How to clean a sink – the millennial guide
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You didn’t land on this tutorial by accident. Your mom and grandma want you to have a clean home. Just kidding!
Let me just start off by saying that the fact that you didn’t learn how to properly clean a sink is not your fault! My generation was busy, too busy, to teach the millennials and generation Z how to properly take care of a home.
Your time is valuable so let’s get right to the easy task of how and why you should clean your sink.
Here’s a photo of my dirty sink. We pile dishes into it. That’s really not something you want to do (I’m working on the offender!) If I can get you out of the bad habit of putting dirty dishes into your sink it’ll help you maintain a cleaner environment. You see, bacteria from food spill into the sink, and all kinds of bad bacteria grow there. Imagine washing a quick glass in this dirty sink, will it really be clean?
Rinse the dirty dishes out of the sink, wet your washrag (I use microfiber cloths) with Softscrub, and scrub every part of the sink, handles, and drain. Don’t forget to wash the drain stopper! Don’t overuse the product, it’ll just take you that much longer to clean off the bubbles.
Use an old toothbrush to get into the cracks. That’s where germs and gunk love to hang out.
Rinse all the Softscrub off of the sink, handles, etc. Be very careful to rinse all of it off because you never want to mix cleaning fluids, you can get very sick that way and compromise your lung health.
Now fill the sink with hot water and about a cup of bleach. Use your best judgment if you have a smaller sink than I do. My sink probably holds 6 gallons or more of water. If you have a smaller sink you may want to cut back on the amount of bleach.
Note: to properly sanitize, you need 1 cup of bleach for every 5 gallons of water.
Do not overfill your sink! Stop when you are within about an inch or so from the top. The reason why you won’t fill it up completely is that you need to get your hand in there to unplug the stopper, and you don’t want it spilling onto the floor.
The bleach and hot water will not harm your sink, but please be careful to keep children and pets away from the sink while it’s full of chemicals and hot water.
When the sink is full of hot water grab the sprayer hose and let it soak (up to the button, but not the bottom part where it attaches to the hose) and sit inside the hot bleach water too. Those areas also get very dirty and filled with germs from your hands. Be very careful not to drip water into the underside of the spray handle. I circled the area in the photo where you need to be careful not to fill with water.
Don’t forget to soak the handwashing soap container you keep by your sink. Every time you wash your hands you leave germs on the pump.
You will need to let the bleach water stay in your sink for a minimum of 5 minutes. I let mine sit while I go do other things in the home like laundry, making the bed, etc. This is one of those multi-task items that you can safely let sit and work by itself as long as you don’t have children or pets that could get into it. Please be mindful of this and other tasks involving cleaning fluids.
Drain, and dry the sink.
Cleaning the sink (just a simple rinse and dry) should be done every day with soap and water. A deeper clean with Softscrub followed by bleach for sanitizing should be done once a week.
Quick-Step Guide to Maintaining Your Sink Clean
- Don’t pile dirty dishes into the sink – immediately wash, or put them into the dishwasher.
- Rinse food poured into the sink so it doesn’t stain. (Coffee, sauces, etc.)
- Every day quickly wash the sink with dish soap and water just as you would your counters, etc. Then dry it.
- Once a week use Softscrub and bleach on it.