How to Clean a Black Cast Iron Sink


There’s nothing that can beautify your kitchen the way a black cast iron sink does. Black sinks are beautiful but they could lose that beautiful luster quickly if you don’t maintain them properly. That’s why cleaning the black cast iron sinks regularly is important.

The cast iron sinks come in contact with dirty dishes and metal utensils like pots. And they leave ugly stains on the surface of the sink.

Moreover, they can get scratched from the regular wear and tear of everyday kitchen life. How do you make a black cast iron sink look new again?

Proper cleaning is the best way to restore a black cast iron sink. All you need is some tools and the right knowledge of how to go about it.

As I have the knowledge on how to clean a black cast iron sink, you’ll find everything in this guide.

How to Clean a Black Cast Iron Sink

2 Methods to Clean a Black Cast Iron Sink

Tools You’ll Need

  • Dishwashing soap (Should be non-abrasive)        
  • Sponge or rag (Do not use abrasive brushes like steel wool or wire brushes)        
  • Baking soda (For deep cleaning)   
  • White Vinegar (For deep cleaning)

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is suitable for removing the day-to-day dirt and stains that come from using kitchen sinks.

Step1: Prepare soap mixture

Set aside a bowl of hot water and add the dishwashing soap to it. You can use other types of soap so long they are non-abrasive. Using a soap that has grease-cutting properties would be a plus. For example Kohler Cast Iron Sink Cleaner.

Step2: Apply the soap mixture to the surface of the sink

Using the sponge or rag that you have, rub the soap mixture on the surface of the sink. Rub the top of the sink, the sides, and the basin. Avoid abrasive sponges or anything that can damage the porcelain coat of your iron sink.                                                    

Step 3: Wash off the soap with water

Open the tap and use the water to rinse the soap. Find a way to wash off areas that the faucet can’t reach. Make sure that the soap mixture is thoroughly rinsed off the sink.

Step 4: Towel the sink dry

Using a paper towel, a dishrag, or any dry piece of cloth, towel the sink dry. Make sure to clean all the extra water as porcelain sinks are vulnerable to watermarks. Make sure that the soap you are using is both non-abrasive and environmentally friendly as it might come in contact with other food utensils.

And you don’t want to unintentionally endanger yourself by using a toxic cleaner near your kitchen equipment.

Note: This is the easiest way to clean an enameled black cast iron kitchen sink. And it is generally advised that you do a quick clean about 3x per week to keep a black cast iron sink sparkling.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is better for older and dirtier sinks. It is also good at removing stubborn stains from foods like coffee, berries, and tea bags. Depending on your kitchen sink, you might need a deep clean to get marks off the cast iron sink.

Step 1: Set aside a bowl for your deep cleaning mix

Add vinegar and baking soda to the bowl and mix to form a paste. Use a soft sponge and apply the baking soda paste to the sink. Apply it to tough stains, spots, and rub in a circular motion until you get out all the stains.

Step 2: Rinse thoroughly

Open the faucet and use water to rinse off the baking soda paste. Make sure to rinse all surfaces thoroughly.

Continue to repeat the above steps until you get your desired results. For tough stains and very dirty black cast iron sinks, this might mean repeating the process 2-3 times per deep clean.

Step 3: Dry the sink’s surface

Wipe off water and any cleaning paste still left on the sink’s surface. Use a rag or paper towel that’s gentle and won’t damage the porcelain finish.

When using soaps and other cleaning agents, make sure to avoid contact with your eyes and skin. Using a hand glove will go a long way in preventing the soap from burning your skin.

For a deeper clean, it is advised that you apply the cleaning paste to the stubborn areas. You can leave it overnight. Return in the morning and wash off the cleaning paste using clean water.

It is generally advised that you should perform a deep clean of this type at least once a month. It will help you to avoid getting stains out of your luxurious farmhouse sink. It is also good practice to clean a sink after every use. And dry the sink with a cloth or paper towel.

Lastly, while this is a deep clean, you should still avoid using any abrasive soaps and sponges. Otherwise, they will wear down the porcelain finish of your black sink.

How to Keep a Black Cast Iron Sink Shiny

After you use the above methods to thoroughly clean a black cast iron sink, you need to maintain it properly. The following methods will keep your sink in top shape.

  • Don’t leave pots and other dishes in the sink; Once you’re done with pots, plates, and other dishes, make sure to wash them immediately. Leaving them in the pot, especially overnight exposes your black cast iron sink to stains.           
  • Place dishes carefully into the sink; Place dishes into the sink carefully. Otherwise, you risk scratching and damaging the black porcelain finish when you hurl or throw pots, plates, and other utensils.           
  • Remove things that can stain your sink. Some things like tea bags, berries, coffee, etc can leave very tough stains on your sink. So make sure to dispose of them properly.           
  • Purchase a basin protector for your sink; A basin protector is like a mat you place in your sink to help prevent scratches and creases.           
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners; Abrasive cleaners cause the porcelain finish of your sink to wear down. Make sure to check whether a cleaning product is good for your sink.

Regular cleaning involves using a non-abrasive soap and sponge to wipe stains thoroughly. Using something abrasive will damage the beautiful finish of black sinks.

Key Takeaway

Remember to do a regular clean at least twice a week. This reduces the number of times you have to do a deep clean.

Deep cleaning is aimed at removing tougher stains. It also involves using stronger cleaning agents like a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. You can use other cleaning agents, so long as you check to make sure it is safe for your sink.

So, clean the sink after every use and use a basin protector. This will ensure that the black cast iron sink will retain its shine for years to come.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

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