Kitchen sink bowls come in many different materials. Although enameled cast iron remains an attractive and durable product, many people today are choosing bowls made of stainless steel and other solid surface materials for their added durability and stain resistance.
Bowls are available in Corian, Moenstone, Swanstone, Surrell and other products. The important thing to remember is to follow the manufacturers' cleaning instructions for your bowl. With some of the solid surface materials, scratches can be removed when lightly sanded because the color goes throughout the thickness of the material.
To prolong the life and appearance of enameled cast iron sinks, clean the bowl immediately after use. Use a non-abrasive cleaner. Constant use of abrasive cleaners can eventually wear the finish down. This makes the finish more porous and susceptible to staining. The same thing can also happen with enameled, cast iron tubs over a long period.
Don't allow fruit or vegetable juices or cleaning acids to stand on surfaces. An acid-resisting sink will safely resist lemon, orange, and other citrus fruit juices, tomato juice, mayonnaise, and other vinegar preparations if these are not permitted to remain more than a few hours. A regular enamel finish is not impervious to acids.
Teas and coffee grounds will also stain enameled surfaces if allowed to remain very long. Photographic solutions are even more harmful to enamel and can cause irreparable damage.
When cleaning the sink, use hot water and soap. Water and soap are not as hard on the enameled finish as strong cleaning solutions like washing soda or a gritty abrasive. If a cleaner is used, it should be one that specifically states that it is non-abrasive.