In the time between your morning and nighttime routines, your bathroom sink gathers all sorts of gross buildup. Blobs of toothpaste, makeup spills, soapy residue, hard water spots, and more can collect on the surface throughout the day, creating some serious grime that can't simply be rinsed away when you wash your hands. A daily wipe-down with a damp cloth or a cleaning wipe can help deter some of the worst gunk, but you should plan to do a deeper clean about once a week. For a truly spot-free sink, you'll need to tackle bacteria, stains, and unpleasant smells with the help of an effective bathroom cleaner and a bit of scrubbing. Learn how to clean a bathroom sink, including the drain and faucet, using our guide below. Even in a busy bathroom, a pristine sink is possible with these quick cleaning tips.
Best Cleaning Tools for Bathroom Sinks
You can clean most bathroom sinks using a general bathroom cleaning spray ($3, Target) and a soft cloth. For a gentler option, use mild dish detergent or distilled white vinegar mixed with water to cut through grime. You might also need an old toothbrush or another small, soft-bristled brush for scrubbing around the faucet and drain. For everyday cleaning, keep a container of multi-surface cleaning wipes ($3, Target) or a stack of clean cloths nearby so you can easily wipe out the sink basin each night.
However, the best way to clean your bathroom sink will depend on the material. For ceramic or porcelain sinks, avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools like scouring pads and stiff-bristled brushes, as these could scratch the surface. Bathroom sinks crafted from natural stone should only be cleaned using a mild dish detergent and water or a stone cleaner specifically made for the material. To avoid pitting or other damage to the surface, never use abrasive tools, harsh cleaning products, or acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice to clean these sinks. Metal bathroom sinks, including those made from stainless steel, copper, or bronze, require gentle cleaning with mild dish detergent and water or a cleaner designed for the type of metal to prevent scratches.
How to Clean a Bathroom Sink
For an easy bathroom cleaning trick, let your cleaning water do the work. Fill your sink with a few inches of hot water and add some dish detergent or a cup or two of white vinegar. Rub the mixture around the faucet. Dip a cloth into the water and wipe down the countertop. Then toss small items that need cleaning into the water, such as your soap tray or toothpaste cup. Let everything sit at least 10 minutes, then drain the sink and rinse and dry the items. Wipe off the sink and any remaining water with a dry cloth. 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.
Otherwise, you can use your favorite bathroom surface cleaner to clean the sink. Spray the entire surface of the sink basin and let it sit about 30 seconds to break down grime before wiping with a clean cloth. To disinfect the sink basin, use a disinfectant spray ($3, Target) to thoroughly wet the surface. Wait at least 10 minutes to allow for disinfection before wiping away.
How to Clean the Bathroom Sink Drain
The drain is the most important part of the sink to clean. To prevent a clog, aim to clean your bathroom sink drain weekly. Remove the drain stopper, discard any debris that has collected, and rinse the stopper before replacing it. This will help stop small debris from building up in the drain over time. Maintaining a clean drain will also prevent your bathroom from unwanted smells. Bacteria in the drain grow worse over time and could be to blame for a stinky bathroom.
If you're dealing with a slow drain, remove the stopper and use the end of a wire hanger to clear away as much of the clog as you can. If the clog remains, try using a biodegradable, non-corrosive pipe cleaner ($12, Target) or a household cleaner like hydrogen peroxide to flush out the drain.
How to Clean the Bathroom Sink Faucet
When cleaning a bathroom sink faucet, be sure to use a cleaning method that's suitable for the faucet's material. In most cases, dish soap, water, and a cleaning cloth provide the best way to clean bathroom faucets. For stubborn buildup, use a cloth dipped in a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to wipe down the surface. Dip a soft toothbrush into the solution to scrub around the edges. Finish by wiping the faucet with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots and make the surface shine.