A couple of weeks ago I told you all about how I learned the right way to mop and how that makes such a big difference for me in getting my floors looking nice and clean. I also shared with you that I usually use my kitchen sink for this process instead of a mop bucket. Not surprisingly, a few readers were pretty concerned about whether or not that practice was safe and sanitary, so today I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about how I like to clean my stainless steel kitchen sink and sanitize it after I use it for heavy-duty cleaning like that.
I use my kitchen sink for almost all of my big cleaning jobs, just like it’s a big bucket of hot soapy water, but more convenient! So if I’m wiping down walls and cabinets, or doing any Spring (or Summer, Fall, or Winter) scrubbing, I use that sink. It actually doesn’t get used for dishes all that often since we got our new dishwasher about a year and half ago, because I just love that dishwasher! The sink does get used daily though and I actually clean it out and wipe it down several times a day. If it gets really in need of a good deep-cleaning itself or if I’ve done something like mopping the floors with it, here’s how I clean it afterwards!
So here’s my sink!
After being used for cleaning, rinsing off plates and dumping that last little bit of coffee out of the mugs for a few days, it can start to look pretty dingy.
I like to start out by filling it up with hot water and a few cups of vinegar.
Really hot water from your tap is often enough for cleaning, but if you really want to give it a good sanitizing, boil a big pot of water and dump that in there. If you’re using the hot water method of sanitizing, then your surfaces need to be in contact with water that’s 180 degrees for at least 30 seconds to kill off any unpleasant microorganisms. I love this method because it’s fast and it’s effective! Don’t hesitate to use a thermometer either! You might look crazy but at least you’ll know it’s really clean!
So I let the sink soak for a bit while the temperature of the water comes down. I take this time to grab an old toothbrush and scrub around the edges of the sink and the faucet.
I just dip the brush into the hot vinegar water and use that. Also, if I have any caked on mess, like ketchup that somehow managed to splash up onto the faucet, I take a rag, dip it into the hot water and just let it hang out on the mess for a minute to completely take it away.
Once the water in the sink has cooled, I pull the plug! I like to take my toothbrush again and get into the cracks around the drain and also get any grimeyness out of the drain itself.
I’m pretty sure that all those dark spots are all coffee stains from all the coffee we drink around here!
The next step is for those of us with old, well-worn sinks. If your sink gets dings and scratches in it like mine does, you can gently buff them out using one of these green scrubbies.
I just like to gently scrub over the entire sink in a circular motion. This really diminishes the look of any scratches and really pulls out any stains that may have settled into the grain of the sink. It really brightens the whole thing up!
Next I take a damp rag and wipe down the whole sink, followed by a dry rag. At this point the sink always looks much better, but even if you think it’s much shinier than before, I guarantee that there’s still shining to be done!
The final step is to take some rubbing alcohol on your dry rag and go over the whole sink with it. This removes any greasy food residue that was hanging around after your soaking and scrubbing and it even further disinfects everything. So take your time and wipe down your faucet and the counter surrounding your sink too!
Here’s how it looks when I’m all done! Pretty great for an old sink, right?
So bright! So shiny!
So that’s how I clean my sink. You can see now why I’m not worried about a couple of floor germs! Do you use you sink for everything like I do?
You can find more of my favorite cleaning tips, tricks, and techniques in the cleaning archives!
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.