How to Clean the Kitchen Sink

I always hear about how your kitchen sink is dirtier than the kitchen floor, your dog’s mouth, the toilet, and all kinds of gross places.  I don’t have a dishwasher, so I was wondering what the best way to disinfect my stainless steel sink is so when I move my dishes from the soapy water to the empty “rinse” side of the sink, they’re not just picking up a million germs?  I hate to clean it with bleach or cleaner because I don’t really want that on my dishes and silverware!
It’s funny you asked me this question because I think about this all the time!  I saw an Oprah show one time that talked about this and I was SO grossed out!  The thing I think that makes our sinks dirtier than the kitchen floor, etc. is when we prep meats.  Think about all of the blood, chicken slime, etc. that runs through our sinks every week!
And don’t forget about pesticides!  When we wash our fruits and veggies all those pesticides run down into the sink too.  What you need to do is sanitize your sink on a daily basis, or at least every time you prep any kind of meat, or egg product.
Personally I use Lysol All Purpose Cleaner, with Bleach.  Using bleach is a quick and easy way to kill all sorts of bacteria.  I also dump about a cup of bleach down my garbage disposal every few weeks to kill any bacteria that may be hiding out in there.  For those of you out there {like the reader that asked the question} that don’t like to use bleach you will have to sanitize your sink with an alternative method.  Here’s what I recommend:
1. Rinse out the sink to make sure it’s clean of food, juice, etc.
2. Plug up both sides of the sink and pour in a little anit-bacterial soap.
3. Boil a pot of water until it reaches 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Pour the boiling water into the sink and let it set for at least 5 minutes.
If you’re not comfortable using just water and an anti-bacterial soap I’d also recommend Shaklee’s Basic-G, a concentrated germicide.
For those of you that don’t have dishwashers, make sure, when washing your dishes, to use water that’s at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  This will help to kill bacteria that is hiding out on the plates after dinner!
On a side note I recommend using a wash cloth to wash the dishes and wipe the counter tops instead of a using sponge.  Sponges are like little bacteria bombs!  In our house we have a drawer full of wash cloths next to the sink and every day I switch them out.  Mine are white so that I can bleach them but you don’t have to bleach them if you don’t want to.
Have fun washing the dishes and cleaning your sink!  And seriously, hats off to you for not having a dishwasher!  I don’t think I would survive without one!
About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. My roommate wants to know the best way to get sinks and tubs (porcelain) to that “I just moved in to a new place shining” WHITE. And was wondering if you had any tips.

    Thanks much!!


    • The best product for that is called Bar Keeper’s Friend. You can purchase it from my Amazon store or at any Lowes or Home Depot.

      Anna :)

  2. J Dreyling says:

    I have a black sink, do ot know what it is made of……white buildup is acumulating in the corners where I wash dishes……is this soap scum? What should I use to clean it without damaging the surface? Thanks… ps, it was here when we bought the house so I have no experience with this type of sink.

    • Try bar keepers friend, it’s great for cleaning all kinds of crud out of sinks! You can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot, for just a few dollars. :)

  3. FYI, the boiling point of water is 212 Farenheit…way other than 130.

  4. Don’t use anti bacterial soap this is why antibiotics are becoming ineffective.

  5. to clean and freshen my sinks (kitchen and bath) I pour a half cup of baking soda (a great cleanser) down the drain, followed by sufficient white vinegar to wash it all down. i like to cap the drain while a pot of water comes to a boil on the stove. This then goes down the drain and washes all the gunk away. And the drain smells so much better.