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How to clean a sink

Here we explain how to clean stainless steel sinks and plastic sinks for a sparkling finish.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

clean sink with cleaning cloths

Key Steps:

To clean a sink at home, follow these key steps:

  1. Remove all visible dirt and grime from the sink.

  2. Use a natural sink cleaner for a light clean.

  3. If you need a deeper clean, follow the directions below for using powerful bleach.

Banish bad smells and blockages in your kitchen by following our steps on how to clean a sink. We’ve got step-by-step processes for cleaning stainless steel sinks and plastic sinks including specific advice for removing rust. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to clean a kitchen sink, you’re in the right place.

Always wear protective gear when cleaning a sink to avoid skin irritation.

How to clean a sink in the kitchen: where to start

  • Always start by removing any pieces of food and debris left around the sink.

  • If your sink isn’t just dirty but is also giving off an odour, you can check out our article on how to get rid of smelly drains.

How to clean a kitchen sink: plastic sinks

You have a few different options when it comes to cleaning plastic sinks. If you want to go down the natural cleaning products route, you could try this method:

  • Mix 4 parts water to 1-part white vinegar.

  • Use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the sink.

  • If there are extra-tough stains add baking soda to the mix. This will create fizz and it’s these bubbles that are so effective in removing marks and stains.

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If this doesn't do the trick, you might want to try cleaning products instead. For example, a good quality bleach like Domestos Thick Bleach can clean a sink effectively in minutes:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of bleach per 4.5 litres of water and apply the mixture to the sides and base of the sink.

  • Leave to soak for a few minutes if there are tough stains to remove.

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

  • Make sure all bleach has been rinsed away before using the sink to prepare food again as swallowing even a small amount of bleach can be harmful.

How to clean a stainless steel sink

If you’ve got some really stubborn areas and are wondering how to remove stains from a stainless steel sink, you can try the same techniques as above. A mixture of water, vinegar and baking soda will usually be effective. However, if that doesn’t work try commercial products for a germ-busting clean. There are a few other important considerations when cleaning stainless steel sinks:

  • Always scrub in the direction of the polish lines.

  • Always rinse off any cleaning product immediately to avoid corrosion.

  • Never use steel brushes or steel wool on sinks.

How to remove rust from a stainless steel sink

When you’re cleaning this kind of sink, it’s also important to know how to clean rust from stainless steel.

  • When it comes to getting rid of rust, the type of cleaning product you use is less important than the way you apply it.

  • Use either a natural or store-bought cleaner.

  • Apply with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

  • Rub in circular motions until the rust starts to come off.

  • Keep going until everything has been removed.

  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water afterwards to remove the debris.

Now you know how to clean a sink in the kitchen or bathroom you’ll be able to wipe away dirt and grime without any hassle. While sink cleaning may not be the most fun household job it is relatively easy and can make a big difference to your home.

Originally published