One of the best things about stainless steel drains is how easy they are to clean and maintain. Even though they are "stainless," stainless steel drains can become discolored, form rust and begin to emit foul odors. The drain pipe itself can also become a problem if is not cleaned for long periods of time. Follow the simple steps below to maintain stainless steel drains of all types.
Step 1 – Remove Dried Food
Any type of dried food or other type of particles can make stainless steel drains stink and look unsightly. It is important to clean the sink or drain area every day after you use it. Sometimes scrubbing the dried food will do nothing more than spread it out further. Stainless steel drains are very forgiving so resort to more drastic measures: a metal putty knife. Line the blade of the putty knife up with the bottom of the particle to be removed so that the blade is at a 45-degree angle. Push on the knife and then begin scraping away at it. In time the particle will dislodge and you can rinse it down the sink.
Step 2 – Discoloring and Rust
Stainless steel drains can still become rusty and discolored but once you remedy the issue they will look as good as new. The idea behind being “stainless” is that it is non-porous so nothing will remain there, but it does not mean you should neglect it. Turn the hot water on to a slow trickle. Turn the faucet so that the water is directly cascading over the marks. Use the steel wool to scrub the area in a circular motion. The steel wool will penetrate the mark on the stainless steel, and the water will wash it down the drain. Make sure to pay close attention to the grooves and lip of the drain.
Step 3 – Stainless Steel Drains and Pipes
The mouth of the drain and the pipe is often the dirtiest area as food particles and chemicals are often unloaded down the hole. This is perfectly alright if you take care of the drain. Things like soups, oil and sauces will ooze down the sides of the pipe coating it. Over time, this can become moldy and can build up enough to clog the drain.
Once a month, you need to flush stainless steel drains to keep them clean and working. Dump baking soda into the drain and then slowly pour in vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will cause food particles to dislodge. Once the foaming action has stopped, you can then turn on the hot water to flush it out. If you are dealing with something like jammed food or hair, then turn to a commercial cleaner. These use strong chemicals that eat away at biological materials.