How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink should be one of the cleanest surfaces of our home. Unfortunately, it's an easy one to neglect and simply rinsing it out until it appears clean is not going to rid it of germs and bacteria. Here's a step-by-step to get your kitchen sink sanitized and gleaming — without the use of harmful chemicals or cleaners.

What You Need

Liquid dishwashing soap
Distilled white vinegar
Baking Soda
Rock salt
Lemon or lime
Ice
Old rag
Toothbrush
Nylon or soft sponge

Instructions

1. For daily cleaning, a mild soap and nylon sponge or soft rag can be used to wipe it clean. An all-purpose or glass cleaner can be used in a pinch, but it's important to avoid ammonia, bleach, or abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. Abrasive sponges should also be avoided; all of these can alter the sink's finish. After cleaning, rinse and wipe the sink dry with a soft towel or rag.

2. First thoroughly rinse out your sink. On a daily basis, it's important to rinse out your sink after each use. The salt and acid in food can potentially damage the finish of a stainless steel sink, so it's important to rinse food and liquids to prevent pitting.

3. After wetting the entire surface of your sink, sprinkle baking soda onto the surface. Work the baking soda into a paste and rinse thoroughly.

4. To clean the caulk seal and around the top of the sink, I like to use a soft-bristle toothbrush soaked with a baking soda paste or a mild soap and gently scrub the rim. Rinse, repeat, and wipe with a soft rag until the rag comes clean. If you have a garbage disposal, I also use this technique to clean the the rubber flap, gently inverting it so you can also clean the underside. You'd be surprised about the amount of gook hiding down there!

5. After finishing the last step, line the entire sink with paper towels soaked in white vinegar. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes and then dispose of the paper towels.

6. Using a nylon sponge, saturate it with soapy water and then clean the sink, followed by a good rinse.

7. For sinks with a garbage disposal, pour one half cup of baking soda down the kitchen drain. Add one cup of white vinegar on top of the baking soda. The mixture will fizz and make a bit of noise. Allow this to work for a few minutes while you boil a kettle of hot water. Once it has boiled, pour it down the drain.

8. Fill the drain with two cups of ice. Pour a cup of rock salt over the ice cubes. Run the cold water and turn on the garbage disposal until the ice is gone. The ice/salt mixture will help loosen the grime and debris from the grinding elements.

9. Cut a lemon or lime in half. With the water on and garbage disposal running, add the fruit one at a time to the disposal. The fruit will help clean your drain and make it smell good at the same time. This is also a great way to use citrus fruit that's on its way out.

10. For the faucets and handles, wipe with a mild soapy solution. The toothbrush can be used to get in the hard-to-reach areas. Again, if spots remain, a cloth soaked in white vinegar can be used. Once you're finished cleaning, thoroughly rinse once more time and dry with a soft rag. Your sink should now be sparkly clean!

If you have a porcelain sink, tune in next week as I walk you through the steps for cleaning a porcelain bathtub or sink.

MORE CLEANING ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
How to Clean Your House in 20 Minutes a Day for 30 Days
How To Clean a Washing Machine
How to Clean & Organize a Refrigerator
How to Clean & Deodorize a Wooden Cutting Board

Images: Kimberly Watson

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