Let’s talk about the dirtiest spot in your home. No, not the bathroom. I’m talking about the food-cluttered, bacteria-ridden, germ-infested bastion of disease that is your kitchen sink.
It should come as no surprise your stainless steel sink is a breeding ground for microorganisms. It’s a damp, dark place where all the food leftovers from your dishes make their final resting place.
So as unpleasant as it can be, cleaning your sink is essential to keeping the level of contamination in your kitchen as low as possible. Let’s show the germs why it’s a bad idea to vacation at our homes.
In this article:
Meet E. Coli and salmonella. They’re among the bacteria that are currently making your kitchen sink their playground. If you ever had to run to the bathroom while praying there’s no one occupying it in your hour of need, they’re among the likely culprits.
Not cleaning your kitchen sink regularly makes it a perfect incubator for these, and many other germs and bacteria. And they multiply and spread like there’s no tomorrow.
Your stainless steel sink is essentially an all-inclusive 5-star spa hotel with a 24/7 all-you-can-eat buffet for microbes. And you’re the one paying for it.
So every time you do something around your sink, you risk exposure. Every time you wash your cooking ingredients, you risk contamination.
If you don’t want that healthy salad of yours to come with a side of bacterial infection, you should clean and disinfect your stainless steel sink on a regular basis.
Note: Keep in mind this is not a medical blog. Do not take anything we write as medical advice. If you’re suffering from any kind of illness or feeling under the weather, consult with your GP.
I’m a proponent of using eco-friendly products where you can. You don’t always need fancy cleaners with ingredients you can’t pronounce. They have their place in domestic cleaning, but they’re best left to the professionals.
In this guide, we’re only using stuff you probably already have lying around your kitchen. In fact, if you’ve recently cleaned your ceramic hob, you might have some leftovers. And if you don’t, you can get them for a song. Everything’s been tried and tested and it works.
Here’s what you need:
Don’t worry if you bought more of the stuff than you think you’d need. Aside from the stainless steel sink and ceramic hob, you can also use them to clean your microwave oven or in general spring cleaning.
Note: Avoid using steel wool while cleaning your stainless steel sink. The steel wool sheds iron particles and when left behind, they can cause rust and corrosion. Especially coupled with all the moisture.
I wanted to show you how to clean your stainless steel sink, but I keep mine relatively clean. So to serve the purpose of this article, I had to get creative.
I whipped out some ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce and created a condiment explosion in my sink. I then blow-dried the mixture to simulate a stainless steel sink that hadn’t been cleaned in a while.
This guide should be useful to most of you. If it turns out it doesn’t do the job for you, you may need professional help.
So without further ado, put on your gloves and let us begin.
The warm water should serve to loosen some of the dirt, grime, and stains. It will also make it easier to remove stuck food particles if there are any. Careful not to get burnt.
Remove any excess food you can and wipe the rest towards the drain. Don’t overdo it – the idea at this stage is to remove any excesses that may stand in the way of the rest of the cleaning process. Clean up and rinse the sponge after you’re done.
The baking soda will dissolve in the water and start forming a paste. Let it sit and do its arcane sorcery for 15 minutes. Go make a cup of tea while you wait. You deserve a break.
Spread the baking soda paste around and start scrubbing. This is the most difficult part of the process. Depending on how tough the stains are, you may need to work your fingers to the bone to remove them.
Try using the soft side of the sponge first. If it doesn’t work, you can use the abrasive side. Stainless steel sinks are tough so there’s a minimal chance you will scratch them. Still, I prefer to try the gentler approach first.
Using the sponge and warm water, rinse and clean up the mess. Then clean up and rinse the sponge after you’re done.
Unfortunately, stainless steel sinks are notorious for their hard water stains. That’s why we need to pour some white vinegar into the sink and wipe it with the clean sponge again.
With all the food leftovers going down the drain, it’s probably clogged. A great, eco-friendly way to unclog it is to simply pour some baking soda and then some vinegar. Wait for the fizzing to stop and then run some warm water down the drain.
The cleaning process up until this point hasn’t been glamorous. This is about to change.
Now comes the interesting part. Squeeze the lemons and create a 1:1 solution of lemon juice and white vinegar. If you’re using store-bought lemon juice, create the same kind of solution.
All you have to do in order to disinfect your drain is to pour the mixture down the hole. The mix will dramatically reduce the number of pathogens.
Note: This mixture has been tested against bacteria. No studies have been conducted to see its effectiveness against viruses.
The last step of the process is the most enjoyable because you know you’re done. Simply wipe the sink with a microfibre cloth to dry it off and that’s it.
If you’ve done everything correctly, your stainless steel sink should be sparkling clean, disinfected, and deodorised.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So here’s a few things you can do that will go a long way towards keeping your stainless steel sink looking new and shiny.
Note: If you decide to use commercial cleaners for some reason, make sure you don’t mix them. Many cleaning supplies produce toxic fumes if mixed or handled improperly.
While cleaning your stainless steel sink might not be your favourite pastime, it’s important to do it regularly. Once you’ve got the deep cleaning out of the way, it’s easy to maintain it. Just give it a quick scrub every time you use it and this will be the first and last time you need this guide. And if you ever need an extra hand with cleaning, you know whom to call.
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Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.