Your kitchen sink is perhaps the biggest danger area in your home when it comes to food poisoning bacteria. It is subjected to a continuous barrage of dirty dishes and waste food, which is why you need to keep it clean and sanitary at all times.
According to the NHS, the average kitchen sink contains around 100,000 times more harmful bacteria than the average toilet. And although your sink might look spotless, it could actually represent a major health hazard to you and your family.
Keep your sink clean and sanitised at all times by following these important steps.
Remove food immediately
Bits of food will inevitably collect in your sink — particularly around the plughole. While this is part and parcel of daily life in a kitchen, you should get into the habit of removing food debris as soon as you find it. This won’t just keep bacteria at bay, it will also stop your sink from becoming blocked.
Wipe down after every use
Cleaning your kitchen sink shouldn’t be a weekly job. In fact, it shouldn’t be a daily job. Get into the habit of wiping down all the surfaces of your sink after every use. Just a quick squirt of antibacterial spray and a wipe-down will keep bacteria to a minimum throughout the day.
Deep clean once a week
To keep your sink looking great, it’s probably a good idea to clean it once a week. You may need multipurpose cream cleaners, scourers or stainless steel cleaners for this job, but it will be well worth it. Just make sure you always rinse the sink thoroughly after using potent cleaning agents.
Don’t forget the taps
When you take a moment to think about it, you’ll realise that your kitchen taps could be one of the dirtiest things in your kitchen. When you’re preparing raw meat, for instance, you’ll want to wash your hands afterwards — creating a cross-contamination issue. Spend some time every day sanitising your taps with a clean cloth and sanitiser spray. A handheld steam cleaner also works well at cleaning and sanitising awkward and inaccessible areas.
If you live in an area with hard water, you’ll eventually notice a build-up of limescale in and around your kitchen sink. At least once a week, remove these residues with a dedicated limescale cleaner. Alternatively, a paste of baking soda and white vinegar can be very effective.
Empty your sink ASAP
When you’re washing dishes, cups and utensils that have come into contact with substances such as coffee, tea and brightly coloured foods, there is always the potential for staining. Don’t let dirty water fester in your sink for longer than it needs to. If you notice stains, soak your sink in either a diluted household bleach or biological washing detergent.
Scrub your plughole weekly
The plughole and overflow in your sink are particularly susceptible to stubborn build-ups of food and staining. Take a few minutes once a week to scrub these areas rigorously with a cleaner and a hard-bristle brush.
Prevent grease accumulations
The average kitchen sink has to deal with an enormous amount of grease over the course of a month. To keep your drain clear and working efficiently, pour a cup of baking soda down it once a week — followed by a cup of vinegar. This will cause a violent chemical reaction that will dislodge grease and anything else that happens to be sticking to the sides of your sink’s drainage pipe.
Be careful with enamel sinks
If you have an enamel sink, you can pretty much follow all of the tips above — with one exception. Never use limescale removers or acidic cleaners on enamel surfaces, as they can cause permanent damage. Instead, use a good scourer and lots of elbow grease.
Using the correct cleaning methods, and keeping on top of its cleanliness on a daily basis, should ensure your kitchen sink is always clean and sanitary.