Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Clean a Porcelain Sink

Porcelain sinks may take a little more effort to keep clean but their durability, cost-effectiveness, and general style flexibility make them desirable for any type of home. So what can you do to keep those pesky spots and stains off of your beautiful porcelain sink? Here are some rules of thumb to follow to keep your sink looking fresh and shiny.

Basic Cleaning of Porcelain Sinks
For a regular cleaning regimen, use non-abrasive cleaning products and tools. Porcelain sinks have protective coatings that harsh or abrasive cleaners or cleaning pads will damage. Once the protective coating is gone, so is the sink's defense against stains. So be sure to go light on what you clean with.

Fighting Stains
Porcelain sinks can stain, especially if the protective finish has been damaged somehow. Stains, depending on the toughness, can be removed in a few different ways.

Try fresh lemon juice as your first defense. As soon as a stain appears, chop up a lemon and rub it on the stain. Let the juice sit for 10 minutes. If it looks like the stain is gone, rinse the lemon juice off. If the stain is still there, leave it another 10 minutes and then rinse. This works well for newer stains and can even be done on a weekly basis to keep on top of stains. However, if stains are older or the lemon juice hasn't worked, go to the next solution.

Mix a little alum and lemon juice together and apply it to the stain and scrub with a sponge. This method may take some time and elbow grease but it may be more effective than just the lemon juice.

Harsher stains may require bleach. However, bleach can damage the finish so use it with discretion or try a bleach pen instead. To deal with larger stains or replenish the white of the sink, stop the sink and fill it with bleach or another cleaning product that has bleach in it. Let it sit for about 10 minutes but be sure not to leave it much longer than that. As soon as the stains are gone, drain the sink and rinse it thoroughly. Again, bleach damages the porcelain finish so use sparingly.

Keep Your Sink Shiny
Aside from regular cleaning and applying lemon juice or bleach to remove stains, there's another basic household product that can effectively keep porcelain looking like new. To keep up the beautiful shine that porcelain is known for, use vinegar. Pour the vinegar (household white vinegar for instance) right onto the porcelain and wash with a soft cloth or sponge. Then, rinse the sink well to get rid of the vinegar smell. You may be surprised by just how shiny it gets!

Take care of your new or old porcelain sink by following this basic cleaning regimen. Use non-abrasive cleaning agents for regular washing. Get rid of stains with fresh lemon juice, a mixture of lemon juice and alum, or for really tough stains use bleach. And keep the finish shiny and clean with a semi-regular vinegar bath. Using these few tips will keep your sink beautiful for years down the road.

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