How to Clean a Farmhouse Sink

Farmhouse sinks are charming and sturdy. They can also be hard to maintain! Here’s how to clean a farmhouse sink so it’s shiny and beautiful.

white fireclay sink with cream cabinets

Whether your sink is fireclay or enameled cast iron, you probably chose it for looks. And there’s no denying that a white farmhouse apron front sink is beautiful! But of course, washing your dishes in something white means there will be stains from time to time.

Everyday cleaning of a farmhouse sink is just like any other: rinse it out and clean it with mild dish soap. But you already knew that. The real question is: how to deal with more difficult stains?

Please check with your sink’s manufacturer for their recommendations. Some sinks will have a special finish the requires special care. I am sharing what has worked for me personally on a fireclay sink for years.

Farmhouse sink cleaning products you need

hand holding bar keepers friend container, white sink in background

???? The short answer: use Bar Keeper’s Friend!

Any stains on your white sink, from hot sauce to coffee, will come right off with Bar Keeper’s Friend.

If you are nervous about using a somewhat harsh cleaner, you can try something gentler like Bon Ami or even baking soda. (But I’d recommend that you don’t try to substitute anything else, there’s nothing quite like it!)

All you need to do is sprinkle it one and rub it gently with a damp cloth. The abrasive nature of the cleaner removes any stains or scuffs on your sink’s surface. After a few minutes of rubbing, just rinse with running water. Easy!

oxalic acid cleaner sprinkled on bottom of sink

Bar Keeper’s Friend states it is safe on porcelain, fireclay, and cast iron farmhouse sinks, but of course you’ll want to test it on an inconspicuous spot first to be certain. (It’s also great on stainless steel!)

Can you use bleach on a farmhouse sink?

pouring bleach into farmhouse sink with grid

You sure can, as long as it’s well diluted with water, and it won’t hurt a thing. And it’s great (as we will see in a minute) for disinfecting the drain, garbage disposal, and sink grid (if you have one).

But if you have a stain on the farmhouse sink itself, bleach often won’t work on it. You really need a mildly abrasive cleaning agent like Bon Ami or Bar Keeper’s friend.

What about mineral deposits?

If you have very hard water, you might need to take special care to remove any limescale buildup in your sink. This can often make sure sink feel gritty and look cloudy, like it’s lost its shine. The best solution is to simply spray with a mixture of half water and half vinegar mixed in a spray bottle, wipe down, and rinse.

An ounce of prevention

Of course the best thing to do is to keep your farmhouse sink clean so you don’t end up with stains. Taking a minute to rinse the whole thing down every time you do the dishes can make a big difference. If you’re working with dough or batter or anything that will dry and leave a sticky mark, deal with it right away. Stubborn stains can form if you aren’t careful.

???? Related: How to Set Up a Practical Weekly Cleaning Routine

To protect your sink’s surface, you can invest in a sink grid which sits an inch or so above the sink’s surface. It keeps cast iron pans from chipping the surface or leaving rust marks, and makes for a handy makeshift drying rack.

But alas, we are mere mortals, and sometimes our fireclay sinks need a good scrub.

So if your sink is ready for a deep cleaning, let’s do it together, step by step

Step by step farmhouse sink deep cleaning routine


  • Bar Keeper’s Friend
  • Bleach
  • Dish Liquid (ammonia free)


  1. Remove any debris from the sink by rinsing and wiping down with mild dish soap.
  2. Apply Bar Keeper’s friend generously to the sink surface. Rub with a damp cloth until all stains are removed. Rinse with running water.
  3. Close the drain and fill the sink with a few inches of warm water, covering the sink grid if you have one. While the water is running, add a generous splash of bleach and squirt of dish soap. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water and rinse.

How often?

Of course that all depends on how busy your kitchen is, your dishwashing habits, and what you have protecting the bottom of the sink.

I find that I need to deep clean my farmhouse sink at least once every two weeks. You can do this on a schedule, or just when you notice it may be needed.

Even though I am not someone who loves to clean, I do find it somewhat enjoyable to clean my kitchen sink. It’s not hard and it’s just so shiny and pretty when it’s done.

clean fireclay farmhouse sink

Do you need to wax your kitchen sink?

No. But you can if you want. It adds shine and helps liquids run off the surface, which can prevent stains. But it’s not necessary!

I hope this helps you keep your sink sparkling clean! There’s nothing more cheerful than a clean kitchen.

How to Clean a Farmhouse Sink

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