How to Clean a Porcelain Kitchen Sink?

Porcelain kitchen sinks are known for their beauty and durability, but they also require proper care to maintain their pristine appearance.

Cleaning porcelain kitchen sinks are different from cleaning other types of sinks because they are non-porous with a hard surface.

They are also highly susceptible to staining and wear and tear due to daily use.

Maintaining the cleanliness of these sinks is important to give your bathroom or kitchen a clean look.

If you don’t clean them properly, they begin to lose their luster and wear out quickly.

In this article, we are going to focus on the different methods of cleaning a porcelain kitchen sink.

These methods will help eliminate all kinds of stains and prevent any further wear and tear.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in and walk you through the process.

What Can Make Porcelain Sink Dirty?

Since most sinks are exposed to lots of soap and cleaning liquid, they dull over time.

The water used in the sinks also has high mineral content, so it contributes to the rusting of the sink surface.

Moreover, products like facewashes, shampoos, hair dyes, nail polish, etc., also contain chemicals that wear out the porcelain.   

If your porcelain sink is in your kitchen, then its biggest culprits are likely to be food scraps, coffee, tea bags, etc.

If you put all your silverware in the sink directly, that also scuffs up the surface of the porcelain pretty badly.

To maintain a clean and shining porcelain sink, you need to take protective measures and also take care of the cleaning and maintenance of the sink.

Porcelain Kitchen Sink

While porcelain sinks are low maintenance, they must be cleaned on a regular basis to stay sparkling. Ideally, you should wash your porcelain sink daily. However, that may not be possible for many of us.

In that case, weekly cleaning can be enough to render a porcelain kitchen sink spot-free.

Since porcelain is a sturdy material, it can withstand acidic solutions, making its cleaning much easier.

That said, you cannot use highly caustic chemicals to wash your porcelain sink as doing so may scrape off the enamel.

Natural Solutions for Cleaning Porcelain Kitchen Sink

Many people can be a little wary of using synthetic products for fear of damaging the porcelain coating on their kitchen sink.

Luckily, there are many organic compounds that they can use to leave their sink spick and span.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is arguably one of the most potent natural and in-home ingredients that you can employ for home cleaning.

Whether you want to clean a marble counter or a porcelain sink, baking soda will work like magic in fading stain and grime. 

There are many ways of using baking or bicarbonate soda for home cleaning.

You can either sprinkle a dash of the white compound on problem areas or apply a paste of baking soda and water/lemon juice.

The first method is relatively more convenient. All you need to do is drop baking soda on the stains you wish to remove from your kitchen sink and leave it a while.

Once a significant amount of time has elapsed, let’s say 20 minutes or so, scrub the unsightly splotches with a soft sponge or scrubbing pad to break away the spots.

Be sure to wet the cleaning cloth or pad before rubbing it against the porcelain. 

Lastly, rinse the dirty grime and baking soda amalgam with warm water.

Since baking soda is an alkaline compound, it softens stubborn stains that can be later washed away with a spray of water.

So, when you notice that the blotches you wish to get rid of have loosened up, spray warm water to clean the baking soda residue.

The sprinkling method is suitable for significantly less stubborn stains, such as food stains.

For hard-to-remove spots, such as watermarks, add some vinegar or lemon juice to baking soda to prepare the formula.

Spray the solution on the problem areas you want to tackle. Let the liquid sit for a bit, then scrub the stains with a soft sponge.

In the end, rinse the residual dirt with warm water.

While the bicarbonate of soda is powerful enough to tackle grime and spots, its potency can be amplified with lemon or vinegar.

So, if baking soda alone doesn’t lift the stains on your porcelain sink, be sure to concoct an acid-alkali mixture using vinegar or lemon juice.

Another in-home product that you can use for your kitchen sink cleaning is the cream of tartar mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

Cream of tartar is a byproduct of winemaking and is used to stabilize egg whites when baking. Therefore, if anyone is into baking, they should have the cream of tartar available at home.

If you have it, combine it with hydrogen peroxide, which is a chemical compound often used as an antiseptic. You can easily find the latter product at a grocery store.

Once you have prepared the mixture, spray it over your porcelain sink and leave it for a few minutes. Then wash it away with warm water.

One final natural sink cleaning solution we have for you involves only vinegar.

Fill up your basin with water and plug the drain. Pour a generous amount of vinegar and mix it in well. Let the water-vinegar mixture sit for anywhere up to half an hour, then drain it.

To finish off, spray water to remove any remaining scum or leftover vinegar water.

Synthetic Solutions for Cleaning Porcelain Kitchen Sink

While natural ingredients can leave a porcelain sink squeaky clean, synthetic products are no less effective in doing so.

What’s more, is that there is a host of chemical formulations on the market that you can employ for sink cleaning.

Detergent Soap

Mild detergent soap is excellent at removing dirt and grime from a porcelain sink. Whether it’s in liquid form or powdered, you can use it to clean your kitchen sink.

Apply a hefty amount of detergent soap to the stains in your porcelain sink and rub it around with a cleaning pad. When you notice that the blotches are coming off, wash them away with water.

Note that you must not be too harsh when scrubbing your skin, as that can chip away the porcelain enamel.

The good news is that you will most likely not need to do so as all the products mentioned in this guide lift stains rather easily off a porcelain sink.

Dish Soap

When discussing kitchen sink cleaning, it’s only fair to mention dish soap!

Dish soap has compounds that break away stain particles, leaving any surface sparkling. Due to this, it is an incredible sink cleaning option.

Pour dish liquid in and around your sink and scrub it well. Lastly, rinse the remaining sludge.

Borax and Lemon Juice

Borax or sodium borate is a white compound mostly used to make ceramic products. It can also be used as an antiseptic.

It is another excellent cleaning product for porcelain. However, you need to mix it with lemon juice to make it more effective.

Take a cup of borax and pour 1/4th cup of lemon juice in it. Combine both ingredients well until a batter is formed. Apply the created paste all over your sink, particularly on problem areas, such as rust spots.

Scrub the sink before rinsing it to get rid of the dreg.


It’s a well-known fact that bleach is a powerful home cleaning liquid. It is used to remove the most stubborn stains on tubs, tiles, and basins. It is especially effective when dealing with white fittings.

White fixtures are easy to stain. For this reason, keeping a white porcelain sink shining may seem like a tall order, particularly if you don’t clean it daily.

However, not all hope is lost! You can use bleach to deep clean a white sink.

It must be noted that bleach is suitable for white porcelain and shouldn’t be used for colored sinks as that may cause discoloration.

If you have a vintage or colored porcelain sink, avoid using bleach. Instead, use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar.

Bleach cleaning a sink has a special protocol that must be followed to avoid damage. Since it is a caustic solution, it can damage your sink if used directly without dilution.

Therefore, be sure to adhere to the following guidelines.

Spray bleach in your sink and around it. Then place paper towels on top to let them soak the cleaning liquid.

You must use a decent amount of bleach so that it doesn’t get completely absorbed into the paper towels.

Leave the doused pieces of cloth overnight or at least 3-4 hours. Then wash the residual bleachy sludge.

Another way of using bleach to clean a porcelain sink involves lining the surface with towels first and then spraying bleach on top.

In any case, you need to place paper towels and let them sit for a few hours, if not an entire night.

With all that said, it must be noted that sometimes bleach may not work as you expect it to. This has happened to many people, so it might also happen to you.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you can go for synthetic cleaners or any of the natural solutions to clean your porcelain sink.

Liquid Cleaners

Liquid cleaners are specifically designed to break away greasy stains and other dirt marks from kitchen surfaces.

The market is brimming with such solutions. Some common options you can look for include Bar Keeper’s Friend and Hope Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish.

Besides the names mentioned above, you can find other choices as well. Remember to pick one with good customer reviews.

Some Other Methods of Cleaning Porcelain Kitchen Sink

Here are a few other options for you to clean your porcelain sink effectively and safely.

Cleaning Silverware Stains with Naval Jelly or Acid

If your porcelain sink has lots of silverware or metal stains, then this method is a great option for you.

Add a few drops of lemon juice onto your sink and let it sit for a few minutes. Make sure you don’t scrub the surface and just wash it off with water.

If your porcelain sink has rust stains, then naval jelly is a highly effective option for removing them.

It is easily available at general or grocery stores, and you can also order it online.

Apply the naval jelly in the form of a thin coat over the stained area of your sink. As soon as you notice the change in color of the stain, wash it down with water.

Don’t let the naval jelly stay on for too long, as it can damage the porcelain over an extended period of exposure.   

Cleaning Minor Stains with Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great option if your porcelain sink has minor or light stains.  

It is a mild abrasive that doesn’t damage your porcelain and cleans the stains safely.

If you regularly use baking soda to deep clean your porcelain sink, you’ll never have to use any harsh abrasive again.

Baking soda keeps surfaces clean from mild stains and layers of residue without damaging the porcelain enamel.

Here’s how you can use baking soda for cleaning your porcelain sink regularly. All you need is half a cup of baking soda and a nonabrasive sponge or damp cloth.

First, rinse your porcelain sink with water and use a sponge or damp cloth to wipe it gently.

Apply baking soda by sprinkling it on the sink’s surface; make sure you cover the stained areas. Now, gently scrub it with the cloth in a circular motion.  

You can also make a baking soda paste by mixing it with half part water and using it as your sink cleaning soap.

To increase its effectiveness, you can also add a bit of ammonia, lemon, or white vinegar to the mix.

This will get rid of the more stubborn stains. However, you need to ensure that you wash it off after cleaning, so its residue doesn’t make the surface dull.  

Removing Tough Stains

Removing Iron Stains

Iron stains can be a common issue in porcelain kitchen sinks. To remove these stains, create a paste using white vinegar and borax. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, scrub the area gently with a non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth before rinsing with warm water.

Removing Stains from Colored Porcelain

For colored porcelain sinks, avoid using bleach to prevent discoloration. Instead, try a natural solution like baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained area and scrub with a damp sponge or cloth in circular motions. Afterward, rinse the area with vinegar and water.

Removing Rust Stains

Rust stains on your porcelain sink can be unsightly. To remove them, mix lemon juice and salt to create a paste. Apply the paste to the rust stains and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, gently scrub the stained area with a non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth, and rinse with warm water.

Removing Scuff Marks

Scuff marks can leave your porcelain sink looking dirty and worn. To remove them, use a magic eraser sponge. Dampen the sponge and gently scrub the scuff marks, being careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid scratching the porcelain surface.

Remember to clean your porcelain kitchen sink using non-abrasive materials and gentle cleaning solutions to prevent damage and maintain its beauty.

Identifying the Type of Porcelain Sink

Porcelain sinks can come in various forms, such as vitreous china, fireclay, or cast iron with a porcelain enamel coating. Identifying the correct type will help you use the most suitable cleaning methods and products.

Vitreous china sinks are among the most common types of porcelain sinks. These sinks are known for their glossy, smooth finish and non-porous surface. They often come in white or off-white colors, making them a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Fireclay sinks, on the other hand, are made by molding a combination of clay and a substance called “feldspathic material.” These sinks are fired at high temperatures to create a strong, vitreous product.

Fireclay sinks usually have a slightly thicker and more textured surface than vitreous china sinks. They are also resistant to scratches, chips, and stains.

Lastly, cast iron sinks with porcelain enamel coating also fall in the category of porcelain sinks. These sinks are made from heavy-duty cast iron and then coated with a thin layer of porcelain enamel, giving them the classic glossy appearance associated with porcelain

They are known for their durability; however, the enamel can sometimes be prone to chipping or scratching.

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of porcelain sinks, you can choose the appropriate cleaning methods for your kitchen sink. Remember always to use non-abrasive cleaning products and gentle techniques, as porcelain can be easily scratched or damaged by harsh chemicals or rough scrubbing.

Things to Remember When Cleaning a Porcelain Kitchen Sink

Although cleaning a porcelain sink doesn’t come with too many caveats, there are some guidelines to remember in order to keep your fitting from getting damaged.

  • Don’t use abrasive scouring pads for scrubbing
  • Don’t leave highly acidic liquids for too long
  • Don’t forget about the hard-to-access parts of your sink, such as around the drain and under the faucet lever. Use an old toothbrush to get to those tricky areas.

How to Refinish a Kitchen Porcelain Sink after Cleaning?

After you are done cleaning the porcelain sink and removing all the stains, you should consider refinishing the sink for a better and long-lasting effect on the results.

A durable and effective finishing will protect the sink from residue buildup and keep it shining and clean for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective method to remove stains from a porcelain sink?

The most effective method to remove stains from a porcelain sink is using a gentle cleanser such as baking soda or white vinegar. Mix a solution of equal parts water and baking soda or vinegar.

Apply it to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with a non-abrasive sponge.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. Remember to always avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers on porcelain to prevent scratches.

How can I restore the shine to my porcelain sink without causing damage?

You can restore the shine to your porcelain sink without causing damage by gently cleaning it with a mild liquid soap and warm water.

Using a sponge or soft cloth, clean the surface in circular motions, making sure to remove any debris or build-up.

Rinse well and dry the sink with a clean, dry cloth. Periodic gentle cleaning can help maintain the shine and prevent dullness.

What is the best way to eliminate brown stains on porcelain sinks?

The best way to eliminate brown stains on porcelain sinks is by using a gentle cleaner like hydrogen peroxide.

Apply the solution to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry. If necessary, repeat the process until the stain is gone.

How can baking soda be used to clean porcelain kitchen sinks?

Baking soda is an excellent, gentle cleaner for porcelain sinks. To use it, simply create a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water.

Apply the paste to the surface of the sink, focusing on any stained or discolored areas. Let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Rinse well and dry the sink with a clean, dry cloth.

Is there a preferred porcelain sink stain remover product?

There isn’t a single preferred product that works for all types of stains, but some popular and effective options include baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

These gentle cleaners are typically safe for use on porcelain without causing damage or discoloration. Always spot-test any new cleaning product on a hidden area of the sink to make sure it won’t harm the finish.

How should one use Bar Keepers Friend to clean a porcelain sink?

Bar Keepers Friend is a gentle cleaning powder that can be effective for cleaning porcelain sinks.

To use it, first wet the sink with warm water. Sprinkle a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend onto a non-abrasive sponge or cloth and gently scrub the sink, focusing on stained areas.

Rinse the sink thoroughly with warm water and pat it dry to prevent water spots and streaks.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a porcelain sink is different than cleaning other types of sinks, but it’s not impossible or even difficult.

The only thing that you need to be careful of is not to use highly abrasive cleaning tools or strong cleaning products.

You can clean your porcelain kitchen sink safely by using the methods that we have explained in detail above. 

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