To keep your sinks clean, germ-free and looking new, you need to do regular maintenance on them. The kind of care and maintenance you need to do largely depends on the material your sink has. Here are sinks care tips for common sink materials:
Stainless Steel Sinks
Stainless steel sinks are relatively easy to clean and maintain. However, to prevent scratches, dents and to keep it looking new, you need to do regular maintenance on it. Clean your stainless steel sink with hand dishwashing liquid detergent and water, or a baking soda and water solution. Rinse thoroughly and use a soft cloth or paper towel to polish the surface. Do not use scouring powders or steel wool pads as they will surely scratch your sink. Use rubber or plastic mats to avoid pans and tableware from marking and scratching the surface. You can also add a small amount of vinegar or ammonia to achieve a more polished look.
Porcelain Enamel Sinks
Never leave acid-based spills or acidic food to sit on the surface of the sink for a long time. Most porcelain iron sinks are not acid resistant and tends to discolor and even etch when exposed to harsh materials like acids for a long time. It may be best to use plastic or perforated mats to protect porcelain sinks from any damage.
Natural stones are porous so that certain substances may tend to stain your stone sink. Stone sinks also tend to absorb moisture if not properly protected. Because of this, it is best to wipe spills immediately and to avoid the build-up of by-products such as salt, lime, calcium or detergents. Stone sinks must be regularly cleaned using a sponge or a soft cloth with a non-abrasive neutral detergent and warm water, and rinsed thoroughly. (Note: Never use acidic or base cleaners or abrasive cleaning pads!)
Copper sinks are unique since they are the only kind that develops a patina due to copper's normal reaction with the environment. This patina is unique for every sink: they can never to duplicated, nor can they be rushed. Copper sinks come in two general types: the natural brown finish and the clear glossy shine finish.
Never use hard water and acid based cleaners if you have a natural brown or glossy shine copper sink as they tend to develop spotting. In case your area has hard water, always wipe your sink every after use with a soft cloth so that spots would not develop. If your sink comes in contact with chemicals or acidic debris, a bright spot will likely remain which can be cleaned with soap and water, but will only be completely removed in time when the sink completely recovers its patina.
Wood sinks are usually coated with natural varnish which creates the barrier which separates the wood and the water. When cleaning your wood sink, always use a mild, anti-bacterial liquid soap and a sponge to clean your sink. Never use harsh chemicals, abrasives, scouring sponges or bleach to wipe the surface. It is also best to avoid running extremely hot liquids into the sink surface.