If you walk into your kitchen and smell something rather unpleasant but can't seem to find the culprit, you may need to check your kitchen sink. Kitchen sink drains and garbage disposals are notorious for harboring bacteria and stinky smells. Before you reach for toxic cleaning products, like bleach and drain clog removers, try some of our all-natural hacks instead.
With just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, like baking soda, white vinegar, flour and olive oil, you can get your sink back to its original state. Say goodbye to clogged drains, fingerprints and bad smells for good.
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Here are six easy cleaning tips for sanitizing your sink and leaving it sparkling like new.
1. Scrub Away Grime With Baking Soda
When your kitchen sink is dirty, it not only makes your entire kitchen smell bad but it also breeds bacteria and is just plain unpleasant to look at. There is an easy and all-natural fix for that. All you need is a little baking soda and water.
Pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl and add just enough hot water to form a paste. Spread the baking soda paste into the sink and use the scrubby side of your sponge to remove all the grime and stuck-on food inside your sink. You can even use an old toothbrush to get into all the grooves and cracks around your sink drain. When you're finished, give it a good rinse and you're all set.
2. Remove Odors From the Garbage Disposal With Citrus Peels
Your garbage disposal is a work horse in the kitchen and needs to be maintained as well. When bits of food get stuck on the blades, the lingering smells can be quite unpleasant, and no one wants to clean dishes in a stinky sink.
Remove any lingering odors with the help of citrus rinds and peels. The next time you have oranges with your lunch or garnish your dinner with a lemon, don't throw away the peel. Instead, toss it into your garbage disposal and flip the switch. As the blades of your garbage disposal chop through the citrus peels, you'll be greeted with a delightful scent.
Do this periodically to eliminate odors and keep your garbage disposal in tip-top condition. Now, the only thing you'll smell when you walk into the kitchen will be your delicious cooking.
3. Use Flour to Polish Your Stainless Steel Sink
If your stainless steel kitchen sink is looking dull and dingy, you can shine it with an ingredient we all probably have hiding away in the pantry. It may seem strange, but flour is actually great for polishing stainless steel.
All you need are flour, some hot water and a soft cloth. First, you're going to want to rinse the sink with hot water and make sure it's completely dry. Any remaining drops of water will turn the flour into a gooey paste, and that's not what we're going for here.
After your sink is nice and dry, sprinkle a thick layer of flour over the entire sink. It might feel like you're actually making more of a mess, but trust the process. Once you have the flour in the sink, take your soft cloth and start buffing the flour into the sink in a circular motion the same way you would wax a car. Wipe around the drain and the surface of the sink.
The flour will get into all the small grooves and scratches in your sink to remove any gunk. Once you're finished, wipe the flour out of the sink or brush it down your garbage disposal. Your kitchen sink will shine like new.
4. Clear a Clogged Sink With Baking Soda and Vinegar
No one likes dealing with a clogged kitchen sink, especially when you have a pile of dishes waiting to be done. But don't panic and immediately call a plumber. This is something that can easily be remedied with a few ingredients you likely already have. If you don't have them, they are way cheaper to grab at the grocery store than what a plumber will charge you for taking a look.
All you'll need is some white vinegar, baking soda and boiling water. Add a heaping scoop of baking soda to the drain and then pour in the vinegar. The combination of these two ingredients will cause an immediate bubbling reaction. Once you add the vinegar, you'll need to quickly plug up the sink with the drain plug. Hold the plug in place until the bubbling stops.
Once everything has stopped fizzing, leave the sink alone for about 30 minutes. It may be tempting to get it all done quickly, but resist the urge and do not touch the sink or remove the plug for the full half hour. Once the 30-minute mark has passed, pour boiling water down the drain. This will help dissolve any buildup or food particles and will wash away the baking soda and vinegar.
5. Prevent Clogs With Hydrogen Peroxide
If your kitchen sink is prone to frequent clogs, get ahead of it and prevent them before they ever have the chance to occur. Instead of pouring toxic drain cleaner down your sink that could cause potential damage to your pipes and plumbing system, turn to an all-natural solution.
Pouring 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain every other week can save you hundreds in plumbing costs and hours of frustration. Add the hydrogen peroxide to your drain and let it sit for a full hour before washing it away with warm water.
The peroxide will destroy any potential clogs before they have the chance to become bad enough to clog the sink. It will also act as a sanitizer for the sink and eliminate any bacteria or mold from growing. Keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide under your kitchen sink so you'll never forget to use it.
6. Use Olive Oil to Make Your Sink Fingerprint-Proof
Say goodbye to those stubborn fingerprints and water spots that are always all over your stainless steel sink basin and faucet. It may seem too good to be true, but this next tip will leave your sink looking shiny and new long after you clean it.
Just grab a clean cloth and add a few drops of olive oil to it. Then, buff the oil into your sink, making sure to go with the direction of the grain. Once you're finished, go back over the whole thing with a new microfiber cloth or paper towel. You'll be left with a thin layer of olive oil that will resist smudges and fingerprints. Wear rubber gloves when doing this to avoid getting your hands covered in olive oil. Whenever you use olive oil while cooking, take the opportunity to give your sink a rub down. Hard-water stains and fingerprints will be eliminated.