You probably use your kitchen sink to clean your dishes, but what do you use to clean your sink? In order to keep plates and bowls bacteria- and germ-free, your kitchen sink needs to be cleaned regularly, too. After each use, wash your sink with mild dish soap and warm water. Once a week, follow these steps to thoroughly clean and disinfect your kitchen sink.
Note: It’s best to avoid using bleach or products that contain ammonia to clean your sink. These chemicals are toxic if ingested, and should be kept away from the kitchen!
For stainless steel and porcelain sinks. Wet the entire surface of your sink with warm water. Sprinkle baking soda onto the sink and rub it in with a soft cloth or sponge until it forms a paste. The alkali nature of baking soda will remove stains, soap scum and bits of food. Plus, it will leave your sink with a nice shine!
Scoop up some of the paste with an old toothbrush and scrub it into the caulk seal around your sink, the faucet and the underside of the rubber drain flaps (this area can get very dirty, so do it last). Rinse the toothbrush frequently and add more baking soda as necessary.
Rinse the entire sink with water, making sure that you remove all of the baking soda residue from the surface. Then wipe the sink dry with a clean cloth.
Pour several cups of white vinegar into a small basin and dip 5-10 paper towels into the basin (the exact number will depend on the size of your sink). Completely cover your sink (especially the faucet!) with the saturated towels, let them sit for 20 minutes, then remove them and throw them away. The acid in the vinegar will help disinfect the surface of your sink. Note: If you want some extra disinfecting power, use a 1-1 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water instead of vinegar, and only let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
Thoroughly rinse your sink again using warm water and dish soap to remove all traces of the vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
For copper sinks. Avoid using any chemical cleaners on your copper sink, which can damage the metal. If your sink has a patina finish, also avoid using any acidic products, even things like lemon or vinegar, because they will break down the finish. Instead, clean your copper sink with mild dish soap and pat it dry with a soft cloth. Don’t worry about germs – copper has antibacterial qualities that hinder the growth of common bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, so mild dish soap is all you need!
For stone sinks. Stone or stone-composite sinks are porous, which means they can absorb liquid. Avoid using acidic or chemical cleaning products, which may damage the stone. Instead, rinse your sink with mild dish soap and warm water after each use, and always pat it dry right away. To make your own non-toxic dish soap, read: Make Your Own Non-Toxic Dish Soap. To disinfect your stone sink, consider purchasing a cleaner made specifically for your type of stone. These cleaners generally cost $10-$25 and are available at your local hardware store.