The One Thing You Should Always Do After Washing the Dishes

Image of sink with bubblespeapod labs via Flickr

Whoever hates doing the dishes, say “aye!” It’s unfortunately one of those tasks that we need to do pretty much every single day—especially those who don’t have a dishwasher; you’re the true MVP. But even if you do, there are always certain items that need to be washed by hand. And thus, everyone suffers here.

Now, whether or not you’re a person who lets all the dirty dishes stack up in the sink (or the counter for that matter), or you’re someone who washes the fork right as it exits your plate, we have some sound advice for what to do after you finish washing your dishes. Well, we mean what to do after besides pat yourself on the back and reward yourself with a glass of wine, because that should go without saying.

The one thing you should always, always do after cleaning the dishes is clean your kitchen sink!

Okay, obviously once you’re done scrubbing the dishes, the last thing you want to do is scrub something else—but hear us out. Giving your kitchen sink a deep cleaning after doing other dishes will keep it looking shiny and new. If you neglect to clean your sink, it can actually become even dirtier than a toilet! How gross is that?

It makes sense—don’t you notice how after you just cleaned a bunch of cereal bowls and plates from dinner how much gross food particles are left in your sink? Milk mixed with pasta sauce is a serious recipe for gagging. But besides that, the food particles can act a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, including some pretty serious ones like salmonella and E. coli.

So yeah, we don’t just mean a quick rinse of the sink after dishes. We mean, it’s important to take the time to give it a good scrubbing each and every time. This will help lessen the risk of you getting all kinds of gross bacteria building up in there, let alone eliminate any chance for your kitchen to start to stink (cause that happens too).

So how to do that? We got you. First, use a surface cleaning spray or bleach-based kitchen spray and wipe it down with a sponge or cloth and warm water. That’ll get all the gross food particles away.

It might actually look pretty clean after this, but all the gross things might still be lurking so step two: Mix equal parts bleach and water and pour it right into the sink. Let it sit for a bit (this is a good time to reward yourself for cleaning the dishes, like we said earlier)—maybe about a half hour or so. Then rinse it with warm water. Voilà—sparkling, shiny, bacteria-free sink!

If you’re into more of a natural cleaner, try mixing a tablespoon of baking soda and a half cup of lemon juice instead of the bleach. Leave it to sit, scrub it a bit, and then rinse it off with warm water. Not only will it eliminate all the gunk, it’ll give it a nice lemony scent as well.

Do you wash your sink after you do the dishes? How do you do it? If not, are you going to start?