What They Don’t Tell You About Those Kitchen Sink Grids

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

It didn’t take long after renovating our kitchen for us to find out that those beautiful white farmhouse sinks can be … delicate. The brand-new, sparkling-clean finish in our sink started to show fine scratches and wear almost as soon as we installed it. I had seen a sink grid in a friend’s house, but, although I liked the protection it offered, I tried to put off buying one because they’re pretty expensive. Ultimately, I caved, figuring it was better to spend the money to protect the much more expensive sink.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

And it was a great decision. Having what amounts to a wire tray in the sink gives us somewhere to bang our heavy Le Creuset and copperware around, without worrying about nicking the fireclay.

But — yep, there’s a but — this shouldn’t be a big deal, but having that big clunky grid in the sink is a deterrent to regular wiping and cleaning. I kind of love cleaning sinks (I don’t know why, it’s just very soothing). And it’s one thing when you can just give it a quick wipe as you walk by or after you wash your very last dish, but when you have to remove this (probably wet) grid and set it elsewhere in the kitchen in order to get your cleaning fix, I dunno, it’s just kind of a hard stop.

So my previous habit of cleaning the sink every day, or even every time we used it, basically disappeared. My husband handles the majority of the dish-washing, so I figured it would get clean when he did that. Except, the grid! He does dishes with the grid in the sink, so I asked him one day if he was also cleaning under the grid. He totally was, he assured me. How? By spraying down the whole sink when he was finished.

(Image credit: Dana McMahan)

Yeah, it was time to see what was going on here. I pulled out the grid and found a festering basin of gross. Okay, I exaggerate. But it certainly wasn’t the gleaming, clean white sink of the first few days. It was spotted and sticky, encrusted with days-old food particles, streaked with dish soap, and grubby with grease. Blech. Not only was it gross to look at, but it also could be harboring some nasty bacteria. Getting it clean took a LOT more elbow grease than when it was being done on the daily, and to my eye, some of the spots didn’t seem to 100 percent come out.

More on Cleaning Sinks

Now that I know it gets so gross so fast, I’m back to the daily cleaning most days (and at a minimum give it a good spray with a cleaner, then rinse it really well) and am still amazed at how fast the nasty stuff accumulates without the several-times-a-day wipe-downs.

I wouldn’t go without the grid — it’s better to protect the finish even if it means it’s not always as clean as I’d like, but it did come as a surprise that something so insignificant as a sink grid could make such a difference!

Do you have a grid protecting your sink? Do you notice it changes how often you clean?