How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

updated Jun 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

I consider myself a pretty clean person, but I have to say that every time I start researching an article, I discover another totally filthy place that I haven’t been cleaning. In this case, it’s the kitchen sink. It actually harbors even more bacteria than your toilet bowl. And if you, like me, thought that it got clean as you wash the dishes every day? Well, you are sadly mistaken.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

The kitchen sink is a great place for germs to thrive, since you fill it with warm water and let food particles hang out there all day. (And rinse your meat juice-covered dishes in it. And wash your egg yolk-covered hands in it. You get the idea.) So it’s certainly dirty.

Sort of surprisingly, the key to keeping it clean isn’t blasting it with disinfectant, but removing the organic matter that the bacteria can grow on. Since the sink surface isn’t porous (like, say, grout), your key factor here is putting in the work to dislodge anything stuck to the sink walls. As in, scrubbing.

Here’s what to do.

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Empty the sink : Once you’ve finished doing your dishes for the night, empty the sink. (Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

What You Need


  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Dish or castile soap


  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponge or microfiber cloth


  1. Empty the sink: Once you’ve finished doing your dishes for the night, empty the sink.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda all around: Because baking soda is only mildly abrasive, it will help break up food particles without harming the sink surface.
  3. Add the soap: Wearing rubber gloves, squirt a little soap onto your sponge.
  4. Add hot water: Adding a little hot water at a time… start scrubbing. If your tap water doesn’t get that hot, boil some in your tea kettle.
  5. Scrub from the outside in: Scrub your sink from the outside in, top to bottom (this way your dirty water will drip into the areas you haven’t cleaned yet instead of the spot that are already clean). Spend at least 20 seconds in each area, and longer if there’s a visible sign of food stuck to the sink. Once the sink is finished, scrub the inside of the drain.