Restoring Your Solid Surface Sink
Solid surface acrylic resin countertops have captured the hearts of homeowners for years. Along with these countertops came solid surface sinks. These sinks are typically mounted under-mount but may also be integrated directly into the countertop. Another variety of solid surface sinks are top-mounted.
Solid surface acrylic resin sinks and countertops are made by different companies and have various names such as Corian, Wilsonart, Formica, Avonite, Staron, and so on. These acrylic resin materials are not the same as quartz solid surfacings such as Cambria or Zodiac.
As much as these solid surface materials provide an option to granite tops and stainless steel sinks, they lose their luster over time and use. Sometimes the solid surface tops can crack and need repairing, but most often the sinks just become dull-looking and dingy.
Michael Chotiner, a master carpenter and writer, explained that if you find that you want to look for a new kitchen sink, you can try big-box home improvement centers that carry a wide variety of sink options.
To restore your solid surface sink back to its original luster, all you need is:
- An abrasive cleaner such as Comet, Ajax, or Bar Keepers Friend
- An abrasive pad
- A small bristle brush
DuPont says to use an ammonia-based cleaner, others recommend Soft Scrub, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or baking soda, and salt.
Gather Required Supplies
Gather the recommended items:
- An abrasive cleaner with bleach
- Scotch-Brite yellow/green sponge
- Scotch-Brite abrasive pad (if you need deep cleaning)
- A small plastic bristled brush
You can also use some Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Greener Clean pads, which are made with agave fiber and are supposed to be more environmentally friendly than their standard product.
Spread the Cleaning Powder
Wet the sink and spread Comet with bleach all over the sink basins. Leave the wet powder on the surface for a couple of hours so the bleach will have some time to act on the caked-on food gunk.
Scrub the Sink With Cleanser
Scrub with the green Scotch-Brite backing on the sponge (wear gloves), then apply the bleach cleanser in two layers and scrub with the heavy-duty brown scrub pad.
In the case shown here, you will see a problem that could not be scrubbed away, namely scratches to the left of the drain.
Scrub Sink With Brush
Continue working with the scrub brush, which should get most of the residual staining from the seam around the drain.
Deep Scratch Repair: Sanding
If you face deep scratches, use a finishing sander and sand out the scratches.
Start with 400-grit paper and see if that works. If not, continue with more aggressive grits, even to the point of 60-grit.
Deep Scratch Repair: Grooving the Sink
To tackle deep scratches, fit an old rotary tool with an aluminum oxide bit to polish out the dark scratches. Try cleaning away the dark deposits within the scratches with denatured alcohol. Finally, fit the rotary tool with a diamond cutting wheel and cut a 1/8-inch-deep groove right on the dark marks. Work carefully, and it’ll remove the last of the scratches, but you’ll need to fill them in.
Deep Scratch Repair: Epoxy Fill the Repair Groove
Mix a two-part epoxy filler and work it into the grooves with a putty knife, leaving the filler a little bit higher than the sink surface. Once the filler is cured, go back to sanding—first with 80-grit paper to knock the filler down flush with the surface, then working with progressively finer abrasives up to 200-grit to restore the sink finish.
Once final sanding is complete your sink should look as good as new. After you’ve gone to this effort to restore your solid-surface sink, maintain it by regularly cleaning it with an abrasive cleaner and pad. It’ll be much easier if you keep up with it rather than dealing with two (or more) years of build-up all at once down the road.