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.
You Need a Disinfecting Sink Spray to Kill Germs
It may come as a surprise — and a horror, once you think about it — 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
“There’s more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you flush it. The sink is a great place for E. coli to live and grow since it’s wet and moist. Bacteria feed on the food that people put down the drain and what’s left on dishes in the sink.Dr. Charles Gerba (a.k.a. Dr. Germ), a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Dirty Sinks Cause Cross-Contamination
Hopefully, you don’t wash poultry before using it — a practice we were once urged 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, that harmful bacteria lives longer on contaminated surfaces than you might think: up to an hour for campylobacter, and twenty-four hours for e. Coli!
Clearly, disinfecting your sink is an essential step in protecting your family from food-borne illness. That’s why I now use my homemade disinfecting sink spray as one of several steps to keep my kitchen sink and the surrounding areas clean.
How to Keep Your Kitchen Sink Clean
Keeping your kitchen sink clean isn’t simply about preventing food poisoning. A dirty kitchen sink can attract pests like fruit flies and cockroaches. Food residue coating the sink surfaces or left on dishes in the sink lead to kitchen odors, too.
Good kitchen sink hygiene isn’t difficult, though. 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 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. (Clean your garbage disposal weekly, too.)
- Scour sink stains as needed with homemade soft scrub powder.
- Use the homemade disinfecting sink spray below at least once a day and any time you cook raw poultry.
Homemade Disinfecting Sink Spray
Why it Works
Rubbing alcohol: This spray draws its disinfecting power from rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, which UK readers know as “surgical spirits.” Anything that’s 70% or stronger will work. (As always, don’t spray rubbing alcohol around open flames.)
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 – at least 70% strength "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 (for deodorizing and shine)
- Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and swirl to combine.
- Spray sink surfaces until thoroughly wet, including drain openings and faucets. Let sit for at least 60 seconds before wiping with a microfiber cloth. No rinsing required.
Try These Homemade Cleaners, Too.
If you’re a fan of making homemade cleaners, here are some more to try. They’re all inexpensive and easily created using ingredients you probably already have.
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