Our porcelain-enamel kitchen sink has developed stains, especially where
the plastic "feet" of a "sink protector" have rested. I think that stuff
that has been dropped into the sink and not rinsed away immediately has
caught on those "feet" and remained there long enough to stain the
surface. I have cleaned the sink from time to time with Soft-Scrub, but
hat no longer seems effective, and now I find that the stained areas
actually feel rougher than the unstained areas.
Any suggestions how to fix this problem? Any way to seal the surface?
Depends on what the stais are. Scrubbing...bleaching...etc
If it is truly porcelain then the surface was made by heating the cast iron
(or stamped steel) then covering it with materials that will fuse (melt).
You wind up with the same sort of surface as you do on tile; essentially,
glass. I know of no practical way to repair it, about the best you could do
would be to use colored epoxy (best) or polyurethane.
If it is rough because you used something too abrasive to clean it and
scratched it in the process but did not cut through it, you could alleviate
it via finer & finer silicon carbide paper. When you get as fine as you can
go with that, you can use the very fine aluminum oxide stuff that is used to
polish plastic. Comes (usually) in a liguid medium, found at auto parts
stores. There are other polishing materials too; you need something harder
than glass (moh's 7) and finer than the finest wet or dry paper which is
usually availble up to 2000 or 2500. The finer the grit the shinier the
What I man is: the rough surface stains so easily that I don't think
things even have to be left on the surface: the rough surface gets
stained simply from colored liquid or other material coming into contact
with it only briefly.
On Thu, 10 Jan 2013 16:10:35 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"
Aside from refinishing, there is none. You have porosity and it
allows absorption of the gunk in there.
Soft scrub should be call Delay Scrub and it is still abrasive and
will just take longer to ruin the sink.
That's interesting and I think true. I never thought about
it that way before. But over the years, my sink has become
more susceptible to stains. Probably as you say, from the
surface getting roughed up over time. Still, the main thing
that causes staining is leaving something laying in the sink
that you shouldn't for a day or more. I just use Soft Scrub
with bleach to get it mostly clean, then let it set there to bleach
My house was built in the late 20's, and still has it's original white
porcelain kitchen sink.
It had lost it's surface glaze long before my grandmother bought the
place in the 50's. It had always looked 'ok', but required a lot of
Later, after I'd inherited the house in about 2k, I read on the net of
Bar Keepers Friend (like I posted about a few days ago). Ever since,
other than a couple of small chips/dings, it's looked gleaming new,
bright white... with minimal effort.
Give it a whirl, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised. If not, your
out a whole $3.00 or so. Sure beats refinishing and/or replacing.
OP- give the bleach a shot.
My experinece with "roughened" porcelain sink (porcelain over cast
iron not steel), the porcelain can be attaked / etched by acid
liquids, lemon juice, ctirc acid.
If the roughness isn't deep & the procelin sink is top quality, the
roughness can be polisihed out the a honing compound.
I think Percival has discovered not the Holy Grail but the same thing I
have: that Soft-Scrub isn't as soft as claimed. (-:
While I think that DadiOH's approach to restoring the surface is the best,
my experience tells me once the original high-temp glaze is gone, it's not
coming back - at least not the way it was when it was new. Material has
been lost from the surface that's gone forever. Time for a new stainless
steel sink - they're usually much more resistant to the kind of damage that
the sink strainer's rubber feet apparently set in motion. Been there, done
Hmmm... try some 'Bar Keepers Friend' on it... It's gotten out stains I
didn't think would ever come out. It's 'magic' ingredient is a little
Oxalic acid. I've had best results with the powder version, but then
again really don't have a lot of experience with their liquids.
A friend once had a slob in one of his apartments who let dishes,
cutlery and whatnot sit in a wet porcelain sink for years. There were
numerous deep dark rust stains & mineral deposits that looked hopeless.
The usual cleansers took off the the surface stuff, but only lightened
up the rust stains. BKF didn't remove them instantly... it took several
good scrub cycles, but the sink came out looking new.
Makes stainless look new as well.
Many super markets now carry it.
No affiliation... just a happy user. Good Luck, let us know how it comes
How old is the sink? In my experience, with hard water, the porcelain
might last 20 years, then allow water to reach the cast iron and start
rusting. It's hard to imagine the rubber feet of the strainer causing
abrasion of the porcelain...might it be some lime has collected? Tried
CLR or LimeAway? I would try Magic Eraser after that, just to try to
smoothe the areas without further abrasion...I've used ME on painted
woodwork and wood furniture, with good results and very mild cleaning.
Let us know :o)
Not hard for me to imagine. When deliberately lapping
surfaces, it's common to use a softer material as a tool to
lap the surface you want lapped. The grit in the lapping
compound embeds in the softer material, and abrades the
The rubber feet on the drain rack could well pick up
abrasive material from cleansers, and act much like slow
grinders on the porcelain.
Apart from the fact that we so not want a stainless-steel sink -- too
noisy -- the present sink is no ordinary one: it has a lower-than-usual
divider between the two parts to accommodate such things as large frying
BTW, I don't think we ever actually scrubbed the sink with Soft-Scrub --
just poured it on and let it stand for a while, then brushed it off
along with plenty of water.
I'm not a big fan of stainless sinks either.
However, years ago before installing one for a neighbor, I read that
giving the bottom of of them a couple of coats of pre installation
automotive undercoating helps a lot.
And it in fact did deaden the noise considerably! Dish water seemingly
stays warm longer as well...
Not as nice as a full blown cast iron/porcelain sink, but a big
1. Add a noise-dampening substance to the sink before installing it.
2. NEWS FLASH: Stainless steel sinks are made in the exact same shapes as
any other available material.
But, I do apologize. I thought you were trying to eliminate a continuing
problem rather than finding an excuse to shun stainless.
I regret the error.
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