How to Clean Your Sink, Drains, Faucet & Garbage Disposal in 5 Easy Steps

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Do you need to clean your kitchen sink thoroughly – including the drain, disposal, and faucet?

You’ve come to the right place.

Regular cleaning of your sink and drain helps to maintain cleanliness and good hygiene in your home. 

What’s In This Guide

This guide introduces a proven method to clean your sink – all of it, including your faucets, drains, and garbage disposal.

For each of these kitchen sink components, we provide a step-by-step guide along with a list of the supplies, tools, and materials you’ll need to clean it.

Finally, we answer the most commonly-asked questions about cleaning your sink and drain – including the gotchas that trip up most people.

Hopefully, this guide will answer all of your questions.

But in case it doesn’t, please leave us a comment below.

Why Clean Your Sink Regularly

Do we need to answer this?

Even with regular cleaning, grime and foodstuff will build up in your kitchen sink and disposal. 

This creates not only clogged sinks but also threatens your health. WebMD says that even your toilet is cleaner than your kitchen sink!

Bad habits like soaking dishes in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher can lead to bacteria growth, too. 

You will eventually put your family and yourself at risk if you don’t clean and disinfect your sink properly.

How to Clean a Kitchen Sink

best way to clean sink drain

Here are some easy cleaning and maintenance tips to keep bacteria and viruses from living in your kitchen sink.

Get Prepared: Gather What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • A clean, dry sponge or dishcloth to clean.
  • Dish soap (antibacterial is best)

Steps To Clean A Kitchen Sink

Step 1. Give Your Sink A Thorough Rinse

You should finish cleaning and remove all dishes before you start cleaning your kitchen sink. 

Then, rinse the sink thoroughly to remove all liquids and food particles. 

NOTE: It’s best to clean your drain(s) & disposal after you have finished cleaning your sink so that the debris you remove from the sink doesn’t recontaminate the drain.

Even if you don’t have the time or energy to clean your entire sink, thoroughly rinsing your sink daily is good practice. 

Do not use acid or cleaning chemicals daily, however, as they will damage your sink.

If you own a ceramic or stone sink, your sink is likely prone to developing stains over time.  To prevent this, make it a part of your nightly routine to rinse your sink.

Step 2. Sprinkle Baking Soda All Over The Sink

After rinsing your sink of visible food or debris, sprinkle baking soda into the sink. 

Try to cover the entire sink’s surface up to the rim.

We recommend using a baking soda canister to sprinkle – don’t use a spoon or your hands, as it will waste product and lead to an uneven coating.

Step 3. Use A Clean Sponge or Cloth to Apply Dish Soap

After sprinkling the baking soda over the entire sink, it is time to start soaping and scrubbing.

For easier cleaning, apply a little dish soap to your sponge or cloth.

Blue Dawn dish soap is great for almost everything.

Step 4. Start Scrubbing

Baking soda can scratch stainless steel and other sink types, but it is not abrasive. 

Start scrubbing at the top of the sink’s edge and work your way down to the drain. 

Then, use a circular motion to wipe down every square inch of the sink in one final pass.

Step 5. Final Rinse

To ensure that you clean everything, give your sink a thorough rinse.

How to Clean A Kitchen Faucet Properly

best way to clean sink drain

Step 1. Check The Finish Of Your Faucet

It is essential to know the finish of a faucet before trying to clean one. This will help you choose the right cleaning products and tools. 

It’s best to check with the original manufacturer to decide which cleaning supplies to use.  But if you cannot, Google how to clean the material and the finish. 

Plastic, stainless steel, and bronze are the most commonly used faucet materials. 

Plastic and bronze faucets are often covered with a metallic/chrome or painted surface. 

For most finishes, it is not a good idea to use scrub sponges or abrasive brushes. 

A soft cleaning cloth, warm water, and dish soap will do the trick in most cases.

Step 2. Use Dish Soap and Warm Water To Clean The Faucet

You should only use mild dish soap, warm water, and a cloth to clean faucets. 

Use dish soap to clean the sink fixture. Then, dry the faucet with an unused cloth. 

To make the faucet shine, you can wipe it down with a dry cloth.  

Step 3. Use White Vinegar To Remove Stubborn Grime & Stains.

White vinegar is a good choice if your sink fixtures are clogged with grime or have stubborn stains. 

Mix half a cup of white vinegar with half a quart of hot water. 

Dip a cloth into the solution and test it on a small area of your faucet.

If needed, you may want to first remove the faucet head filter by unscrewing the faucet head from the unit. Then, you can place the filter in a thin layer of the vinegar solution in a saucer or small cup.

Step 4. Remove Stains With a Toothbrush and Baking Soda

Sometimes you’ll see grime inside the faucet head or in tiny crevasses which need cleaning. 

Baking soda is the safest and most effective way to clean most kitchen surfaces, including faucets. 

Put a small amount of baking soda into an old toothbrush. Then, add a little bit of water. 

To remove stains, scrub around and inside the faucet using the solution, then rinse thoroughly.

How To Clean a Clogged Sink Drain

clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

There are a few ways to unclog a poor-flowing kitchen drain. 

You can use over-the-counter drain cleaners to loosen the grime and eventually break it down enough to flush the pipes out of your home. 

You can also use DIY drain cleaning products to remove stubborn clogs. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for unclogging your drain.

Step 1: Use a Drain Plunger

Let’s not go the chemical route or ignore it altogether. Let’s first try some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

It doesn’t matter if you have a kitchen sink, a shower, or a bathroom sink; a simple, sanitary toilet plunger might work.

You must ensure that the plunger covers the drain opening entirely and seals on all sides. It is essential to create suction.

You can quickly move the plunger upward and downward several times. The pressure applied will forcefully release any debris stuck to the drain and allow it to flow down the drain.

Step 2: Run Water

Turn on the water and check if it drains quickly. You may need to do this again until water stops pooling in the basin or the toilet flushes correctly.

If it is not working, move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Use Chemicals or Household Products

You can find chemical drain cleaners at most pharmacies and your local grocer. This is an excellent option for those difficult-to-reach clogs which won’t move with a plunger. 

Depending on the type of plumbing system, you may need to flush your pipes and drains with a chemical solution at least once a year. This will prevent gunk and debris from building up.

There are standard household products that you can use to clear out clogs and debris from drains. However, if you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, use some household products like

  • Vinegar and Baking Soda
  • Baking Soda & Lemon Juice
  • Baking soda and salt
  • Salt/Sodium Borate/Vinegar
  • Baking Soda/Salt/Cream Of Tartar

Step 4: Try the Plumber’s Snake

A plumber’s snake is an excellent tool to remove clocks. It has a spiral-coiled snake that extends into the drain. You can turn the handle to remove the obstruction and pull the snake out of the gutter. 

To tackle blocked drains, electric snakes have even more power.

You can make a temporary one using a wire coat hanger if you don’t have a plumber’s snake. 

Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to unwind the hanger into a long piece of wire. Keep the hooked end as it helps to grab the debris. You can adjust the angle of your hook with the pliers if necessary to fit it through the drain opening.

Step 5.  Clean the P-trap

If your water still isn’t draining accurately, it could be due to a blockage in the pipe (or P-trap) under your sink. For example, your sink may not drain properly due to food, grease, or other debris stuck in the pipe.

To remove the gunk causing the blockage, you will need to disassemble the pipe. Warning: This job can be messy, so make sure you have gloves, goggles, and towels. These steps will help you clean the P trap.

Put a bucket under the pipe. It will capture any water and debris that might get out of the P-trap.

Remove the connectors that connect the trap to the horizontal and vertical drain pipes. On either end of your P-trap, you will find a slip nut.

Clean the pipe from all dirt, grime, and residue by removing the P-trap.

Connect the trap again.

Turn on the faucet, and water will run down the drain.

If your drainage is not clear, you may have a clog farther up the pipe. You will need to go back under the sink to locate the cause of the blockage. Here are the steps to take when you reach that point.

Continue the steps above to remove the P trap.

Remove the horizontal pipe connecting the system to the wall.

  • Install a coat hanger, an auger, or a plumber’s snake into the wall pipe. Use your tool to remove the obstruction from the line when you feel it.
  • Continue this process until all debris is removed.
  • Next, assemble the pipes and P trap, then tighten the connectors manually. 

Tip: Don’t over-tighten connectors as this could cause them to crack.

To flush the drain, run hot water. Before you get excited about your accomplishment, make sure to check the underside of the sink when the water is running. 

This will ensure that there are no leaks from the pipes. Make sure you tighten all connectors if there are any leaks. After clearing the drains, you can dry any water dripped from the floor or under the sink.

If your sink is still not draining after reaching this point, it could be an even bigger problem. You should call a plumber to get a professional repair.

How to Safely Clean Your Garbage Disposal

best way to clean sink drain

Your garbage disposal is another place where bacteria and germs thrive. 

Dirty disposals will eventually make your kitchen smell bad and pose a health risk due to all the bacteria and food particles that rot in there. 

Therefore, you need to regularly clean your garbage disposal to maintain a fresh kitchen and reduce bacteria.

NOTE: Make sure you have cleaned the sink, drain, faucets, and surrounding area before cleaning the disposal last.  You don’t want to send grime back into a freshly cleaned disposal immediately.

What you’ll need

  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Ice

Step 1. Check To Ensure the Disposal is Off.

Although this is an obvious reminder, it is still essential. 

You should unplug your garbage disposal or make sure you are careful not to flip the switch accidentally.

Step 2. Run Ice & Salt in Your Disposal

  1. Put 1/2 cup salt and 1 cup ice into the garbage disposal.
  2. Don’t hesitate your hand to push the garbage disposal unit down.
  3. After removing your hands, run the disposal for approximately 10 seconds to break up the salt and ice in the blades.

Step 3. Add Baking Soda 

Add 1/2 cup baking soda into the disposal and let it sit for approximately an hour.

Step 4. Add Vinegar  

After letting your baking soda sit in your garbage disposal, it is time to add vinegar. 

Add about 1/2 cup vinegar. You may notice a mild foaming reaction when the vinegar hits the baking soda, but this is normal.

Step 5. Use cold water to flush the disposal

Finally, turn on the cold water tap and let it run for 60 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Your Sink Drain

1. How Can I Prevent Bad Sink Drain Smells?

The main cause of bad smells from a sink is bacteria. Bacteria thrives wherever it is damp and dirty, leading to further bacteria building up over time.

Hydrogen peroxide, a non-corrosive liquid with anti-microbial properties and anti-bacterial qualities, kills bacteria, as does vinegar, which is acidic.

 You can use baking soda to absorb and neutralize odors. 

2. Can I Pour Bleach Down My Sink?

No, please do not do this.

Bleach is a corrosive chemical that can cause severe damage to your plumbing and other parts of your home, and it will eat away at them over time. 

Instead, use safer products such as baking soda and vinegar, which won’t be detrimental in any way.

3. Is Hydrogen Peroxide A Good Drain Cleaner?

Yes, it is! 

The chemical properties of H2O2 make it perfect for cleaning drains because it breaks down into oxygen and water molecules when in contact with organic matter like hair, food particles, and soap scum.

4. How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen Sink?

If you want a clean kitchen sink, then the answer is pretty straightforward: every day. 

You should only need to thoroughly clean your sink/drain/disposal about once a week.

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