There are few things more frustrating than a dirty kitchen or bathroom sink. The problem with them is that they almost always smell, to boot.  This can inhibit you from actually enjoying using your sink to cook --or in the case of a bathroom sink--brush your teeth (or soak your dentures).  You will sooner or later hate looking at it because it's gotten so rusty and filthy, and you are overwhelmed about how to clean it.  This post will suggest that the easiest way to clean it is to follow an overall regimen daily--or at least weekly--to keep it clean and ready for use. Consider the following tips:

1.  Scrub your sink out

This is something you can do daily. As the Reader's Digest suggest, a common misconception about sinks is that they are self-cleaning because of all the soap and water that goes down them. Nothing can be further from the truth!  Food deposits, soap stains, grime, or toothpaste stains-- if the sink in question is your bathroom sink--if left untreated, can lead to rusting and waterspots forming by default.  Scrub a bathroom sink after every 30 uses, and a kitchen sink slightly more often because you have food going down it every day. 

2.  Don't let dishes sit overnight.

Dirty dishes with stuck-on food piled high are a recipe for not only a smelly sink but also for mass clutter that can make meal preparation hardly something to which you can look forward.  For you have to first clean all the dirty dishes, put them away, then start the chore of cooking.  The longer the dishes sit, the more the residue of last night's tacos, or pizza, or whatever, hardens. Consequently, that leads to the more time spent cleaning the kitchen before you begin to cook.  So wash those dishes while the amount of them is small.  The danger here is that if you don't, then keep in mind that the stuck on food that you allow hardening eventually will have to go down the drain.  So much residue from stuck on food can damage the inward part of your sink, perhaps adding to the wear and tear of it. 

3.  Keep the porcelain of your sink maintained

The Reader's digest website suggests you should line your sink with paper towels then soak them with bleach.  Let these towels sit for a half-hour, then get rid of them, running the sink with running water.  Be careful about using bleach to clean the porcelain sink off if the color of the porcelain is anything but white, for that is a good way to discolor it. 

4.  Pour bleach down your sink's drain

Remember here that a little bit of bleach goes a long way. Don't overuse this chemical, it can smell up the whole house, and upset people whose lungs are sensitive to the smell.   Also, ventilate the house while doing it.  But also know that doing this can keep your drain clean and free from the stench of food.  A little bit of bleach--about half a capful--goes a long way.

5. Protect sinks from scratching and staining

As the Reader's Digest website further suggests, you should place a perforated plastic mat at the bottom of your sink's surface.  This will protect it from a natural sign of aging:  scratches and mars.  It will also keep the dishes clear from such damage.  Do not let residue from fruit, vinegar, salad dressing or any other food or condiment containing acid sit on your sink for an extended period of time.  If you find such a mess on the sink, get rid of it right away.

Everybody spills food or juice from food, particularly fruit, from time to time. But the key is to keep your eyes open.  Notice the spill, clean it up right away before it leaves a permanent scar that is all but totally indelible.

 Other hints

Vinegar and baking soda are your best friends.  
Vinegar is useful particularly on white spots that may appear on the porcelain.  According to the Readers Digest Website, these are lime deposits. They emanate from hard water mineral deposits.  These deposits are easily removed with vinegar. 

What if my problem is rust?

This is not something that should cause any degree of alarm.  If you find rust spots on your sink, some WD40 can help.  Put some on a cloth then wipe away at the rust stain.  On porcelain sinks, take some salt to it.  Pour it on half of a lemon, then rub it on the stain.  

Other Hints

As the website points out, you should monitor your sink very carefully to make sure hair, grease, and soap residue stays out of your drain, to begin with.  But if they get in, be careful to take notice and deal with the situation immediately before it builds up and wreaks havoc on your sink.  In most severe cases, it may be best to invest in a good plumber.  After your plumber's work is done, be careful to keep your sink clear of such debris.  Part of this is faithfully cleaning it once a day, or at least once a week. 


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