How to Clean a White Enamel Sink to Look Like New

The most effective way to clean a white enamel sink so that it looks like new! This method has worked amazingly well even on my very stained sink, complete with rust spots.

a clean siny white enamel kitchen sink

I want to start out by saying that I always try and find a natural and chemical free way to clean everything in my home. And this sink was no exception. I followed several tutorials I found on Pinterest and was left with a dingy , stained sink.

Because we don’t have a dishwasher and we go through A LOT of dishes in a day, this sink isn’t just a pretty face! We soak dishes in her, the water gets dirty and she sadly, gets very stained between cleanings! Not to mention I found her used on Facebook Marketplace.

So, all that to say, I need an effective way to clean our white sink, even if that involves scrubbing it down with chemicals. I know, its not my favorite thing to admit.

a stained kitchen sink
stained sink before cleaning

Are White Sinks Hard To Keep Clean?

White sinks are classic and add a lot of character to your home. BUT, they do require more maintenance to keep them looking pretty.

It only takes a couple of common household products and a little time now and then to get a white kitchen sink looking like new. Bar Keeper’s Friend, white vinegar and Dawn dish soap, followed by a bit of bleach will get the job done.

What Products I Have Tried

First off, I made a mixture of baking soda and dawn dish soap, scrubbed it in and let it sit. I rinsed it off and it really did make the faucet shine! But the white sink base still looked pretty stained.

Next, I tried one of my very favorite cleaners, Young Living Thieves Cleaner. Same results. I still love Thieves for general cleaning, but it just wasn’t enough for this sink.

Finally, I decided to ask my friends on Instagram for their advice on cleaning my white sink, and BINGO! The majority of the suggestions were for either Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bleach.

A rubber glove cleaning a stained white  sink.

Now, I hadn’t bought a bottle of bleach in years (I tend to drip it on whatever I’m wearing: accident prone). So I tried Bar Keeper’s Friend first and had amazing results! The stains were almost gone, even the rust spots and black streaks had almost disappeared! I was sold!

Next time I cleaned the sink, I decided to give bleach a second chance. I rubbed a bit on the sink after rinsing off the Bar Keeper’s Friend and that really brightened it and made it look brand spanking new! And you know what, I didn’t get a single drop on my clothes!

A white kitchen sink with a yellow scrubby in it
after using bar keeper’s friend

What Do You Need To Clean a White Enamel Kitchen Sink?

  • Blue Dawn Dish Soap – I like to get this kind of dawn dish soap since it seems to do the best job washing dishes and cleaning the sink. I also use it in my homemade laundry stain remover.
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend – bar keepers friend is really great at getting tough stains out without scratching the surface you’re using it on. This article lists other surprising uses for this powerful product!
  • Bleach – just plain old bleach will work. Bleach really takes the sink back to original shiny white again. Wipe a small amount of bleach on your sink after rinsing away the bar keepers friend and dish soap and prepare to be amazed!
  • White Vinegar – just regular old vinegar is one of my favorite all-purpose cleaners! Its literally good for almost everything. Vinegar helps clean and polish without leaving streaks.
  • A Scrubby – the kind you scrub dishes with will do just fine.

If you have an electric stove top, you have to check out how I get mine cleaned in minutes!

How Often Should You Deep Clean Your White Enamel Sink?

Honestly, as often as you want to! I have it in my whole home cleaning routine once every 6 weeks. Does it get dirty looking between times? Of course! But that’s because it gets a lot of use. But my motto when it comes to cleaning our house is, its ok if it gets dirty, as long as we have a plan to clean everything in a certain amount of time.

I still go over it quickly with soap, vinegar and water each night before bed, but I tackle that really deep clean every 6 weeks. (read more about my cleaning routine)

How Do You Clean a White Enamel Sink?

  1. Sprinkle a few Tablespoons of Bar Keeper’s Friend powder in each side of the sink.
  2. Add enough blue Dawn dish soap to make a paste.
  3. Scrub this mixture all over the sink and rinse.
  4. Rub the whole sink down with a small amount of bleach and quickly rinse.
  5. Rub the faucet all over with a wet rag and white vinegar.
  6. Lastly, dry the faucet and edges of the sink with a dry towel.
A white enamel farmhouse kitchen sink with dirty dishes in one side and a yellow scrubby in  the other


  • Don’t overdo the bleach – I went overboard with it one time and ended up with a sore throat from inhaling it! Just rub a bit over the whole sink and rinse it off right away.
  • Keep the room ventilated – Its a good idea to do it when you can have the windows open, or at least, after the kids are in bed. That bleach smell is pretty nasty!
  • Wear gloves – These products are not good to get on your skin.
  • For a brand new sink – if your sink is brand new and you are just looking for a general maintenance cleaning, following the steps below might be all you need to keep it looking good as new.

How Do I Clean My White Kitchen Sink Everyday?

  1. Start by rinsing the sink down completely, removing anything that is stuck in the drain.
  2. Squirt a little Dawn dish soap on a sponge or scrubby.
  3. Scrub the sides and bottom of the sink, and in and around the drains.
  4. Rinse the soap off.
  5. Using a wet rag, rub the sink and faucet all over with white vinegar.
  6. Lastly, go over the faucet and edges of the sink with a dry towel.
A white farmhouse enamel sink with a blue striped kitchen towel
after using bleach

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  1. I have a white sink and it’s so hard to keep clean. Will definitely add this to my cleaning routine.

  2. Yes! I too have tried everything under the sun to clean our white enamel sink. Nothing worked. Until I used Bar Keepers Friend. Best way to clean a sink. 🙂

  3. We have a white porcelain sink, too. Actually, it’s our second one. The first one was older (maybe from the 40s or 50s). Comparing it to the one we have now, I tend to believe that white porcelain/ceramic sinks might get a bit harder to clean naturally as they get older. Our new one only needs some Bon Ami and homemade dish soap (basically Sal Suds and water) to look like new. Great post, though!!

    1. Yes I completely agree! Mine was used when I bought it and one side feels very scratched and stains much more easily than the other. I think if we had a brand new one I could keep up on it with less harsh cleaners!

  4. I will be trying all the cleaning methods. We are doing some upgrades to our home and I needed some advice on cleaning.

    Thank you.

  5. Thank you for this this tutorial! Seems like a perfect way to get the sink back to a nice clean surface! Just FYI I think bleach and BKF create chlorine gas when mixed together. So it’s important to rinse extra well between!

  6. I was just filling the sink with water and adding a little bleach to get stains out. The sink has been getting dullish….so I’m a bit upset that I may have bleached off the shiny part. So looking for alternative to what I’ve been doing. I’m going to give some of your ideas a try. Have to be better than what I’ve been doing!!

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