Written by Grove Collaborative

Clean team: How to clean a porcelain sink.

Last Updated: February 1, 2021

Discover some of our best tips on how to clean porcelain and keep that shine brighter than ever!

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.

How to clean and shine a porcelain sink

Porcelain sinks are quite beautiful… when they’re clean and shiny of course. When they’re not, it can be off-putting to say the least! Dirt, debris, floating dust and hair, not to mention unsightly stains do their best to make your sinks look dingy and worn.


Keeping them clean and shiny is the conundrum, which is why we are here to save the day — or at the very least, save your pretty sink. Keep reading for some of our best tips on making that porcelain shine brighter than ever! First though, let’s quickly cover ceramic.

How do you get stains out of a ceramic sink?

Ceramic sinks are very similar to porcelain, and the terms are often used interchangeably. You can’t really tell the difference just by looking at them, it’s all in the way they are made.


Regardless, both not only look beautiful in kitchens and bathrooms, but they’re also relatively easy to clean and care for and can be cleaned in similar ways. Described down below are two simple and quick methods you can use to make your ceramic/porcelain sinks sparkle almost like they’re new!

How often should you wash it?

Porcelain sinks require regular maintenance and love. To keep the porcelain in excellent condition, clean it weekly with gentle cleansers to prevent the buildup of grease, dirt, and soap scum. You should also commit to deep cleaning porcelain sinks and tubs at least once a month.


Hopefully, by implementing some of these strategies you can keep your porcelain sinks looking shiny and new for years to come! Thanks for reading, Grove friends.

Method 1: Lemon juice and baking soda

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Wet the sink thoroughly and sprinkle baking soda on it. Make sure it’s fully coated in white powder.

Step 2: Scrub the baking soda into the porcelain with a soft cloth, until there are no stains that remain.

Step 3: Cut your lemons into slices and rub them around the sink on all sides to coat the porcelain in their juice. Let that sit for half an hour.

Step 4: Rinse the sink clean with water and wipe with a soft cloth, before rinsing again to finish.

Method 2: Detergent and vinegar

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Make a solution of water and dish detergent and wipe the sink with a sponge dipped into your homemade cleaning solution. Rinse with clean water.

Step 2: Fill the sink with a mixture of hot water and white vinegar in a 3:1 solution. Let it sit for half an hour until it has softened the dirt and buildup on the sink.

Step 3: Scrub the sink with the detergent and water solution a second time, and then rinse with water. Dry the sink with a clean towel or soft cloth.

What products should you avoid?

Strong abrasives

Be careful to avoid abrasive cleaning products that may scratch the surface of your porcelain, as scratches then become the home of grease and dirt. Plus, scratches just don’t look pretty at all!


Bleach

Bleach can be extremely useful in some cases, but may cause severe discoloration on colored porcelain. For that reason, we recommend being safe and only using it on white porcelain sinks.


Grove Tip: Be very careful not to drop heavy items in a porcelain sink, and also always allow hot pans to cool before putting them in the sink.

How to clean a porcelain sink in a few easy steps

Apart from regular stains, some special stains may require different products or solutions in order to be cleaned properly. For example, porcelain sinks may see some rust stains which might not come off with regular cleaning. If this is the case for your sink, the third method below may work better!

Method 3: Table salt and lemon

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Generously sprinkle the stain with table salt so that it's completely covered.

Step 2: Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice on top of the salt. Make sure that the juice covers the stained area.

Step 3: Using a nylon sponge or clean cloth, scrub the stain thoroughly. If the stain does not come out completely, leave the salt and lemon mixture and let it rest for an hour and scrub again. Finally, rinse with water and wipe clean.

Step 4: (Optional) If you want to add some shine to the porcelain, rub some lemon oil on it. A bonus perk is it will give it an extra layer of protection, too.

Method 4: Using soap

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Mix a gallon of hot water with liquid dish soap. Be sure it’s one that is designed to cut through grease.

Step 2: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy mixture and scrub the porcelain with it. Once it has been properly cleaned, rinse with warm water.

Method 5: Using vinegar and oxygen bleach

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Using a mixture of warm water and dishwashing soap, gently scrub the sink surface with a sponge to remove any light buildup, such as toothpaste, soap, food bits, etc.

Step 2: Pour some bleach into a spray bottle. Cover the sink with paper towels completely and spray the bleach on top. Allow it to soak thoroughly for an hour. If your sink is white porcelain, you can use regular bleach. However, if your porcelain is colored or vintage, it’s best to use liquid oxygen bleach such as hydrogen peroxide.

Method 6: Using baking soda

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Make a cleaning solution with warm water and baking soda. You can also add ammonia to this concoction for some extra cleaning power. Ammonia is especially helpful in cases of removing soap scum buildup, as well as other things like ink and even nail polish stains.

Step 2: Using a soft sponge dipped into your cleaning solution, scrub the surface of the sink, concentrating particularly on the stained areas. Put a little elbow grease in until you’re satisfied it’s clean.

Step 3: Once the stains are completely removed, rinse the sink with warm water. Taking a soft clean cloth, wipe it down thoroughly to prevent any white residue from the baking soda from remaining.

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Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on germs, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the cleaning tools to tackle the job.

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