How to keep your stainless steel sink sparklingWhich? discovers liquid handwash leaves marks

26 April 2015

Washing hands at a stainless steel sink

Stainless steel and natural stone sinks are sensitive to acid

Did you know that handwash can leave marks on your stainless steel sink? Nor did we, until a Which? member tipped us off that stains appeared in his sink after using liquid soap.

So we decided to investigate. Our cleaning expert found that marks are slow to occur and easy to prevent. Read on to find out which soaps carry a warning and how to stop stains from forming.

If you want to know which carpet stain remover, dishwasher detergent and washing-up liquid will cut down on elbow grease and keep your home sparkling, see our Best Buy cleaning products.

Handwash and stainless steel

On the back of some soaps’ packaging you’ll find the warning to 'avoid contact with stainless steel' in the small print. We found this on Cussons Carex and Palmolive handwashes.

Both soaps are slightly acidic, according to the manufacturers. Marks can occur if acid corrodes the metal slightly. Natural stone sinks (such as marble) can also be marked by these soaps, as the stone contains calcium carbonate - which is sensitive to acid.

However, your hands also have a slightly acidic pH, so soaps which match it are less likely to dry your skin.

72%The percentage of Which? members with a stainless steel sink

Keeping your sink pristine

Any damage to your sink is very slow to occur and easy to prevent. Both manufacturers told us that stains only appear after 'prolonged contact' of the soap and the stainless steel or stone sink. 

So rinse off any spills of soap thoroughly and immediately to keep your sink looking its best.

If - like 72% of Which? members - you have a stainless steel or stone sink in your home, check the small print on the back of soap packaging the next time you buy. If you’re shopping online, the warning is in the product details.

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