Sharing how I keep this beautiful large single basin fireclay sink looking good and staying scratch and stain free.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the kitchen sink is the hub of the home. I don’t know about you, but with a family of 6, our sink stays busy! Between meals, snacks, food prep, washing dishes, and even foot baths – our sink can take a hit.
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In all our previous homes, we’ve had white ceramic sinks. If I am being honest, I struggled to keep them clean. The only thing I found to whiten and brighten the sink, was bleach – like my mama did. How I hate bleach! I can almost guarantee a migraine after using it, even just a tiny bit.
But the thing is, I love the look of a white sink, especially this lovely fireclay apron front sink from BLANCO. But I wanted to find products and solutions for keeping it clean without bleach.
I’m happy to report these 5 successful solutions, that have kept our sink looking brand new while dealing with the needs of a busy home and even after having harsh stains due to iron in our water when we first moved in.
Like I mentioned, our sink is fireclay material but I imagine these solutions would be great for ceramic sinks as well.
The first thing to consider if you want a stain and scratch free sink, is prevention. The best way to deal with a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place, right?
I am frequently hand washing metal pots and heavy cast iron pans.
These would no doubt do a number on the surface if I allowed them to sit at the bottom of the sink – or if my kids were to try to hand wash them in there. I can recall growing up and my mom frequently saying “don’t scratch the sink” – which was near impossible not to do in order to scrub a metal pan.
Getting a metal rack that sits at the bottom of the sink is a game changer. For our BLANCO sink, the metal rack came with the sink as an accessory, and it is made to fit perfectly.
But I know you can also buy a variety of sizes of sink protectors to work with your sink. I’d begin my search on Amazon for those, or visit a kitchen supply store or your sink manufacturer.
CLEAN THE SINK AFTER MEALS
This is a quick and easy step, that makes a huge difference. After each meal, I find food scraps floating around the sink left from food prep and waste being dumped inside or rinsed off from the plates. I’ve found that leaving them to sit for hours will increase my chances that they will stain the bottom.
This large single basin is especially prone to this since there is such a large surface for the food to spread out and find a resting place. This fact being perhaps the ONLY downside I could think of for a large sink – but if you saw my post on the reasons I love this sink, it’s something I’ll happily put up with.
Even if you don’t do all the dishes right away after each meal, taking a few seconds to spray down and rinse away the leftover grub sitting on the sink will keep it looking nice all day long and do wonders for preventing stains.
SIMPLE DAILY SCRUB
Next to my nightly ritual of having a soothing cup of herbal tea, I make it a point to remove the metal rack inside the sink, and give it a quick scrub down with a rag and a bit of dish soap.
I’ll be sure to do a quick scrub on the sides and front, rinse the soapy water down and replace the rack. You can even train your kids and spouse to do this if they are on dish duty.
Again, it only takes a few minutes but can be huge for preventing the stains to sit and soak in to where they will need more drastic measures. Speaking of drastic measures . . .
NATURAL CLEANING SOLUTION FOR SINKS
Sometimes, you need something stronger than soapy water to get your sink clean. I find this to be the case about every week to 2 weeks. I have found 2 cleaners that have allowed me to kick bleach to the curb, once and for all.
If you’ve been around TIDBITS long enough, you know I love natural solutions for our homes – mostly because I am so sensitive to chemicals – if you haven’t caught on to that. My friend Chloe from Boxwood Avenue recommended this non toxic cleaning paste on her Instagram one day, and I immediately bought it to give it a try on my sink.
It’s this paste that comes in this little tub, called A-Ben-A-Qui. You can read more about it on Amazon, but it has no bleaches, solvents and is biodegradable and cleans a multitude of surfaces like grout, countertops, cookware and more.
It has no smell, and you just use a rag to wipe it on your surface, buff it around and rinse it off. It works amazingly well and I’m excited to have this friendlier option for when the sink needs a bit more help.
PRODUCT FOR TOUGH STAINS, SCRATCHES, AND A GOOD DEEP CLEAN
This next product is for when nothing else works . . . and no – it’s not bleach. When we dug our well, we discovered high iron content water. It wreaked havoc on our shower and sinks – or anywhere water was allowed to sit. Everything turned yellow, and not a single natural cleaning solution I cooked up would even touch it.
We did get a whole house water filter to solve the initial problem, but I was left with stubborn yellow iron stains in my nice new home. I did what every gal does when they are faced with a problem – asked my friends on Instagram! Many lovely experienced women recommended Barkeepers Friend.
I knew it wasn’t “all natural” – but I was desperate.
Miracles happened, and these stains lifted without hardly any scrubbing, AND I didn’t get a migraine.
I’m not sure what is in it, and you have to read the labels and make sure you don’t use it on surfaces it is not intended to be used on, but it has no smell, has no bleach, and works like a charm. However, I did wear gloves to be safe and used a non abrasive scrubber to help with the job.
I now keep this stuff stashed on the top shelf in my cleaning locker and pull it out when my sink or shower need a little extra help, which is about every other month or so.
Okay, there are 5 tips to help you keep your sink looking brand new every day and for many many years. I know there has to be some other great ideas and products out there, so feel free to share what works for you in the comments.
I’ve been sharing a lot of content centered around our kitchen so feel free to check out my post and videos all about our DIY butcher block countertops, dig into more detail on our fireclay sink from BLANCO, learn about our hardware and tips for choosing hardware for your kitchen, and so much more to come!
Thanks for reading!
Jenifer Wola says
I’ve tried this Barkeepers Friend cleanser on my sink & this seems the best method to clean the sink. Thanks for these tips & my sink look shiny.
Great post and lovely kitchen!! Can you tell more about your whole house water filter (brandy, model etc) We have the same issue and are about to remodel our kitchen and install a fireclay sink (upgrade from very old stained stainless! Thanks!
Linda Zimmer says
Wow. I tried 4 different things/cleaners but your method worked the best! Thank you so much.
thanks for your comments its really help me with cleaning services.
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Hey, thanks! What is appropriate for cleaning stainless steel?
Boniface Muriuki says
Thank you for this post. I think even acetic acid does well, right? From lime, sometimes mixed with baking soda
New viewer…from Farmhouse on Boone! I can’t use Bartenders (keepers?) Friend. It sets my hands on fire….of course I didn’t use gloves, BUT, I can use and have used Bon Ami for years. I bought the BF one time when I couldn’t find Bon Ami. It is more difficult to find but no harsh chemicals, no scent (I can’t handle fragrances either), doesn’t scratch. My th things aren’t as nice as yours…stainless sink & fiberglass bath & shower (which I hate them all) It is a powder & comes in a can. It’s always less than $2 a can.
You can also use just plain baking soda mixed with a little bit of vinegar on your sink. I have a porcelain sink and it’s what I use all the time. If you use essential oils, Thieves cleaner is another great addition to cleaning without all the chemicals.
Perfect timing! My lovely white sink has gotten some stains in it since we moved to the farm full time. I am excited to give the two cleaners a try. Thank you for the information!
Donna Reesor Boyd says
Bar keepers friend is good for cleaning stainless steel pans.
I’ve used Bar Keepers Friend before…works great. I’ve never heard of A-BEN-A-QUI…I’ll have to check into that. Thanks for the info, as always! : )
We just moved to a new state and so a new house for us. We have a White Blanco sink in our house. I have found that baking soda and a little dish soap with a non abrasive scrubber works pretty well too. Thanks for the information.
Kim R says
Great post with loads of helpful info – thanks!
I am drooling over your kitchen. I especially am interested in the pulls and handles you have on your cabinets. I would like to use something similar when I get to my kitchen redo later this year. I checked back at some kitchen posts but didn’t find a source. Would you share that, please?
Thank you Kim! And yes, I luckily already did a post all about the hardware in our kitchen. Check it out here: https://www.tidbits-cami.com/kitchen-hardware/ . I love them soooo much!
I use barkeepers friend as well for cleaning my stainless sinks as well. We drink tea here just once a day, but wow..! I can’t believe how much tea stains the sink as well as the cups. But, barkeepers friends seems to do a good job. Because we are also on a septic system, I find you have to find more natural products to use. Do you put anything down your toilets occasionally as well? I don’t know what you have in the states, but I have used something called “septo-solve”. It comes in a box and is little envelopes of a powdery stuff that is great for septic tanks. It has little activators in it that break down waste in the tank. It’s been sold here for as long as I can remember.
I like your blog, thanks for sharing. I love this information you shared with us. I am waiting for your next post. Keep it up.