Maintaining Your Bathroom Basin – An Expert Guide

clean bathroom basin
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Maintaining Your Bathroom Basin – An Expert Guide

A shiny new basin looks fantastic in any bathroom and keeping it looking its best is one way of keeping your whole bathroom looking clean, crisp and stylish.

It doesn’t matter how nice your design is or how stylish your bathroom hardware is, if it’s unclean, scratched or even rusty!? It’ll make the whole room feel a bit drab and unpleasant.

Fear not. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to keep your basin looking fantastic and your bathroom looking brand new. Along with some simple tips to help you avoid nasty smells and maintain the perfect functionality of your bathroom sink.

In this guide we’ll answer the following questions. 

If you’re looking for the answer to only a specific question, simply click on it below and you’ll be taken straight to it.

If you have a new bathroom sink from Clickbasin, our basins are designed to be durable and made from materials that are hard-wearing and resistant to stains and other unsightly marks.

Meaning that for the most part. Simply cleaning your basin and taking care of it will be enough to give you a perfect looking basin for years to come.

How do I clean my Bathroom Sink?

Maintaining a shiny, new-looking basin isn’t as difficult as you might think. The key is making sure you have the right equipment for the task. It’s worth investing in a high quality bathroom cleaning agent – one which doesn’t contain any harsh abrasives. If you are particularly sensitive or allergic then it is best to choose one with fewer chemicals in.

A mild detergent will do the job perfectly without causing any damage to the enamel, or your skin. 

Finally a soft sponge – one without a scourer on it, as this can scratch the enamel.

clean wall hung basin

The cleaning itself is as simple as filling your basin with warm soapy water. And, using rubber gloves, gently wiping down the basin with a sponge. Once done, empty the water and give everything a final wipe down before leaving it to dry. Ensure all the detergent has been removed to guarantee a gleaming finish.

Expert Tip 

We would advise against using bleach to clean your basin. As bleach that is washed down the drain can dry out rubber seals – making them brittle. And, will deteriorate any lubricated functionality (such as taps or pop-up wastes), diminishing the longevity of your basin. Bleach can also spoil the finish of any chrome elements of your basin over time.

How often should I clean my basin?

We advocate the little and often approach. It’s better to clean your basins regularly in order to prevent build-up of dirt and grime. You’ll find it much easier to maintain the appearance of your basin if it’s worked into your weekly household cleaning routine.

Leave too much time between cleans, and you’ll find you have to scrub much harder to restore the crisp, clean look that you want.

How to clean a bathroom sink drain - Removing rust from a basin waste.

The sink drain (or waste) should be cleaned as part of your overall basin clean. However as this element is not made of ceramic, glass or stone (as the basin itself usually will be). It can be susceptible to rust stains. 

Rust can be caused by rusty or deteriorated plumbing, pipes and fixtures or by your water supply having a high iron content. If either of these issues persist, then contacting a professional, licensed plumber is advised.

rusty bathroom drain/waste

How to Remove Rust Stains

The obvious option is to use a commercially available rust remover/cleaner. You’ll likely be able to find one of these in your supermarket or local hardware shop’s cleaning aisle.

There are however, a couple of home remedies that should work well too.

For minor rust stains, you may find that you can remove them by using a mixture of lemon juice and salt. To do this, make a paste using salt and enough lemon juice to get a thick consistency. Apply this paste to the stain and leave for 15-20 minutes. Then scrub it off with a rough sponge.

For tougher rust stains and patches, try baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and vinegar. A mix of three parts baking soda to one part vinegar should do the trick. Use a scrub sponge to apply this mixture, before letting it sit for an hour on the rust stain. Then rinse away and the stain should be gone. Though in some, more severe cases, you may need to repeat the process. 

What to do when my bathroom sink is clogged - Bathroom basin is draining slowly.

If your bathroom sink is draining slowly, it could be down to a couple of factors. In most cases, it’s likely just a buildup of hair, soap scum, toothpaste and other grooming products. 

So, before calling out a plumber and spending money you don’t need to, try these tips to see if you can’t unblock it yourself.

Use a Home Concoction

Our old friends baking soda and vinegar can come in handy again here. A classic, tried and tested way of unblocking any drain or waste. Unlike with rust stain removal, this time you want the mix to be 50/50. Half a cup of each will do the job.

The second you mix these together, they’ll start to fizz, so get it poured down your drain as quickly as possible. This fizzing action is what helps remove grime and hair. Let this sit for around an hour, then flush it out with hot water.

Another mixture you can use is baking soda and salt. Again half a cup of each. Pour this into your drain, leave for around 15 minutes and then add boiling water. The three ingredients lead to a fairly aggressive chemical reaction and will unblock more stubborn sink stoppages.

Removing stains from a bathroom basin

Stains can happen. In some cases your bathroom basin is subjected to hair dye, hard water, nail polish and other materials that can turn your beautiful white basin into something a little more dull.

As everyone knows prevention is better than cure. Regularly cleaning your basin as part of your household cleaning routine is advised and will greatly reduce the chance of you ever coming up against this problem.

But it happens, so how do you rectify this?

stained bathroom basin

To get your bathroom basin back to its dazzling best, acidic products such as vinegar and lemon juice are your friends. We advise cleaning the basin in the normal way (see the section above), cleaning away any loose dirt or grime. Then line the sink with paper towels that have been soaked in vinegar. Leave them for at least half an hour, then remove and rub off with a damp cloth. This will restore a clean, white shine and eradicate any limescale deposits too.

You can give your basin a second run, going over problem areas with lemon juice (again leave for 30 minutes). Then wiping the whole thing down with a clean, wet cloth.

How do I fix scratches on my bathroom basin?

Even though basins are manufactured using tough, durable materials that are designed to last for decades, scratches and small nicks can occur and are very noticeable.

If you do see a scratch on your bathroom basin though, it doesn’t mean you have to throw it out or call in a professional. Depending on the type of scratch, you may be able to fix it with some elbow grease and some basic equipment.

Two things that can help are baking soda (yes, again) and a pumice stone – which you’ll find at most hardware stores. It’s important to note that these solutions are for minor scratches and nicks only.

First off, try applying baking soda over the length of the scratch and then buff with a soft, damp cloth. When doing this, make sure you rub the baking soda the full length of the scratch and don’t be shy with the amount of baking soda you use.

A second method involves the pumice stone. Fill your sink with a little water – just enough to completely wet the stone. This is vital, if the stone isn’t drenched it can actually cause more scratches and make the problem worse rather than better. 

Next, scour the scratch with the wet stone to smooth and buff it away.

Why does my bathroom sink smell like a sewer?

Bad smells in your bathroom could come from multiple sources but if you’ve identified that the smell is definitely coming from your bathroom basin, then this is something you can probably fix yourself.

Check for blockages/clogged drains

This is the easiest and quickest fix. See our guide on this above. Unblocking your drain could solve the problem. Once unblocked, if the smell disappears after a day or two then congratulations, job done.

Check Your Trap

A common cause of bad smells coming from your basin is that your trap has stopped working properly. Normally a small amount of water is kept in the trap. This is what stops gases and smells coming up through your basin from the toilet.

round bottle trap
Round Bottle Trap

Check for signs of water on the floor (or cabinet) beneath your trap and run your hand over the length of the pipe to detect any water. Dampness in any of these locations is a sign of a leak.

Usually, this is because the washers have corroded and created a breach. Simply replacing them in this case will fix the problem. Remember to reinforce your work with caulk or plumbers tape.

If you’ve taken these steps and the problem still persists, it’s time to call in a professional, licensed plumber.

How to stop a bathroom sink from leaking.

A bathroom basin leak can be caused by multiple factors and in some cases getting professional, expert help is the best advice. However, here are a couple of things you can try that may fix the problem before resorting to that.

Sometimes a leak can be fixed simply by re-tightening the nut. If the basin was installed without the use of Plumbers Putty or other similar sealant, this could be causing the leak. 

Finally, check the gasket or rubber sealing washer is completely flat as this could also be causing water to escape.

If everything is tightened and flat and as it should be and the leaking persists. The next stage would be to remove the bathroom sink drain outlet, flanges, drainpipes and all the parts to inspect for cracks and damage. However, if you’re unsure about doing this or don’t know how to refit these items. Then getting a professional will be your best and safest option.


Maintaining your bathroom basin to keep it looking great and functioning perfectly is usually as simple as keeping it clean (using the right products) and unblocked. This alone will give your basin years and years of use, whilst retaining it’s shiny new look.

That said, things happen and sometimes stains, rust, smells and leaks can occur. Hopefully this article has gone some way to helping. 

About the Author

Deborah Basins Expert

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.