Faucetsreviewed is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more
How to Clean a Bathroom Sink? – All Types Explained by Experts
Bathroom sinks are made out of various materials, each with their own pros and cons. These different materials mean that cleaning your bathroom sink needs to be specific to its material type so that you can have the cleanest sink possible without the risk of damaging, staining, or scratching the sink. Here we will discuss the best way to clean each type so that you can move forward with a sound mind knowing you’re doing things the right way!
How to Clean a Bathroom Sink by Type?
1. Porcelain Bathroom Sinks
Porcelain is a somewhat sensitive material when compared to that of granite or stainless steel. It is easy to stain, can crack chip and scratch, and may dull out after time in certain circumstances. The best way to avoid chipping, scratching, and cracking, is to refrain from ever using hard brush types such as steel wool. You also need to use a neutral soap that is not acidic. For the best results, use warm (not hot) soapy water with a soft rag and scrub gently. I suggest doing so daily or at the very least weekly to maintain the porcelain shine and prevent issues like limescale build-up and soap grime accumulation. Another thing to keep in mind is to thoroughly rinse the basin out with clean warm water once it has been washed down. Ensure all the soap has been rinsed off properly or you could risk staining and soap grime marks. Stay away from using very hot water as porcelain tends to crack under drastic temperature changes and overly hot water.
Copper is a fascinating material for a sink. The reason I say so is that it is in-fact a natural anti-bacterial element. Cool right? This means you don’t need to be stressed about using soaps with heavy disinfecting properties when cleaning it. You also don’t need to worry about germ accumulation. Bacteria cannot live very long on copper at all. The downside to copper is how easy it is to stain and dull out, as well as how sensitive the substance is to acid. One has to be very sure not to use any bathroom sink cleaner containing even small amounts of acid. It’s got to be pH neutral stuff all the way here. Copper is also inherently soft and thus susceptible to scratching. The best way to get this sink type clean is with a soft rag, some hot soapy water (containing pH neutral soap), and some elbow grease. You may want to wax your copper sink bi-weekly to ensure it stays nice and shiny too. A very important thing to remember here is that while many copper sinks have seals, not all do, and not all sealing is great. This means once you are done using or cleaning your sink it is best to dry it out with a soft dry cloth. This will avoid moisture build-up that leads to ugly rust and rust stains.
If you want a DIY mix instead of risking commercial sink cleaners, try some baking soda with a natural oil such as eucalyptus. It causes a reaction that won’t threaten your copper finish but is effective at removing all sorts of grime, rust, stains, and more. It also smells great. Once it’s reacting, gently scrub the sink down with a soft cloth thoroughly. As soon as you are done rinse it all down with boiling water. Make sure to get it all so the baking soda doesn’t feast on the copper (this can happen after prolonged exposure).
Stone sinks are generally quite hard but they are still susceptible to staining from soap grime, limescale build-up, and the like. They are also easily stained by anything containing acidic properties, such as citrus-based sink cleaners. General cleaning can be done with simple dishwashing liquid in hot water. Use a non-abrasive cloth to gently wipe the sink. Rinse and dry it well when finished.
If you have nasty sink stains you can’t get off try the following measure. Mix a cup of flour with a drop of diluted peroxide. Add warm water to the mix until it’s a thick sludgy consistency. Spread the mix over the stained area and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Leave the mix until it is totally dry. Now gently rub the mix off with something non-abrasive. Rinse the area off using warmish water and dry. The stain should now be gone!
4. Ceramic Bathroom Sinks
Ceramic is a durable material that is not as susceptible to acid as most other sink types. This opens up your cleaning options considerably. There are many bathroom sink cleaners out there made just for ceramic which can simply be mixed with some warm water and applied. If you prefer a DIY method that is proven, do the following.
Spread a cup of baking soda around the sink surface evenly. Wet a cloth and scrub the baking soda around the surface. Be sure to use some elbow grease here. Once you have scrubbed the entire surface down enough, rinse off the baking soda with warmed water. Wipe the surface down with a clean cloth, rinse again, and dry the sink. You can add a bit of vinegar to the mix if you are dealing with stains or scum build-up.
5. Granite Bathroom Sinks
Granite may look hard and feel heavy (very heavy), but it is a natural stone and thus requires special care. You do not want to use any brush or cloth that is tough or abrasive. Stay away from anything even mildly acidic too. A brief baking soda wipe-down has been known to be effective but in all honesty I strongly suggest you stick to the special granite sink cleaners designed for this stone type. The manufacturer of your sink will probably have a list of suggested products. When using one of the products, use it with warmish water and a soft cloth or rag. I also suggest you clean a granite sink as frequently as you possibly can to keep its look intact.
6. Glass Bathroom Sinks
For day-to-day cleaning, glass is fairly straight forward. There are many glass cleaning detergents out there that do just fine along with a normal cloth or glass-sponge. However, if you need to get rid of staining or those pesky water marks, do the following.
Rinse and dry out the sink once or twice using warm water and a soft cloth. Now mix up a solution of water and vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray it across the sink surface evenly. Leave the coat on for an hour or two. Wipe it off with a damp soft cloth. Repeat the process and coat the sink surface again. Leave it for another hour. Repeat the wipe off process. Now rinse out the sink with water and dry it thoroughly. Grab some old newspapers, scrunch them up and use them as a buffer to shine up the glass. And there you have it, a good-as-new glass sink!
The best way to properly clean the taps at your sink is to sprinkle them down with some baking soda, use a warm damp cloth to lightly wipe around it, and rinse off with water. Use a small brush to get into the hard-to-reach places with a bit of baking soda or lemon juice. Be sure to rinse these small areas out thoroughly though. Use a soft dry cloth to bright the taps to a shine.
8. Basin Drain Cleaning
Drains can get very dirty and even begin to smell. It’s important to make sure you clean them frequently to avoid this. The easiest way to do this is to pour down a cup of baking soda then throw down some vinegar. Let the mix sit for an hour and then flush it out with hot water. If you can’t stand the smell of reacting vinegar, replace that with lemon juice or natural oils. They are just as reactive but smell far better. It goes without saying but, try to avoid flushing unnecessarily big or potentially accumulative materials down the drain. This will do a long way in ensuring the sink stays clean and free of smells or blockages.
Dishwashing liquid, warm water, and a soft cloth go a long way on any sink type as well as any type of sink faucet with regards to general cleaning. Varying amounts of baking soda applied and removed quickly can also be considered a somewhat universal method. But in truth, it is best to clean your sink in a manner that considers its material and finish.
Tips on Keeping Your Sink Clean
The first may seem obvious but if practiced it certainly yields results. Try to thoroughly rinse out your sink after each use. This helps prevent all sorts of build-up that leads to staining.
Try to keep your sink dry when not in use. Moisture exposure is a common cause for staining.
Try a deeper clean at least weekly to avoid staining and build up. By deeper I mean more than just a soapy wipe down and rinse.
Avoid putting things in your bathroom sink that are not necessary and can cause staining, such as a half used hair coloring sachet.
Flush some baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice down the drain at least once a month to deal with grime and build up in there.
Avoid overusing abrasive or acidic cleaning materials frequently.
Certain sink types require more attention than others but a clean bathroom sink is something we all want right? It’s always better to clean a little bit frequently than to break your back cleaning heavily later on and it’s easier to avoid stains than it is to remove them. I hope this was helpful to you. Happy cleaning!