Q.We have a Blanco kitchen sink, not stainless steel, but made of a composite material, it has a circular burn mark made by standing a very hot saucepan in it. Could you please suggest how the burn mark could be removed?
(Mr George Pearce, 24 September 2008)
A.Without knowing the exact materials the composite sink is made of, it can be difficult to advise on the best stain removal procedures or if stain removal is possible at all. However, there are a few things worth trying:
Unfortunately, burn stains will often not simply “wipe off” or wash out like many other stains, as it is essentially damage to the surface of the material in question. (However, you can try rubbing lemon juice, which acts on as a mild bleach, on the stain first to see if it DOES come off with simply rubbing). Therefore, a better option may be to remove the damaged surface layer by gentle abrasion, thereby revealing a fresh surface which looks similar to the rest of the sink. This may result in a slight indentation in the area of the stain but is probably less noticeable and preferable to the unsightly stain from the burn mark itself.
A good, simple, DIY home abrasive is a paste made up of baking soda and water. Using an old toothbrush or similar soft-bristled brush, gently rub the paste onto the stain and see if you can “rub” some of the stain out. Baking soda also has a mild bleaching effect, which should help to lessen the colour of the stain.
Another abrasive you can try is very fine grain sandpaper (e.g.. 1,000 or 1,200 grit) – used wet – to gently rub away the stain. This is used very effectively on burn stains on marble so should also work well for sinks made of similar natural stone or their composites.
Alternatively, you can opt for camouflage and see if you can find suitable paint or nail polish of a matching colour (although this may not work if the sink is made of any kind of metal) – or even cover the stain using a design decal!
There are two products on the market which may be worth checking out: Quickcleen (www.quickleen.co.uk/) is designed to remove rust, grease, grime, mild scuffs, scratches and stubborn stains as well as tea stains on sinks, both ceramic and stainless steel, and may prove to be very effective on this burn stain too. The other product is Granite Polish (http://granitepolish.co.uk/) which is normally used as a granite cleaning and maintenance kit but may also very effective in removing difficult stains from sinks. It is especially effective on natural or man-made stone surfaces.
Unfortunately, burn stains may sometimes prove impossible to remove and the only option may be to replace the sink entirely.