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How to Clean Sinks

Different Sink Surfaces Have Different Requirements

© 2016 by Vicki Riviera; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A granite composite bathroom sink; photo © KSmith Media, LLC

Your sink might just be the most important item place in your kitchen or bathroom. This is the spot where a lot of washing, rinsing, and shaving, and more is done every day. It’s the spot where we spend the most time when we are doing our everyday kitchen work.

In the kitchen, the residue of soap scum and food debris accumulate on the sink surface each time it is used for each washing or rinsing. In the bathroom it’ tooth paste (you know this if you have kids) and shaving soap. These residues build up, and periodic cleaning is required.

There are many cleaning products on the market, but an efficient solution for general spot cleaning can be quickly prepared at home. A bit of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm water is simple to prepare. Just scrub the sink with a sponge dipped in the solution is sufficient to remove light deposits.

Homemade and Commercial Cleaning Products

For heavier cases, an all-purpose cleaning product is called for. The sink needs to be kept sanitized in order to keep germs at bay. Commercial disinfectants can be bought in many stores that have usage instructions on the package.

If you would rather DIY, a homemade sanitizing solution can be prepared intended for cast iron and ceramic sinks. Simply mix 1 part chlorine bleach in liquid form with 16 parts water. Note that this solution shouldn’t be used on a stainless steel sink.

Whenever using solutions containing chlorine bleach, the solutions should be poured slowly. Pay attention to notice if there is any damage done to the surface. If it is, stop immediately and flush with water. Another option is to use undiluted white vinegar.

For deeper cleaning, you can line your sink with paper towels and spray them down with white vinegar. Leave them on for 25 minutes and then remove them and rinse the sink. Then proceed to clean as normal. Now let’s turn our attention to specific sink surfaces.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Sinks

With stainless sinks it is essential to rinse the sink surface after each time that you use it. This is the best way to prevent pitting. Since acid and salt based cleaners are damaging to the stainless sink finish they should not be used.

Instead, use a sponge which you have dipped in mild soap. This is sufficient for daily maintenance. Following each cleaning, rinse the surface clean and dry it with a soft cloth.

For stains, especially stubborn ones, sprinkling baking soda on the surface, scrubbing with a nylon scrubbing sponge, then rinsing, is the recommended treatment.

Don’t use abrasive sponges, copper or steel wool to scrub stainless steel sinks. They they can damage the sink and dull the shiny finish.

How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks

If you have cast iron sinks, the baking soda cleaning method is also efficient. For the best results, your sink should be dried completely using a clean cloth following cleaning and rinsing.

How to Clean Ceramic Sinks

Regarding ceramic sinks, there are many cleaning products in gel or cream form which are recommended because they help to avoid scratching the surface of the sink sink. If you have more stubborn stains, repeated cleaning should be done. If they are especially stubborn stains, try using a clean cloth dipped into club soda.

For a homemade ceramic sink cleaning solution, try this. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda the sink surface, concentrating particularly on hard to clean areas with limescale build-up and greasy marks.

Pour on a small amount of white vinegar; when it begins to fizz you know it is working. Use a clean sponge or scourer to gently work the mixture into the surface. Finally, rinse clean with cold water.

How to Clean Granite Composite Sinks

Granite composite is visually indistinguishable from “natural” stone but much more frugal which goes a long way in explaining its popularity.

As opposed to being made out of solid stone, these are made out of stone chips which are bonded with resin and then molded into shape and finally buffed and finished.

Due to the stone aggregate, the exposed surface is porous to some extent. For this reason the surface should be cleaned using a pH balanced or pH neutral cleaner. Your optimal approach in preventing hard water spots, stains, and soap scum build-up is frequent, regular cleanings.

Taking a minute to clean each day is preferable to a major cleaning on a sporadic basis. Polish the the faucet and tap handles to keep them shining.

How to Clean Sink Drains

Cleaning your sink drain is easier than you might think. First fill it with two cups of crushed ice and then pour a cup of rock salt into the drain over it.

Next run your cold water tap and turn your garbage disposal on until the ice melts. This method is quite efficient for loosening debris accumulated on the grinding elements.

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