Our Farmhouse Sink – Tips to Clean and Care for Porcelain Sinksposted by Andrea | 01/22/2013
Ever since I’ve been old enough to dream about my future “dream house” I KNEW that house would someday have a big, apron-front farm sink.
I actually had no idea they were called “apron-front” or “farm” sinks — i just knew what the sinks looked like, and I knew I wanted one in my future kitchen some day.
Fast-forward many, many years… and I have one!
And I’m happy to say that it really IS as fabulous as I dreamed/hoped it would be!
Not only does it LOOK marvelous in our new farmhouse kitchen, it also functions exactly the way we want our kitchen sink to function.
It’s huge! We can fit THREE 9″x13″ pans laying flat with plenty of room for other dishes as well… or 24 jars of applesauce – in case you were wondering!
It’s also plenty big enough to give small children a bath… but Nora splashes WAY too much for that!
And since it’s an under-mount sink, we can just wipe crumbs and junk from the counter right into the sink and we never have to clean around yucky grout or try to get crumbs out of the crack between the sink and the counter top.
It seems that farmhouse sinks are all the rage these days — which is a little disappointing to me, because I like to be unique. However, this also makes it easier to find products to clean, care for, and protect our sink.
Over the past 3 months since I shared the photos of our new sink, I’ve gotten many questions asking about it… so today, I’m answering the top three questions I get over and over again!
1. How do you wash dishes with only one large compartment?
Well, we wash dishes exactly the same way we did in our old 2-compartment sink We just dry the dishes differently!
Sometimes, if there are only a few dishes to wash, we use a plastic tub that fits in half the sink. That way, we save some water and the whole process goes faster. However, most of the time, we fill the sink with dishes so it’s not worth using the plastic tub.
Then, after we rinse the dishes, we lay them on the counter to the side of the sink to dry. We use these microfiber mats to lay the dishes on — they work really well.
This is actually how we washed/dried our dishes in all our previous sinks as well because there was rarely enough room in one side of the sink to hold all the drying dishes.
They sell these drying mats all over the place (we got ours from Bed, Bath & Beyond)
2. How do you protect the sink from scratches and black marks?
Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty hard to “scratch” porcelain (or fireclay) sinks. It’s more likely that you’ll get grey/black marks on the bottom from pans or stainless steel utensils. These might look like scratches, but they are easily removed with some Soft Scrub, a sponge, and a little elbow grease.
I always use the Soft Scrub with bleach because I feel like it gets things really clean, but the bleach is not necessary for removing the black marks.
Also, we protect the bottom of our sink with a rubber mat. We don’t keep this mat in the bottom all the time, just when we’re washing dishes without the plastic bin (which is how we wash them the majority of the time).
You can buy smaller mats for 2-basin sinks at almost any home goods store; however the larger farmhouse sink mats are extremely expensive (I saw some for $89!!!). Of course, my frugal genes just wouldn’t let me spend that much for a silly mat, so instead I purchased a clear “pebble” bathtub mat and cut it down to size.
It’s honestly a perfect fit — and it only cost $8.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond — a savings of 90%!
3 . How do you keep the sink clean?
Honestly, it’s SO easy!
Unlike stainless steel sinks that have 10,000 watermarks and fingerprints, a porcelain/fireclay sink doesn’t show any of that.
However, since it’s such a big sink and since it’s very rectangular, food particles tend to get caught in the corners of the sink. So we’ve just gotten in the habit of using the sprayer on our faucet to wash everything down the drain.
Sometimes, I’ll use my famous vinegar cleaner to disinfect the sink, sometimes I’ll just wipe it down with sudsy water from washing dishes, and other times I’ll use the Soft Scrub to clean things.
Whatever method I choose, it doesn’t take more than a couple minutes to have it looking like new again.
I was actually a little worried that our sink might be too high-maintenance for me, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to clean and care for.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we purchased our sink from Signature Hardware and were extremely happy with the customer service and product quality.