Cleaning Guides

How to Clean and Maintain the Kitchen Sink: A Step-By-Step Guide

Andrey_Popov /

When it comes to kitchen maintenance, there are certain parts we tend to neglect. The kitchen sink is a great example, as many of us are guilty of just giving it a quick wipe or skipping the area as a whole. Needless to say, those aren’t the best of ideas, since the sink is one of the germiest parts of the kitchen.

With all of this in mind, in this article, we are going to share with you an in-depth, step-by-step guide on how to properly clean your kitchen sink, along with maintenance tips, and other useful information.

So, if you are someone who:

  • wants to learn how to clean their specific type of kitchen sink;
  • is wondering how to keep their sink looking clean;
  • just likes to read about kitchen maintenance.

Then this article is for you!

Table of contents:

How to deep clean a kitchen sink

Cleaning your kitchen sink may sound like a pretty straightforward process – you just take your sponge and remove a couple of pesky water spots, right? Well, not exactly. If you want truly spotless results, you’ll need to invest a little more time and elbow grease. With that in mind, below you’ll find a step-by-step on how to achieve a thoroughly cleaned and polished kitchen sink.

Step 1: Clear out the area

First thing’s first – you need to clear out the sink and the surrounding areas from all items. It will just make the cleaning process a whole lot easier, and it’s far more efficient than lifting each bottle of detergent, sponge, or rag to clean underneath it. So, move everything aside, and…

Step 2: Prepare your cleaning supplies

Here are the types of cleaning supplies you’ll need to clean your sink, most of which you can find in your kitchen cabinet:

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • A sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon oil

Of course, you won’t be using all of these at once. You’ll choose the cleaning products depending on your kitchen sink’s material – which is exactly what we are going to be focusing on in the next part…

Step 3: Apply the right cleaning product

Different types of sinks have different cleaning requirements. To make things easier for you, we’ve listed the most popular kitchen sink materials along with their correct cleaning method. Let’s begin with…

Stainless steel

The best stainless steel sink cleaner is just regular dishwashing detergent. Grab yourself a sponge, add a few drops of product, and start washing the sink. If you have trouble reaching smaller areas, replace your sponge with an old toothbrush. And while on the topic of tools, when washing a stainless steel sink, NEVER use a scourer or any other type of harsh brush, as you can scratch the material.


If you have a ceramic sink, the cleaning approach will be slightly different. Your best cleaning friends here will be baking soda and lemon juice. Use the soda and a damp cloth to remove the surface dirt, rinse, and then cover the sink with lemon juice for 30 minutes to naturally whiten it.


Those of you wondering how to clean a white plastic kitchen sink will be very happy with the easy cleaning method. All that you have to do is make a solution of white vinegar and water (the ratio is 1:4), and apply it to the sink with a sponge. After a bit of scrubbing, you’ll see all of those nasty stains and dirt removed.

Cast iron

Cast iron is a pretentious material, and you need to be very careful what you use to wash it with. Abrasive tools, such as steel wool and wire brushes, and acidic cleaners are a huge no-no. Other than that, cast iron is fairly easy to clean. All you need is a bit of baking soda and water. Mix the two together to create a paste and apply it to the kitchen sink. Then, with a sponge, start scrubbing.

Granite composite

Similarly to cast iron, granite composite is an easily damaged material in terms of cleaning. Bleaching products, descaling detergents, and spray cleaners can ruin both the finish and colour of the sink. That said, your safest bet is plain white vinegar and water. Mix equal parts of both and apply using a sponge. Before you know it, your kitchen sink will look good as new.

You may also like:
Cleaning Guides
How to Clean Laminate Benchtops

Step 4: Don’t forget to scrub the water tap

Once you’ve taken care of your sink, it’s time to move on to the tap. Your best buddies for this job will be an old toothbrush and plain dish soap. Apply the soap and start scrubbing. Focus on the bottom part of the tap that connects to the sink and the base of the handle(s), as those areas tend to get the grimiest. After all, it will be a shame to have a squeaky clean sink but dirty fixtures, right?

If you are dealing with extra stubborn spots, combine half a cup of white vinegar with half a cup of water, dip your sponge in the mixture, and wipe down the tap. Just make sure to test the solution on a small area first to see if there is some sort of unwanted reaction.

Step 5: Clean the drain

You can’t call a kitchen sink “clean” if you haven’t washed the drain properly. Start by removing any food scraps. After that, pour one part of baking soda right into the drain, followed by two parts of white vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes for the mixture to do its magic and then wash everything away with hot water. This whole process will answer both the questions of how to clean kitchen sink drainage and how to clean a kitchen sink drain smell.

Step 6: Rinse

Now that you’ve washed your sink, drain, and fixtures, it’s time to thoroughly rinse everything. Make sure to remove all of the cleaning products that you’ve used – you don’t want to have stains left behind after you are done cleaning.

Step 7: Polish everything for a perfect finish

Cleaning your sink is just not enough if you want to achieve perfect end results – you need to polish everything too. If you have a ceramic sink, you can use a few drops of lemon oil and a clean rag to bring back its shine. For cast iron, stainless steel, and granite composite, a nice wipe with plain olive oil will do wonders. And if you own a plastic kitchen sink, you can polish it with a normal microfiber cloth.

Don’t go overboard with the oils – you don’t want to end up needing to wash your sink all over again, because you made it too greasy.
You may also like:
Cleaning Guides
How to Clean a Washing Machine

How often to deep clean your kitchen sink

Generally, you should deep clean your kitchen at least once a week. That being said, there are some types of materials that need to be cleaned more frequently. For example, ceramic sinks get very dirty very easily, so if you have one, you’ll have to wash it at least two times a week. On the other hand, there are very forging options, stainless steel being one of them.

Material aside, another factor that will play a huge role in the frequency of your cleaning sessions is how much you use the kitchen area. The math is pretty simple: the fewer dishes you wash, the less dirty the sink.

Wish you could skip on deep cleaning the sink?

Find a local cleaning expert to take care of your sink.

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:

A few important kitchen sink maintenance tips

Now that you know how to properly wash your kitchen sink, it’s time to talk about how to maintain it. Like with all things in your home, creating healthy, regular maintenance habits is the key to less heavy-duty cleaning in the future. With that in mind, here are a few good tips to follow:

  • Put it on your daily cleaning list to give your sink a quick clean with just your dishwashing sponge and some detergent.
  • When you are done washing your dishes, always remove any food scraps left in the drain. This will help you avoid potential clogging and eliminate bad smells.
  • Never pour hot, greasy substances, like your frying oil, directly into the drain. When hot, the oil will stick to the drain pipe and, once it has cooled down, harden. The final result will be a clogged drain.
  • Try to wipe down the sink dry after every use. This will help you keep it stain-free.
  • If you want to go the extra mile, use an antibacterial solution to sanitise your sink every week. We don’t need to tell you about the type of germs and bacteria lingering around the drain.


  • Take into consideration the type of material your sink is made of. What works for one type of sink may ruin another.
  • Make sure to clean your drain while washing the sink – you don’t want any food bits left in there;
  • Extra stubborn stains on your sink fixtures can be removed with just water and white vinegar;
  • Most types of sinks can be polished with olive oil, lemon oil, or with a plain microfiber cloth;
  • The key to having a nice and shiny sink is regular maintenance.

Did you find our article helpful? Do you have any extra cleaning tips? Make sure to share them in the comment section below!

0 0 Votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x