How to Clean a Stained Utility Sink

filed in:
Share the ♥︎

If you have a utility sink in your laundry room or garage, there’s a good chance you may think it’s beyond repair from the stains that have beautifully graced it. For example, we use ours for washing out paint brushes, tools from our home projects and our own hands when they’re too messy to use the regular sink. Over time it has created a very dirty sink that now has layers of paint and other materials.

After sharing on Instagram, I was relieved to find out I wasn’t the only one with this problem. It’s so easy to think that the utility sink is meant for a messy cleanup, therefore it’s okay for it to be a mess itself. But no more! I decided to devote some time in cleaning this sink to see if it could be saved before we looked into purchasing a new one. Not only did I get it clean, but it almost looks like a brand new sink!

Wondering how in the world this was possible? I’m so excited to share how I did it so we all can take back control with our utility sinks. Please keep in mind our utility sink is made of a plastic material and handled the products we used very well. Always check to see if your sink can handle the suggestions below. Here’s the how to.

**Affiliate links are used in this post. Thank you SO much for your support. It allows me to keep bringing you great content.

What You’ll Need

Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser
Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser
Steel wool in 0000 
Putty Knife
Optional: Razor Blade Scraper

The How-To

Before you even apply any cleaner, you’ll want to use your putty knife and scrape off anything that you can from the utility sink. The more, the better!

Once you’ve scraped and then scraped some more, you’ll apply a generous amount of Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser to the areas that need to be scrubbed clean. Make sure you’re wearing gloves for this part! Apply a little bit of water and move the liquid around to cover the area.

Take your steel wool and start scrubbing in a circular motion. Don’t be afraid to scrub hard! Rule of thumb, is that once the suds from the cleaner start to turn brown, it’s time to rinse.

You’ll repeat this process until the entire area is clean. If you’re sink is very stubborn and beyond dirty like ours was, we used a razor blade scrapper to help remove the really tough paint stains. The image below is what our sink looked like after cleaning it twice. It took a total of 5 times to get it fully cleaned.

We then used the Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser to get what was remaining after the soft cleanser wasn’t working to get those spots. The powdered cleanser is also best to use on rust spots!

That’s it! It truly is as simple as these steps to have a brand new looking utility sink. All it takes is a lot of elbow grease and patience to remove all the stains and dried paint. I’d love for you to share your before and after with us so we can celebrate not having to buy a new utility sink after all!

And let me just say this, if you have never tried Bar Keepers Friend, you’re about to discover the magical work this product can do throughout your home. It’s a staple cleaning product you need to add to your cleaning bucket. You can thank me later !

Want to see more of the laundry room? You can see our original design board for the space, our first update and how we added peel and stick tile to the wall.

Let’s keep in touch! 
We have a brand new community over on Facebook, House & Home, where we’ll be chatting, sharing, and helping one another when it comes to home decor and projects. Come join us! Check it out here.  
Like on Facebook || Follow on Instagram || Follow on Pinterest

  1. Danny D says:

    Worked great! 23 yrs of different color paints, and muck came off in a little over an hour.

  2. Claudia M. says:

    Good info here…thanks! In my last house…built in the late 1920’s….I had a beautiful…and I mean PRISTINELY GORGEOUS porcelain laundry sink in the basement…..I cried when we left – that sink was a piece of art!! And no – we couldn’t remove it to travel to the newest “old home” in our long line of houses.

  3. annie says:

    So I started the process and it wasn’t going well. Enter the razor blade scraper. and now my sink is like new. Thank you!

  4. LaToya says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I am so glad I found your post. I’m 3 days from getting a new washer and dryer and begged my husband for a knee utility sink, which he quickly stated we didn’t need. Less than $10 later I have a more eye-pleasing sink.

  5. Ursula says:

    Thank you for sharing this, you saved me some good money not having to replace our sink!
    I regret not taking a pic of before/after but it was definitely a HUGE change! Thanks!

  6. Karen says:

    My sink was so bad that I was embarrassed to take pictures. Some scraping and cleaning with the powdered Bar Keeper, the sink looks wonderful. Thank you for the guidance.

  7. Carol says:

    Thank you for your information on how to clean a utility sink. My sink before was even worse than yours. It is now sparkling clean, saving me $60.00 in replacement costs.

  8. betty says:

    where can you get Bar Keepers Products. We are in Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.