Kitchen sinks come in a variety of styles and materials which means your cleaning routine should be customized to your needs!
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so keeping it up to par is a priority. Because of all the food and waste that is put into a dirty kitchen sink, it creates a great place for bacteria like E. coli to thrive. To protect from this, we’ve made a list of tips on how to maintain your kitchen sink, no matter what material it is.
1. Cleaning Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks
Stainless steel sinks are a common choice for many Clayton homeowners because they are easy to maintain. Although stainless steel will hold up for years of daily use, it can still become dull and collect water spots. Here are a few tips you may find particularly helpful to keep your sink shining.
- Using a soft cloth or sponge, wipe in the same direction as the polish lines.
- Any standard stainless steel cleaner will do but keep in mind that most cleaners contain chlorides. This means you will need to rinse the sink once you are done scrubbing to help prevent any steel corrosion.
- Cleaning green is a preference for many so check out this do it yourself cleaner. Try scrubbing with baking soda and then rinsing your sink with vinegar.
- Don’t leave steel or cast-iron cookware in your sink because they can cause rust to collect on the sink’s surface (this includes steel wool or any cleaning utensils containing metals).
- Any metal surface will show water or mineral spots if left to air dry, so make sure to wipe your sink down after use.
2. Cleaning Concrete Kitchen Sinks
Putting a concrete sink in your home is a great cost-effective way to add a statement in your kitchen. Turning what seems to be an ordinary construction material into something beautiful is sure to be an element that stands out. Concrete is a great way to add a modern and earthy feel to any kitchen so keep reading to learn about keeping your concrete clean with these simple tips:
- Concrete is made up of a small porous material that will allow moisture to reside in your sink. To prevent this, use a concrete sealant to keep your sink strong and protected from corrosive materials.
- Do not use citrus or vinegar on your sink as a cleaner.
- Although your sealant is strong against harsh liquids, it can begin to scratch off with abrasive cleaners. Try to avoid any cleaners containing particles or harsh components if possible.
- Use dishwashing soap and warm water with a soft towel or sponge.
- Try using laundry detergent or a laundry stain remover with a cloth or towel to remove stains while leaving behind a fresh and clean scent.
3. Cleaning Enameled Steel or Enameled Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks
An enamel coating over steel or cast iron is a great way assure prevention of water and mineral spots. An enamel sink stays shiny and is extremely easy to clean and maintain:
- Only use soft rags or cloths to clean the surface.
- Enamel is not stain resistant so try not to not leave coffee grounds, tea bags or other materials that can stain your sink.
- Many traditional cleaners are too abrasive for enamel. Sticking to dish soap or all-purpose household cleaner plus a little elbow grease will keep your enamel long lasting.
- Try a cast iron sink cleaner that contains wax -- this can help put some glossy sheen back into your sink, if it appears dull.
4. Cleaning Porcelain Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks
Porcelain covering is another type of enamel for cast iron sinks and provides a classic, clean look to any kitchen. A porcelain sink can be a great choice for your home as long as you are careful about chipping and scratching. Follow these steps to keep your porcelain sink looking brand new:
- Avoid brushes with hard bristles because they can easily scratch the porcelain lining of your sink (this includes steel wool).
- Mildly abrasive cleaners can be used sparingly on tough stains.
- Like with enamel coverings, a cast iron sink cleaner can also be used to shine your porcelain covered sink.
- Allow cookware to cool before placing it in your sink to avoid cracking.
- Avoid putting coffee grounds, tea bags, or other materials in your sink that can stain the porcelain.
- Never use white vinegar or high-acid cleaners to maintain your porcelain sink. Try a do it yourself baking soda, ammonia and lemon recipe
5. Cleaning Acrylic Kitchen Sinks
Acrylic sinks can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although acrylic is known to scratch easily, the material is the same color throughout. This means scratches are easily buffed out with acrylic scratch kits. Even though these blemishes are easy to fix, we still would like to avoid them with these cleaning tips:
- Use soft cloths or towels with dish washing soap and warm water to wipe your sink down.
- Use rubbing alcohol on hard to remove grease stains to ensure a clean, stainless shine.
- Never put hot pans at the bottom of your sink—acrylic is tough on mildew and stains but is not heat resistant.
- Bleach and white vinegar can be used on tough stains without damaging the acrylic but avoid letting these acids sit for extended periods of time.
6. Cleaning Fireclay Kitchen Sinks
Fireclay doesn’t rust, stain or fade and is a strong, scratch-resistant material for your sink. A fireclay sink is a great compliment to any of our kitchens. Follow these easy steps to keep your fireclay sink beautiful:
- Mildly abrasive cleaners can be used for daily cleaning but avoid regularly cleaning with bleach or white vinegar.
- Stick to cloths and towels, avoid using steel wool or hard scrubbers because it can scratch the sink’s material.
- For extra tough stains, try a solution of a 50/50 combination of bleach and water.
- Do not use ammonia.
- Try putting on a thin layer of liquid wax once a month. Let it dry after applying before you use your sink again.
7. Cleaning Copper Kitchen Sinks
Usually, copper is sealed to prevent corrosion, but if it’s not, your copper sink will need both occasional polishing and wax protectant to protect the sink’s appearance. Copper is also a natural anti-bacterial which mean bacteria can only survive on its surface for a couple of hours as opposed to days on other surfaces. Follow these tips to keep it looking fresh:
- Don’t clean too much -- considering copper is a natural anti-bacterial, you just have to rinse it to keep it clean.
- High acid foods like citrus fruits can wear at your sink’s finish, so rinse well after handling these.
- The finish on your sink (not the copper itself) can be damaged by most normal cleaners, so try a baking soda scrub rinsed with a mild vinegar and then water.
- Avoid stiff scrubbers, use wet cloths and sponges with dish soap for your occasional cleaning.
Clayton Homes is equipped with the best designer teams to make sure the sink in your modular home is the right pick for you! Keeping your kitchen sink clean isn't the only task. Find out how to clean your carpet with natural methods too with our free carpet cleaning guide. Use these green, natural methods to keep every part of your home looking great.