How to Clean Your Sink | Tips to Clean and Disinfect Your Kitchen Sink

How to clean and disinfect your kitchen sink by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

Used to clean your favorite coffee mug and soak that grease-filled casserole dish, the kitchen sink is a great little cleaning vessel. However, and this is quite the oxymoron, the kitchen sink often gets looked over during the kitchen cleaning process. Think of it this way: How clean could your dishes possibly be getting if they are being soaked and scrubbed in a germ-filled sink? After each use, you should always treat your sink to a light cleaning with warm water and mild dish soap, but once a week (at least) you need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your sink. If you’re ready to wave goodbye to germs and hello to clean, follow these simple steps on how to clean your sink properly and effectively.

Here’s What You'll Need

Deep cleaning your kitchen sink only takes a few items and about 15 minutes of your time. So, that means there are no more excuses!

  • Baking Soda
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Paper Towels
  • Several Soft Sponges or Rags
  • Small Basin

All Natural Cleaning Products

In case you didn't notice, every item needed to clean your kitchen sink is natural and free of toxins. Why? Well, when cleaning your sink, or any surface in your kitchen, it is best to avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals (bleach, ammonia, etc.) to eliminate ingestion risks.

Stainless Steel & Porcelain Sinks

To begin, wet the entire surface with warm water, sprinkle baking soda onto the sink, then rub it in with a soft cloth or sponge until the water and baking soda combine to form a paste. The alkali nature of the baking soda works like magic, removing stains, soap scum, and bits of left on food.

The next step of the process is to scoop up the paste with an old toothbrush, then scrub it deep into the caulking seal around the sink, as well as the faucet and underside of the rubber drain flaps. This is a surprisingly dirty process, so be sure to rinse your toothbrush frequently and add more baking soda as necessary.

After you've scrubbed every nook and cranny, rinse the entire sink with water to remove the baking soda residue, and then wipe the sink dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Now that your sink is clean, it’s time to disinfect it. You didn't think you were done, did you? To disinfect your sink, pour several cups of distilled white vinegar into a small basin, then submerge 5-10 paper towels into the basin (exact numbers vary by sink size). Completely cover the sink (especially the faucet!) with the saturated towels, allowing them to sit for 20 minutes before throwing them away. If you’re looking for some extra disinfecting power, follow the same approach; only use a 1-1 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Since this is a powerful concoction, only let the mixture sit for three minutes.

As a final step in the cleaning and disinfecting process, give your sink another thorough rinse to remove all traces of vinegar (or hydrogen peroxide).

Copper Sinks

In addition to the health risks that come along with cleaning your sink with chemical cleaners, cleaning a copper sink with a chemical cleaner is surefire way to damage the metal. Additionally, if your sink has a patina finish, also avoid using any acidic products, even lemon or vinegar, because they break down the finish. Instead, clean your copper sink with mild dish soap and pat it dry with a soft cloth. No need to worry about germs – copper has antibacterial elements that hinder the growth of common bacteria, such as E. coli; mild dish soap is all you need! Now, wasn’t that easy?

Stone Sinks

Since stone and stone-composite sinks are porous, they absorb liquids. To clean a stone sink without damaging it, simply rinse the entire area with mild dish soap and warm water after every use, immediately patting it dry with a soft cloth. If you’re looking to disinfect your stone sink, check out stone-specific cleaners online or at your local hardware store. Typically, these cleaners run between $10 and $25.