the enameled kitchen sink

by | Jul 10, 2018 | All Things Home, Kitchen, My House | 25 comments

The boys are in a sports day camp this week and that means I actually have concentrated, uninterrupted time to work!  I know so many can relate to the challenges that come with trying to run a business from home while the kids are home all day.  I regularly feel torn between doing mom-stuff and doing work-stuff, so it’s nice to be able to focus on work when they are off having fun and then I can focus on them when they get home.  I am taking advantage of this time and already started working on the butler’s pantry, so that should be done later this week.

Until then, I thought I would share more details on my new cast-iron sink.  We selected the Riverby Undermount Cast Iron Sink by Kohler.  (As an FYI, this was a sink I purchased, not a part of a blog sponsorship or review.)

As I shared in THIS POST, I was looking for a rectangular shaped sink that was white cast iron.  I really liked that the previous sink had one large basin and one small one, but I wasn’t able to find one that was a more traditional rectangular shape, so I went with one that had two basins that are the same size.

First off the sink looks beautiful with the counters.   It makes me happy every time I’m washing my hands or rinsing off some produce.

And I have found a pretty sink to be good motivation to stay on top of the dishes!

I had a white enamel sink in our last house (before we replaced it with a stainless steel under-mount when we installed our butcher block counters), so I know they can scratch and stain if not cared for properly.  For that reason, I am babying this sink…within reason.

I bought the Kohler cast iron sink cleaner, since it’s formulated specifically for enameled cast iron.  I’m sure any gentle cleanser would do the trick, but I don’t want to risk etching the enamel with something that’s too harsh.

(Jeff and I were laughing at the photo on that bottle.  It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a couple of decades.)

Most of the time, I just rinse it with water, but I’ve been scrubbing it with the cleaner and sponge about once a week and that seems to do the trick.

I have also used the protective metal grates on both sides of the sink.  It’s a little cumbersome at times when silverware falls through the spaces, but it’s a small thing to deal with knowing that the sink is guarded from scratches and chips.

Again, babying within reason.

We do live in this house and cereal bowls are going to get chucked in there as boys rush to get ready for school in the morning, so the grates will allow for that, but protect the sink.

So far, it’s looking great!  We’ll see how it does over time.



Any tips from veteran enameled cast iron sink owners?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Arlene

    Soft Scrub with Bleach and a nylon scrubby. Been using it on ours for the past 28 years and it still looks great.

    • Marian Parsons

      Great! I was wondering about that cleaner, but was worried the bleach would slowly remove the shine. You haven’t experienced that, though?

      • Justin

        Soft Scrub is generally safe on most surfaces. In fact, it’s one of the only things I know of that will get Kool-Aid and similar stains out of Formica without ruining it. 😉

        I will say that if you’re going to use a scrubby sponge, make sure it’s the blue scotch-brite, not the green/yellow one. The blue ones are made for Teflon pans and won’t scratch. The green/yellow (as I found out with my brand-new stainless sink) will scratch quite easily.

        BTW, my new sink came with the metal grate…a huge one for the big oversized double-bowl. I got tired of it collecting bits of food underneath that wouldn’t flush out (we have a garbage disposal, so food gets in there) and cleaning the big thing was a pain. So I replaced it with a plastic bath mat with a hole cut for the drain. It’s not perfect, but I find it easier to clean than the grates and it can go right into the dishwasher if/when it gets really grimy. I think they make actual sink mats for the double-bowl sinks like yours.

        • Marian Parsons

          Yes, I’m using a no-scratch sponge to scrub it. 🙂

      • Arlene

        No I haven’t had a problem with the shine, just some scuffing from normal wear and tear, but it’s been in for 28 years! My sink gets lots of abuse, with pots and pans, my canner, iron skillets, you name it. I love how it cleans right up and looks new again!! I use Rubbermaid plastic mats in mine. I use soft scrub for everything – love it! Have ruined a few shirts with it though – be careful! I pick up crocheted scrubbers from craft shows made out of nylon netting. That’s the only thing I use on my sink. Great for bath tubs too.

  2. Sue

    Beautiful and classic! Although I am drawn to the farmhouse style apron sinks, I am going more towards a timeless look and this sink fits that esthetic.

  3. Mary

    I use Bar Keepers Friend. Sometimes the liquid and sometimes the powder. I have just used baking soda at times. Sometimes I use a Clorox based cleaner right around the drain. I have a frying pan that scraps the inside edge of the sink when I lay it in there and it leaves a black mark. Sometimes it will come right off with the Bar Keepers Friend and sometimes I have to use a pumice stone if I don’t clean it right away. I actually dropped a heavy, ceramic crock pot on the edge of the sink and chipped part of it off. There was a day when that would have made me sick but I’m totally fine with it now. Mine is ten years old and other than the chip it looks amazing.

    • Marian Parsons

      Good to know! I have some of the cream Bar Keeper’s Friend to use on my stainless steel pots and pans.

  4. Joanne B

    Looks beautiful but i remember the white cast iron sink my Mom had from her home built in the 50’s. It would require her to use Comet to scrub to remove the dull gray scratches from silverware and dishes. I have a stainless steel sink and opted for soft rubberized sink pads that protect the sink nicely. Mine are a gray color and when I want a sleek clean look (and there is a chance there wont be a dish put in the sink soon- ha ha ha – who am i kidding?) I am able to fold up the pads and stick them under the sink until needed. Here’s something along this idea is white: Because these sit right on the sink surface there is less chance silverware can fall through the grate of the one you have now.

  5. Deborah L Pelton

    Hi, Marian, bes dutiful sink! I had a double basin, also Kohler, sink for quite a few years through 2 rough boys and 8 day-ever kids and it did pretty well. My one thought for you is to be careful of the top edge of the divider. That can become chipped pretty easily. You can buy a rubber protector for it and I liked it when I was cleaning my great big enameled cast iron pans. Just an idea. Enjoy!

  6. katybee

    Growing up we had enameled cast iron sinks and my mother always used Bon Ami. I still do. Their motto is “hasn’t scratched yet” with a newly hatched chick on the label. it’s a very mild abrasive and non toxic as well.

  7. Vicki

    Bon Ami is the best,as it says on the canister will never scratch. Also if you have a stubborn stain..mix some laundry detergent and oxy clean fill sink with warm water,add your mix and stir,then let it sit over night…sparkles! Looks awesome!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh yeah! I used to use Bon Ami, but I haven’t bought it in ages. It’s not always easy to find. I’ll see if I can hunt that down when I need some more cleaner.

  8. Nancy

    My very large cast iron white kitchen sink is original to my 1937 home. It doesn’t have a scratch on it and looks almost brand new. My original bathtub is also in mint condition. Both were made by the Kohler Co. I am only the second owner of this home and bought it in 1984. I hate to think of every leaving my kitchen sink. I don’t have a dishwasher (the kitchen is too small) and I cook every day. For the last ten years, my husband has been the designated dishwasher and I have to remind him to take care of my precious sink. I usually clean it with porcelain stove cleaner once a week. Pot scratches come off easily with a Magic eraser. This sink is the best advertisement for Kohler. It is 81 years old. Kohler was founded in 1873.

    • Marian Parsons

      Wow! What an amazing think to have a sink that old in such nice condition. Also, thanks for the tip on the Magic Eraser. I would’ve thought that might be too harsh for the enamel, but glad to know it’ll get the pot scratches out.

  9. Christina

    I soak my kids stained clothes in hot water and a scoop of oxyclean for a few hours. When you drain the water, your clothes are clean and your coffee and berry stained white sink looks new again. I have a chip in the center divider from previous owners, so that’s good advice about the rubber mat to protect that part.

    • Marian Parsons

      That is a good tip! I’ll look into something to protect the center, because I’ve noticed that is the spot that gets the most contact, since it’s sticking up.

  10. Jennifer

    Marianne, I had to laugh when this post showed up. My husband and I are in the middle of a kitchen remodel. We have also always had the 60/40 sink. They have been impossible to find. We saw one by Kohler that we loved but nobody had one in stock. After over 20 or 30 phone calls we finally learned That the factory that puts the enamel coating on sinks burned and no new sinks are being made right now. You have to buy what is in stock. I found one by a French company, Rohl. It is fireclay which what many farmhouse sinks are made from. Ours is under mount. You better believe I will be babying mine as well.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, why are those sinks so hard to find! The design is so functional. I’d say ours was about a 70/30 split and I liked having that large basin and then a smaller wash sink.

  11. Catherine

    We put in the identical sink last year. I love the two bowls! So far it looks great; I clean it with Bartender’s Secret and that seems to be working fine.?

  12. Taria

    I think I mentioned before I was warned not to use bleach on my beautiful new white Kohler sink. I use their cleaner and Barkeeper’s friend and am able to get out even the coffee stains around the drains. The grates are in my sinks too. I love those. Nothing prettier than a clean white sink in the kitchen. I am not a fan of stainless steel.

  13. Michele

    I use baking soda … ?

  14. Stephanie

    I was a kitchen designer for 10 years and love the Kohler cast iron sinks. I have had mine for a long time and I just use a regular Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I’ve never had a problem with it. And it is so shiny when I’m done! Just an FYI…

  15. Mandy

    I am surprised you went back to white after not liking your old white one and having purchased the stainless steel one in your old home. But man it sure is beautiful! I’m buying one and just can’t decide and am reading all your blogs to try to decide! My kitchen is not as spotless as yours so maybe stainless for me?! ?

  16. Kimberly

    We are getting ready for a kitchen remodel and I had saved the link to your sink from when you first published this post. Now that a good amount of time has gone by I wondered how your sink is holding up and if you would buy it again?


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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