How To Clean A White Plastic Kitchen Sink

Perhaps you have a white plastic kitchen sink that has seen better days. Although it looked clean to begin with, years of use have left marks on the surface, from stains to dings and dents. While repairing divots on the surface of the plastic is one thing, removing stains can be tricky. 

If you have a white plastic sink that looks worse for wear, continue reading for a few tips and tricks to restore it and remove stubborn stains. 

How Do You Clean A White Plastic Composite Sink?

Many white plastic sinks are composed of acrylic or some type of composite, popular for their approachable price tag. Generally, these sinks feature a white or off-white hue, which looks nice but is highly susceptible to staining. 

Composite and acrylic sinks are surprisingly durable but aren’t as strong as other popular sink materials, like stainless steel or porcelain. Highly acidic cleaners can blaze holes into the sink’s surface, leaving behind unpleasant (and noticeable) marks. 

Although many folks default to an acrylic cream polish or polishing compound for maintenance, this isn’t always the best approach. So, how do you clean hard white plastic sinks? Here are a few tips for general maintenance:

Clean After Each Use

White vinegar

Cleaning the sink after every use isn’t ideal, but it’s a great way to ensure stains don’t take root. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Clean cloth

Mix water and white vinegar in a clean spray bottle. You’ll need a 2:1 water to vinegar mixture, so if you use two cups of water, add one cup of vinegar. Shake the bottle to mix the two, then spray the solution on the surface of the sink after each use. 

Wipe the sink’s surface clean with a clean, dry cloth. This helps tackle stains left behind by food and drinks before they leave a deep stain on the surface. 

If possible, keep a bottle of the mixture on hand by the sink so you can quickly wipe down the sink once you’re done using it. 

Use Baking Soda For Stubborn Stains

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 8 Ounce (Pack of 3)

In some cases, your vinegar and water solution won’t remove the stain. So, you’ll have to choose a different approach. Instead of reaching for a strong stain remover that could burn a hole in the surface, consider trying a more natural approach. 

Here’s what you’ll need for this method:

  • Sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Clean, dry cloth

Apply a generous amount of baking soda to the stain in question. Baking soda is an alkalizing cleansing agent that works wonders on the tough bonds between the stain and your sink. Using a sponge, work the baking soda into the stain, then spray the area with white vinegar.

This will create a foamy reaction that helps lift the stain. Scrub the mixture into the stains, then allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. After that, rinse the area with cold, clean water. If the stain persists, you may have to repeat the process a few times before it lifts entirely. 

Use Isopropyl Alcohol On Stains

Isopropyl Alcohol 99% (IPA) Made in USA - USP-NF Grade - 99 Percent Concentrated Rubbing Alcohol (1 Liter)

Alternatively, if you don’t have white vinegar or baking soda on hand, consider trying isopropyl alcohol. It’s generally safe for use on plastic and acrylic sinks, but it isn’t a smell-free approach. If you don’t like the smell of isopropyl alcohol, jump to the following method. 

Simply dampen a sponge with isopropyl alcohol, then work it into the stain. In some cases, the alcohol does the trick, easily lifting the stain. However, if it doesn’t remove the stain, continue with the following method. 

Use Lemon Juice On Stubborn Stains

If baking soda and vinegar don’t work or you don’t have them on hand, consider using lemon juice. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scrub brush
  • Fresh lemons
  • Cutting board and a knife
  • Clean cloth

Slice a fresh lemon in half, then squeeze the juice onto the stain in question. Using a scrub brush, work the liquid into the stain. Avoid using hard-bristle scrub brushes, as they might scratch the surface of the sink.

Once the stain lifts, rinse the area with clean, cool water and dry it with a clean cloth.

Use Barkeeper’s Friend On Stains

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser 12 Oz - Multipurpose Cleaner & Stain Remover - Bathroom, Kitchen & Outdoor Use - for Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Ceramic, Porcelain, Bronze and More (2 Pack)

Barkeeper’s Friend is another quick and easy way to tackle tough stains. It is a popular abrasive cleaner that works wonders on varying surfaces throughout your house, including most kitchen and bathroom cleaning projects. 

The product is similar in consistency to baking powder but contains oxalic acid, which helps remove stuck-on stains from the surface of your sink. Here’s what you’ll need for this process:

  • Barkeeper’s Friend
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Water

Create a thick paste using a few tablespoons of Barkeeper’s Friend and water. Apply the paste to the stains, then scrub it into the sink’s surface. Let the paste soak on the stain for about 30 minutes, then rinse the area with cold water. 

You might have to repeat the process a few times to remove the stain entirely. 

How To Prevent Stains On Your White Plastic Sink

Keeping a white plastic sink stain-free in busy kitchens is a struggle, especially when there are kids involved. Brightly-colored fruit juices, tomato sauce, wine, and many other pigmented foods and drinks can be your sink’s greatest enemy, especially if it sits in the sink for a while. 

Luckily, you can apply a cleanser to the surface of the sink that will help prevent stains from taking hold. While this isn’t foolproof, and stains may still happen, it’s better than constantly scrubbing stains in your sink. 

Choose an acrylic cleanser, like Gel Gloss, to seal the sink’s surface. Apply the solution to the entire surface of the sink with a soft cloth. This should help prevent potential stains, but you should still clean the sink regularly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Use Bleach On A White Plastic Sink?

Clorox HE Performance Bleach, 121 Oz. (Pack of 1)

Yes, you can use bleach on a plastic sink. Try to avoid using concentrated bleach directly on the surface. Instead, dilute a cap full of bleach in a sink full of water. Let the diluted bleach solution sit in the sink for a few minutes. While you wait, scrub the noticeable stains with a soft sponge to help lift them from the surface of the sink. 

Drain the sink, then rinse the surface with fresh water. 

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