Kitchen sinks get a lot of use.
Among kitchen sinks, those made with stainless steel and porcelain are durable options. Stainless steel sinks last 15 to 30 years, while porcelain has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. No matter which material you choose, proper care and maintenance will make your sink last longer.
Get the most longevity from a stainless steel sink by installing one with a low gauge number. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel and the longer it will last. Use only nonabrasive cleaners on stainless steel, and avoid cleansers containing chloride compounds. Never use steel wool or abrasive materials. The continuous dropping of silverware and dishes into the sink can scratch it, but a satin or brushed finish will camouflage these blemishes.
Porcelain sinks have a cast iron core with a baked-on porcelain finish. Because chipping and scratching of the finish shortens the sink's life, placing a stainless steel rack or soft mat in the sink's bottom can prevent chipping if a knife or dish falls into the sink. Never allow coffee grounds or other acidic materials to sit in the sink. Rinse and dry the sink after each use and clean the porcelain often, avoiding abrasive cleansers, rough sponges and steel wool. Consider having the sink refinished if the finish sustains numerous scratches and chips.