square kitchen sink

Has it been several days, maybe longer, since you last scrubbed your kitchen? The telltale sign that your kitchen needs cleaning is a dull grimy sink.

Our kitchen sinks see a lot of action every day from dirty hands and used cookware to house plants and more. We’d like to think running water and rinsing out regularly will help but no amount of water will prevent the bacteria from taking it over.

Learning how to clean kitchen sinks is an important skill to keep your kitchen looking great and keep you healthy. Regardless of the type of sink you have, there are many great ways to keep your sink sparkling like new.

Is your kitchen sink in need of a deep cleaning? Add these cleaning tips to your regular cleaning schedule to make it a habit.

Kitchen Cleaning Tools and Materials

If you walk down the cleaning aisle at your local grocery or general store, you’ll find hundreds of different types of cleaning products. You can opt for an expensive harsh chemical or you can use the safe supplies you already have at home! You’ll save time, money, and also help the environment.

You will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A soft, non-abrasive cloth or scrubber
  • An old soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Fresh lemon or lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Salt

You may not need all of these materials depending on the sink you have. They are safe, however, for most sinks and will make deep cleaning your kitchen sink faster and easier.

1. Rinse and Dust With Baking Soda

Remove all dirty dishes, food leftovers, and the dish rack. Rinse the sink out with water to remove any other loose liquids and grime that may be lingering. Once rinsed, dust the entire basin including the sides, with baking soda.

Add a little dish soap to your sponge or scrubber of choice. Gently start scrubbing your sink starting from the top of the sides and working your way down. Try to push the grime and scum into the drain area. Stains or tough water residue may need a little extra manual work.

For those with an undermount sink, make sure to carefully scrub in the crease between the countertop and sink. Grime and mildew will build up in this area. A soft toothbrush works well and won’t damage the sink or countertop.

You can add more baking soda and dish soap as needed. After scrubbing, rinse the sides, creases, and the bottom of the sink well with water.

Repeat the process if you find lingering stains or grime. Mix lemon juice with the baking soda to kill bacteria and add a fresh scent.

2. Vinegar Removes Water Stains

You can apply vinegar to your sink by misting it on with a spray bottle or with a damp cloth. Buff the vinegar into the sink to shine it and remove any water residue that remains. Vinegar is a natural stain remover and disinfectant.

Vinegar is acidic and can cause problems with some sink materials. Don’t let the vinegar sit for too long. Buff and remove the vinegar right away to prevent any issues.

3. Dry the Sink

After your hard work, the last thing you want is for your newly cleaned sink to get dull right away from water residue. When you’re done cleaning the sink, dry it by wiping out the water and remaining vinegar.

If you have a stainless steel sink, you can add extra shine by using olive oil. Dab a small amount of olive oil on a dry cloth and rub it into the basin of the sink. Work into the direction of the grain and your sink will sparkle.

Olive oil also works well to shine stainless steel faucets and handles.

4. Clean the Faucet and Handles

When learning how to clean kitchen sinks properly, you can’t forget about the sink faucet and handles. These are often overlooked and can become breeding grounds for germs and unwanted bacteria.

Sprinkle baking soda on the faucet and handles. Use a soft sponge or cloth with a little dish soap to remove grime and stains. A soft toothbrush will reach the tight areas between the handles and under the faucet.

Do you have any lingering stains or water residue? Mix a splash of vinegar into your soapy mixture to make your faucet shine.

5. Cleaning the Drains and Garbage Disposal

We love the smells made in the kitchen – most of them at least. Our drains and garbage disposals are notorious for their putrid scents. Fortunately, cleaning your drains and removing uninviting odors is easy.

Begin by ensuring your drains are clear. Clear a clogged kitchen sink by pouring 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Cover or stop the drain and let it sit for about 15 minutes before uncovering it.

Does your drain work fine and only need a good cleaning? Use the same mixture, only with 2 cups of vinegar as a cleaning solution for your drain. Let it bubble and clean for about 15 minutes then rinse it with hot or boiling water.

To clean the garbage disposal, you’ll need several ice cubes, 2-3 wedges of lemon, and salt. Pour all of these items into the disposal, run cold water from the tap, and turn on the disposal.

The ice removes grime while the salt scrubs the blades. The lemon deodorizes the disposal and leaves your kitchen smelling fresh and inviting. You can repeat this process at least once each week or more frequently to keep your kitchen smelling great.

Tips for Cleaning Different Kitchen Sink Materials

Most kitchen sinks can take a beating from a range of chemicals, liquids, and foods. Stainless steel, enamel, copper, and porcelain are a few of the most popular sink materials.

You should note that cleaning can vary for each type of sink. Make sure you choose the best option for your unique sinks.

White sinks are likelier to retain more stains compared to stainless steel sinks. Before you start cleaning, make sure you know what type of sink you have. You don’t want to accidentally damage your sink while you’re cleaning it.

Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel is an incredible kitchen sink material. It doesn’t stain easily and resists rust.

The main enemies of your stainless steel sink are abrasive scrubbers, bleach, and acidic foods and liquids. These items can damage the steel’s finish. Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach and stick to baking soda to keep your sink looking good.

As you clean, try to scrub in the same direction of the steel’s polish.

Clean a Porcelain Kitchen Sink

Porcelain is a common enamel covering for iron and steel sinks. It offers a timeless look but can stain and chip if you’re not careful.

When cleaning you will want to use a soft sponge or scrubber to prevent scratching or chipping your porcelain enameled sink. Avoid using any harsh cleaning chemicals as these can also damage your porcelain sink. Baking soda and dish soap are safe and gentle.

Prevent stains by regularly cleaning this type of sink. Always rinse out and remove coffee grounds, tea bags, or acidic liquids that could stain.

Add a little extra shine to your sink by scrubbing a gentle iron sink cleaner that contains wax. This will give your sink that “like-new” sparkly shine.

Clean an Acrylic Kitchen Sink

Acrylic sinks are notorious for scratching. The advantage of these sinks is they have the same color throughout the material which allows you to buff out any scratches or chips. A perk of an acrylic kitchen sink is it’s resistant to most stains and grime.

It’s best practice, however, to avoid this potential problem by using soft sponges and cloths when cleaning.

You can safely use vinegar or rubbing alcohol to remove tough stains and grease. If you use vinegar, avoid letting it sit for too long as this acidic liquid can eventually damage your sink.

Keep this type of sink looking great by regularly rinsing out acidic foods and liquids. Since acrylic is a form of plastic, avoid placing hot pots, pans, or mugs in the sink as these can cause areas to melt or discolor.

Clean a Copper Sink

Copper is an elegant-looking sink material consisting of a seal to prevent any corrosion and oxidation. Copper has antibacterial properties that help prevent bacterial growth.

You do have to be careful with how you clean copper. Avoid all harsh cleaners as these can eat away the copper’s protective finish. Regularly rinse your copper sink as acidic foods and beverages can damage this protective layer.

Baking soda and a soft scrubber will remove most stains and grime. Dish soap is another safe cleaning agent you can use on your sink.

How to Clean Kitchen Sinks the Right Way

Knowing how to clean kitchen sinks the right way will make them look and last much longer. A clean sink will keep your kitchen smelling fresh and help you maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle.

Want to learn more great ways to improve your home and life? Check out my latest articles to learn more!


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