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How to Clean Porcelain for a Stain-Free Shine

Reviewed by Professional Cleaner Jennifer L. Betts
Cleaning porcelain sink with yellow gloves

Learn how to clean porcelain kitchen and bathroom fixtures, like sinks and tubs, on a regular basis to keep them looking fresh and shiny. Make sure you use appropriate cleaners and tools to avoid scratching the porcelain and you're all set.

How to Do Regular Daily Porcelain Cleaning

When you clean the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and bathroom tub regularly, you don't need to use a harsh cleanser or scrub. Instead, your basic grease-fighting dish soap formula will usually provide the power you need to prevent dirt and soap build-up.

Supplies

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Small bucket or bowl, if needed
  • Microfiber cloth

Method

  1. Fill a spray bottle with warm water.
  2. Add a teaspoon of grease-cutting dish soap.
  3. Shake well to mix.
  4. Spray the sinks and tub walls and bottom. If you have a tub mat, flip that over and spray it as well.
  5. Allow the soap to sit for about 5 minutes.
  6. Use your sponge to wipe away any dirt.
  7. The soft-bristled scrub brush can be used for any caked-on dirt and the bottom of the tub mat.
  8. Turn the shower on hot and use the sprayer to rinse out the tub.
  9. Fill a small bowl or bucket with hot water and rinse out the sinks.
  10. Allow the bathtub to air dry; you can use a microfiber cloth to dry the sinks as needed.

Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Essential Oil Cleaning Method

Vinegar doesn't always smell the best, but a few drops of essential oil in your favorite scent can leave your bathroom and kitchen porcelain smelling as good as it looks. Vinegar is safe to use on porcelain as long as you don't leave it on too long. This method can help clean yellowed porcelain.

Supplies

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil in your preferred scent
  • Spray bottle
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush

Method

  1. Mix together in a spray bottle:
    • 1 cup of vinegar
    • 1 cup of water
    • 6 drops of essential oil
  2. Sprinkle baking soda in the sink and tub.
  3. Spray the baking soda with the diluted vinegar mixture.
  4. Allow it to sit for several minutes, but no longer than 15 minutes.
  5. Wipe on your porcelain sink or around your shower and tub using a cleaning cloth.
  6. Use the soft-bristled scrub brush to help remove any stuck-on grime.
  7. Rinse off, wiping with a cloth as needed to remove any leftover baking soda that didn't fully dissolve.
Vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon

Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning and Shine Method for Porcelain

Shine while cleaning your porcelain using hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is also a great DIY all-purpose disinfectant, too.

Supplies

Method

  1. Mix together about a teaspoon of dish soap and a couple quarts of water until sudsy.
  2. Wipe down your sink or shower and rinse.
  3. Put a cup of hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle.
  4. Spray evenly over the porcelain.
  5. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for 15 minutes to an hour.
  6. Rinse and buff with a microfiber cloth for a clean, bright shine.

How to Clean White Porcelain With Liquid Bleach

Liquid bleach can be used on white porcelain that is not damaged. If you use it on colored porcelain or porcelain with damage, you may find it causes discoloration or additional damage. Additionally, liquid bleach can be corrosive to stainless steel pipes, so be sure to check those before using the bleach method.

Supplies

  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Cleansing cloth

Method

  1. Make sure your bathroom or kitchen is well-ventilated.
  2. Put on a mask and rubber gloves.
  3. Mix together equal parts water and bleach.
  4. Use your cleansing cloth to wipe down dirty and stained areas of the sink or tub.
  5. Rinse with clean water.

How to Clean White Porcelain With Magic Erasers

Magic Erasers are a great product for getting rid of stubborn stains on white porcelain (only use on white porcelain). However, they are like very fine sandpaper and do cause small abrasions each time they are wiped, so use sparingly.

Supplies

Method

  1. Wet the Magic Eraser with water.
  2. Gently rub over any stains or grime that is stuck on the sink or tub.
  3. Rinse with water and a cleaning cloth as needed.

How to Clean Porcelain Sinks and Tubs With a Steamer

If you've purchased a home steam cleaner that is appropriate to use on porcelain, then you may save yourself some heavy-duty scrubbing! Only use on undamaged, newer porcelain.

Supplies

  • Distilled water
  • Steam cleaner
  • Cleaning cloth

Method

  1. Read the owner's manual of the steam cleaner.
  2. Fill water reservoir with distilled water.
  3. Plug in and turn on the steam cleaner.
  4. Go over soap scum and grimey spots with the steamer per manufacturer instructions.
  5. Wipe away any remaining dirt when you finish.

Porcelain Stain Removal

Once your porcelain gets stained, it's difficult to remove. However, with a little elbow grease, helpful cleaning supplies, and retail products, you can get the stains off. When using chemical cleansers, make sure you thoroughly wipe and rinse surfaces where food is consumed for safety reasons, keep rooms ventilated, and wear rubber gloves to protect skin.

Woman scrubbing dirty bathtub

Hard Water Rings

Hard water rings can be removed using a thick baking soda and lemon juice paste. Mix up 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts baking soda. Let sit and scrub off after about 20 minutes using a soft-bristle brush.

Soap Scum Build-Up

Cut through soap scum build-up that didn't come off with your natural cleaners by picking up a retail cleanser. Foam-action cleansers, like Comet Foaming Bath Spray, are perfect for getting rid of build-up that doesn't come off your shower. Check label before using and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Rust Stains

Rust stains are common in porcelain sinks where hard water is used. Use a product like CLR PRO to remove rust stains on porcelain. Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser is another good product to try if you're having trouble getting stains and rust off your porcelain fixtures.

Maintaining Your Porcelain Sinks and Tubs

Stain prevention and regular cleaning will keep your porcelain sink and tubs looking good for many years. Always make sure to wipe up spills and rinse dirt and grime when you are finished using the sink or tub. At the end of each day, do a quick wipe-down of your surfaces to prevent scum build-up. Cleaning porcelain with household products, like ammonia, can keep fixtures fresh. Follow your regular bathroom cleaning schedule to deep-clean and keep things looking bright and shiny!

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How to Clean Porcelain for a Stain-Free Shine