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How to Care For and Clean Ceramic Bathroom Basins

By Deborah | January 25, 2022

5 mins read | How to Guides

Why do bathroom sinks need cleaning?

This is the question asked by my teenager daughter. Her argument being that hot soapy water is running in and out of the basin all the time, why did she need to clean it after she’d used it.

Dirty Ceramic Sink
Dirty SInk Dirty Waste and Overflow

Every basin needs to be cleaned regularly. Soap scum, residue toothpaste and spit (yuck) will stay and lie on the surface of the sink unless it is thoroughly swilled out and dried off after each use. 

Added to that, are the natural minerals, including the dreaded limescale of hard water areas, which are in the water and will deposit on the surface of the basin and waste plug if left to dry naturally.

Furthermore, the waste plug, overflow channel and bottletrap will all benefit from cleaning regularly to reduce smells and blockages.

The Effect of Limescale in Hard Water areas on Bathroom Basins

Limescale around Basin Plughole
Limescale around Basin Plughole

Hardwater staining in basins is very common. It is a build up of the calcium in hard water which has dried (evaporated) off the basin surface leaving this mineral behind. As this sits there and builds, it gets stained from the dirty water as the basin is used, giving it this yellowish brown colour.

The harder the water the quicker and heavier this will appear. You can check the hard water level of where you live here.

Cleaning Limescale Residue from Bathroom Basins

Here are a couple of tried and tested methods to remove limescale deposits from your bathroom basin

To agitate the build up, first give the area a good scrub with an old toothbrush or nail brush. Then use a vinegar mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Leave this sitting in the basin for up to an hour or so before giving the area another brush and then cleaning with warm water to rinse away the deposits. 

For thicker, more stubborn areas of limescale pour pure white vinegar over them, rather than diluted and leave for 3-4 hours or overnight if needed, again rinsing thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue.

Bathroom Waste Plug
clean and sparkling waste plug

Handy Bathroom Tip

When the vinegar and water solution is standing in the basin, in the final 15 minutes add any small items that need cleaning into the water, such as your soap tray or toothpaste cup.

Let everything sit for the 15 minutes, then drain the sink, rinse and dry the items. This vinegar-water mixture is non-toxic, plus the acidity of the vinegar easily cuts through lime deposits and soap scum. It also evaporates quickly, leaving everything clean and shiny

Wipe over the sink and any remaining water with a dry cloth. .

Cleaning and Caring for Bathroom Ceramic Basins

cleaning basin
Avoid bending over a low sink with a wall hung vanity cabinet

You can clean most bathroom sinks using a general bathroom cleaning spray and a soft cloth.  These products are designed for ceramic basins and therefore are ideal. If you would prefer a more gentle option, use mild dish detergent or white vinegar mixed with water to cut through grime.

Keep an old toothbrush or another small, soft-bristled brush for scrubbing around the basin and waste drain.

Ideally the basin should be cleaned everyday and good practice is to spray, wipe out and dry the basin each night after your bedtime wash routine.

Cleaning the Overflow

Some basins will have an internal overflow which is used to avoid the basin overflowing if the tap was left on by accident. This is an open hole to the drains and can get smelly if the drains block. It is also an area where bacteria can build.  A spray of bleach or anti bac will help to keep on top of this and keep the area clean.

If it does seem blocked or particularly smelly then hot water and a sink cleaner or small bottle brush to clear the channel will do the trick. 

An alternative method for dealing with stubborn smells or blockages:

funnel 1 cup of baking soda into the overflow followed by

1 cup of white vinegar

Let is fizz away for 15 or so minutes before funnelling very hot water into the overflow.

It goes without saying to take extra care not to scold yourself when doing the final flushing.

Internal Basin Overflow

Cleaning the Waste, Waste Pipe & Bottletrap

Hair, soap, toothpaste, foams and shavings are just some of the things which will regularly washed down the waste plug. These can quickly build up causing slow draining of the basin and it becoming very smelly.

Open up the screw part at the bottom of the bottletrap to remove and clean. This is the round part at the bottom – it will undo and makes for easy cleaning.

Bottletrap waste
Dirty bottletrap
Dirty bottletrap

Basin bottletraps can get bound very quickly with hair and soapscum. Also heavier items such as jewellery or in my case teenage daughter’s hair clips can be found and rescued.

Although I’ve not tried it, I have heard that a good trick to clean out any limescale build up in the waste and bottletrap pipes is to empty a 2 litre bottle of coke (NOT DIET) into the basin and leave for at least 4 hours, although overnight is best if you are able to. The cola contains phosphoric acid which is effective in breaking down limescale. Run the tap in the morning to flush out and debris which has lifted and it should be left gleaming.

About Clickbasin

Clickbasin is a family-owned, professionally run company that specialises in the highest quality bathroom basins, bathroom vanity units, cabinets and all the associated accessories.

Our aim is to provide the best quality products and the highest quality service possible. From countertop basins to bathroom cabinets and bathroom mirrors, every product we stock, we’re proud to sell it under the Clickbasin brand.

We value our business and our customers, it’s something we’re proud of and we hope this is reflected in the personal, polite and professional service we provide.

About the Author

Deborah Heardman

Deborah is an expert in bathroom basins and storage solutions, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Since joining Clickbasin, Deborah has become an enthusiast for all things bathroom and a trusted authority on the topic.