Cast iron kitchen sinks have their advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage being the coating. The enamel coating on on cast iron sinks is actually a type of glass that's colored with pigments and then ground up into fine particles. The cast iron surface is treated with an adhesive so that that the ground glass sticks to it. Then the sink is treated to a high temperature fire to get the glass dust to melt, adhere, and coat the metal iron surface.
The hard glassy surface has a beautiful rich luster due both to the glass and the pigments used. Plus the durability of the cast iron results in a surface that can withstand extremes of heat plus everyday knocks and scrapes. However, because of this two layered construction, the enamel surface can be chipped under extreme conditions, exposing the black cast iron. Eventually, the iron can rusts, the damage can spread beneath the enamel.
The same is true of small scratches that break through the enamel surface. Rust sets in and the enamel can eventually flake off. The process is exactly the same as how a small stone chip on the hood of an automobile slowly gets worse due to the rust spreading beneath the paint. Eventually it starts flaking off and a tiny unnoticeable pin-prick becomes a major body job.
Cast iron sinks are also very heavy, and can take two people to lift. If you are considering installing a cast iron sink yourself, you might want to consult a professional who knows all the pitfalls and is aware of the special requirements of heavy sinks. Your kitchen counter top or cabinets will need to be strong enough to support this type of sink. Also it can be difficult to drill holes without damaging the enamel if the installation should require it.
In spite of these issues, a cast iron kitchen sink is a very good choice and should give you years of trouble free service. It looks very beautiful when installed and because any pigment can be used for the color, there is an almost limitless color range possible, although the most popular color is still white.
They are very easy to clean due to the non-porous enamel surface, but be sure not to use abrasive cleaners. Donít use wire wool and keep clear of scouring powders. You are better off cleaning this type of sink with a sponge and a liquid kitchen cleaner. Powdered cleaners will abrade the glassy surface causing it to turn dull and stain.
All in all, your enameled cast iron kitchen sink is something that you will value and enjoy working with for years to come. The finish gives a beauty to the kitchen and brings versatility in design and its durability. Your cast iron sink is something to treasure and look after, and if you maintain it properly it will give you years of excellent hard service.