This homemade disinfecting sink spray kills germs, eliminates odors, and leaves behind a nice shine. It’s safe to use on all kitchen sink materials and can be used in bathroom sinks, too.
Why You Need to Disinfect Sinks
It may come as a surprise (and a horror) but kitchen sinks are among the dirtiest spots in your home.
You’d think all the soap used when washing dishes or hands would help keep the kitchen sink clean, but you’d be wrong.
Kitchen Sinks Are Dirtier than Toilets
Sinks get wet and tend to stay wet. So, whether you’re washing hands, pet bowls, or the fruit you bought at the store, everything you’re washing off lands in your sink.
That moist environment is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. So are the food particles and other residues left behind when you wash dishes.
Dirty Sinks Cause Cross-Contamination
Hopefully, you don’t wash poultry before using it — a practice we were once told to follow but now should avoid. But it’s not just raw poultry that leads to cross-contamination from dirty sinks.
That’s because bacteria-filled water droplets can travel up to two feet away from your sink when you’re washing hands or any other dirty surface.
So, that nice cup of coffee near your sink may have more than a jolt of caffeine in it by the time you’re done.
What is Cross-Contamination?
Anything that touches contaminated surfaces gets contaminated, too. That’s what’s meant by cross-contamination: bacteria on one surface lands on a clean surface, then things touching that newly-contaminated surface spread the mess elsewhere.
To make matters worse, harmful bacteria live on contaminated surfaces longer than you might think: up to an hour for campylobacter, and twenty-four hours for e. Coli!
How to Keep Your Kitchen Sink Clean
Keeping your kitchen sink clean isn’t just about preventing food poisoning. A dirty kitchen sink can attract pests like fruit flies and cockroaches. Dirty sinks cause also kitchen odors.
Fortunately, good kitchen sink hygiene isn’t difficult. You just need to follow a few daily steps:
- Encourage family members to use bathroom sinks to wash their hands, not the kitchen sink.
- Wash your sink with soap and hot water after doing the dishes.
- Run your garbage disposal every time you cook or do the dishes, so food doesn’t build up in the drain.
- Scour sink stains as needed. (Here’s an excellent homemade soft scrub cleaner to try.)
- Use the homemade disinfecting sink spray below at least once a day and any time you cook raw poultry.
Homemade Disinfecting Sink Spray
Rubbing alcohol: This spray draws its disinfecting power from rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Use the 70% as recommended — higher percentages evaporate too quickly to allow proper disinfection.
Liquid dish soap: The few drops of soap contained in the solution break through the surface tension of grime, so the rest of the ingredients can do their work. You can use whichever soap you prefer, even Castile soap.
Essential oil: The essential oil in this disinfecting sink spray is optional. I used lemon essential oil because it deodorizes and shines. Also, since lemon essential oil doesn’t contain citric acid, as fresh lemons would, it’s safe for granite and marble, too.
Homemade Disinfecting Sink Spray
- Spray bottle
- 1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol 70% "surgical spirits" in the UK
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 drops liquid dish detergent Castile soap is fine, too
- 10 drops lemon essential oil optional but recommended for deodorizing
- Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and swirl to combine.
- Spray sink surfaces until thoroughly wet, including drain openings and faucets. Wipe with a clean microfiber cloth.
- After cleaning, reapply the spray until surface is visibly wet. Wait 5 minutes for proper germ-killing, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth. No rinsing required.