Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


The Secret to Removing Metal Marks from Your Dishes

A 2-ingredient, natural solution

Depending on the type of dishes you have, marks like those in the image above are, over time, inevitable.

But thankfully, there is a way to restore your dishes, mugs, plates, and bowls back to their good-as-new state, and all it takes is two ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Before I tell you how to do it, let me tell you why these marks happen and how you can help to avoid them.

How To Make Stainless Steel Shine With Only One Natural Ingredient

What causes metal marks in dishes?

Metal marks happen when metal rubs against the surface of the dish. Simple as that. Metal utensils are the main culprit - forks, spoons and knives but it can happen with any metal object. The marks in the bowl above? Those happened while I was whisking a flax egg with a metal whisk for something I was about to bake.

Dishes have a smooth, shiny coating to protect them (and make them look nice!). Depending on the type of coating the manufacturer used, some are more resilient than others. For example, I have a set of dishes that are about 13 years old and they don't have a mark on them. The bowls in this post are about five years-old and have been prone to metal marks from the beginning. So quality, the manufacturing process the dishes went though, and wear and tear all play a role in if scuffing will happen and how bad they will be.

Tips to avoid metal marks in your dishes:

  • When eating, try to avoid scraping your utensils on the dish (bowl, plate, mug...whatever you may be using)
  • Metal marks can happen in the dishwasher. When loading, be sure to not place metal utensils next to or on top of your dishes.
  • When dishes are piled or soaking in the sink, avoid rubbing the dishes against other metal utensils or against the side of the sink.
  • Avoid contact between your dishes and serrated knives as they can cause marks.
  • If you have a stainless steel dish drying rack, try to avoid rubbing your dishes on the rack tines.

How to get rid of metal marks in your dishes:

There are cleaners you can buy in stores to clean the metal scuffs but they contain ingredients that are not so eco-friendly or healthy for you. If you want a greener alternative, then this is the method for you.

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (any type will work, but to keep it green, I use my favourite eco-friendly dish soap)
  • A non-metal scouring pad

Tips before you start

  1. As mentioned above, all manufacturers apply different coatings to their dishes. To be sure this process is safe for your dishes, do a spot test on the bottom of the piece by scrubbing a paste made with baking soda and water for a minute. If after rinsing it looks the same and none of the colour or design has been removed, then you are good to go.
  2. If your scuffs are pretty bad, you will be scrubbing a while. Wear rubber gloves. Scrubbing with baking soda can dry out your hands and nails.


  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon on water to make a paste.
  2. Add a couple drops of dish soap to the scouring pad.
  3. Apply the baking soda paste to the problem spots, scrub.
  4. Rinse with water and repeat as necessary. Depending on how bad the marks are, it's may take you a while (read: you are going to need a lot of elbow grease!). The bowl in this post took me about 5 minutes (it was marked up pretty badly!) to scrub until it was perfect.
  5. Once you are happy with how the piece looks, wash, rinse and place to dry.