Sink Cleaning Secrets!


Your sink is to your kitchen, as your bed is to your bedroom – meaning, even if your whoooooole kitchen is clean, it’ll look messy, if you have a messy, cluttered, crusty sink..

But keeping the sink clean and shiny is a tall order, let’s face it, the sink is usually the repository for every dirty dish in the house, so with that in mind, and because many of you have asked, here’s a few handy tips to help you keep your sink empty, clean AND shiny!

Keep your sink empty

Easier said than done, I know – but the real secret to keeping a clean sink is to not leave stuff in there – in the first place – and trust me, I know people who believe the sink is some sort of magical transporter, transporting dirty dishes directly from the sink and into the dishwasher..So, if you know one of those people or – are – one of those people – all you need to do is start putting dishes directly in the dishwasher and not in the sink – do this everyday for a couple of weeks and soon enough, you’ll create a habit – and end up always putting your dirty dishes where they belong ANNNND you’ll have a cleaner sink! 🙂

If you don’t have a dishwasher, then the habit you have to embrace is washing your dishes after each use – and while that might not sound overly appealing, I believe it’s better than the alternative of having food rot away at room temperature for 4 days…

How to clean your sink

So now that the dishes are gone, your sink has developed a thick layer of skin, literally.  Grime, grease, bacteria and debris will be left behind and can stain or at the very least, leave your sink looking grungy.  If you have a stainless steel sink, like I do – cleaning it is easy.  You want some sort of detergent or soap to clean and then some sort of mildly abrasive product to scrub away the build up, which often forms when dishes are left in the sink.  I remove debris from my sink traps and then spray the sink with all purpose cleaner, or dish soap and water, or even vinegar and water.  Then, I use, uh…ahem…baking soda.  We here at Clean My Space use baking soda so much…. we put it on payroll…I love baking soda for its gentle abrasion and deodorizing properties.  It won’t scratch and offers us both abrasion and deodorizing power.  Once the sink is sprayed down, sprinkle baking soda all around the sink and leave it for a few moments.  then, scrub with a sponge and rinse with hot water, which is key.  Get all debris and baking soda granules down the sink and buff with a dry cloth.

If you notice brown stains forming in your drain or around your drain, those are stains.  To clear this up, just create a paste of dish soap and baking soda and apply to the area.  Leave it for a few moments and then scrub gently with a cleaning toothbrush. If you have a high polish sink, be extra careful that you don’t scratch it by using a soft sponge and nothing too abrasive.

You can also use this method on Porcelain and plastic sinks..

Clean your sink traps

Your sink traps can get disgusting…have you ever smelled one?  They trap old food, and cling to odours and bacteria like..uhh…well, it’s just gross.  I don’t want to pain that picture for you, just use your imagination.  So, to clean it, which I recommend to do monthly, take yours apart if you can, soak overnight in soapy water and baking soda and then rinse and replace.  Get into all of the nooks and crannies with a small cleaning toothbrush and rinse well.  You can also place it in the dishwasher, but I always feel it is cleaned best when disassembled and soaked.

How to shine your sink

A sparkling sink is the hallmark of a clean kitchen, so here’s my ultimate sink-shining tip.  There are a few ways to shine stainless steel sink, but my favourite is using rubbing alcohol – which works wonders on any stainless steel surface..Just use a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol to one part water, spray the sink down and then wipe everything dry with a clean cloth.  Boom. Sparkle.

Unclog the drain

If your sink drains slowly – or if you have noticed a little funk in your kitchen – you may have some build up that you need to clear out of your drain – to do this, simply take about a cup of baking soda and dump it in the drain..then, you’re going to leave it there and do nothing for an hour… – boil a about 3 cups of vinegar in a kettle – and the coolest part about doing this is you actually descale  your kettle at the same time!

..take the boiling vinegar and dump it down the sink and your sink won’t stink no’mo..

Garborator (Garbage Disposal)

I don’t have a garbage disposal or “garborator”, but for those of you who do – you can use the same steps we just talked about to get the drain unclogged – to also clean your garbage disposal..A cup Baking soda down the drain and then 3 cups of boiling vinegar as a chaser WITH the garbage disposal running..

To keep odours at bay – cut up a lemon – or a lime – or a grapefruit or even an orange – any citrus fruit will do – plop the slices into the disposal and turn it on to rid yourself of the garborator funk..or just do this any time you have used citrus peels for good measure.

Shine your faucet

Finally, the faucet, while not technically a part of the sink, it’s close enough – so let’s clean it too..For chrome and nickle faucets – All you need is a spray bottle with a 50/50 vinegar and water mix and a microfibre cloth to do away with any build-up – just spray on the vinegar mixture on the faucet and faucet handles and let sit for about a minute – then take a clean, dry microfibre cloth and wipe to a shiny finish!

If you have pesky water spots, just spray with vinegar and leave for a few minutes, then wipe off with a dry cloth and they should be gone.If you have copper, stainless steel, brass or bronze faucet – it might be best to use simple dish soap – or even a specialty cleaner depending on the finish..

If YOU have a cleaning question, leave us a comment in the box down below – that’s where we get all of the ideas of these videos – so, let us know about your cleaning conundrum..

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Any advice on cleaning an off-white built in corian sink? I can get it pretty nice looking with a magic eraser, but there are a few brown marks (maybe small chips?) that we inherited from the previous owner that are always there.

    • Hi Jessie! The magic eraser trick is great one, but you can also try scrubbing any brown stains away with an oxalic acid powder like Bar Keepers Friend. DuPont (the company that makes those sinks) actually tested out a few different methods of cleaning Corian sinks and that’s one of the methods they recommended. Good luck!

  2. I have a brown sink and countertop in my bathroom, I can clean it but it will immediately be dirty and get a white layer of soap scum immediately after cleaning. I am unable to maintain the brown color.

    • My guess is that you never actually got rid of the soap scum or maybe lime scale deposits in your sink. They probably seemed to disappear only as long as the sink was wet.
      I recommend my new favorite limescale and soap scum cleaner- a 1:1 solution of hot vinegar and blue Dawn d/w liquid. I heat the vinegar in my kettle ( bonus – get the kettle descaled too!) then add to equal amount of blue Dawn in a sprayer bottle. Spray a layer of this cleaner on area to be cleaned. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.
      Scrub with a scrubby sponge or other tool that will not damage your surface. Rinse thoroughly. Polish with a dry microfiber cloth.

  3. Loved the video. How can I clean my black gas stove top. I have used all kinds of products. Everything streaks.. use glass cleaner to shine it after cleaning it but that takes several times. Microfiber cloths steel also. HELP… I hate this stove. Moved into the house and inherited it.

  4. I’ve recently discovered your videos on YouTube and I must say…..I love every single thing!! Everything has worked out and my home is so much easier to clean now….PS my Mr thanks you too!! Lol baking soda and vinegar have become my new bestfriend!

  5. Hi, please could you suggest what to use to clean white marks off a black composite sink? I’m in the UK. Love all your videos, you’ve really inspired me to try diy products & to get organised! I’d love to get some if you’re microfibre cloths – do you think you’ll end up shipping to England? Cheers x

  6. How do you clean a granite sink. Mine is black and I used bar keepers friend. It is now dull and has a white look to it. Similar to hard water stains. HELP!

  7. In one of her videos Melissa recommended a counter cleaner containing rubbing alcohol, dish soap and water. I’ve been using it on my quartz counter for months. Now I see in the comments below that Chad says to stay away from rubbing alcohol! I sincerely hope I haven’t damaged my counter.

  8. Love all your videos but I had a small remark about this one regarding sink cleaning. One suggestion you made was to do a final cleaning with rubbing alcohol. It appears you have either a granite or quartz counter top in the video, and our installer said to to never use or get alcohol near the top. Takes off finish. What’s your viewpoint on this

  9. How do you clean double sided glass oven doors–mine has drips or streaks I can’t get to ( in between the glass doors).

    • I find the product, BARKEEPERS FRIEND a lifesaver. The active ingredient is citric acid which u find in cola and other soft drinks. I clean for a living and always get compliments on my super shiny sinks 😀

    • Not sure it’s the best tip, but I fill my kitchen sink half full with the hottest water and throw in about 2 TB bleach- or a bit more depending on the state of your towels and a few drops liquid laundry detergent. I leave them for 30 + minutes, fill the sink with warm water and let them soak about 14 minutes to get any residual bleach and detergent out. It does remove colour so unless your dishcloths are white this may not be for you. Mine are so you can see any dirt and stains easily. You can then let dry and use as is or throw them in the dryer or clothes line (sunlight acts as a bleach and antibacterial deodorizer.

  10. How do I keep behind the sink faucet dry, since water builds up when washing dishes? Its hard to get a rag in between to constantly soak up the water.

  11. On a similar matter, the stainless urinal at work has had smelly stains on it for years.
    I’ve tried to get it off, but it’s pretty stubborn.
    I have a feeling that some clever person may have been pouring out stuff into it that shouldn’t have been.

  12. Question: Shine a chrome or nickel faucet with 50/50 vinegar/water solution.

    What about shining a chrome sink? The shining solution mentioned says for stainless steel sink, 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water, but it doesn’t mention what to use for chrome and other finishes.


  13. Hi Melissa,
    I have white porcelain double sink made by Kohler. Looks great but not easy to clean. I now use Bar Keepers Friend powder and it seems to work. I tried soda and soap and it doesn’t really remove some stain (even i clean it ever day) and my sink doesn’t look white.
    Any ideas, something I am missing here?

  14. Ahh! I didn’t even KNOW a brown stain was a stain! lol i sooo would love to start my own cleaning business but it’s not like it used to be, a $100 investment altogether for a license and cleaning supplies! Gotta be bonded, have insurance, business license, register a trade name, and with the advent of the internet anything you start up in you’re just a dime a dozen unless you can survive long enough to outshine everyone else.

  15. i never thought about boiling the vinegar, i always just put it down cold. I will be trying this way today 🙂 Thank you again for an awesome tip

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