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How to clean and unclog a kitchen sink


Washing the kitchen sink may be the last item on your to-do list, but it’s an important task nonetheless. To keep your kitchen basin from getting dirty or clogged, it’s important to maintain it. Whether it’s a clogged drain or a less-than-stellar surface, we’ve got the solution for you. Here we show you how to clean and unclog a kitchen sink.

how to clean a kitchen sink
© Luca Lorenzelli | 123rf

How many times have you put off cleaning your sink? Just because you rinse it with tap water daily doesn’t mean it’s clean. In fact, it might be the dirtiest item in your kitchen. Think about it, every day you turn to your kitchen sink to wash greasy cutleries, raw meat and dirty cups. Imagine the amount of filth that touches your sink! Unpleasant, isn’t it? 

To keep it clean and gleaming, follow the step-by-step below for how to clean your kitchen sink in five simple steps. 

Here’s a list of items you need to clean your sink:

How to clean your sink in 5 steps

Step 1: Empty the kitchen sink

Remove every single item, including sponges, from your kitchen basin. Make sure it’s clean before you start the cleaning process. Then, give it a quick rinse to wash down any crumbs or grime. 

Step 2: Bring out the baking soda

baking soda
© Lily Oh | 123rf

Dredge the entire sink with baking soda. Use a brush or a sponge to scrub every inch of the sink. Work from the outside in so you can wash down the dirt easily. 

For porcelain sinks, scrubbing can damage its surface, so your first line of attack should be the least abrasive. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains.

As for stainless steel sink, you can use a clean cloth dipped in hot water for a quick clean. For stubborn stains, add dish soap into the mix to wipe the surface before rinsing it with clean water and let it dry thoroughly.

Read more: How to clean toaster in 5 steps

Step 3: Wash it down with vinegar

Rinse it with white vinegar, the chemical reaction will cause the baking soda to fizz and bubble. Then rinse your sink again, but this time with warm water to send everything down the drain pipes. For stubborn stains, repeat step two and three until it’s clean. 

Step 4: Rub the kitchen sink with lemon peel

Next, rub the entire area with a lemon peel to deodorise the sink while keeping it shiny. 

Step 5: Don’t forget about the faucet and handles

Metal faucet in a kitchen
© 123rf

You can use normal dish soap to clean these items. For hard-to-reach places, equip yourself with a toothbrush and scrub. If you have lime buildup on your faucet, add a spoon of white vinegar to your soapy water mixture and give it a scrub — it should do the trick. 

Read more: How to clean a microwave in 3 steps

Why is it important to clean your kitchen sink?

You might not see it but chances are the kitchen basin is filled with bacteria because it’s the one place you go to clean. Who knows what sort of bacteria, virus or organic matter is present on the surface of the sink. Eek! This is why it’s prudent to wash your sink. Not only can you stop bacteria from spreading, but you’re also doing your due diligence to keep you and your family’s health in check. 

How often should you clean your sink?

Make it a point to scrub your sink every day. You can do it after dinner when you’re cleaning the plates. It’s just one extra step every day to flush the drain and prevent any built-up grime. 

But if you’re looking to deep clean it, you can do it every week (or fortnightly if you rarely touch the sink). Just follow the steps above and your kitchen basin will be back to its original state in no time. 

How to unclog a sink naturally?

how to clean kitchen sink
© christingasner | 123rf

With all the washing and cleaning, it’s only a matter of time before you have a clogged sink at home. It’s a nuisance, there’s no doubt about that, but don’t worry because it’s something you can solve it easily (yes, you don’t even need to call a plumber for this. Save your moolah and spend it on other important items). So there are two different approaches to this — the natural and non-natural methods. While using the chemical drain cleaner is the easier way out (they’re said to be able to cut through tough grease and hair), we do not recommend it as it is corrosive and can damage your sink pipe in the long run. Instead, you should try unclogging your sink naturally. Below are a few methods to unclogging your sinks (be it your kitchen or toilet): 

1. Use boiling water

Clogged sink happens when things like grease, soap residues and hair get trapped in the drain, and one easy way to counter this is to pour boiling water down the drain to loosen and dissolve the clog. Don’t bother with hot tap water, because it won’t work unless it’s boiling hot. Be extra careful when you’re using this method on your porcelain sink as it will crack your precious bowl. The trick is to pour it directly down the drain. This method also doesn’t work if you have plastic or PVC pipes, the boiling water might just soften the pipes. Use a plunger instead if you’re using a plastic sink pipe at home.

2. Use a drain plunger

For this method, don’t go for the flange plunger (also commonly known as the toilet plunger), instead, get yourself a cup plunger as it works better in this situation Before you get started, remove the strainer (if you have one) in the sink and then proceed to fill the sink with water (just a few inches) to let the plunger form a tight seal. Then, place the plunger over the opening and make sure it’s sealed. Pump it up and down a few times to clear the drain. Run the tap for a minute or so to see if the drain is clear. If not, repeat the same process until it’s all cleared.

3. Use baking soda and vinegar

Our favourite household cleaning duo is also making an appearance in this. To treat a clogged drain, first, you need to empty the drain. Use a cup to remove the standing water. Next, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Then, cover it up with a stopper and wait for about 15 minutes. Once the time’s up, remove the stopper and pour boiling water down the kitchen drain to clear the clog. If the problem persists, repeat the process. 

4. Use an auger cable

Those three methods above not working? Then it’s time to whip out the auger (or some may call it the drain cleaning snake drain unblocker or drain opening). Remove any drain stopper before you begin. Once removed, place the auger cable into the sink opening. Extend the coil into the drain until you feel a bump. Twist the auger until you feel you’ve broken through the clog. Pull the cable out of the sink pipe. Don’t worry if you don’t see anything attached to the cable because sometimes the clog gets flushed down. Run hot water down the drain for a minute to see if it’s still clogged. Repeat the process if it didn’t work the first time.

5. Call a plumber

When all else fails, call the plumber. Maybe your clogged drain issue is bigger than what you can handle at this point in time. And sometimes it’s better to call a professional than breaking everything apart.

Should you leave dirty dishes overnight?

dirty dishes
© tunedin123 | 123rf

We know that you’re tired and you just want to lie down on your sofa and scroll Instagram, but leaving dirty dishes overnight may cause you more harm than good. If you choose to tackle this chore the next day, be prepared to deal with stubborn stains and grimes on your dishes. Not to mention, these dirty dishes will attract all kinds of pests like cockroaches and ants to your home as well. So why risk all these when you can wash them off in less than 5 minutes? 

Remember, it doesn’t take long to keep your kitchen sink clean. Just dedicate a few minutes every day and you won’t have to do much deep cleaning when the time comes.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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