Home Life 8 min read

How to clean ceramic sinks – a simple and effective guide

Ceramic sinks are just a bless to look at in your kitchen or bathroom: They are smooth, they are glossy, they are glorious in their porcelain black or white … until they stain. Without proper maintenance, ceramic sinks can easily lose their sleeks; they need to be cleaned frequently and properly. And here’s how to […]

Published 09 Jun 2022
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Ceramic sinks are just a bless to look at in your kitchen or bathroom: They are smooth, they are glossy, they are glorious in their porcelain black or white … until they stain. Without proper maintenance, ceramic sinks can easily lose their sleeks; they need to be cleaned frequently and properly. And here’s how to clean ceramic sinks properly.

Depending on which part of your home are your ceramic sinks situated (the kitchen or the bathroom), and which color they come in (black and white), you may find yourselves with slightly different sets of problems. And in this DIY cleaning guide, we are gonna tackle each of these typical situations one by one.

How to clean a bathroom ceramic sink

Clean the ceramic bathroom sink using homemade cleaning products (Source: Internet)

As a note, a rule of thumb for cleaning any type of ceramic sink is that you don’t want to use particularly aggressive scrubbers and cleaners. For a scrubber, the best would be a dish sponge or a cloth. And for the cleaners, check with the label to make sure that they’re safe for ceramic if they’re commercial products, and make sure to properly follow the instructions and make proper processing steps if it’s a homemade cleaner to make it ceramic-safe.

For bathroom ceramic sinks, the maintenance would most likely involve the cleaning bodily material residual, soap scum, and mineral stains. These problems could be taken care of with a few simple steps using some ingredients commonly found around the house:

Method 1: Cleaning a ceramic sink with baking soda and lemon juice

Baking soda and lemon juice are simply excellent for cleaning soap scum; they are also great for cleaning tough stains and even mineral stains such as rust stains or limescale, making them cut out for the job. Here’s how you can clean a ceramic sink with baking soda and lemon juice. 

Step 1: Dampen your sink. Before sprinkling in the baking soda, you should lightly dampen the ceramic sink. The way to do this is by filling the sink with water and then draining it, or by splashing water around with your hand. Make sure to drain the water completely from the bottom of the sink, because otherwise, it will dissolve the baking soda before it can take any effect.

Also dampen the sponge that you have prepared to scrub the sink with, by soaking it with water and then wring it out well, so it won’t get too soggy.

Step 2: Sprinkle in the baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda with your fingers or with a spoon in the basin of the sink, until the sides are fully coated. Be extra generous with the sprinkling on the stains.

Step 3: Scrub the baking soda with a damp sponge. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which will help remove mineral buildup, leftover toothpaste, or general dirt and grime. Scrub the baking-soda-coated basin with the damp sponge; rinse the sponge every now and then during the process, and make sure to properly wring it out so it stays damp instead of being completely soaked. 

As a note, during the scrubbing, the baking soda ideally should be clumping in small lumps: If that’s not the case, it is a sign that the baking soda is too wet, and it won’t be able to take the desired cleaning effect

Once you’ve finished scrubbing the sink, rinse it well with water

Step 4: Cover the sink with lemon juice. Cut a lemon into several wedges, and use each of these wedges to rub all the sides of the basin; while rubbing, also squeeze these lemon wedge-slices so they juice out as much as possible on the ceramic. For tough stains or darkened areas, you may also use the leftover lemon skin to rub on them for extra effect.

Step 5: Let the lemon juice sit. After having the sink fully covered with lemon juice, let it sit for 30 minutes or an hour. The acidity from the lemon juice helps with cleaning stains, especially tough mineral stains. After the wait time, rinse the sink out.

Method 2: Cleaning a stained ceramic sink with vinegar and cream of tartar

With its mild acidity, vinegar and cream of tartar are also excellent ingredients for a homemade stain treatment, that also work to some degree for mineral stains like rust stains or limescale. 

Here is how you can clean a stained ceramic sink using vinegar and cream of tartar:

Step 1: Make a cleaning concoction from the cream of tartar and vinegar. Add the cream of tartar and the vinegar to a 1:1 ratio in a small mixing bowl, and stir them together to form the cleaning concoction. 

Step 2: Use a spoon to scoop out poor some of the mixture onto the stains on the ceramic sink.

Step 3: Let the concoction sit. For most stains, the wait should be around 15 minutes. For tougher stains like rust or limescale, reapply the concoction every 15 minutes for 2 hours.

Step 4: After the wait time, rub the stain. Use a sponge or paper towel to rub with force. You may also use a pumice stone for porcelain sinks, but be gentle with the force because it can scratch the ceramic.

As a note, these natural products are the safest and decently effective in most cases. However, the stains can be tougher than treatable by these methods; in such cases, you might also use specialized commercial products for the job, or request professional help. For DYI cleaning using commercial cleaners, read the label carefully to make sure they are safe to use on ceramic.

How to clean ceramic kitchen sinks

Clean ceramic kitchen sink with soft scrubbers (Source: Internet)

For ceramic kitchen sinks, you may have slightly different sets of problems. In addition to the mineral stains, which are typical to have on any water-using appliances in the house as long as the tap water is hard water, you may also find the need to degrease and disinfect the sink. Another concern is to avoid using aggressive commercial cleaners, both to protect the sink itself and to keep these harmful chemicals away from the kitchen utensils that would be washed in the sink.

For such challenges, household products like soap and vinegar can be godsent, especially when the sink is cleaned frequently. Here’s how you clean your ceramic kitchen sink using a simple cleaning routine with soap and vinegar:

Step 1: Wipe the sink thoroughly using warm water mixed with dish soap. This should take care of the grease stuck on the ceramic.

Step 2: Spray around the sink with a 1:1 vinegar-water cleaning solution. Let the solution sits for 15 minutes for regular cleaning. For a heavily soiled ceramic sink, fill the sink with a 1:3 mixture of vinegar and warm water, then let it sit for 30-60 minutes. After the wait, wipe the sink clean with a microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Rinse the sink thoroughly with water.

How to clean a black ceramic sink

Black ceramic kitchen sink is a brand new addition to the modern kitchen (Source: Internet)

Black ceramic sinks have recently become more trending in the household kitchens, as a brand new option to give the kitchen a sleek, modern look that is also cheaper and more maintainable than the traditional granite-quartz composite sinks. 

Before we discuss the cleaning strategy for this material, there are a couple of things we need to know about black ceramic. First, the black color of the material is created by mixing the color agent (zirconium oxide) into the material during the making of the ceramic, thus it is built-in and won’t go away even if you scratch the material. Second, it is actually more durable against both chemicals and abrasion than its white counterpart, due to both the fact that it contains zirconium oxide, and that it’s produced by the cold isostatic pressing process that gives it superior density. As the result, for how to clean a black ceramic sink, it is perfectly safe to use the same cleaning methods used for white ceramic sinks. 

As decoloration is less likely to happen by scratching or chemically damaging the tub, the most prominent cause would be limescale, which coats the black ceramic in a chalky white film. To clean this, you can simply use vinegar as demonstrated in the previous parts of the guide.

More cleaning tips and professional cleaning services

Love the results you get with this how-to-clean-ceramic-sinks guide? Sparkling and Beyond have even more cleaning tips and guides waiting for your discovery in our library. We also provide professional and affordable cleaning services for any other components and any other parts of the house, for any degree of need. It’s our joy and pride to keep your home sparkling clean and healthy.


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