The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Your Kitchen Sink

When was the last time you cleaned your kitchen sink? No, not the last time you cleaned something in your kitchen sink, but the last time you really gave it a good scrub? If you're like most people, the answer is much longer than you'd care to admit. 

In a 2011 study on household germs, the National Sanitation Foundation found that three of the top five germiest surfaces in the home are in the kitchen. According to Bon Appetit, the sink is the second dirtiest place in your kitchen, coming in right behind the sponge you use to clean dishes in it. This is because germs thrive in the environment you've unknowingly created while doing the dishes, with all the tiny food particles and moisture washing up leaves behind. 

The outlet states that you should be disinfecting your kitchen sink at least once a week to keep it fresh, taking care to not skip the sides. If you are preparing something like raw meat, dirty produce, or other bacteria-laden foods, you should clean your sink right after cooking and not wait for your weekly scrub.

How to properly clean your sink

Bon Appetit advises you begin your weekly clean by scrubbing your entire sink with soap and hot water. They suggest you take a sponge and carefully scour off any residue and leftover bits of food, as you cannot disinfect any surface until it is fully clean. 

To disinfect, you can use either white vinegar or diluted bleach, making sure to not use bleach on any surface that could come into contact with food you will eat. The ratio to use if you'd like to clean with bleach is 1:50, which is a capful of bleach for each gallon of water. Don't forget to thoroughly rinse out your sink after any bleach treatment. 

The last step to a super clean sink is sanitizing the drain. This should be done about once a month, and include any food traps or strainers you use in your sink (these removable strainers and traps can also be disinfected in the top rack of a dishwasher.) To clean, pour one teaspoon of bleach mixed with one quart of water down the drain, in addition to your now-standard weekly scrub.