Protecting the bottom of white cast iron sink--what do you use?

needinfo1April 6, 2013

Is there anything better than those slotted, typical plastic or rubber mats with the drain hole in the middle? I've used these and the pebbly ones too, but they all get cruddy and icky dirty and trap food particles. Does anyone use stainless steel racks in cast iron sinks?

I'm in an odd situation because I just found the last brand new sink on earth (I'm not kidding) in the particular discontinued Kohler model I need. When our new counters are installed in a couple weeks, it will be installed to replace the exact same model that is now 20 years old. The old one still looks mighty good because, after the first few years, I always had a sink mat in it. I'd like to protect the new one right off the bat, but since it is an older model, there are no custom made bottom protectors for this model.

I am just wondering if anyone has any recommendations. I know there are lots of stainless steel racks for newer sinks, and I might be able to find one that would work, but I am just wondering if these are preferable to what I have been using all of these years. Thanks.

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Is it a Kohler Enameled Cast Iron sink? Did your last one get marks in it (before you used the mat)?

I'm asking because I've had 2 of the Kohler Enameled Cast Iron sinks, and I find them to be the most totally bulletproof, workhorse things in the house.

I've been hard o these sinks, and any marks comp up with a quick scouring, or, if necessary (but it never seems to be) some bleach.

That said, we just put one in my parents' new home, and my mom uses a grid. She just can't get used to the idea of not protecting it. The grid works well, seems to be easy to clean.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:34PM
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We use a stainless steel rack in our Kohler sink and I really like it, though it does need to be cleaned periodically or it gets grimy. No idea if it protects any differently than a mat, but I like that it's slightly off the floor of the sink so water can run underneath things that are on it. It helps a lot that it's designed for the sink and fits perfectly, though--not sure if you could still get one for a discontinued sink or not.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:53PM
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My old Kohler has no marks on it, and I never got any. So from a distance it looks perfect, but when looking closer it has quite a few of those tiny scratches in the glaze, particularly in the area closer to the drain. As I said, it is 20 years old, so I certainly can't complain, and this is one of the reasons we also decided to just put in the exact same sink.

Madeline you just go as is and don't use anything in your sink to protect it? Do you have any of the teeny scratches I am referring to ?

Artemis, does the rack that is designed for your sink cover the entire floor pretty closely, or does it just kind of fit in the middle and is vaguely the same shape as the sink? I ask because I am thinking I could perhaps find a different newer model with a similar configuration and measurements and use a grid from that.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Hi needinfo,

I agree with Artemis, the idea of water neing able to flow under the grid is nice.

I just put my head in the prep sink :) No teeny scratches--if they're there, they're way too small to see.

FWIW, I replaced my previous Kohler Enameled Cast Iron prep sink, as well as the the main kitchen sink--also Kohler Enameled Cast Iron. This was for aesthetics--went from bisque to white. Both previous sinks were truly in perfect condition. And I'm hard on sinks--I wash cast iron pots, leave coffee grounds and other spills for hours, and don't scrub the sinks as often as I should ;)

Anyway, the new main sink is fireclay. It's held up really well, but I can't be totally laid back about how I treat it like I was with the Kohler!

My Mom loves hers, as well. Like you, though, she's opting for the grid just in case.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:23PM
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We recently replaced our 27 year old Kohler cast iron, and it looked pretty darn good considering we never had a bottom mat or grate in it. Washed all our pots and pans in it as well. We did for years have one of those rubbermaid thinggys the at drape over the center divider, I supposed that helped somewhat, but I agree those sinks are bullet proof and you really don't need to worry about babying it. Glad you found the sink you were looking for!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Holly- Kay

My kd looked at me like I had two heads when I said I wanted an enameled cast iron sink. I am going with the Kohler Whitehaven apron front sink and I am looking forward to it. I am going to get the stainless grid from the beginning.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Not sure what ur KD was thinking, holly-kay! The enameled cast iron is so hard-working, and the Whitehaven is gorgeous. That's the one we put in my parents' house--bulletproof and looks gorgeous.

Maybe your KD just wasn't familiar with the Kohler line of enameled cast iron? Did she think it should be fireclay? Stainless?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:41PM
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I don't use anything on the bottom of my Kohler white cast iron sink. I clean with Bar Keepers Friend. We built almost 10 years ago and the sink still looks new.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Holly- Kay

Madeline, he was familiar with the apron front as it was in one of his display models and he actually suggested the apron front. When I said I wanted cast iron there was that momentary look of surprise. He has used Kohler cast iron in the past but he seemed surprised that I wanted the iron sink and not something different (fireclay perhaps?) He included a Kohler apron front sink in the initial drawing, but it wasn't the Whitehaven. I suggested using the Whitehaven model because I wanted the rear drain. He called the next day and said it was actually an even easier sink for the installers to use so I think he was glad that I was a PITA and pushed for it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:06PM
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I am interested on what to use as well. Many of the responses say they do not use anything. Is there anyone here who has purchased grids for the bottom of their sinks that are not the ones specifically made for their particular model? If so, where did you get them?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:22PM
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For needinfo, the rack for our sink covers the floor completely, but is on little rubber feet so you could possibly use a smaller one with an appropriately placed drain hole on a larger sink and it wouldn't slide much. Not sure if things would be prone to falling to the sides or under it, though. Does Kohler (or anyone else) make a current sink with a similar basin size?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:21PM
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I love my Kohler cast iron! I've been wondering about whether I need a grid too so it's good to know the enamel wears like iron. I have noticed on a friend's older sink that the interior finish is dull/etched. I don't think you can use things like Soft Scrub.

One thing with mine, the middle of the right side is about 1/4" off the counter. It doesn't lay flush. It was installed with clear caulk so it really shows. Does anyone else's sink do this? He had said it's common.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Holly- Kay

Bar keeper's friend should be all you need for cleaning it. I looked to order the stainless grid but they are back ordered. I have a 36 inch sink base but i am not sure what size the specs call for as far as the sink goes.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:04PM
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We just inherited an older Kohler cast iron sink and I wanted to buy one of those grids for the bottom. Called Kohler customer service. They were very friendly and very helpful. Told me every Kohler sink has a number underneath. She matched which grid would work on my old sink.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:16AM
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    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:52AM
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We got the (very expensive!) grid that is made by Kohler for the Whitehaven sink. So far, so good.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:57AM
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I have a white Kohler sink that's now 23 years old. I started out with a mat, which I ditched after about 2 weeks because it had all kinds of grime caught in it. I wash my pans and pots about 98% of the time in the sink and it has been basically bullet proof. No chips, dents, major scratches. It looks great. I will scrub every now and then with a sponge (green side) and fill with bleach/water. Only noticed lately something that looks like rust on the outside edge

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:26PM
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I have an 18 year old Kohler cast iron sink... it has some wear marks on the bottom, but you can't tell unless you are about 8 inches away, head in the basin. I'm actually more worried about protecting my dishes from the sink than the sink from the dishes.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:48PM
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