How to Clean and Maintain a Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
You want to spend a ton of time in your farmhouse-inspired kitchen. Yet, you shouldn't have to spend those precious hours hunched over your kitchen sink.
If you've made the decision to invest in a fireclay sink, you don't have to.
While other sink materials, including porcelain and enameled cast iron, are prone to staining, scratching and chipping, a fireclay farmhouse sink is resistant to everyday wear and tear. It's also non-porous and less prone to staining.
This means cleaning is easier and upkeep is simpler, allowing you to use your sink to its full potential without fear of damaging it. Today, we're sharing how to clean and maintain your fireclay sink with ease!
Regular, Everyday Care
As with any household appliance, it's easiest to wipe your fireclay sink down on a daily basis. This way, you can remove any stuck-on food debris, along with any liquids sitting in the basin.
The good news? Compared to metal, stone, and ceramic sinks, fireclay sinks don't require special cleaners or complicated cleaning steps. Rather, all you'll need is a mixture of gentle dish soap and water, as well as a soft cloth or sponge.
Scrub your sink on a daily basis and rinse it with lukewarm water. With fireclay, it's best to clean gently and frequently rather than allowing messes to collect on the surface and stay there.
Cleaning Heavy-Duty Messes
Looking at stuck-on grease and thick food waste at the bottom of your sink? If you do need to use a mildly abrasive cleaner, you can mix a little baking soda into your dish soap solution.
Because it's made of heavy-duty clay and glaze, your fireclay sink is more than capable of withstanding the regular use of such mild abrasives.
As a natural alternative, you can also use regular white vinegar to tackle stubborn grime. To do so, simply soak a paper towel in the vinegar and place it on top of the stain. Let it sit overnight and in the morning, it should be much easier to remove.
Preventing Water Spots and Grease Stains
Although fireclay is naturally resistant to stains, you might notice slight spotting at the bottom of the basin. This can occur whether you have a single-bowl sink or a double-bowl one, but they're not difficult to fix.
These are dried mineral deposits that usually form when water or grease sits in the sink and isn't allowed to drain.
In this case, you can remove the spotting by using a gentle bathroom cleaner, such as Ajax. To take a more preventative approach, be sure to wipe down your sink after every use to keep those liquids from accumulating in the first place. This simple move can save you time down the road!
Add a Little Sparkle
Due to their stain-resistant nature, fireclay sinks are able to keep their shine and sparkle much longer than their less-durable peers. With their distinctly visible apron front, this adds an instant sheen to your kitchen!
However, when you want to give them a little extra glimmer, it's easy to do so! All you have to do is run the sink about halfway full of hot water and plug it. Then, add one cup of household bleach to the water.
Let the water sit until it cools to room temperature. Doing so doesn't only lift stuck-on debris and help your sink keep its luster, but it also delivers a powerful punch to any bacteria that might be hanging around!
Be sure to wear dish gloves and exercise caution while performing this step, as the bleach can burn and dry out your skin. Before using your sink again or applying any other cleaners, go ahead and fill it back up with clean water and drain it first.
The Benefits of Waxing
You've heard of waxing your car, but what about your sink?
If you have granite countertops, you may have already invested in a food-safe granite cleaner and sealer made with a special vegetable wax called carnauba. If not, it's easy to find this spray-on product online or in the hardware store.
Once a month, make sure your sink is completely dry and add a thin layer of this wax to the bottom of the basin. If the bottle doesn't include an applicator, add some to a soft cloth and gently rub it on.
Once you allow the wax to dry, you can continue to use your sink as normal. The extra layer allows food and liquid to flow more easily into your sink drain without sticking to its sides or bottom.
Avoiding Heavy Abrasives
Remember: The key to helping your fireclay sink shine for years is to clean it gently. When you stick to a routine cleaning schedule, you'll find that even the most difficult gunk is easier to remove.
In your quest to keep the surface free of any lingering waste, resist the urge to use abrasive cleansers. Your sink is naturally non-porous, which means that most stains and spots will be surface level and won't require vigorous scrubbing.
Specific products to avoid when cleaning your fireclay sink include:
- Scouring solutions (liquid or powder forms0
- Faucet cleaning adapters
- Steel wool sponges
- Concentrated liquid drain cleaners
What to Do With a Damaged Sink
As durable and rugged as they are, it's not impossible to accidentally damage your fireclay sink. Before panic sets in, take a closer look at the issue.
In many cases, what appears to be a scratch is actually stubborn debris that you can easily remove using a scrubbing brush. This is a common occurrence with silverware, which can leave metal pieces in your sink that closely resemble damaged enamel.
If you are looking at a real scratch or chip, fireclay repair kits can help restore your sink to its original condition. In many cases, you won't even notice the minor imperfection.
This is one issue in the fireclay vs cast iron debate where fireclay wins every time.
If you damage a cast iron sink, you'll see it immediately. Often, the only way forward is to completely re-glaze its exterior. As fireclay has glaze built into it, it's much easier and more cost-effective to repair a small spot.
Find Your Perfect Fireclay Farmhouse Sink Here
Easy to clean, durable, and beautifully timeless, there's plenty to love about your new fireclay farmhouse sink.
The best part?
Keeping it in top condition is easier than you'd imagine, and more affordable, too. With the tips above, you can keep yours sparkling for a lifetime.
Looking to invest in a fireclay sink of your own? We have plenty of premium models in our online shop. Feel free to browse our full selection and contact us with any questions.
- Dave Knochelmann