How to Clean a Stained Porcelain Sink

Updated February 21, 2017

A porcelain sink provides a shiny addition to your kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, stains form from liquids such as coffee or tea poured into the sink, or from hard water deposits. Hard water contains minerals that produce a white scale or a brownish stain on sinks. Cleaning a stained porcelain sink is not hard when you use the right cleaning solutions.

Mix a solution of four parts white vinegar and one part water in a bucket. Transfer to a spray bottle or leave in the bucket.

Apply the vinegar solution to the stains on the porcelain sink. Allow the vinegar wash to sit on the stains for 10 to 15 minutes. The acidic properties in the vinegar eat away at the stains. Wash the vinegar solution off with a wet sponge.

Mix a solution of one part chlorine bleach and four parts water in a bucket. Apply the bleach solution to the stained porcelain if the vinegar wash did not remove the entire stain.

Rinse the bleach solution off with water 30 seconds to one minute after applying because bleach dulls the surface of porcelain.

Dry the porcelain sink with a clean towel to remove any standing water.


Dry your porcelain sink after each use with a towel. Standing water in the sink allows hard water stains to form. When pouring liquids such as coffee or tea in a sink, rinse the sink with cold water to keep stains at a minimum. Do not use a steel pad to scrub stains on porcelain because you may scratch and dull the surface enamel.


Never mix vinegar and bleach together; the combination can give off toxic fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Clean towel
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.