How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen Sink
Keep your sink's medium in mind when scrubbing.
The place you do most of your washing up—your kitchen sink—sees a lot of dirt and grime. And over time, all of that gunk can build up on its surface. Fortunately, giving your sink a deep clean is a fairly easy process. Here, two experts share their tips for making your sink sparkle again, based on its medium.
If you have a stainless steel sink, your biggest concern should be scratching it during the cleaning process, explains Trisha Lake, the owner and CEO of TLC Cleaning. When you begin your deep clean, be sure you're scrubbing with the natural grain. "You can use a Magic Eraser ($3.69, target.com) here as long as you move with the grain," she says, adding that you can use dish soap or something even stronger—Lake loves Barkeepers Friend ($1.93, walmart.com)—if the Magic Eraser isn't cutting through the grime. "When complete, rinse the sink out with water and dry with a microfiber cloth," she concludes. If you like your sink shiny, she suggests finishing it off with a little stainless-steel cleaner or olive oil for polish.
For those with white porcelain sinks, Leanne Stapf, the chief operating officer of The Cleaning Authority, says to create a mixture of three tablespoons baking soda, one tablespoon dish soap, and a quarter cup of warm water to restore that perfect white finish. "But first, sanitize the sink by filling your sink with warm water," she says. "Add just a small amount of bleach and let it sit for upwards of five minutes before draining." Finish everything off by wiping down the handles and faucet, as well.
Have a copper sink? Avoid any abrasive cleaners. "No Magic Erasers, no sponges, no acid-based products," Lake explains. "Gently clean the sink with a microfiber cloth and dish soap." If you scrub too hard, or use an abrasive cleaner, you can actually remove the dark patina that naturally develops over time. "But if you do make that mistake, and the sink turns a bright orange copper color, have no fear—the color will go back to the dark patina over time," she adds. Copper sinks are less common these days, so it's important to take care of yours—it may be hard to find a similar replacement.
Hard to Reach Spots
No matter what type of sink you have, you're going to want to tackle the drain, faucet, and handles during your deep clean. Lake suggests using an old toothbrush to get into the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. "Oftentimes, the dirtiest part of a sink is in the strainer and drain area," she says, "as well as right around that faucet area." A hard toothbrush and a Magic Eraser are key when hitting this area. Just don't mix any chemicals together while you're cleaning, says Stapf. "Bleach and other cleaning fluids should never be used together, as they can produce dangerous toxins when combined," she cautions. "If the blend mixes in your pipes, it can pollute the air in your home."