How to Clean a Bathroom Sink and Keep It Looking Pristine

Wash away grime and maintain a spotless sink with these simple cleaning strategies.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

In the time between your morning and night routines, your bathroom sink gathers all sorts of gross buildup. Blobs of toothpaste, makeup spills, soapy residue, hard-water spots, and more, can collect throughout the day, creating some serious grime that can't just be rinsed away when you wash your hands. A daily wipe-down with a damp cloth or a cleaning-solution 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 odors with the help of an effective bathroom cleaner and a bit of gentle scrubbing. Learn how to clean a bathroom sink, including the drain and faucet. With our guide to quick cleaning, even in a busy bathroom, a pristine sink is possible.

double sink blue vanity bathroom mirrors above
Jim Franco

How to Clean Different Types of Sinks

The best way to clean your bathroom sink will depend on its 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 ones made from stainless steel, copper, or bronze, require gentle cleaning with mild dish detergent and water, or a cleaner designed for the specific type of metal, which will prevent scratches.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Cleaning a Bathroom Sink

  • Cleaning cloths

Cleaning the Bathroom Sink Drain

  • Wire hanger

Cleaning the Bathroom Faucet

  • Cleaning cloth
  • Soft toothbrush


Cleaning a Bathroom Sink

  • Hot water
  • Dish detergent
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Bathroom surface cleaner (optional)
  • Disinfectant spray

Cleaning the Bathroom Sink Drain

  • Hydrogen peroxide

Cleaning the Bathroom Faucet

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Vinegar (optional)


How to Clean a Bathroom Sink

For an easy bathroom cleaning trick, let your cleaning water do the work.

  1. Fill the Sink and Add Cleaning Solution

    Fill your sink with a few inches of hot water and add some dish detergent, or a cup or two of white vinegar.

  2. Scrub the Sink and Countertop

    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.

    If you opt to use the vinegar-water mixture, it's 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. Alternatively, you can use your favorite bathroom surface cleaner. To break down the grime, spray the entire surface of the sink basin, and let it sit for about 30 seconds before you wipe it with a clean cloth.

  3. Drain and Dry

    Drain the sink. Dry the items you've soaked and use a dry cloth to wipe off the sink and any remaining water.

  4. Disinfect the Sink

    To disinfect the sink, use a disinfectant spray and thoroughly wet the surface. Wait at least 10 minutes before wiping the solution 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.

  1. Rinse the Stopper and Drain

    Remove the drain stopper, discard any debris that's collected, and rinse the stopper before replacing it. This will help prevent small bits of debris from building up in the drain. Maintaining a clean drain will also prevent your bathroom from unwanted odors. Bacteria in the drain grow worse over time and could be to blame for a stinky bathroom.

  2. Remove Any Clogs

    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, noncorrosive pipe cleaner, or a household cleaner like hydrogen peroxide, to flush out the drain.

close-up sink and mirror small bathroom with blue wallpaper
Jay Wilde

How to Clean the Bathroom Faucet

When cleaning a bathroom faucet, be sure to use a cleaning method that's suitable for the faucet's material.

  1. Wash the Faucet

    Mix the dish soap and water. Wipe the faucet with a cleaning cloth, then dry.

  2. Remove Any Buildup

    For stubborn buildup, wipe down the surfaces using a cloth dipped in a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Dip a soft toothbrush into the solution to scrub around the edges. Finish by wiping the faucet with a clean, dry cloth, which will prevent water spots and make the surface shine.

Best Cleaning Tools for Bathroom Sinks

You can clean most bathroom sinks using a general bathroom cleaning spray 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 or a stack of clean cloths nearby, so you can easily wipe out the sink basin each night.

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