When it comes to cleaning, sinks are the home’s biggies, and sinks require a lot of TLC depending upon the material they are made of. Any sink needs to be cleaned well, dried and shined every day. For some sinks, this task is necessary after every use. The following simple tips are quick ways for keeping any type of sink clean and sparkling.

Porcelain – Never use bleach, scrubs or other abrasives. Avoid using chemical cleansers as they can destroy a porcelain finish. This is especially the case for any sink with a porcelain enamel finish applied over cast iron or steel.

To clean stains, begin by using some dishwashing liquid. Let it sit for a bit and then add a mix of water and baking soda. Create a paste you can apply to the stains. Add ammonia or a special porcelain cleaner to complete your cleaning. You can also use white vinegar to get rid of calcium build up.

To keep the sink in great shape never pour boiling water into it unless you are running cool water simultaneously. Also, let hot pots and pans cool before placing them in the sink.

Enamel Cast Iron – These sinks wow with their smooth, glossiness. Yet, they can attract stains and are easily damaged. To keep them looking good, follow the above care guides for porcelain. Always rinse them and dry thoroughly after every use. Be careful placing heavy pans or pots into them as they can chip.

Fireclay – This is a finish combining ceramic and porcelain. It lasts longer and is stronger than regular porcelain or porcelain enamel. It resists rust and water stains, but you will want to apply porcelain sink care to it. Keep it free of exposure to extremely high temperatures. Be careful when washing heavy pots as it is susceptible to scratches. To clean away stains, begin with dishwashing liquid, and then gradually add a mix of water and bleach or a mild abrasive. Never use scouring pads, ammonia or hard scrubbing motions.

Stainless Steel – These are less expensive than porcelain and somewhat easier to clean but they are still easily scratched. The appearance of the sink can also dull after a time. These sinks can take some abrasive cleaners and disinfectants. Use lots of hot water and a soft rag rather than a scrubbing sponge. When using any cleanser containing bleach rinse right away and rinse well.

Aluminum – Using a mild dish detergent for cleaning is best just as it is with any other sink type. Do not use bleach because it can cause the material to darken. Stains are best cleaned using borax or sodium tetraborate. This is salt from boric acid which is alkaline.

Copper – Copper is antimicrobial, so it stays relatively clean on its own. Use a pH neutral soap and a soft cloth to clean it. Dry it after every use to keep stains away. Make sure to use special attention to areas where there is hard water or high-mineral-content water.

It can be easily stained by acids and harsh cleansers. For instance, use lots of clean fresh running water when disposing of tomatoes or citrus fruits in the sink.  Do not clean with ammonia, or lime and rust cleansers. Wax sink routinely to retain its natural patina.

Acrylic – Affordable and colorful, these sinks are stain resistant, especially with regular cleanings. They can scratch easily, however, and this can cause them to dull over time. Never use scouring pads, abrasives, or bristle brushes. Never scrub hard when cleaning.  Get rid of tough stains by filling the sink with a mild bleach and water solution. Rub them with a soft cloth. You can also clean them with a fine-grain sandpaper and fill with a special acrylic cream polish.

Granite – These are sealed for protection but need routine cleaning and drying to look great. Never use abrasives, acids or alkalines on them. Rinse thoroughly and dry carefully. Do not let acidic foods sit in them for prolonged periods because of the delicacy of the surface. A little mineral oil will keep them free of water stains when used every now and again. Reseal them as needed.

Granite composite – Composites are more durable than granite alone but can become streaked or dull. Do not use ammonia or abrasives.  Clean stains with an even mix of water and white vinegar or bleach for tough stains. You can also use a baking soda paste.

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