Fixing Scratches in an Enameled Cast Iron Sink

Dear Home Ec 101,

I have a fairly new (less than 1 year old) cast iron Kohler sink, it is the shiny black one, the manual recommended using the Kohler cast iron sink cleaner and I have used it regularly and I have used a plastic mat on the bottom of the sink, to try to prevent scratches. Yet I have some minor scratches. Is there any way to safely remove the scratches from my sink without harming the enamel?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Again I LOVE your site and by the way I am hooked on Method products!! Love them!!

Scratched in Scanlon
Heather says:

Take a deep breath, I have good news for you, dollars to donuts those are not actually scratches in your sink. I highly doubt you were sitting there with a chisel and hammer purpose trying to gouge your sink. That’s pretty much what it takes to mar the finish of a quality enamel finish. What you are actually seeing is called a “pot mark” and it’s just a scuff from the sink taking a tiny bit of metal off of your cookware.

It’s a lot like when somebody just barely grazes your car in a crowded parking lot and leaves a bit of their paint on your car. A bit of buffing is all it takes to get rid of their carelessness and it’s pretty much all that is needed here, too.

Go ahead and use the recommended cleaner, but find a cork, perhaps from last night’s wine-braised pot roast? Apply the cleaner full strength to the scratch on the cast iron sink and then use the cork to gently scrub the marks away and your sink will look good as new!

Pot marks will likely become a source of irritation over the years, but at least you now know that you have not¬†inadvertently scratched your shiny, new sink. It’s going to look good as new for a long, long time.

Good luck and please let me know how it turns out.

Oh and thanks for letting me know about Method, I’ll be sure to pass that along.

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  1. says

    I hope your sink is OK, I was nervous just reading about it. I have an ancient stainless steel sink that seems to be able to put up with any and all abuse we can (and do) throw at it!

  2. Mary in mn says

    I have had a cast iron Kohler white sink for 35+years (we remodeled the kitchen once upon a time to fit in a dishwasher) and a cast iron tub that is 50 years old. And it still has a shine on it. I have only used 2 things to clean my sinks/tub/toilet/shower. Bon-Ami cleanser for those scuff marks/ scratches and for whitening them a wet paper towel or rag with a bit of bleach to wipe them down and let sit for a couple of minutes. (NEVER mix the 2 cleaners AND rinse well between them). My fixtures still had their original shine when we sold the house. Clean gentle and things will last for years and look really good too. We had built the house when we married.

  3. Kim says

    I have the same issue with our white Kohler Westhaven apron sink, only several months old. It too is cast iron with enamel finish. From the get go, it tends to embrace what I thought were scratches despite our regular use of a plastic mat to help protect it. Note, however, that glasses and silverware enter the basin from the children, etc. Again, I assumed these were scratches and was concerned we had a flaw with the sink. The sink also easily hold blueberry and coffee stains. We have to quickly clean anything that might stain the sink. Is this normal? I’ve used a baking soda/vinegar mix that seems to lift most the stains. But again, not sure if maybe my sink didn’t get coated/baked correctly? Final question, how often should I deep clean my sink. We do it weekly but there are times I’m traveling and it might go for a few weeks with just a soap/rinse cleaning. Please email a reply : )

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