Fine scratches on Kohler sink

Phobie PrivettJanuary 2, 2008

We just completed our new home (YEA!!!!!!) and I've already noticed quite a few very fine scratches on the bottom of my Kohler sink. It is cast iron (with porcelain on top?). I have only been cleaning it with a few squirts of dish soap and a scrubber brush. The brush is new, so the bristles are not hard, but are firm. Could this really be the cause of the scratches?? I find it hard to believe that a scrubber brush would do that to cast iron! It's not like I'm just bearing down on it, I thought I was being quite gentle! Any help would be greatly appreciated. For what it's worth, the sink is black -n-tan, (kind of a specialty/designer finish) but wasn't supposed to be "delicate".

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The finish on your sink is a viterous fired enamel. It is appiled in a powdered form and then fired so it melts and flows evenly over the iron. It is a glassy finish just like the glaze on pottery, dinnerware, china, etc. It will scratch, just like any of the previously mentioned products. You cannot remove the scratches but you can make them less noticeable. Barkeepers Friend will work as well as anything out there and better than most. And remember when you scrape pots, pans and utinsels against your sink, they are scratching it. It's less noticed on white than colors.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Many times, metallic objects don't "scratch" the porcelain exactly, but they do leave metal marks on the sink because the porcelain is harder than some metals. A sink grid would be a good idea to help with just this issue and will prevent any actual scratches on the bottom where it's most noticable.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Phobie Privett

Thanks for the responses. Live wire oak, I know the "metal marks" you speak of, these are definately not them. On this color, I don't think I'd even be able to see those silvery kind of marks. Thank goodness. That's one less thing to obsess about...

Bignich, can you explain exactly what barkeepers friend does? Do you mean use it just as a cleanser or will it help specifically with the scratches? I used it one time during cleaning, but I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't use the brush for cleaning the sink, maybe just a rag or magic eraser.

I opted not to spend the $100 for the stupid sink grates, thinking they were too expensive and I wouldn't really need them. Now, of course, I'm wishing I had've gotten them!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Sinks develop patina over time. Relax and forget about the scratches.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 12:17PM
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superchick, I have lived with Kohler cast iron sinks my whole 52 yrs. Cast iron can live forever but the finish will wear. You can help keep the finish nice by Not using a scrub brush. I use lyme away cleaner for hard water spots and soft scrub cleaner with bleach for other staining. I only use a soft cloth scrubby pad for each of these cleaners. You can find soft vinyl mats to put on the bottom of the sink at any kitchen supply store, this helps a lot with scratches from pans and plates etc. I use mine when I wash dishes, then rinse and put under sink when I'm done. (I will be getting a dishwasher with my upcoming remodel, First one in my life.) I have never had a dark sink but I am planning on going with a darker color with my remodel this spring. Yes it will be a kohler cast iron. I like color and they don't show water spots like ss does. At least the light colors don't.
How is the "black and tan" color with water spots? Does it show a lot or not? I am now wondering if soft scrub might be to harsh for a dark sink like yours, I will check into that and get back at ya. Sinks are not cheap, why not keep them looking nice instead of calling it "patina".

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:57PM
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The only way to prevent scratches in any kind of kitchen sink is to NOT use the sink. Any sink that gets used is going to suffer some amount of scratching.

Naturally, any initial scratching in a pristine new sink is going to be more obvious. After a while, though, the scratches will tend to blend together and be less noticeable. If scratching bothers you, stop using the sink. Otherwise, stop worrying about it. After a few months, the sink will have thousands of tiny scratches and you'll no longer notice them.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 9:46PM
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you could still get the grid and hide your scratches if it bothers you.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Phobie Privett

Well, I called the plumber and order the set of grids for the bottom of the sink. While I'm not completely freaked out that it's already showing wear, I would like it to look nice for a while, at least! :) So hopefully the grids will do the trick.
I just wish I knew if I caused them (so I'd know what I did wrong) or whether the cleaning crew or workers did it.

Wisrose-so far I love the black-n-tan. I had SS before (ugly and dirty looking all the time from hard water and scratches) and although I've only been using it for about 1 1/2 weeks, it seems like not much shows on it. I'm not going to lie and say you can't see water spots, but we have very hard water and water shows everywhere. Kohler recommends just using Windex , 409 or something similar to clean up, so I will discontinue with the brush and just wipe clean with Windex when I'm through with dishes. You do almost HAVE to wipe it down with some glass cleaner to make it shiny after use. Never thought I'd bother with all the little details, but I actually don't mind!!

And for what it's worth, I LOVE the smart divide. All my huge pots sit right down in the bottom for filling and cleaning. (HMMMM....maybe that's where the scratches came from! DUH!)

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    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:11AM
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Superchick - Relax....I have the smart divide exacly like yours but in white and I just love it!!!! You will have slight scratches in your sink, but Kohler makes wire racks for the smart divide that allow your pots to rest on them instead of sitting right on the porcelain. Also you can get the scratches out!!!! Kohler also makes a small bottle or cast iron cleaner, I found mine at home-expo. All you do is add a small amount to a wet cloth and rub out, that easy and looks good as new you would never know there was a scratch there!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cast Iron Cleaner

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:47AM
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I have the Kohler Smart Divide as well and love it. I do use the wire racks in the bottom (from for $26.00 each). I have had it for 1 month and only see one very small scratch. I heard a lot of comments about black sinks with awful water marks but I have not experienced that. I do not wipe it down everyday.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sink

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Phobie Privett

kharmony-what a cool looking sink/kitchen!!

kellyleeann-thanks SO much for the tip! I will definately look into getting some of that! That makes me feel so much better, because right after I ordered the grates, I started looking at those scratches, and YES, they really do bother me! So if there's some way to get them out, I'm going to try it!! Thank you so much! I didn't even know that stuff existed! :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 7:04PM
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I had large single bowl white cast iron Kohler and liked it a lot, mainly for the size.
I did use the bottom grid to protect it though - all my pots are Le Creuset and I hate being delicate with things. The grid itself got gucky though and to make matters worse it didn't fit in the dishwasher! So I had to go at periodically with a toothbrush on all the little grid corners - what a pain!
Sounds like two smaller grids will work though.
Eons ago in an upstairs flat the kitchen had an old single bowl white cast iron with a large drainboard. I loved that sink. The finish was really rough like the glaze was pretty compromised but I would love to have another.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:03PM
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