Daily cleaning, spot treatments, and deep cleaning are all important aspects of caring for porcelain sinks. By cleaning daily, you can help to maintain the beauty of your sink and limit the amount of deep cleaning you have to do. Treating spots quickly and efficiently can also be helpful. If your sink is already discolored or full of stains, a deep cleaning with bleach followed by daily cleaning is often helpful.
If your sink is in otherwise good condition, you can help to keep it this way by wiping it down after each use, even if it looks clean, with a wet soft sponge. This will remove any residue that could lead to discoloration in the future. While you can use a household cleaner, it is typically best to avoid those containing bleach. Bleach can be used sparingly when cleaning porcelain sinks, but it is too harsh for everyday use. To maintain the shine of your sink, rub it down with white vinegar followed by a rinsing with cold water.
Porcelain sinks have a natural coating that prevents stains from setting. Once the coating deteriorates, the sink becomes porous, thereby allowing stains to set more easily. As a result, it is best to treat stains as they happen, rather than waiting to deep clean the sink. Fresh stains can be effectively removed by letting fresh lemon juice sit on the stain for a half hour. Once the stain fades, rinse the juice off.
Tough stains can often be removed with an equal mixture of lemon juice and alum, both of which can be purchased in most retail stores. If alum isn't available, the lemon juice can be mixed with equal parts baking soda. Use a soft sponge to scrub the mixture into the stain until it is gone. If this still doesn’t work, a bleach pen can be rubbed directly onto the stain to remove it. To protect the coating of the sink, it is typically best to treat stains individually rather than scrubbing or bleaching the entire sink.
Heavily discolored or stained porcelain sinks can benefit from soaking in bleach. To do this, simply close the drain of your sink and fill it with bleach until the entire bottom of the sink is covered. Finish filling the sink with cold water, and allow the bleach mixture to sit until stains are no longer visible; this can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the condition of your sink. Remove the drain stop with a gloved hand and thoroughly rinse out the sink. This method should be used sparingly because bleach can eat away at the protective coating of porcelain sinks, thus leaving them more vulnerable to staining.