Check out these Farmhouse sink care tips to help you get the most from your fixtures. Whether you’re looking to clean, install, or maintain, here’s some advice to help.
For more detailed information, check out some of our other guides:
Of all the items in your kitchen, you probably use your sink the most.
Sinks are necessary for cooking, cleaning, soaking, thawing, and anything else you might be doing in your kitchen. Even if you’re not much of a chef, chances are you’re using it daily to wash dishes, and even more often to wash your hands.
It’s clear that sinks get a lot of use, but they don’t always get a lot of love.
These underappreciated workhorses are the center of every good kitchen, so why are they always an afterthought? Most people tend to focus on renovating or updating their cabinets and countertops. These items stand out a lot more, so they often draw all of the focus in your kitchen.
They also tend to be the most subject to trends. What’s popular in countertops and cabinet finishes changes from year to year, if not from season to season. As soon as a new color or material shows up, everyone wants to jump on the trend.
While sinks are smaller and less noticeable, they’re no less worthy of consideration.
The right sink can really change your kitchen. It can provide a much needed pop of color or texture. It can make your space look more modern, or traditional, or industrial.
It can also make the functional aspects of your kitchen run smoother. With an updated sink, you get a lot more options to make washing easier.
There are so many possibilities that you’ll probably have trouble narrowing down your choices to just one.
If you’re guilty of overlooking your sink, don’t worry. This guide has absolutely everything you need to know about features, maintenance, installation, and trends. It can help you find the sink that’s right for your needs, and your kitchen.
To learn more about what’s possible with your sink, check out the information below.
Why You Should Replace Your Sink
In most cases, people don’t replace their sinks unless they’re doing a full renovation. Sinks are heavy, expensive, and not always easy to install as a DIY project. While it’s not the most inconvenient thing to replace in your kitchen, it’s definitely not something you can do on a whim.
But there are actually a lot of benefits to replacing your sink.
One practical reason to replace your sink is cases in which your sink has sustained damage. Most sinks are fairly durable, however damage can sometimes occur do to accidents or lack of proper care.
Another reason to replace your sink is to update your design. Sinks aren’t usually replaced, since it can seem like an unnecessary cost. This means that your home may have a sink that’s fairly old.
While an old sink is still perfectly functional, it may not be the best choice for you.
In recent years, the market for sinks has really opened up. There are so many more options for styles, colors, and finishes. Newer sinks also come with more options for faucets and drains.
Plus, you can consider donating your old sink when your done. That way you get an update, and you’re also providing a cheap sink option for someone else doing renovations.
Another reason to update is to trade up for something that’s more functional. A lot of new sink options are made with culinary work in mind. Options like workstation sinks are designed for heavy kitchen work. They’re ideal for someone who likes to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Kitchen Sink Installation
When it comes to sink installation, there are three main types of sinks. Which one you choose really depends on what your kitchen and renovation budget will allow. You’ll also have to consider whether you want to do it yourself, or pay for installation.
One popular option is to get an undermount sink. This type of sink sits just under the rim of the countertop, hence the name. You have to install it from below the counter, so they can sometimes be difficult DIY projects. Most farmhouse sinks are this type of sink.
Top mount sinks are the exactly opposite. They sit over the top of the counter, so you just have to set them in place from above. That’s why these are also known as drop in sinks, or self rimming sinks. Of all the sink types, these are the easiest to install on your own.
The other popular type of sink is a wall mount. With these, you attach the back of the sink to the wall. These sinks are more common in bathrooms, but you can purchase large ones for your kitchen as well. As with under mount sinks, you can install these yourself, but it’s better to hire a professional.
How to Care for Your Sink
No matter what type of sink you purchase, if you don’t care for it properly, it will get damaged.
Damage is usually caused by using harsh cleaners, dropping something heavy or sharp, or using abrasive scrubbers. The most common types of damage are cracking, staining, and chipping. These issues typically occur in porcelain sinks, or sinks that are coated in porcelain enamel or similar materials.
Metal sinks tend not to chip or crack, but they can warp. Warping happens when you subject a sink to extreme temperatures. Placing something too hot or too cold into the sink can cause it to warp. This is especially true if you do both extremes back to back.
Luckily, most damage is easy to avoid with caution.
When washing pots and pans, you can avoid dropping them by taking some precautionary steps. When washing heavy pots, place them in the sink before you start scrubbing. This prevents them from slipping out of your hands while you hold them over the sink basin.
If you’re draining hot liquids from a pot, drain a little bit at a time. Start by placing the pot at the edge of the sink, and tipping it to get ¼ to ½ of the liquid out. This will make the pot much lighter and easier to handle. From there, you can hold it over the sink and dump the rest.
For sharp objects, take similar precautions. Lay them flat in the sink, and try to scrub them as close to the bottom of the basin as possible. With these objects, dropping them from large heights is what leads to chips and scratches. By keeping them low, you can limit any damage that might occur.
How to Clean a Kitchen Sink
How to clean your sink really depends on the material. Different materials can handle different types of cleaning. However, overall, it’s good practice to stick to gentle cleaning.
You can also check out the video for some helpful tips:
Regardless of how strong your sink material is, you need to make sure to clean your sink carefully. That means no harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
Bleach, for example, is very harsh. It’s designed to disinfect, and get rid of serious stains. That’s why it’s not really necessary for most cleaning. When it is used, it’s diluted heavily.
For sinks, using some hot water and a grease cutting soap should be more than enough for most issues. You can also use green cleaners, or anything that says it’s safe for surfaces like wood and granite.
If you have hard water residue, using a mixture of vinegar and water is effective. Spray the mixture over the residue and let it sit. When the residue loosens, wipe it away.
When scrubbing your sink, you want to use a similar level of care. This means you should avoid scrubbers like steel wool, copper mesh, and scouring pads.
A standard dish sponge should work for most issues. You can also let it soak with gentle cleaners before you scrub.
For tough residue, you can scrub it away gently with a paste of baking soda and water. Here’s how to use this to clean:
Put baking soda into a cup or bowl. (How much you need depends on how large of an area you’re cleaning. Two table spoons is enough for small areas, while anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup will work for larger areas.
Pour in enough water for form a loose paste. A good ratio is about 1 to 2 parts water, for every 3 parts baking soda. More water will make the mix less harsh when scrubbing, but it will also make it difficult to use.
Put a small layer of paste over the stain or area that you want to clean.
Using a sponge or gentle scrubber, gently buff the area with the paste. Keep your pressure light and let the baking soda do all the work.
Continue to scrub, adding more paste as needed. If the stain still isn’t lifting, you can use a toothbrush instead of a sponge.
This method works on just about any sink material. It also works for stains or stubborn dirt on plenty of other surfaces. Plus, it’s chemical free! That means it’s safe to use even on areas where you’ll be eating.
Overall, sinks don’t typically need that much cleaning. Most of the work that occurs in a sink will clean away easily. And for other issues, chances are there’s a gentle, chemical free cleaning method that you can use.
Proper Sink Care
Your fixtures have to endure a lot. With all the cooking, cleaning, and handwashing that goes on, it’s important to maintain your fixtures well.
That means updating them as needed, and also treating them with the proper care.
You want to be sure to choose an option that fits your needs, and your installation requirements. From there, keep it in pristine condition with regular, gentle cleaning.
If you do encounter stains or large messes, remove them with some light scrubbing. Just make sure you’re not doing using any chemicals or scrubbers harsh enough to mar the surface.
Most fixtures are designed to endure, and will last in your kitchen for years, if not decades. But practicing proper farmhouse sink care can ensure they maintain that good condition.