5 tips for cleaning your sink

July 28, 2015

A sink's soap deposits, food stains, rust, and water spots will all build up if you don't stay on top of them. Follow these five tips for cleaning your sinks.

5 tips for cleaning your sink

1. Scrub softly

  •  How often you should scrub a sink depends on how much use it gets. Scrub a bathroom sink after about 30 uses.
  • A good recipe for a clean sink is a squirt of dishwashing liquid added to a bowl of warm water. Dip a sponge in the mixture, and scrub gently.
  • If you want to give the sink a more thorough scrub, try an all-purpose cleaning spray or a non-abrasive cleaner.

2. Bright white

  • Here's a trick that will bring back the gleam to a white porcelain enamel sink. Line the sink with paper towels and soak them with bleach. Let the towels sit for 30 minutes, then discard and rinse the sink with running water.
  • Don't use bleach on coloured porcelain, however, as it may cause the colour to fade. Use a mild liquid detergent, vinegar or baking soda instead.

3. Save your investment

  • Replacing a kitchen sink makes no small impact on your wallet. Once you've got a shiny new one in place, there are many easy things you can do to keep it in like-new condition.
  • Install a perforated plastic mat in the bottom of your sink. This will protect the sink's surface from scratches and mars and will protect your dishes, too.
  • Don't let fruit, vinegar, salad dressing or other acidic foods linger on the surface of a porcelain enamel sink. Long-term exposure to acids can cause staining and could etch the surface.
  • Don't use scouring powders to clean your sink. Instead, use the warm water and dish detergent formula we describe above.

4. Stain removal

  • Sinks made of non-porous, acrylic-based solid surfacing are relatively stain-resistant and easy to clean. But they do need to be kept up.
  • For routine cleaning, use soapy water or a solid-surface cleaner specially formulated for solid surfacing.
  • Rub out stains with baking soda and water mixed to a toothpaste-like consistency. Apply the paste with a non-abrasive white scrubbing pad, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Here's a sure remedy for stained sinks: Erase those spots with a paste made of 125 millimetres (one-half cup) of powdered borax and the juice of one-half lemon. Dab a sponge in the mixture, rub and rinse with  water — it'll work like a charm whether your sink is made of porcelain enamel, stainless steel, or any other material.

5. Lime and rust

  • The white spots that you have so much trouble cleaning off the faucets are lime deposits from mineral-rich hard water. They're easy to remove with vinegar.
  • Soak a paper towel in vinegar, and wrap the towel around the spotted area. Wait 10 minutes and then buff with a dry paper towel. This works well on all fixtures except brass or coloured fixtures; using vinegar on these surfaces may discolour them. Wipe cleaner-lubricant on the spot with a cloth and then rinse thoroughly.
  • For rust stains on porcelain enamel sinks, pour salt on half of a lemon and rub it on the stain. Mix up 250 millimetres (one cup) of baking soda with 250 millimetres (one cup) of salt and 60 millimetres (1/4 cup) cream of tartar in an airtight container.
  • Every few weeks, pour 125 millimetres (1/2 cup) of the mixture down each drain, followed by a litre (quart) of boiling water.
  • Do your best to keep debris out of your sink drains in the first place. Following these few steps should keep you clog-free!
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