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Removing Stains from a Porcelain Sink

Category Bathroom
Sometimes your sink may have stains that are difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing stains from a porcelain sink.
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January 11, 20052 found this helpful

Got stains that won't come out of your sink? Use nail polish remover on a cotton ball and it will come right off, no matter what the stain. By Anna K. Editor's Note: This would work on a porcelain sink but acetone might damage other types of surfaces.

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By (Guest Post)
January 11, 20050 found this helpful
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CAUTION - READ THIS FIRST:

Once I dyed my hair in the sink and stained it, (oops). I cleaned up the best I could with a bleach cleaner. Later one teeny tiny spot remained. I put dab of nail remover on a Q-Tip swab and it looked soo pretty and clean!

Well, here's the thing. 3 HOURS later, my roomate (homeowner) and I were watching a movie when we heard popping
sounds from bathroom. The sink literally blew up. It sent slivers of porcelain everywhere and it was sharp and found days later in odd places. OUCHIE!

So take this warning and, do what you will, be careful.

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January 12, 20050 found this helpful
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I you have a plastic or fiberglass sink, you may very well MELT the top coating of the sink if you use nail polish remover. Anna didn't say what kind of sink she had. I just wouldn't do it, there are too many other remedies

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By Nanette (Guest Post)
June 7, 20050 found this helpful
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Be very careful doing this. I ruined our brand-new marble sink by getting nail polish remover on it!

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November 23, 20160 found this helpful

There are a number of ways to remove stubborn rust discoloration from a porcelain fixture. This is a guide about cleaning a rust stain on a porcelain sink.

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November 6, 20040 found this helpful

Dab dishwasher gel on any stains in your sink, and let it set overnight. In the morning the stains will be gone!

By Linda

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October 26, 20040 found this helpful

Got a stain on your tub or sink? Clean them quick and easy. Add cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and make a paste. Spread the paste over the stain and scrub lightly with a brush. Let the paste dry and then wipe or rinse it off. That's it you're done. No back-breaking work here! Hope this helps. Take care of you and those you love.

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By Suzanne S.

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December 19, 2016

Editor's Note: There are health concerns about mixing bleach with other cleaners, like vinegar. Please use caution and avoid breathing in the toxic chlorine gas.

I am not at all proud to let you see the mess I let my kitchen sink get into. I am kinda happy to let you in on how I cleaned it up.

My sink is old and pitted, just like me. The deeper the pits and the more the smooth surface has been worn away, the more difficult it is to clean. Not only that, these older sinks with their eroded surfaces, stain more easily and hold onto those stains, tenaciously.

Erosion and pitting cannot be cleaned away. If you are bothered by these two, your only recourse is to have the sink re-glazed or to buy a new sink.

The biggest offenders to a sink's surface is not protecting the bowl bottom with a mat, and believe it or not, cleaning the sink with scouring powders specifically designed for cleaning porcelain sinks. These cleaning agents, including the 'soft scrub' type, will in time etch the sink surface, making it porous and open to real staining. By the time you notice the dulling of the surface, the permanent damage has been done. My sink was not new when it came into my possession. Had it been, its surface would not be in the shape it is.

There is a product called Barkeeper's Friend. My understanding is that it is of a totally different composition than regular scouring powders and therefore much gentler to a sink's surface. I cannot speak to its effectiveness or gentleness. I have not used it. I can speak to its cost. It is not moderately priced.

Seeing what a mess my sink was in, I decided it was time for some serious cleaning. While getting out my cleaning supplies, I happened to remember something.

My home is covered with vinyl siding. The north side develops a heavy green layer of scum. This scum is very difficult to remove. I mentioned this to a sister, who suggested I try something she had heard about. A painter had said that the easiest way to remove this scum was with a mixture of equal amounts of household bleach and white vinegar. Doubtful, I tried the suggestion. It worked better than anything I ever tried. I even took pictures, I was so happy with the results. A tip within a tip. One you might want to remember if you have vinyl siding.

I always use bleach when cleaning my sink. First, I scrub the sink with a paste of dish detergent and baking soda. This will never dull a porcelain surface. After rinsing the sink, I pour in bleach and let it sit for a while. The sink is then much whiter and sanitized.

Well, I wondered if a combination of bleach and vinegar would clean and whiten the sink better than bleach, alone. I can tell you emphatically, it does.

I cleaned the sink as usual with dish detergent and soda and then rinsing. Then, I poured in the bleach-vinegar mixture. I could tell immediately it was whitening better and faster than bleach, alone. It even lifted some of the rust stains.

For the deeper rust stains, I used something I discovered long ago, a pencil eraser. Unless the rust stains are really deep, the eraser will remove 100% of them. Don't go out and buy a big block eraser. It won't work. The older and harder the eraser, the better it will remove the rust. It will not harm the porcelain. Expect to use some elbow grease if the stains are deep. A good use for those old pencil stubs you're meaning to throw away.

A quick rinse and another application of bleach-vinegar if you think it necessary and you finished. You will note that I did not remove 100% of the rust stains. I came close. By next Saturday, I will have found more old pencils and finish the job. I still have the other bowl to do, too!

Final tip: Never use anything harder than baking soda on porcelain sinks. That includes those newer, flat nylon scrubbing sheets. They will etch the sink surface.

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December 26, 20160 found this helpful
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There are concerns with mixing vinegar and bleach together, just as there are for ammonia. Here is a warning I found in a PDF from the Health Department

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"Mixing hazards: USE ONLY IN WELL-VENTILATED AREAS. Adverse effects of inappropriate mixtures of household cleaners usually are caused by prolonged exposure to an irritant gas in a poorly ventilated area. The most common inappropriate mixtures of cleaning agents are bleach with acids (like vinegar) or ammonia (Windex ®). Potential irritants released from such mixtures are chlorine gas, chloramines, and ammonia gas. "

Definitely be sure to have the space well ventilated and it would probably be best to wear a mask as well.

Here is a link I found with more complete information:

http://chemistr  -And-Vinegar.htm

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 7, 2007

How do you get the gray mark out of your kitchen sink. My sink is just a year old and the marks are getting worse. I use cleanser but it doesn't budge them. Please help.

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Jean from Banning, CA

Answers

By kaysbelle (Guest Post)
May 8, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My manufacturer recommended using Barkeepers Friend on my porcelein sink. Works great.

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May 8, 20070 found this helpful
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I use Electrosol liquid dishwasher detergent. It completely removes all stains and deodorizes the sink. My sink is white composite material, and comes up like new every time.

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By Camie (Guest Post)
May 21, 20070 found this helpful
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I read on a post recently to use regular tooth paste (not the gel type). I tried it this weekend and it worked!!!

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February 6, 20100 found this helpful
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Use some smooth cook top cleaner on a paper towel, rub & within seconds, the scratches will disappear, guaranteed! This also works great on bath/jetted tubs also.

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December 8, 20141 found this helpful

My wife likes to use Windex to clean everything! Well, she was cleaning the guest bathroom sink and there was an area where the porcelain enamel had rubbed off unbeknownst to her. Once the spray hit that spot, it absorbed the blue spray and now there is a big discolored blue spot where the enamel had rubbed off. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can remove the stain? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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By Morgan F.

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December 15, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can try getting a small container, sold in hardware stores, of white enamel touch up paint for just for this purpose for chips.

Syd's 2 cents

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June 30, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Got a big stain off my sink. I ordered Barkeepers Friend online. My sink is shiny, looks like new again. It's three years old.

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August 2, 20040 found this helpful

Please help! My boyfriend is a mechanic and there are motor oil stains in our bathroom sink! Does anyone know how I can get these pesky stains off the porcelain?

Lacey

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August 4, 20040 found this helpful
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I would try mechanics hand cleaner, the goop in a jar that gets motor oil and grease off your hands. It is available at the auto parts store. Put some on a rag or paper towel and rub it into the stains. Wipe clean with another paper towel or rag and see if it is gone. Repeat as necessary. Hopefully that will dissolve the oil so it comes out.

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- Susan

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Anonymous
March 18, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had some odd yellow stains in my white enamel kitchen sink which did not respond to the usual bleach cleaner/Bon Ami cleanser. I tried peroxide, bathroom cleaner, cooktop cleaner, Soft Scrub, window cleaner, mildew inhibitor, Borax with lemon juice, OxyCLean with lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda; I even dabbed on a bit of acetone (which is not something I wanted to do) and tried Awesome cleaner and pure bleach, which I let sit. NOTHING. Then I came home and it was as pure as the driven snow. My husband had bought and used a bit of BarKeepers' Friend. Unbelieveable.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 30, 2016

How do I get white stains out of a brown porcelain sink?

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Most likely this is mineral build up.

The only way I could get these out was with a pumice stone. I would rub the stain out.

Also some recoomend using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, making a paste, and leaving it on to break down the sediment: homeguides.sfgate.com/remove-lime-build-up-porcelain-sink...

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful
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Try a Mr Clean Magic eraser

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April 7, 20150 found this helpful

In a porcelain kitchen sink with stains, do the stains stay off once removed with peroxide? If the kitchen sink is used often, do the ugly stains stay off?

By Joycealaina

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December 1, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

No. You have to clean it after each use. I use soft scrub on mine every night before bed (I do the flylady routine, end your day with a clean shiny empty sink). You can help it stay cleaner longer if you avoid putting things in it such as tea, coffee, blueberry.....as they cause stains. Also, if you use a sink mat in it, that will help prevent pots and pans from scuffing it.

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December 1, 20170 found this helpful
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The finish of the sink is probably gone. Unless you have it professionally reglazed, you will have to scrub out stains constantly.

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February 27, 20150 found this helpful

I have a hair removal cream stain on my white sink. It has been there for 3 weeks. Now the stain is dark grey. What can I do? Please help me!

By Jolanta

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February 28, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Have you tried Magic Eraser? It removed some of the stains in my bathroom that products had left behind. Some of the stains had been there for over 10 years, and it took them right off. May be worth a try for you.

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June 8, 20160 found this helpful
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Use Barkeepeer's Friend and a scouring pad. Took out iodine stains.

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November 8, 20140 found this helpful

My hot water heater makes my hot water yellow which has in turn yellowed my white kitchen sink that's only 3 years old. Bleach, vinegar, and baking soda did nothing. Help!

By Mick from LHC, AZ

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December 5, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

It sounds like you either have sulfur water or your hot water heater needs to be flushed. As long as you keep using the same water source without correcting it, you will continue to have this issue. Try using comet to scrub it out.

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December 6, 20170 found this helpful
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Try Barkeeper's Friend. It doesn't scratch.

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May 10, 20140 found this helpful

It appears that some eye medicine my mom used has made stains on my bathroom sink. I tried several things, but nothing works. Any suggestions?

By Gloria

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful
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We have a white kitchen sink, yes strange, but it is white. We rinsed a bowl and a plate then left them in the sink before we went overseas for 3 weeks. When we returned we found circular yellow stains where the blowl and plate had been. Tried scrubbing with Jiff, Ajax Professional Mould Remover and OzKleen Mould power, all to no avail. I then wiped the sink as dry as I could and sprayed on 30 Seconds Indoor Mould Remover, thinking this won't work either. But about 3 minutes later, I couldnt believe my eyes. THE YELLOW WAS COMPLETELY GONE. You can buy this product at Bunnings.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 7, 2009

I have used hand soap dispensers on my porcelain bathroom sinks. Unfortunately, they have left yellow circles/rings on the sinks now. I have tried many things, but I just can't find a solution to remove these stains. Please help. My bathrooms are only 3 years old. Thanks.

By Lisa Hanson from Georgetown, KY

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February 22, 2010

I have a blue stain around my new sink in the bathroom upstairs, but I don't have it in my main floor bath. Any suggestions? I would be grateful. Please help. Thanks in advance.

By brenda chouinard from Lac Baker, NB

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By 1 found this helpful
October 2, 2016

I have a friend that has two yellow stains in his sink (each about three inches in diameter) that will not come off. We do not know the source of the stains as they were there when he moved in. He has tried bleach, baking soda, lemon paste, and Soft Scrub all to no avail. Any suggestions?

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