Removing metallic stain from sink
June 18, 2007 2:01 AM   Subscribe

Our white porcelain enamel sink has a stain on it. The stain is silver/grey and seems to have resulted from dropping a steel cup into the sink (probably repeatedly). Two related questions: Is it possible to stain a sink in this way? And how can we remove the stain?
posted by beniamino to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have had this and it was an aluminum smear. Can be removed with some fine abrasive. In the US, Comet is said to work. I've used T Cut too.
posted by A189Nut at 2:48 AM on June 18, 2007

Best answer: It's quite possible for stainless steel to leave a mark -- the fantastic novelty shop Grand Illusions sells a pencil that's basically a block of the stuff, along with an explanation of how it works.

When we stained our new Firestone sink, we phoned the place that supplied it and they said, "Baking soda." We said, "Really?" They said. "For everything," and so far they've been right.
posted by Hogshead at 2:53 AM on June 18, 2007

Yeah Bi-Carb is pretty tremendous. I'm a fan. But if you feel you need something more intense. We have it in Australia so?? but if you can get your hands on it GUMPTION (by Chlorox) will blow your mind!!
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 5:52 AM on June 18, 2007

I'll second Comet; my apartment has a white porcelain kitchen sink (why god why?) and my pots and pans regularly leave gray marks all over it. A damp sponge, some comet, and a little elbow grease usually gets it back to gleaming white. I think it's a combination of the mild abrasive and the bleach in it.

Baking soda is great for scouring the inside of pots/pans, but I haven't found it much good for sink marks.

Good luck!
posted by ad_hominem at 7:10 AM on June 18, 2007

I cleaned a rust stain out of my antique porcelain sink with a pumice stone and water. It was amazing how well that worked. It was an old Hint from Heloise. Try an inconspicuous spot first. Also mine was an old rust stain on an old, old sink - may be different from your stain and sink.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:56 AM on June 18, 2007

Try Barkeep's Friend. It's a stainless steel polish, but when used on Stainless Steel, removes a bit of the steel surface to polish to a smooth patina. It will probably take the stain right off.
posted by purplegenie at 9:48 AM on June 18, 2007

Seconding Bar Keepers Friend , but use a gentle touch to avoid scratching the enamel.
posted by zepheria at 10:53 AM on June 18, 2007

use a gentle touch to avoid scratching the enamel

It is possible that the marks you describe are the result of scratching the enamel. I may just have the cheapest sink ever [I rent...] but I have silver marks and when cleaning actually made them worse, I had to accept that the marks were scratches.

I wouldn't use Comet right away, I'd start with something less abrasive like Bon Ami or Softscrub.
posted by Mozzie at 12:51 PM on June 18, 2007

This is going to sound insane but I used to use green Kool-aid to clean an enamel kitchen sink when I had one, and it was amazingly effective.
posted by loiseau at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2007

Response by poster: OK, thanks for all the suggestions, particularly mild abrasives. I was somewhat surprised to find that toothpaste did an excellent job, much better than bicarb.
posted by beniamino at 4:41 AM on June 21, 2007

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