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How do I clean the stains out of a plastic sink?

Updated February 21, 2017

Sinks are a staple in every kitchen and are usually loaded with dirty dishes, pots, pans and eating utensils on a daily basis. It is no wonder that sinks often suffer from stains, which can be unsightly and unhealthy if not properly cleaned. According to, plastic sinks are even more prone to staining and often develop black marks from steel pots and pans bumping against their surfaces. Cleaning plastic sinks is relatively easy as stains do not get absorbed into the plastic but remain at its surface.

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Home Remedy

Do-it-yourselfers easily can make a cleaning solution for plastic sinks using common household items. According to, you can apply a mixture of rubbing alcohol, vinegar and bicarbonate soda (or baking soda) to a cloth or sponge and use it to scrub the sink. It is important, however, to thoroughly mix the ingredients and not to rub baking soda directly on the plastic. This is because baking soda is abrasive and can cause scratching.

Using a Cleaning Product

Use plenty of commercial cleaning products to clean plastic sink stains. According to, a tile cleaning spray that contains bleach is one of the best options. Spray product directly on sink stains, and scrub with a cloth or sponge. Another option for removing stains, according to the same source, is to use a mild detergent such as dish soap. The detergent is useful against dirt and light stains but is not as effective against tougher stains, such as grease stains. To remove more resilient stains, use a cleaning product specifically labelled as being effective against grease and deep stains. ( recommends using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) Once you have removed the stains, use an all-purpose surface cleaning spray or glass cleaning spray (after applying to a paper towel) to buff the plastic sink and restore its shine.

Stain Prevention

It is also possible to protect your plastic sink against future staining. According to, apply a fibreglass polish or sealer to the sink's plastic surfaces to achieve prevent stains. This will prevent or at least slow the development of plastic sink stains.


Plastic sinks are very prone to scratching, especially during the cleaning process. According to, never use an abrasive tool for scrubbing stains, such as the rough side of a sponge. For plastic sinks with grooves or other details that are hard to reach with a sponge or cloth, use a thin-bristle cleaning brush. Never use a cleaning brush with metal bristles. also recommends wearing rubber gloves when working with cleaning solutions (especially ones that contain bleach) to prevent skin damage. In no instance should you use cleaners with alkali, sodium hypochlorite, or acid in them as they could cause permanent damage to the sink's plastic.

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About the Author

Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.

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