seeing the problem with the link, but please e-mail the pic to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.