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How to Remove Scratches from a Cast Iron Sink or Tub

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

23 replies
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  1. Monica Santos
    Monica Santos says:

    This was great info for cleaning the sink. I have a question about the drain, how do you keep the edges from aging, peeling, turning black, etc?

  2. Glenna Ross
    Glenna Ross says:

    I like the Kohler cleaner, not sure it’s a miracle worker. I have much better results with the baking soda and vinegar and thank you for the pretty handy girl website because this is where I learned of the baking soda/vinegar combo and I got the results I was looking for.

  3. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    I have an old, old cast iron tub. I just moved in and thought the tub was just dirty. No way, I cannot get it clean, even using straight bleach. Help.

  4. Kim C
    Kim C says:

    I have a cast iron sink and tub and the best thing I’ve found to clean it with is Bar Keepers Friend. Get it at any grocery store around here even Dollar General ! It’s less than $2 a can! It also works on dingy white dishes. I have solid white Corel and Corning ware and I use this on it mixed with Dawn to clean off scratches from silverware. I love this stuff so much!

  5. DIY-Plans.com
    DIY-Plans.com says:

    It’s never easy cleaning or maintaining a white sink tub. Good thing there are trusted brands of cleaning products and materials which anyone can use and help them get a cleaner and whiter sink tub in the process.

  6. Chelsea Wolf
    Chelsea Wolf says:

    Pretty sure we have the same sink! I’ve always used white toothpaste to make the scratches disappear! Works like a charm. That’s toothpaste that is white, not necessarily whitening toothpaste. Rub it in with your finger and then rinse away.

  7. RuthN
    RuthN says:

    Hi, Brittany,
    Curious minds would like to know, is the sink in the picture ‘really’ cast iron? it looks like what we’d call a butlers sink, & is usually heavy ceramic. Best thing about them is that the work surface edge hangs ‘over’ the sink, so debris & water can just be wooshed straight into it.
    RuthN 😀

  8. Lesliegrace
    Lesliegrace says:

    Good info, Brittany! Thank you for sharing. Now I kind of wish I hadn’t gotten rid of our last kitchen sink. I really disliked how easily it would scratch and stain, but I liked the white sink, shape and depth. I replaced it with a heavy gauge brushed stainless steel sink. I do love how deep the sink is, and one side is much larger than the other so I can fit most of my hand washed items quite easily. What I don’t like is how incredibly easy it scratches. I have have ss sinks many times over the years, but don’t ever recall them being so easily damaged even after years of use. I have also gotten the vinyl protectors for the bottoms and divider of the sinks, and though they do
    help quite a bit, they don’t stay clean for long. Do you happen to have any tips to help with scratching and keeping ss sinks in good condition? Though it is too late now, I wish we would have stuck to white appliances and sink and not fallen to the fad of ss. Much less work as far as I concerned! ? Have a great weekend, and thanks again for the helpful post!

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:


      When we had a stainless steel sink I cleaned it the same way (with baking soda and vinegar) then used baby oil wiped inside and buffed off. That gave it the shiny clean look and slightly repelled the water spots, but not for a long time. I don’t recall our stainless steel sink scratching a lot.

  9. Allison
    Allison says:

    We have a white Kohler cast iron sink and the saleswoman highly recommended the Kohler cleaner, so we purchased some of that as well.
    As you say, it is a miracle cleaner! Our sink is 8 years old now and whenever we clean it, it looks like new again!
    Definitely recommend this product as well!!!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub by Pretty Handy Girl […]

  2. […] to a staining substance like coffee grounds or tea bags. Stains to porcelain can usually be removed with minimal effort and are rarely permanent, although scuffs to the surface may require a DIY resurfacing fix for […]

  3. […] This was a bit of a bummer, as someone who had to constantly shine the surface of our old stainless steel sink with baby oil to hide the hard water spots. But, I’ve come to terms with it and only have to clean it once a week to keep it looking like new. […]

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