Sink Cleaning 101: Taking Care Of Your Kitchen Sink

Buying a sink is a serious investment, so it’s certainly worth taking precautions against tarnishing or scratching your basin, to make sure you get longevity out of your purchase. However, no two sinks are alike, and depending on the material, you will have to adapt your cleaning procedures to fit your sink’s needs. Our run-through of some of the most common, domestic sinks will provide you with the information that you need to keep your basin looking fresh and gleaming for years to come.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel kitchen sinks

Stainless steel is exceptionally popular, as it’s a durable material. Clean with soap or a cleanser (low-abrasive) with a gentle pad. If you use harsh materials, you could end up scratching your stainless steel.

Wash the surface with fresh water after you’re done cleaning and then wipe the sink dry, to avoid any mineral deposits or streaks. If you already have streaks on your stainless steel sink, you can remove these with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar – leave this on for 30 minutes, before removing and flushing the sink with clean water.

Granite

Granite Kitchen SinksGranite is a hardy stone, but you should be sure to clean it daily with soapy water. Once finished cleaning, rinse out your sink and dry it with a cloth. Drying granite sinks is important, as it prevents the development of mineral scale. Avoid using abrasive sponges, as this can scratch the granite surface and create dullness.

If you have any tough stains, remove these with diluted bleach or dishwashing liquid. For mineral spots, you can use white vinegar soaked paper towels, but don’t leave them on the surface for more than 30 minutes – be careful with this, as you can potentially damage your sink with the acid in the vinegar. To gently remove limescale from granite sinks, try using baby oil, linseed oil, or mineral oil on a cloth.

Once finished, always rinse out your whole sink and dry it down. Steer clear of ammonia and strong alkalis.
Porcelain

Porcelain Kitchen SinksAll-purpose cleaner or dishwashing liquid can be used to clean porcelain sinks. You can use mild abrasives occasionally, but try to stay away from them unless absolutely necessary; otherwise you may scratch your porcelain. Porcelain is very delicate, so try not to drop anything heavy into your sink.

Enamel

Enamel Kitchen SinkAn enamel sink is formed from a cast-iron mould, with layers of enamel paint baked onto the surface. Enamel is long-lasting, but it’s not an immortal material; you can still damage it with enough force. Abrasive cleansers and cleaning utensils can scratch and strip the enamel, so use soft dishwashing liquid on a sponge or rag.

If you come across any dried food, always soak the substance before attempting to scrub it away. Also, be careful about dropping heavy items into your sink, as this can damage the enamel, making it difficult to clean and raising the possibility of corrosion.

Synthetic

Synthetic Kitchen SinksIf you have a matte, synthetic sink, you can use abrasive pads to clean your sink. However, if you have a gloss finish, you should keep to soft cleaners. Buff your synthetic sink routinely, to ensure a uniform finish. In terms of cleaning, just use some dishwashing detergent. White, synthetic sinks stain easily, and your only real option is to use a lot of diluted bleach.

Solid Surface

Solid Surface Kitchen SinkSolid surface sinks are usually integrated for a seamless kitchen-top look. You can clean a solid surface sink with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Avoid using abrasive sponges, but you can occasionally get away with this on matte finishes. Exposure to strong chemicals can lead to permanent staining of solid surface sinks, so don’t pour these down your basin. If this occurs by accident, immediately flush out the sink with lots of water.

Alistair Ward

I've been at Appliance House since 2011 having worked in every role at the company.