How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach


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Want a shiny sink? Think you can’t have a shiny sink since you have a porcelain sink? I use to have a porcelain sink before we built our Passive-Aggressive home. When it was clean it had a rich luster and was simply beautiful. It would often become stained and I’d have to scrub it clean. I loved the durability of that old porcelain sink and I’m here to share how I kept my porcelain sink shiny and beautiful without toxic chemicals like bleach.

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

If you want to add a porcelain sink to your own kitchen check these beautiful options out on Amazon!

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

I happen to have aย really DIRTY sink all the time. We cook, clean and feed ourselves around this sink so it is well used and easily stained. I wish I could tell you that I got it that dirty on purpose, so I could write this blog post for you…Alas, that would be a lie! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It just got that dirty…

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

I read a post by Sara of Learning the Frugal Life and decided to try my hand at cleaning my sink with natural products in hopes of turning my porcelain sink into a shiny sink. I don’t have bleach in my house and that is the conventional way to remove stains. I would still like a shiny sink from time to time.

Wet Your Porcelain Sink

If you haven’t cleaned your sink out now is the time to do so. You’ll also want to remove the sink strainers, any bottles, pads or trays you have sitting on and around it. Give your sink a rinse with warm water.

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

Baking Soda and a Scrub Brush

Grab your baking soda and a scrub brush. Make sure you have a soft scrub brush so it doesn’t scratch up the porcelain. Shake the baking soda all over the sink and the faucet and start scrubbing. You may need to rinse and repeat a few times.

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

If you have deep seated stains make a paste with the baking soda and lemon juice and let it set to lift the stain.

I have my Porcelain Shiny Sink!

It’s a sparkly clean, beautiful sink that the Fly Lady would be proud of.

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

I am especially thrilled because it required minimal effort and baking soda is non-toxic! My house doesn’t stink and I have a clean sink using natural (and cheap) products.

After cleaning my sink for a while with Baking Soda, I have learned that cleaning my porcelain sink is even easier and yields a better result with Borax!

Is your porcelain sink chipped or cracked?

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks without Bleach

You CAN repair a chipped or cracked porcelain sink. You will want to sit a full week aside where no one is using the sink. You don’t want something dropping and denting your filler or paint before it has had a chance to cure.

How to Repair a Chipped or Cracked Porcelain Sink

Day One

  • I recommend starting your repair on a weekend. It helps with patience and not pushing or testing if the filler and paint is dry. You can wash dishes in a tub if your kitchen sink is being repaired. If your bathroom sink is you can brush your teeth in the tub or at the kitchen sink so give your repair time.
  • You will then want to clean your porcelain sink with a soft scrub brush or sponge and an all purpose cleaner. Anything from Mrs. Meyers to a paste of baking soda and dish soap will work. Fully scrub the entire sink and pay extra attention to the cracks and chips.
  • Next you will want to rinse well with water and then vinegar to make sure no baking soda is left behind. (I do prefer the baking soda and dish soap paste.)

Day One and Two

  • Use a fine mist spray bottle and wet your chips and gouges.
  • Sand the chips and cracks with WET 1000 grit sandpaper. Be careful not to sand undamaged areas. Rinse the dust out and follow with 2000 and then 3000 grit sandpaper. Keep it wet and rinse often.
  • Make sure you pick your sandpaper up from an automotive store as you do not want standard sandpaper which will fall apart when wet and further scratch up your porcelain sink.
  • A sponge is helpful on larger areas or when you’re at the 4000 and 5000 level of sanding. You can cut the sponge for smaller chips and cracks and wrap the sandpaper around the sponge. This will prevent hot spots due to excess pressure. I tend to avoid using the sponge in the first and second sanding as I want to get into the grooves and clean out any burrs and sand out loose/damaged enamel.
  • If there is only surface cracks I wet the sink and sandpaper and start with the sponge with a 3000 wet grit. It doesn’t take much.
  • Once the cracks, chips or gouges have been sanded rinse well, dry with a lint free cloth and allow to dry well overnight. Keep the exhaust fan running the whole project if the area has high humidity.

Day Three (four and maybe five)

Up until now cracks, chips or gouges in your porcelain sink will have the same prep work. However, now things are different depending if it is a surface crack or if there is a chip or gouge.

Chips or Gouges in your Porcelain Sink

  • If you have a chip or gouge you will want to use porcelain filler or porcelain repair compound. (You can use an epoxy. I have never used it and have no experience with it. I have heard many people use it. I worry the texture would be different.)
  • Paint the filler into the crack or gouge with a paint brush like what comes in one of the kids craft or watercolor kits. It is better to apply multiple thinner layers and try to keep the filler in the chip or gouge.
  • I don’t remember the repair compound dry minimum (so check your specific product for recommendations but I prefer at least 6 hours of dry time, while running a dehumidifier and/or the exhaust fan, before sanding or applying a new layer of paint.
  • Sand lightly between each layer with wet 1000 grit sandpaper. Pay attention that you’re not sanding undamaged areas.
  • A hair dryer works helps to speed up the drying process but it’s better to simply come back in a few hours.
  • Don’t forget to rinse the sink well between each sanding.
  • Once the crack or gouge is level do a final wet sanding with 3000 grit sandpaper.
  • Once the chips or gouges are filled and sanded level continue onto the next step ‘Cracks.’

Cracks in the Porcelain Sink

  • Cracks, chips and gouges technically need filler touch up paint that is allowed to dry overnight. I prefer multiple layers of paint.
  • After the first layer of touch up paint has dried, wet sand with 4000 grit sandpaper.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry with a lint free rag. Allow to dry overnight.

Day Six

  • Hopefully you are only one layer of paint away from having your porcelain sink back. Wipe your sink down with a tack cloth.
  • Paint a think layer of touch up paint over your cracks, chips and gouges. There are a few colors to choose from. There is an almond, bisque and white. If you’re not sure if you have an almond or bisque colored sink order both colors and compare them. Colors can appear darker or lighter depending on the temperature so do your best to maintain a constant temperature (75* is best in my experience) throughout the project.
  • Allow to dry all day with a dehumidifier and/or exhaust fan running.
  • That night wipe your sink down with a tack cloth and do a final wet sanding with 5000 grit sandpaper.
  • Rinse your sink and give it two days to cure. I think a dehumidifier helps with the drying process but it doesn’t help with the curing. You simply need a few days time for that.
  • Pack your products up into a shoebox and save them to use on other cracks or chips.

Day Eight

  • Go brush your teeth or wash some dishes and enjoy how beautiful your porcelain sink is.

Have you tried any homemade cleaners? What do you think?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Wow, you did good. Now can you come by and do my laundry room sink?

    And also, major kudos to you! Did you see that your page now has over 15,000 views!!! Yay! You are my favorite blogger!

    One more thing I wanted to say, I also very much enjoy the comments. You have a lot of thoughtful and interesting commenters.

  2. Awww…thanks, Larae, but you're on your own for your laundry room sink…! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sara, no offense, but I HATE that sink. Too shallow, too small, gets dirty way toooooo easily! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the price was right – my remodeler hubby re-used it from a kitchen he remodeled a couple years ago. As soon as he gets the trim and crown molding finished in our house, I am blogging about the transformation!

    And yes, I LOVE easy!

  3. I didn’t think of borax as a green product, but since you presented it as an alternative to bleach I’ve checked and it appeared we use it a lot in our household. Thanks for the great article.

  4. Thanks for the Borax tip. That’s my next step. The very intermittent housecleaning woman came today and cleaned my sink. I think she smuggled in some Ajax or Comet. Ewww.