Clayton Blog

Ways to Clean Kitchen Sinks: 7 Different Sink Materials


Kitchen sinks come in a variety of styles and materials which means your cleaning routine should be customized to your needs!


Clayton Kitchen Stainless Steel Sink Black Electric Stove


Keeping the heartbeat of your home up to par is a priority, so we’ve made a list of tips on how to maintain your kitchen sink, no matter what material it is.


Cleaning Stainless Steel

Sparkling Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Clayton


My stainless steel sink at home is easy to maintain, but definitely gets dull and gets little water spots, so I've found these tips particularly helpful:


  • Use a soft cloth or sponge and wipe in the same direction as the polish lines


  • You can use any cleaner, but since most surface cleaners have chlorides, rinse the sink once you scrub to prevent steel corrosion


  • For a do-it-yourself cleaner, try scrubbing with baking soda and then rinsing the sink with vinegar


  • Don’t leave steel wool on the surface of your sink because it will begin to rust the sink


  • Don’t leave steel or cast-iron cookware in your sink too long either


  • Wipe your sink dry after you use it because the metal surface can show dried water and mineral spots



Cleaning Concrete

Concrete sinks are incredibly durable and heavy, and cleaning them is simple:


  • Make sure your sink has been sealed because concrete is a porous material that will absorb water and stains easily


  • Do not use citrus or vinegar on your sink as a cleaner


  • Avoid abrasive cleaners (cleaners that scratch off dirt and stains) because they will begin to strip your sealant


  • Use dishwashing soap and warm water with a soft towel or sponge


  • Try laundry detergent and laundry stain removers with a cloth or towel too



Cleaning Enameled Steel or Enameled Cast Iron

Clean Enamel Cast Iron Kitchen Sink

Enamel hides water and mineral spots better than stainless steel does (maybe I should get one of these!) and again, is pretty easy to clean and maintain:


  • Only use soft rags or cloths to clean the surface


  • Do not leave coffee grounds, tea bags or other materials that stain in the sink because enamel is not as stain resistant


  • Stick to dish soap or all-purpose household cleaner plus a little elbow grease--many cleaners are too abrasive (they clean by scratching off dirt and stains which can hurt the enamel)


  • Try a cast iron sink cleaner that contains wax--it can help put some glossy sheen back into your sink if it appears dull

Cleaning Porcelain Cast Iron

Clean Porcelain Cast Iron Kitchen Sink Clayton

Porcelain covering is another type of enamel for cast iron sinks and provides a classic look that is durable as long as you’re careful about chipping:


  • Never use scrub brushes or steel wool


  • Mildly abrasive cleaners can be used sparingly on tough stains


  • Like enamel covering, a cast iron sink cleaner can be used to shine up your sink


  • Don’t put hot pans in the sink and don’t leaving any coffee grounds or materials that quickly stain at the bottom of your sink




Cleaning Acrylic

Acrylic scratches very easily, so you want to avoid hard scrubbers and abrasive cleaners like the plague.


  • Again, use soft cloths and towels combined with dish washing soap and warm water does wonders on acrylic


  • You can use rubbing alcohol on greasy stains that just won’t go


  • Never put hot pans at the bottom of your sink—acrylic is tough on mildew and stains, but not heat resistant


  • Bleach and white vinegar can be used on really tough stains and won’t damage the acrylic quickly, but don’t let these acids sit for extended time



Cleaning Fireclay

Fireclay really doesn’t rust, stain or fade and is a strong scratch-resistant material for your sink.


  • Mildly abrasive cleaners can be used and are fine for daily cleaning, but avoid daily cleaning with bleach or white vinegar


  • Still avoid using steel wool or hard scrubbers and stick to cloths and towels


  • For extra tough stains, try a 50/50 bleach and water solution


  • Do not use ammonia


  • Try putting on a thin layer of liquid wax once a month—let it dry after application before you use your sink again



Cleaning Copper

Clean Copper Kitchen Sink Clayton

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. Bacteria can only survive on its surface for a couple hours as opposed to days on other surfaces.


  • Don’t clean too much--copper is a natural anti-bacterial so you really just have to rinse to keep 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 baking soda scrub rinsed with a mild vinegar and then water


  • Avoid stiff scrubbers and use wet cloths and sponges plus dish soap for your occasional cleaning


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Topics Home Maintenance