Do farmhouse sinks stain? The Surprising Answer

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Farmhouse sinks are beautiful, but they're also a bit of an unknown commodity. They're a newer fad in home interior and design, which means there's a lot of mystery surrounding them and how they function.

In this article, I'm going to answer this frequently asked question: Do farmhouse sinks stain?

Let's start with the short and simple answer.

Do farmhouse sinks stain?

The short answer is that farmhouse sinks made of fireclay (many of which are) can stain if not cleaned properly. Particularly if you have a white or even lightly colored fireclay farmhouse sink, it can stain and be virtually impossible to clean.

Even the top farmhouse sinks can't withstand foods with dark coloring like blueberries or black coffee.

These can quickly cause subtle (or obvious) stains and blemishes in the material that are hard to get out.

Copper and stainless steel are far less likely to stain, though there are less farmhouse sinks made of that material. Even then, stainless steel and copper and more likely to scratch. We'll talk more about these later.

Our Experience

There are two areas of our farmhouse sink that we noticed getting stained the most. First, the area directly around the sink hole where the garbage disposal flange rests seems to get hit the worst. This is likely a combination of water marks and simply being the spot that food is most often dumped in.


We notice staining in the four corners of the sink bowl where food and water often sit without get washed away or wiped down.

It seemed that in our case, "water damage" certainly played a role, though that was harder to identify than problems caused directly by food staining.

How to Prevent Staining in Fireclay Farmhouse Sinks

The best and simplest way to prevent staining in a farmhouse sink is to simply rinse it out often and wipe it down with a rag or wash cloth. While there are cleaning agents you can purchase, I've found that it's usually effective if you're just diligent about adhering to the following best practices:

  1. Never leave idle water in your farmhouse sink
  2. Dry off the sink when possible
  3. Avoiding leaving dark-colored food in your farmhouse sink for extended lengths of time

In terms of dark-colored food, here are a few items I've noticed to leave a staining pigment that looked like they would stick if left unattended:

  1. Blueberries
  2. Raspberries/Blackberries
  3. Black coffee
  4. Tomato-based sauces
  5. Green smoothies
  6. Kool aid/certain kids drinks

In other words, preventing a fireclay farmhouse sink from staining is mostly a matter of common sense. Clean it out, dry it, and don't leave food sitting. If you follow these simple steps, you aren't likely to have any noticeable stains or surface damage.

What about stainless steel and copper?

I mentioned stainless steel and copper farmhouse sinks earlier.

Do farmhouse sinks stain if they're made of this material? Usually no. However you can have issues with rust and scratching, which means the solution is once again to keep the bowl clean and dry as often as possible.

In my experience, while the fireclay can stain, I've always thought it looked nicer than the steel or copper.

Plus, I'd rather deal with staining than scratching and potentially rust.

That's just my opinion though.


In conclusion: Do farmhouse sinks stain?

Yes, unfortunately they do.

However, there are ways to prevent it that don't cost you a ton of time or energy. It's really just a matter of your willingness to keep things clean and maintain good kitchen-hygiene. Once again, it's especially important for a fireclay farmhouse sink, so make a note of these best practices:

  1. Use a garbage disposal for quicker removal of food waste
  2. Make sure dark-colored food doesn't sit in your sink for too long
  3. When you clean your sink, make sure you also dry it out as much as possible (avoid sitting water)

Of you have questions, feel free to leave those in the comments section below, or to simply share your own experience with farmhouse sinks and stain prevention.

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