Cast iron sinks are very durable and can last several generations if you take care of them properly. Cast iron sinks have a very hard white porcelain coating that shines and looks nice, but it is easily scratched and invites stains and smudges. If you inherited the sink, you might not know the best way to clean it without scratching it and causing permanent damage.
We will go over several steps you can take to get your cast iron sink looking like new.
What Products Not to Use
When you are cleaning your cast iron sink, you want to avoid using acidic cleaners, powdered abrasive cleaners, wire brushes, or steel wool to clean the sink. These items can discolor the porcelain or cause scratches, which can be difficult to remove.
Cleaning Your Cast Iron Sink
To get your cast iron sink as clean as possible, remove all of the dishes and follow these next few steps.
Since your cast iron sink is coated in white porcelain, using bleach is one of the best ways to restore its original shine.
2. Cast Iron Sink Cleaner
A cast iron sink cleaner like Hope’s Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish is a great alternative to bleach or as a next step. These products use chemicals and extremely mild abrasives to remove stains and polish the porcelain to a shine not possible with bleach alone. The downside to these cleaners is that the chemicals they contain could be dangerous to the skin and may create harmful odors, so you’ll need to wear protective clothing and have plenty of ventilation.
3. Baking Soda
If you choose not to use the cast iron sink cleaner, baking soda is a great substitute. To use baking soda to clean your sink, you will need to mix it with a small amount of water, vinegar, or ammonia to create a paste.
A great way to get smudges and stains out of your cast iron sink is to use cork to rub it out. Cork will not damage the surface, but it’s strong enough that you can apply a lot of pressure when you scrub. It works like an eraser to remove smudges and stains that would be much more difficult with baking soda or even cast-iron sink cleaner. However, it’s only good for small areas. It would be hard to clean a large surface evenly using cork. Using cork gives you an excuse to drink some wine, but you can also find it in many shapes and sizes online and at the hobby center.
5. Dishwashing Liquid
An ordinary dishwashing liquid like Dawn breaks up grease and oil very well, and these are what create many stains. Clean your sink with dishwashing liquid once a day, if not after every meal, to prevent grease build-up.
6. Bleach Spray
An all-purpose bleach spray like the ones made by Clorox and Fantastic is another great way to keep the sink clean, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time on it. Follow these steps once a day to help keep your sink shiny.
7. Keep the Sink Empty
Many people don’t realize that allowing plates and pots to sit in your cast iron sink creates smudges and stains. The best way to keep your sink looking new is to keep them empty. Wash dishes after every meal, and instead of piling them in the sink, put them on a counter next to it if you can. You’ll be surprised at how much less often you’ll need to clean your sink if you follow this simple step.
8. Rinse Immediately After Dumping Staining Liquids
Another common cause of sink stains is dumping coffee, tea, wine, and other staining liquids into the sink. Even a small amount of these fluids can create a stain very quickly if allowed to sit on the surface. Always rinse the sink well and even wipe it down with a soft cloth after you’ve dumped a staining liquid.
We’re confident that you can bring back an old, stained cast iron sink and make it look new if you follow these steps. You’ll also be able to keep it that way indefinitely. We’ve found bleach to be the best method, and the cork works well for the finishing touches, and it helps remove small scratches. Once you get it in shape, maintenance is critical, but it’s easy to do and takes only a few seconds a day.
We hope you have enjoyed reading and were able to find the answers to your questions. If we helped you get your old sink looking new, please share these eight steps to clean a cast iron sink on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: begun1983, Shutterstock
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.