How to Clean Your Kitchen Sink
Nothing really gets done in the kitchen without some kind of run-in with the kitchen sink. Whether you’re cooking, rinsing, cleaning, or just washing your hands, the kitchen sink is always part of the action. Imagine then just how many germs it can attract and how important it is to keep clean.
The good news is that — unlike some appliances with many parts, or hard-to-reach dark and murky corners behind the stove or under the fridge — the sink is a relatively easy piece to clean.
The first thing to remember when it comes to sink cleaning is to rinse it off before anything has a chance to settle or stain. Acid and salt from food can actually erode stainless steel sinks, while coffee and tea can leave a ring around the drain that can look brown and yucky if left to sit. Things that would be easy to remove — a splash of ketchup, a smear of guacamole — can set hard if left too long. A quick rinse with water will make for less scrubbing in the long run.
Just because you hand-washed some pots and pans in your sink doesn’t mean it’s all clean — especially if you washed that cutting board where you cut up chicken. Bacteria can stick to the sink’s walls even if it is filled with warm soapy water.
To ensure the sink is germ-free:
- Fill the sink with hot water and a tablespoon of bleach
- Soak a sponge and clean the faucet and surrounding area
- Let it sit for five minutes
You may need to use an old toothbrush soaked in the bleach solution to get to hard-to-reach parts of your faucet. Consider dental floss, too, to get into crevices.
If you use a sink caddy to hold sponges and soap dispensers, be sure to give it a good scrubbing, too, as it can be a receptacle for germs.
If you’re looking for a chemical-free alternative:
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the sink’s surface
- Use a rag or a sponge to work the baking soda into a paste
- Rinse well
- Wipe down with a cloth doused with white vinegar.
Make sure not to use an abrasive cleaner or rough sponge on a stainless steel sink, as doing so could scratch or change the finish.
Protect and Polish
Speaking of scratching … You can avoid scratches by investing in a sink protector rack while the sink is still new. To get your sink to really shine after all the cleaning and sanitizing is done, try using glass cleaner — or dab a little oil on a cloth — and give it a good polish. Putting a shine on it can also help keep things from sticking.
If you really want to be proud of your kitchen sink, make a pact to never go to bed with dishes in it. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a pile of dirty dishes and the smell of last night’s dinner, and there’s something so very pleasing about making a fresh pot of coffee with a sparkling sink by your side!