This is the next update in the Millie’s Remodel series. Recently I had to decide whether I needed to replace the HVAC unit for Millie. Although it was an expensive proposition, the decision on brand was an easy one for me.

Millie’s Remodel: HVAC Update + How to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System

Thank you for your patience with the Millie’s Remodel series. Today I have the next update and this one could actually save you money and the dread of replacing your HVAC unit sooner than you want to.

Just so you know, TRANE is a Millie’s Remodel project sponsor. But, if you’ve been around my website for a while, you know I don’t promote just any brands. If I’m going to mention a brand, you can be sure I’d recommend them to my best friend or my own mother. Now that we’re past the legal disclosure stuff, read on to find out why I like TRANE so much and how to extend the life of your HVAC system!

Millie’s Remodel Inspection:

During the home inspection at Millie’s Remodel, the inspector told me the exhaust fan for the gas furnace was no longer functioning in the unit. Given the age of the HVAC, he recommended replacing it instead of fixing it. Plus, the unit was incredibly loud and sounded like a helicopter! I knew it would need to be replaced.

When TRANE contacted me about being a Millie’s Remodel sponsor, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for me to share how we decided to purchase a TRANE in the past and how long it lasted.

Back in Time:

The year was 2001 and Pretty Handsome Guy and I had just moved to Raleigh. The Dot Com bubble had burst and we were left without full-time jobs. We had just purchased our first house—needless-to-say—money was tight. We were surviving, but money was still not flowing in. Despite our financial situation, we decided to host a party for some of our new friends. Midway through the party, I looked at our friend Jaye, who was 8 months pregnant. Sweat ran off her forehead and I suddenly realized it was a bit hot in the house. I kept turning the thermostat lower, but each time I checked it, the temperature was climbing instead of going down.

After the party, I walked outside and discovered the unit was covered in ice. I knew enough to know that was not a good sign. We called a few HVAC companies and got the news that it was probably best to replace our old HVAC.

Although we were cash-strapped, we knew we didn’t want to make a poor decision on a major system for our home. After a lot of research, we decided to purchase a TRANE unit. Little did I know that this same unit would still be pumping conditioned air almost two decades later. Our rationale for choosing a TRANE was: if we chose less than stellar HVAC equipment we could be looking at replacing it within 10 years. Whereas, if we chose a TRANE, we could expect to have the same unit for 15+ years. It made sense to spend a little more money now, and hopefully, only have to replace the HVAC twice over 30 years versus paying for three systems in the same time frame? Now doesn’t it make sense to spend a little more up front to save you money in the future?

Guess what! Our rationale was correct. In case you weren’t aware, we moved in 2007 to the house across the street from our first home. Over the years we’ve watched three families move into our old house. Recently I was talking to the current owner and I asked her if she still had the TRANE unit we installed. She told me yes, she did, and it’s still working perfectly! Here it is:

Deciding what brand HVAC system to buy for Millie, is obviously an easy decision. After seeing the old TRANE we put in at our old house still pumping heat and cool air after more than 18 years, why would I choose anything else!

How to Select a New HVAC System:

Ask around. Find out from friends, family, or neighbors which system they installed and who installed it. Ask how old their system is and if they’ve had any issues with the equipment. When I mentioned I was having a TRANE installed at Millie’s Remodel I received several messages from my followers who were also happy TRANE owners:


How to Hire an HVAC contractor:

I recommend finding local TRANE contractors in your area by going to the TRANE website. Then look up the recommended contractors on Better Business Bureau and search for Google or Yelp reviews. When you call, ask for references and call the references. (Not sure what to ask? I have a great article on How to Hire Contractors with suggested questions to help you get the most information from references.)

The HVAC Installation:

Once the day arrived to install the new HVAC system at Millie’s Remodel, the contractors removed the old unit. I was not sad to see that eyesore and earsore go! (It was incredibly loud.)

Luckily the ductwork was almost brand new, so we all agreed to keep it so I could save a little money. The contractors did remove the old pad and put down a new one.

Tip: Always make sure your contractor levels the new pad. Non-level pads can put undue stress on your unit. Do not let them throw mulch or leaves (compostable materials) under the pad to level. They need dirt or gravel or other non-composting material. If you have eagle eyes, you may have noticed a piece of lumber leveling the old unit. This is not an acceptable way to level your HVAC pad.

While the guys were installing the new TRANE unit (I chose the TRANE XR14c which is not a top of the line model, but is still energy-efficient and quiet.) I asked the foreman a question after he finished installing the unit. I specifically asked him what he saw in terms of age of units when removing old HVAC equipment specifically TRANE units vs. other brands. Watch the video to hear his unscripted response:

How to Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly:

If you only do one thing to prolong the life of your HVAC unit, it would be to change the filters regularly. Whether that means monthly or up to three months will depend on your home’s dust levels (and any pets you have.) Keep an eye on your filters. If they are showing more dust and hair before three months is up, change them more regularly.

Did you know TRANE has filters specifically designed to meet the balance of reducing dust and lint while keeping your HVAC system running longer? Best of all, you can order them from Walmart and receive them the next day!

If your home is going through a renovation, it’s important to change the filters after a lot of debris has been released into the air. The day after my drywall contractors finished sanding, I replaced the filters. And immediately after the floor refinishers sanded the floors, I replaced the filter. When the renovations are complete I’ll replace them again.

Other things you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly is to keep vegetation and landscaping at least 18 inches away from the unit. There needs to be proper airflow around the unit for it to work efficiently.

Call for a maintenance tune-up and check on your system in the Spring and Fall. Don’t wait for temperature extremes to find out your system was stressed and you are now without heating or cooling.

For more maintenance tips and ways to keep your system running a lot longer, read these maintenance tips from TRANE.  In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this nice, quiet, and efficient new HVAC system from TRANE!

Do you have any TRANE stories? Have a system that proves the saying, “It’s hard to stop a Trane.” Please share in the comments!

Have a great holiday, I’ll be back in January with the next Millie’s Remodel update!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for TRANE. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.

After over two years of general contracting, I’ve finally transformed my truck into the perfect contractor’s truck. Whether you’re a woodworker, a contractor, a remodeler, or a serial DIYer, you’ll find this article about the Anatomy of the Perfect Contractor’s Truck beneficial for discovering accessories to make your truck more practical for hauling tools and lumber.

Back at the start of the Saving Etta project, it became clear I’d need a pickup truck to assist me with hauling materials and my tools. I purchased an old white pick up truck for $4,500.

Although the truck got me through the project, it wasn’t without a fair amount of headaches. Frankly, I felt like the truck and I didn’t get along. Twice the truck locked me out. One time the keys were in the ignition and the engine was still running! Little annoying things kept breaking on the truck (like the back door latches one after the other) and then the ABS brakes (which actually control the regular brakes too) went out to the tune of $900. I replaced them, but was always wary of the possibility of them dying on me again.  Between the rising repair costs and the fear of being locked out, I decided it was time for another used truck after I sold the Saving Etta house. This time I had a much clearer vision of what I needed in a general contractor’s truck. And I think you’ll appreciate my new-to-me truck and how it really is the perfect contractor’s truck! Keep reading to find out the accessories that make it perfect and how I’m planning on keeping this truck running smoothly for me.

This is a sponsored post for Gumout. I was provided complimentary products and was compensated for my time and efforts to promote Gumout. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.

The Search for the Perfect Contractor’s Truck:

When I searched the internet for ideas for what I should look for in a general contractor truck, all I found were links to truck accessory websites. Then I looked on YouTube and discovered lots of ideas for beautiful custom-built tool storage in a truck bed. Besides not having the time to build something for my truck, I also knew it would limit the flexibility and storage capacity in it.

The other options I found were true work trucks with more storage than I wanted. For example, the truck below is outfitted with storage compartments, but you usually give up valuable real estate when built-in storage is added. I knew I needed the flexibility of a full pick up truck bed sometimes. Therefore I nixed the idea of built-in storage compartments.

Before searching for another truck, I made a list of must-haves and “would be nice” options on a contractor truck.

Contractor Truck Must Haves:

  • Safe (and Weather-Proof) Place to Store Tools
  • Ability to Haul Lumber
  • Flexibility to Carry Cargo like Appliances
  • Back Seat for Passengers (and Dog)
  • Additional Storage Space in the Back Seat
  • Truck Bed Large Enough for a Sheet Goods
  • Locking Cover for Truck Bed
  • Tow Hitch
  • Strong Engine for Hauling Trailers

Contractor Truck Optional Features (not Necessities):

  • Back Window that Opened
  • Additional Storage Bins inside Cab
  • Radio/Bluetooth Stereo
  • USB Port
  • Truck Bed Rubber Mat
  • Easy Cleaning Floor Mats inside Cab
  • Leather or Vinyl Seats
  • Back Up Camera
  • Power Outlet

With my list made, I began searching for used pickup trucks that would meet my criteria. I purposely didn’t look at new trucks because I knew I’d be putting this truck through the paces and I didn’t want to cry over a scratch or dent on a new truck.

Ultimately I narrowed my search to 4-5 year old used trucks because I didn’t want to buy an older model again.

Must Have Features in a Contractor’s Truck

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Let me preface this by saying, I’ve been using this truck for almost a year now and it fits my specific needs as a general contractor perfectly. I perform a lot of my own labor, so I load my truck with the tools I’ll use for the week and remove the ones I don’t need that week.

Tool Storage:

While using the old white truck, I purchased several utility bins to keep tools and equipment organized in the bed area. This system worked so well, I decided to continue to use the bins in my new navy truck.

The nice thing about the bins is they keep my tools out of sight and drier than just sitting loose in the truck bed. Plus, the raised edges on the bin lids let me set things on top of the bins and they won’t slide around.

Inside one bin is my safety gear and occasionally a can of WD-40. LOL, not sure how that got in there. The other bin holds my smaller power tools, batteries, and bits for my drills.

The utility bins are easy to maneuver, move, or remove when I need the space in the truck bed.

Hand tools, small nails, screws, and other tools fit neatly in the Husky connect toolboxes. I purchased this top toolbox and the bottom handled-bin. Connected together they create one large toolbox.

Hauling Lumber and Materials:

(Please Note: the photos below are for illustration purposes only. Be sure to secure and tie down your lumber and material loads before transporting them.)

Traditionally I try to have lumber and supplies delivered to the job site. But, there are definitely times when it’s easier for me to pick up lumber at the last minute. With the old F-150, I had an operable back window but made the mistake of hauling big pressure treated 2x10s and resting them on the dashboard. The first bump I hit, I cracked my dashboard.  Lesson learned—and for that reason—I decided to purchase a headache rack, specifically a BackRack for the Tundra.

For those occasions when I want to haul long lengths of trim and lightweight lumber, I can rest stacks on the rails of the BackRack and feed them through the open back window. But, I never let the lumber touch the dashboard or the windshield. (No need to risk damaging them.)

Another way I use the BackRack is to haul materials over the truck cab. Normally I don’t run the lumber at this extreme an angle, but as long as it’s not going to snap and is tied down, this system works well.

If  I have to transport long boards or extension ladders, I add the bed extender. You can see it below (the bar attaches to the hitch.) The bed extender I bought also has the option to be reconfigured to support lumber extended directly from the truck bed. This has been a huge help when transporting up to 12′ lengths. Anything over that I run up and over the cab on the Back Rack.

The bed extender I purchased is the MAXX Haul Truck Hitch Bed Extender, you can purchase it on Amazon or your local truck accessory shop. When not in use, I can easily store it in my garage or shed.

If I need to haul a trailer, I can remove the bed extender and insert a towing ball mount. This feature comes in handy for hauling everything from open to closed trailers.

Security and Weather Protection:

My old F-150 had a hard tonneau cover on it. The cover was great for weather protection and security, but it didn’t offer full use of the bed. If I had to remove it, it was a literal pain in the neck trying to crawl under the cover to get to the clamps and remove items from the back of the bed. If I needed to haul appliances I had to get help removing the hard cover. It was definitely not a quick or easy process.

spruce trees loaded into back of truck

After purchasing my Tundra, I visited our local truck accessory shop and talked at length with the salespeople there. I explained all the requirements I had for my new truck and specifically asked for alternatives to the hard tonneau cover. They pointed me in the direction of the BAK Revolver X2 rolling tonneau cover. This is by far my favorite addition to the truck!

I can roll it open and closed one-handed and it gives me access to entire truck bed. Once closed, the cover won’t open until the tailgate is opened. If you want it locked, just lock your tailgate! The cover will rest nicely on top of sheet goods that don’t fit inside the truck bed.

And when I need to haul appliances, I can quickly roll the cover open and load in tall appliances (unlike the old hard cover on my Ford.) For carrying appliances, the BackRack doubles as a tie-down anchor for safely transporting appliances or other cargo.

If I had any complaints about the BAK Revolver X2 cover, they are minimal. The first is the aluminum underside gets very hot when it’s in the sun. But, I quickly learned to only touch the black felt strips when rolling the cover.

My second complaint is, the cover isn’t 100% weatherproof. A heavy rain will allow some water to seep into the truck bed at the four corners of the cover. But, I store my tools in the storage bins, so this isn’t a huge deal for me.

Miscellaneous Interior Storage and Contractor’s Mobile Office:

Inside the cab of my truck are all the things I need on a day-to-day basis. I store materials I don’t want to be exposed to the weather inside. My Tundra has a lot of compartments, but my favorite is the sunglasses compartment where I keep my favorite safety glasses inside to prevent them from getting scratched.

The center console has lots of additional storage areas for my tape measure, business cards, my favorite utility knife, and more.

Pens and pencils are close at hand in this pen grip holder which attaches to the visor in my truck.

In the backseat, I have a file bin that holds all the files I need to reference throughout the day. For safety, I keep it buckled up because I wouldn’t want to get hit in the head by the metal bin. Ouch.

One of my most miserable memories from working on the Saving Etta project was the day it was cold and rainy. After that experience, I always keep a change of clothes in my truck. My washable coveralls are also stored in the bag. I tend to spend a fair amount of time in attics and crawlspaces and the cloth coveralls are more comfortable (and form-fitting) than the disposable ones. A clean pair of boots are also a necessity. Did I tell you about the time I had to go see my son’s teacher at school and my boots were so muddy I had to leave them at the front entrance and walk through the school in my socks? True story.

Any contractor knows receipts are plentiful while working on a project. I keep my receipts organized in the accordion file in the passenger seatback pocket. I never have to hunt for receipts again and they don’t get scattered all over.

Protecting My Perfect Contractor’s Truck:

The Tundra and I are definitely working well as a team. It hasn’t locked me out once and there aren’t random things breaking on my truck. I’m determined to keep this truck for a long time and I want to protect it from excessive wear and tear. Therefore when Gumout approached me about talking about their products, I was all in!

To keep my Tundra running smoothly and let me have a dependable ride, I make sure I keep up with regular maintenance like oil changes on my truck. I also started protecting the engine by adding a bottle of Gumout All-in-One Fuel System Cleaner every 3,000 miles.

Gumout All-in-One is protecting my truck specifically in these ways:

  • Helps improve fuel economy and horsepower
  • Helps boost engine performance
  • Flushes your fuel system from gas tank to tailpipe
  • Cleans and protects engine parts
  • Get every mile out of each tank of gas
  • Helps keep your engine running smoothly
  • Guards against deposits and wear that can prematurely age an engine
  • Helps keep your engine younger, longer
  • Helps your car maintain peak performance

To protect your vehicle, add one bottle to a nearly empty gasoline tank. Refill the gas tank with up to 25 gallons of gasoline. For best results, do not refill the tank until near empty. Repeat every 3,000 miles. (It’s easiest to remember when it’s time to use Gumout again if you time it just after each oil change.)

My truck has about 60,000 miles on it, but next year that odometer will likely roll over to 75,000 miles. When that happens, I’ll be switching to the Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner.

The Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner benefits higher mileage automobiles in these ways:

  • Cleans your fuel system
  • Helps restore engine performance
  • Helps restore engine power
  • Helps extend the life of your engine
  • Helps keep your engine going
  • Make it part of your car’s maintenance routine
  • Help add years to your car in just seconds
  • Prevents and removes deposits that compromise fuel economy
  • Minimizes carbon buildup
  • Prevents excess friction and reduces carbon deposits

Now I’m curious, do you have any accessories or options I should add to my perfect contractor’s truck? Or let me know how you protect your automobile or truck? I definitely love my truck.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Gumout. I was provided complimentary products and was compensated for my time and efforts to promote Gumout. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.

Let’s take a few minutes to learn What You Need in Your Disaster Preparedness Emergency Kit. It might save your life!

Pack These in Your Disaster Preparedness Kit Immediately | Pretty Handy GirlWhat You Need in Your Disaster Preparedness Emergency Kit

Intense weather patterns are becoming much more common. Sadly it’s becoming a new normal. Are you ready in case of a disaster? What are the dangerous weather formations in your area? Are you at risk from a tornado, a flood, earthquake, mudslide, avalanche, hurricane, or other natural disasters? Regardless of where you live, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. You want to be prepared for anything Mother Nature dishes out plus a man-made disaster.

Our town has been hit by a few hurricanes, ice storms and a tornado over the past few years. Several of these events left us without power for several days. When we first moved to North Carolina, we had no idea that we needed a Disaster Preparedness Kit. Then 9/11 happened and I found myself taking a class at the Red Cross on how to prepare for a disaster. Now that we’ve lived through it, our family has an emergency kit made up in case disaster strikes. We keep it under the stairs in a closet (which is the ideal place for us to go in case of hurricane or tornados.

Emergencies can strike at any time. Chances are you may be away from home when they do strike, so having an emergency kit in your car is important.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Car Emergency Kit:

You can order a pre-made auto emergency kit, but be forewarned that there are many additional items you should include.

Car Emergency Kit | Pretty Handy Girl

Disaster Preparedness Kit Necessities:

If you want to save yourself the time of putting together a home kit, you could purchase a pre-made emergency kit, like this one:

Pack These in Your Disaster Preparedness Kit Immediately | Pretty Handy Girl

This will provide you with the bare necessities, but I encourage you to read further because there are a lot of items that are not included in a pre-packaged kit.

Good Additional Items:

  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Tarp – good for emergency roof repair or shelter
  • Sand bags (if in flood zone)
  • Extra Prescription Medications and Medical supplies (i.e. hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Sleeping Bag(s)
  • Change of Clothes
  • Sturdy Pair of Shoes
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Local Road Maps
  • Tea light candles
  • Soap
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Mess Kit (Add utensils if not included. Make sure the items are metal for cooking over fire if needed.)
  • Paper & Pencil
  • Activities: Books, Games, Deck of Cards
  • Copies of: ID, Insurance Policies, Bank Account Records
  • Empty Gas Can
  • Axe
  • Chlorine Bleach with eye dropper (Use 1 part bleach : 9 parts H20 as a disinfectant. Use 16 drops bleach : 1 gallon of H20 for emergency drinking water.)
  • Aqua purification tablets or LifeStraw
  • Extra set of house and car keys
  • Towels
  • Work Gloves

For Babies:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Diapers (for infants)
  • Formula (for infants)
  • Bottles

For Your Pets:

Cover All Your Bases:

Now that you know what to store in your Emergency Preparedness Kit, I recommend taking some time to compile the items. If purchasing all of them at once is too expensive, purchase a few items over the course of a year.

Annual checks:

Be sure to check your kit once a year and restock any items you used or that have expired.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

If you purchase a generator, learn how to use it safely and store it properly. It’s also a good idea to start it up once or twice a year to make sure it is in good condition.

Make sure your kit is stored where it will stay clean, dry and ready for an emergency.

Where to store your emergency kit?

You should determine a good place to store your kit. Ideally this is the spot you will be sheltering in place. For us, tornados and hurricanes are the major threat. We don’t have a basement, so an interior room away from windows is the ideal shelter. Under our stairway is a closet where we go in case of extreme weather. Our Disaster Kit is stored in a waterproof storage bin like this one. But honestly you can buy one for less after the holidays when retailers are competing your your dollars as you try to store all the Christmas loot and decorations. Just make sure to buy one with a lid. A flat top bin will allow you to store additional blankets and supplies on top.

Prepare Your Family:

Talk to your family members about the emergency kits and where they are located. Urge kids not to play or eat the contents.

Take time at least once a year to discuss plans in case of fire, storms, or if you are separated. Have a designated meeting place if you have to leave the house in case of fire or other disaster. Our kids know we have a meeting tree away from the house. We practice going there during our own little fire drill. We also talk to them about where to go if there is a “bad storm” outside. Know where the safe shelter spots in your home are. A basement, cellar or crawlspace are ideal. If you don’t have those, in interior room with no windows like a bathroom or under the stairs is a good alternative. A bathtub on the ground floor with a mattress on top is another option.

Finally, if you have to evacuate your neighborhood or town, do you have a designated meeting place to meet your spouse or other family members? We know to go to our friend’s house that lives in another county.

I hope you never have to use your Disaster Preparedness Kit, but if you do I’ll be glad you were prepared. Have a safe year!

shoe stretcher materials

How to Stretch Tight ShoesHow to Stretch Tight Shoes

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes because they were super cute, but they were a tad too tight. If you’re like me, you probably bought them and thought, “They’ll stretch out if I wear them enough.” Then a year or two later you put them on and remember why you don’t wear those shoes. They are just too tight. Frankly life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes!  I’m sure you are thinking, “Are you telling me to get rid of my uncomfortable shoes?” On the contrary, most too tight shoes can be stretched. Today I’ll show you how to Stretch those Tight Shoes and start wearing them comfortably!


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

shoe stretcher materials


I created this short video for you to see how easy it is to stretch your own shoes. Let me know if you have any questions after watching the video.

Step 1: Determine Tight Areas

Determine where the tight areas on your shoe are. If your shoe stretchers have plugs, you can add them to the stretchers for maximum stretching in those areas.

Step 2: Use Stretcher

To loosen leather shoes, you may want to use a Shoe Stretching spray. Spray inside the shoe. Turn the knob on the stretcher to adjust the heel stretcher. Insert the shoe stretchers into your shoe. Tighten the heel knob. Then turn the metal rod until the stretchers are as wide as they can get in your shoes.

Step 3: Set in Warm Area and Wait

Set the shoes in the sun or leave them in a warm area for 24 – 48 hours. It’s a good idea to check your shoes after 24 hours. After 24 hours my shoes were still a little big snug. I left the stretches in for another 24 hours and set them in the sun because the heat helps stretch leather.

Step 4: Try Them On Again

Time to try your shoes on. If they are still too tight. Spray the stretching spray and turn the shoe stretchers to stretch more. Wait another 24 hours.

silver clogs on table

I’m so happy I can wear these clogs comfortably! And now I can stretch any future cute shoes I buy (within reason.)

Do you have a pair of tight shoes you want to try this on? Get to it, those shoes want to be worn.

To keep our cast iron fixtures looking new, I have a never-fail formula to clean and remove all those scuffs and scratches! Here’s how I clean our cast iron sinks and bathtubs.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub

How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs

While I was helping my client get her house ready to sell she said they were committed to replacing the cast iron bathtub in their boys’ bathroom because it was scratched and stained. I told her to hold off because I knew How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs to look new again.

I use this same technique on our own cast iron sink every few weeks when the scuffs and scratches get noticeable. And if we get any scratches in our bathtub I clean it the exact same way.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get started and turn back time on your dirty, dingy, scratched cast iron sink or tub. It will look new when we are done. Promise!


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub Instructions:

For your convenience, I made a video to show you exactly how I clean our sink. Feel free to watch the video or keep reading.

Rinse any food debris out of the sink. Next, sprinkle baking soda liberally in the sink and on a scrubber sponge. (If your sink is really dirty you can add a drop of dish detergent onto the sponge.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrub the sink using a little muscle. Pour vinegar onto your sponge and in the sink. Use the sponge to wipe and clean the baking soda out of the sink. Rinse the sink with water.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Your cast iron sink (or tub) should be clean now, but you might still have some scratches and marks on the surface. That’s okay, because it’s time to break out the Kohler Cast Iron Sink Cleaner. This is a miracle in a bottle!

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

This is the cleaner recommended by our kitchen designer. Honestly, if I didn’t know about this cleaner, I would have been disappointed with our farmhouse sink a long time ago because it does get a fair amount of scratches from cast iron pots and pans. (Want to know if I’d buy a farmhouse sink again? I’ll answer that and tell you what no one tells you about owning a farmhouse sink in this post.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour a small amount directly onto marks and discolorations. Use a clean dry paper towel to buff the cleanser into the scratches.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Rinse the sink with water and look…the marks disappeared! If you look closely you can see that the scratches are still in the sink, but they visually disappear.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember those marks before:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

And after:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Hope this cleaning method helps prevent you from ripping out a perfectly good cast iron sink or tub! Keeping them looking great is as simple as knowing How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs to look new again. Be sure to share this post with a friend. 😉

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub

You might also want to read this post on What No One Will Tell You about Farmhouse Sinks.

What No One Tells You About Farmhouse Sinks | Pretty Handy Girl