Is your house out of control? Is it such a mess that you have no idea where to begin? The FlyLady suggests the first step should be to shine your sink. Does that sound crazy? It’s really not. Let’s talk about why you should begin with the kitchen sink and then I’ll walk you through the process, step-by-step.
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Shine Your Sink: The Starting Point
Why start with the kitchen sink?
The kitchen is the heart of the home. So much of our home life takes place in this room. I’m sure we’ve all had that unpleasant experience of waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes. Or coming home from a long day at work, a hungry family to feed, only to have to deal with dishes before you can even start cooking.
Developing the habit of going to bed each night with the dishes done will make a huge difference if this has been an issue for you.
And the FlyLady takes it a step further by not just doing the dishes but scrubbing the sink and leaving it spotlessly clean and shiny!
How to thoroughly clean and shine your sink
1. Remove dishes from sink. If you have a dishwasher, put them in there. If not, FlyLady says to set them aside. Personally I would go ahead and wash them but if you have a lot and that step will deter you from shining your sink, stack them on the counter and deal with them later.
2. The next step according to FlyLady is to fill the sink to the rim with very hot water and add a cup of bleach. That’s not terribly eco-friendly so another option is to put in the stopper, add a kettle or two of boiling water and about half a cup of vinegar. Unless your sink is truly grimy all the way up the sides, I don’t think it’s necessary to waste a full sink of water.
3. Let sit 15 minutes to an hour, drain (wear gloves or use tongs to remove the stopper if you did use bleach), and rinse very well.
4. Sprinkle sink with a powdered cleanser. FlyLady suggests Comet, Ajax or baking soda. I have a white porcelain sink and absolutely swear by Bar Keeper’s Friend. Scrub well and rinse thoroughly.
One thing FlyLady doesn’t address is the garbage disposal. If you have one, remove the splash guard and give it a good scrub. I’m not sure if they are all the same but in addition to the removable splash guard, mine also has permanently attached flaps. Take a stiff brush, wet it and add some dish soap or your favorite cleaner and thoroughly scrub the underside of the flaps. Turn on the hot water and run the disposal. If you have any citrus peels add a few for a pleasant scent.
5. Clean around the rim of the sink, the drains and around the faucets. An old toothbrush is good for this. Even better is this very stiff Micro Manager Detail Brush from Grove Collaborative. It’s also great for tile grout.
If you have hard water deposits on your faucets, soak a rag in vinegar, place over the deposits and let sit a half hour or so then rinse. You may have to repeat this.
(If your faucets are made of something other than chrome, check manufacturer’s information first to make sure this won’t harm the finish.)
6. Spray sink with window cleaner and polish with a dry cloth.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT mix cleaning products. This can lead to the creation of very dangerous gases. Rinse very, very well between steps.
Once you get your sink thoroughly clean you can maintain it with just a bit of daily care. Each evening after washing the dishes I use the dish cloth I washed dishes with and a bit of dish soap to wipe out the sink. Rinse and if needed, scrub with a bit of cleanser and rinse again. Use that day’s dishtowel to dry the sink and faucets, put the dish cloth and dish towel in the laundry and set out a fresh set.
Periodically take a few minutes to do a little extra scrub, especially around the rim and faucets, and clean the garbage disposal as described above.
If you get in the habit of doing dishes regularly and keeping your sink clean and shiny, your kitchen will look so much better and that sense of accomplishment will slowly begin to affect the rest of your house.
Here is the link to The FlyLady’s original instructions: FlyLady Shiny Sink 101
And here is a video of Diane in Denmark (one of my favorite YouTubers) demonstrating her take on the shiny sink: