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How to clean a kitchen sink

Your kitchen sink holds dirty pots and pans, plates and bowls, day after day, helping you to clean up from each meal. Keeping your kitchen sink clean is an important step in keeping your entire kitchen clean and can help keep your sink and drain free from build-up and odors. Read on to learn more, from basic everyday cleaning tips to deeper cleans for tougher messes.

Why is it important to clean your kitchen sink?

It is important to clean your kitchen sink because food residue can build up in the sink and the drain, causing it to be unsightly and smelly. Keeping your kitchen sink clean can help prevent these issues.

How often should you clean your kitchen sink?

It’s best to clean your sink once a week. If you’ve been working with raw meat or ingredients with a strong odor, cleaning it after each use may be necessary.

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How to clean a kitchen sink

Read on to learn more about how to clean a stainless steel sink, the drain, faucet and garbage disposal. 

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How to clean a stainless steel kitchen sink

To clean your stainless steel kitchen sink, first, rinse any food or loose debris out of the sink. Next, lightly coat the sink with baking soda. Baking soda likely won’t scratch your sink, but it is useful in cutting through tough stains like hard water deposits and grease. Scrub your sink following the stainless steel grain using a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Spray the sink with vinegar and let it sit on the baking soda for a few minutes. Rinse your sink and wipe it dry. You can also polish your sink with a few drops of olive oil after cleaning it.


Make sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your sink to help ensure you use the right cleaning method before getting started.

Affresh® stainless steel brightener1 clears away rust and removes heat discoloration and yellowing from stainless steel surfaces. To use affresh® stainless steel brightener, apply a small amount with a soft, dry cloth and rub it in the direction of the grain. Allow it to sit for 2 to 3 minutes and then lightly scrub in the direction of the grain. Rinse the surface with water or a clean, damp, soft cloth.

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How to clean a kitchen sink drain

Pour 1 part of baking soda and 2 parts white vinegar into your sink drain. Allow it to sit for approximately 15 minutes. Pour boiling water down the drain afterward to help avoid left-behind residue.

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How to clean a kitchen sink faucet

You can clean your kitchen sink faucet and handles with soapy water and a sponge. You can also use a toothbrush for any hard-to-clean areas.

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How to clean a garbage disposal

Before cleaning your garbage disposal, make sure that it is turned off. To easily clean your garbage disposal, reach through the sink opening and clean the underside of the splash baffle and inside the upper lip of the grind chamber with a scouring pad. Then, place a stopper in the sink and fill it halfway with warm water. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with the water and turn the disposer on, removing the stopper from the sink at the same time to help wash away any particles. 

To simplify the process, use a specialized cleaner like affresh® disposal cleaner about once a month. Designed to create a scrubbing action that cleans your disposal and equipped with a powerful citrus-scented foaming action, affresh® disposal cleaner removes odor-causing residues from your disposal. To use affresh® disposal cleaner, turn on the hot water to a low flow and place one tablet in your disposal. Turn on the disposal and allow it to run for 15 to 30 seconds. Finally, rinse the sink.

Tips for cleaning your kitchen sink

  • To clean a sink, start at the sides of the basin and work your way down. This way, any dirt can easily be pushed into the drain.

  • Clean your sink regularly before you notice any odors.

  • Know the material your sink is made of so you can be sure to clean it with the right materials.

  • Avoid using steel wool or other abrasive materials.

Shop affresh® products for keeping your home clean

Affresh® products have been designed to deliver easy and effective solutions to cleaning. Explore products like stainless steel brightener, disposal cleaner and dishwasher cleaner to help keep your appliances clean.

Learn more about household cleaning with Whirlpool brand

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1. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.