OT: How to clean Kohler cast iron sink

kelleg69July 29, 2009

I love my new Kohler cast iron sinks. So far (knock on wood), they don't stain or mark. But, I don't know what to use to clean them. Anyone know?


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I used a type of Softscrub on my white cast iron - the same thing you use on the glass top of an electric range. Worked like a charm and got it looking new everytime.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:22PM
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My old sink was a cast iron Kohler. New one is Fireclay. I've always used Barkeeper's Friend.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barkeeper's Friend

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Kelleg, my Kohler cast iron sink came with a sample of cleaner. It's called Kohler cast iron cleaner. I'm not sure its any different than soft scrub or liquid bartenders. The sample says you can find it on www.kohler.com It says it contains silica and detergents.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 12:42AM
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I'm having the same question. We got our Kohler Irontones in a Sugar Cane finish a few days ago. The faucet was installed yesterday. Now that there's WATER in it, I'm worried about staining, water spots and what cleaner to use. I'm so used to looking at pictures and GW kitchen pics, I want it to stay as beautiful as it is today. We're not using the kitchen yet, as it's not all ready to go. Between the sink, granite and backsplash paranoia, I'll need therapy by the time we actually get to use it all. :-)
Natal, thanks for the Barkeepers Friend link. Do you use it on faucets? I see it's recommended by several faucet manufacturers.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:43AM
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I had a cast iron sink years ago. Used Bon Ami and/or Softscrub Gel (since it had bleach and my sink was almond) when needed.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:57AM
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Kim, no, I have a stainless faucet and use stainless steel cleaner on it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:50PM
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I use Method Le Scrub (think Softscrub), which is actually advertised as a bathroom cleaner. If I really need it to glisten, I fill up the basins with warm water and a splash of bleach and let that sit for about an hour.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 6:21PM
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Fori is not pleased

I thought you could use just about anything on them. I grew up using Comet. The Softscrub gel stuff is really potent if Comet is too old-school.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 6:40PM
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I have always used Barkeeper's Friend on my old Moenstone sink. I was hoping I could use it on the new Kohler. I may call Kohler and ask. Thanks for all the responses. I wish a sample of Kohler's cleaner had come with my sink!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:24PM
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I think when they are new it is unnecessary to use an abrasive cleaner.

I had a cast iron sink for 21 years. In the beginning I used Bon Ami when necessary. Years later the Bon Ami couldn't keep it clean (as the sink's finish got worn) so I began using stronger cleansers like Comet or Ajax. Towards the end even those couldn't get the sink clean and white . . . but then I found BarKeepers and that worked well. It couldn't get the scratches out though. So I'm glad to have a new one (well actually two).

I guess what I'm saying is I think it is better to treat the finish more gently in the beginning. As the sink ages and gets those tough stains, etc. then pull out the bigger guns. I plan on just using dishwashing liquid for everyday cleaning and a liquid soft scrub type cleaner when needed (or the Kohler liquid cleaner that I talked about in my previous post). Then as the sink ages I'll probably switch to something a bit more abrasive when needed like. I think that if you pull out the "big guns" right from the get go . . . the finish will wear before its time. One thing I know is I won't ever use Comet or Ajax again. I think there are better products like Bon Ami, Soft Scrub and BarKeepers. I'll bet the Kohler liquid cleaner is good too, I just haven't used it very much yet.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:28PM
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My sink prior to the one that was christened last night was a black Kohler 1 + 3/4 bowl sink. It was (and still is gorgeous). I didn't protect it right in the beginning and it got scratched from pots. So I emailed Kohler about what to use. Here is their response:

For surface marks that you cannot feel with your fingernail (silver marks), please use Comet powder or gel (other products are too abrasive). Your pots and pans are softer than the enamel on the sink, so it's the pot material coming off on the sink. Wet sink, sprinkle w/Comet, let 'sit' for 10 minutes or so and scrub with a dishcloth or sponge. For stubborn marks, make a paste of the Comet and water and apply with a cork for leverage and grind in the paste. We also have a wonderful, very new cast iron cleaner that can be purchased by calling 1-800-4-KOHLER (8 oz. bottle, $5.90); it will eventually be available in the stores. Bleach water in a sink is not recommended; bleach causes enamel to become porous and the product will consequently soak up stains more easily. 50:50 vinegar and water solution (keep a sprayer handy) helps to break up calcification and water spots. If there are scratches that can be felt with the fingernail, likely there are rough pots and pans (Calphalon is one brand that admits having a very rough-bottomed style of cookware - or stoneware dishes - or even a favorite coffee cup) with rough undersides that could cause scratching if the basins are not protected (protective accessories are available for each sink and we recommend their use). In this case, we would recommend automotive polishing compound followed by an application of paste wax and getting protective accessories to prevent further problems. You can also visit our website as follows: http://www.us.kohler.com/tech/cast_iron.jsp

(I did the automotive wax, polishing stuff--it really did a nice job!)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:26AM
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I recently installed a Kohler Iron tones smart design sink, and I also bought the Kohler metal racks that fit perfectly into the bottoms of the sinks. Of course, these don't prevent stains, but they do prevent the pot/pan marks. I think they are worth the money to keep the sinks in good condition.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Ceco manufactures many of the Kohler cast iron sink (among others) and they recommend Ajax, Comet, Bon Ami for everyday cleaning. And Barkeepers friend or Zud for stains or pot marks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cast iron sink cleaning

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 1:14PM
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Wow, thanks for all of the great tips. Sue19, I just had an Irontones Smart Divide installed. We're not using the kitchen yet, just waiting for some touch-up paint and electrical work now. I can't believe that I forgot my metal racks! I ordered them so long ago...they're out in the garage w/ the rest of my kitchen stuff. I'm going to have to dig 'em out before dh starts banging up the sink. I'm glad to hear they work well, they were pretty pricey. I figured I had to do everything possible to protect that gorgeous sink :-)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 12:38AM
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I looked at irontones and couldn't find the internal dimensions of each section. Do you like it? sorry to hijack.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 9:01PM
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