Use this homemade disinfecting sink spray to kill germs and odors in all of your home’s sinks.
We’re all using our sinks a lot more these days, so it should come as no surprise that we’ve got to clean them more often. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to scrub your sink morning, noon, and night to knock out germs. This homemade sink spray can do it for you, and it’s safe to use on any sink material, too.
Kitchen Sinks Are Dirtier than Toilets
Sinks get wet and tend to stay wet. So, whether you’re washing your hands, your pet’s water bowl, or the fruit you bought at the store, all the germs you’re washing off wind up in your sink. That moist environment is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Dirty Sinks Cause Cross-Contamination
Dirty hands and dishes aren’t the only things that leave germs in your sinks. Washing raw chicken used to be considered good food safety, but now we’re told not to wash poultry because it leads to cross-contamination of nearby surfaces. (Of course, even if you aren’t washing raw poultry you wash all the stuff that touches it, and that can cause cross-contamination, too.)
It turns out that bacteria-filled water droplets can travel up to two feet away from your sink when you’re washing things. So, that cup of coffee you forgot about on the counter may have more than a jolt of caffeine in it by the time you’re done.
What is Cross-Contamination?
Harmful bacteria live on surfaces longer than you might think: up to an hour for campylobacter and twenty-four hours for e. Coli! Meanwhile, anything that touches a contaminated surface gets contaminated, too. And, of course, when that newly-contaminated item touches a completely different surface, it spreads the contamination even further. You can see why cross-contamination a serious concern in our homes, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
How to Keep Your Kitchen Sink Clean
Keeping your kitchen sink clean isn’t just about preventing cross-contamination and food poisoning. A dirty kitchen sink also attracts pests like fruit flies and cockroaches. It’ll stink up your home, too.
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 or as part of your nightly kitchen cleaning routine.
- 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 with homemade soft scrub cleaner or your favorite scouring product.
- Use homemade disinfecting sink spray at least once a day and any time you cook raw poultry.
Homemade Disinfecting Sink Spray
- Spray bottle
- Measuring cup
- 1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol 70%
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 drops liquid dish soap
- 10 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
- Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and shake well to combine.
- To clean: Spray sink surfaces until thoroughly wet, including the drain opening and faucets. Wipe with a clean microfiber cloth.
- To disinfect: After cleaning, reapply the spray until surfaces are visibly wet. Wait 5 minutes for proper germ-killing, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rinse. Air-drying is also fine but won’t result in a shiny, spot-free surface.
- Store in a cool, dark place away from heat, flames, pets, and kids.
Why These Ingredients?
Before you try substituting different ingredients or adjusting the formula, it’s a good idea to understand what each of these ingredients does.
Rubbing alcohol (“surgical spirits” in the UK): This spray draws its disinfecting power from rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is not the kind you drink (which is ethanol), so it is permissible and widely available everywhere. You’ll find it in the first aid section of your grocery store or at the pharmacy or chemist. If you already have 90% strength stuff that you want to use, that’s fine, but it will evaporate more quickly and may leave streaks.
Liquid dish soap: In this homemade cleaner, the soap also helps break the surface tension of the grime, which helps the other ingredients work even better. You can use whichever soap you prefer, even Castile soap.
Essential oil: I use lemon essential oil in my homemade disinfecting sink spray because it deodorizes and shines. Also, lemon essential oil doesn’t contain citric acid, as fresh lemons would, so it’s safe for granite and marble, too.