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How Clean Is Your Kitchen Sink, and Why Does It Matter?

You wash dishes in your kitchen sink every day, so it must be clean. Right?

Unfortunately, kitchen sinks are often one of the dirtiest and germiest places in the home, and all those dishes you’ve been doing could be making matters worse. In this article, we’re discussing the importance of regularly cleaning your kitchen sink and why it’s such a hot spot for germs and bacteria to grow. We’ll also highlight a few easy cleaning tips to keep decorative kitchen sinks clean and safe for the whole family.

Signs of a Dirty Kitchen Sink

Not to gross you out or anything, but the average kitchen sink is actually dirtier than a toilet seat. It’s common to disinfect the toilet, but lots of people neglect the kitchen sink as part of their regular cleaning routine. Sponges and dishcloths harbor many kinds of bacteria, and sink basins often collect everything from soured milk to dirt rinsed off produce and juice from raw meat. Even if your sink looks clean to the naked eye doesn’t mean that it truly is free from germs.

Hazards that Lurk in Dirty Sinks

E. coil often accumulates in the kitchen sink because the wet and moist conditions are ideal for its growth. Salmonella also often lives in kitchen sinks because of the sponges we use and the dirty pots and pans we place in the sink to wash later. Other hazards that commonly linger in kitchen sinks include camylobacter jejuni bacteria and staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria thrive on food scraps that are put down the garbage disposal and washed down the drain.

Health Risks to Your Family

A dirty sink does much more than just look disgusting; it can actually pose serious health risks to you and your family. Bacteria can easily spread onto your hands and into your mouth when you eat food from a kitchen with a dirty sink. The side effects are often stomach aches, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Cleaning Tips for Decorative Kitchen Sinks

One of the best ways to reduce the occurrence of bacteria and other pathogens in your kitchen is to clean and swap out sponges and dishrags at least once per week. To avoid excess waste, you can simply toss them into the dishwasher on high heat or microwave them for about 30 seconds to kill germs.

Disinfectant products that are designed for kitchen cleaning should be used to scrub out the sink a couple times per week as well. If you use your kitchen sink very frequently, it is also recommended to wash out the basin with a solution of bleach and water once per day. Don’t forget to remove the drain plug and clean it as well because bacteria often collect here from food scraps.

Another good habit to get into is wiping your sink down with a paper towel after each time you use it. Pour a little white vinegar on the paper towel for an added cleaning bonus. This helps to eliminate bacteria build-up and bacteria breeding. While wiping down decorative kitchen sinks, remember to also clean the faucet and faucet handle. These are especially germy places that collect bacteria from our hands while preparing meals.

Finally, it is important to consider what your sink is made out of when cleaning it on a regular basis. Not all stainless steel decorative kitchen sinks are equally safe because a smooth finish is less likely to retain bacteria than a grainy finish. Surgical-grade steel sinks, for example, are easy to clean and reduce the risk of bacteria growth because of their polished style. And while stone sinks may be lovely to look at, natural stone materials aren’t always the best choices for the kitchen. Since stone materials are naturally porous, you may need to use a special sealant and perform frequent maintenance to ensure that stone surfaces are clean and free from bacterial growth.

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