Cleaning sinks

From DIYWiki

Stainless Steel

  • Cream cleaner works quite well, as do plastic & copper scourers.
  • Never use steel or iron scrapers, scourer, etc, these tend to permanently scratch the sink.
  • Avoid most acids, though a vinegar soak can remove some dirt films.
  • Grease that won't shift with standard cleaners can be removed with paraffin or ammonia

Ceramic

Pretty much any cleaner can be used on ceramic sinks, but avoid iron & steel scourers & scrapers that would damage the surface. The best possible final finish cleaners are acids, but these tend to attack the finish on the metal plughole.

The ultimate ceramic sink cleaners are acids. Sulphuric & Sulphamic acid give a great finish. HCl is best avoided though, it can discolour the microcracking often present on ceramic surfaces, leaving a permanently poor looking result.

Plastic

Modern Plastic sinks are found as a prettier alternative to bare stainless, with a wider range of colours available, and easier cleaning. Astralux comes in various colours.

They're easy to clean with the right chemicals, but notoriously difficult with the wrong ones. The 3 main cleaners are:

  1. Manufacturers recommend a cream cleaner with bleach. This works quite well.
  2. Bleach removes nearly all dirt easily & quickly. Just pour on and leave it. Bleach is best not used as the only cleaner, or the limescale left behind soon gets stained again.
  3. Also very effective is biological washing powder paste. Wet the sink, sprinkle a little powder on, and wipe all over, including the sides as well if needed, and leave it overnight. Can rehabilitate sinks not cleaned properly in years.

Surface scale builds up in hard water areas. Acids remove it. If desposits are heavy, eg around taps, a plastic scraper can be used cautiously to scrape over the scale surface, pressing down on the scale to help break it up, but don't let it scrape the soft plastic sink surface at all.

Scrape marks from aluminium pans can be removed with caustic soda, which dissolves aluminium.

Grease that won't shift with standard cleaners can be removed with paraffin or ammonia

Don't use any type of metal or plastic scourer or scraper. The sink's plastic coating is soft. Because of this, any hard rubbing at all should be avoided, one needs to rely entirely on chemicals to clean it.

Basic Plastic

Basic plastic sinks aren't popular. Its important with these not to scratch them. A good general purpose clean is to wet them with water & washing up liquid, and wipe it off after a couple of minutes. The same methods work with these sinks as with modern plastic sinks.

Corian


Safety

Never let acid and bleach mix, either in the sink or the drainage trap. The 2 together produce toxic chlorine gas.

See Also