How is Bleach Harmful to Porcelain?

Few fixtures in a home match the beauty of porcelain, but its elegance can be marred by stains, soap scum, and scuffs. With gentle cleaning methods, these blemishes can be easily removed to leave behind shiny porcelain surfaces.

Daily maintenance is the key to keeping your porcelain fixtures looking their best. While mild soap and water can remove most smudges and stains, there may be times when more heavy-duty cleaners are needed. Before turning to harsh chemical cleansers, learn how is bleach harmful to porcelain so you can choose a safe and effective alternative.

Regularly wipe down your porcelain sink with warm water and liquid soap to keep it gleaming. This is a simple step that can help prevent hard-water stains, as well as the build-up of food and toothpaste residue. Scrub the surface of your sink with a non-abrasive sponge to remove stubborn stains and deposits when necessary.

If a gentler cleaner isn’t up to the task, squirt a small amount of an abrasive cleanser like Bar Keepers Friend (available at Walmart for $2.47 for 26 ounces) into your sink and scrub the surface with a non-abrasive cleaner, such as a scouring pad or nylon brush. This product contains oxalic acid, which is an effective stain fighter. However, it can etch and discolor your porcelain if used too frequently, so only use this option when other cleaners have failed.

Avoid harsh chemicals like acetone, muriatic acid, and salt, as they can damage the smooth glaze of your porcelain sink and leave behind scratches. These harsher cleansers can also dissolve the grout that holds your porcelain tiles together, leading to moisture build-up and unsightly mold and mildew growth.

While baking soda and borax are gentler alternatives to chemical cleansers, they can still scratch your porcelain sink or tub, especially if you’re not careful. These household staples are also known for causing discoloration and dulling of your porcelain.

If you’re looking for a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to bleach, try hydrogen peroxide. Apply a thin coating of this white vinegar-based solution to your sink and allow it to sit for an hour or so. Then, rinse the sink to reveal a bright, streak-free, and bleach-free surface. However, only use this method on a completely clean sink since hydrogen peroxide will react with any other cleaning solutions or detergents. It’s also important to wear rubber gloves and a mask when using this solution since it creates a gas that’s harmful to your stomach lining, lungs, and eyes. It can also corrode metal, including some stainless steel pipes, so don’t use it around your sink or bathtub fixtures that aren’t made of porcelain. If you do decide to use this cleaning method, make sure your bathroom or kitchen is well-ventilated and always apply the product in a well-lit area.