There is just something magical about a sparkly clean sink. I cannot explain it, but a clean kitchen sink reduces a lot of stress for me. For me, it doesn’t have to be clean, just empty! Dirty dishes can be overwhelming and stressful, especially, when they begin to overflow onto the counter tops. The best advice ever given to me, besides being told to never drink out of the milk carton with red lipstick on, is to always “keep the kitchen sink clean!”
What does my kitchen sink have to do with my stress?
Well, surprisingly, my kitchen sink not only holds a lot of dirty dishes but also a lot of stress. I totally did not think keeping the kitchen sink clean would have any significant impact on my stress levels, BUT IT DOES!
Going to bed with a clean sink feels really good!
- At the end of a long day, if the sink is clean, it feels like an accomplishment.
- When I wake up to a clean sink, I feel like there is one less chore to do on my to-do list.
- If I keep the kitchen sink clean all day, I am not overwhelmed by a pile of dirty dishes at the end of the day.
To be honest, out of all the chores I have to do everyday, dishes are my least favorite. I always do them last, sometimes, even the next day. On rare occasions, I wait until the end of the week to tackle them. There is nothing worse than waking up to a pile of stinky dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, especially, if they have been piling up all week. Also, it is never fun trying to figure out how to make dinner without clean pots and pans or eating pasta with a spoon. So yeah, keeping the kitchen sink clean does reduce stress!
How Do You Keep The Kitchen Sink Clean
I have a secret strategy to keeping the kitchen sink clean all day and it does not involve switching out your fancy plate-ware for disposable plastic-ware; although we do that sometimes. Nope, we still use normal dishware for all our meals, I just have a better strategy against dirty dishes. There is no scrubbing or soaking either, so if you chose this method, you will rarely see your scrub brush again. My method is simple: Eat, Rise, Load.
Basically, instead of waiting until after dinner to tackle an entire days worth of dirty dishes, I continuously load the dishwasher throughout the day. Not a single dish ever sits in the sink!
- Everyday, I start with an empty dishwasher.
- After every meal, I immediately rise all the dishes and load them into the dishwasher (but I do not start the dishwasher).
- I remain mindful of dirty dishes all day. If we take out a spoon for a cup of yogurt as a snack, after the snack, the spoon is rinsed and immediately placed into the dishwasher. Same with cups too, however, we try to reuse the same cup all day; just rinse thoroughly and reuse. Of course, if a cup is truly dirty, definitely, get a new cup; BUT, place the dirty cup into the dishwasher!
- After dinner, I load up those dishes and then start the dishwasher.
- I wait until the morning to unload the dishwasher. I always unload it when my coffee is brewing. That way, I have something to look forward to after I finish putting all the dishes away from the dishwasher.
The reason I do this now, is not only because dirty dishes can be overwhelming, but also because of RUST stains in the stainless-steel kitchen sink. If a dish, pan, or utensil stays in the kitchen sink too long, rust stains appear on the sink. For some reason, rust stains are a pain to scrub out of my kitchen sink. So, the solution to rust stains is to prevent rust stains in the first place. Of course, I tried really hard to do dishes everyday, but there are times when a pile of dirty dishes is just too overwhelming and when your tummy is happy and full from dinner, the last thing you want to do is scrub a pile of dirty dishes and load them into the dishwasher. Thus, I realized loading the dishwasher rather than the sink all day, eliminates both stress and rust stains.
Saving Water And Reducing The Water Bill
Before, I use to run the dishwasher EVERYDAY. That is a lot of water, especially, since my dumb dishwasher goes on for 3 hours. I never expected that I would reduce the number of dishwasher loads by keeping the kitchen sink clean all day. Instead of waiting until the sink is piled high in dirty dishes to load the dishwasher and run it; we now fill up the dishwasher until it is full! Huge difference!! I now run my dishwasher every other day or maybe every 3 days.
I think this is because the kitchen sink has unlimited capacity where dirty dishes can overflow on top of the counter, whereas, loading the dishwasher instead of the kitchen sink with dirty dishes, there is a limited capacity forcing you to the start the dishwasher when it is full.
The Power Of Plink: Cleaning The Kitchen Sink
Just because the kitchen sink is empty, doesn’t mean its clean. Although I keep the sink empty all day, every night I clean it.
- Distill Vinegar: If there are rust stains, hard water spots, or soap build up, I use distill vinegar.
- Soak areas with vinegar and then scrub. I generally fill the sink with water, plug it, then add vinegar to tackle the rust stains. Soak for 15 minutes and scrub.
- Distill Vinegar and Baking Soda: A foamy reaction, but it does remove sink grime.
- Clorox: I generally disinfect with Clorox.
- Plink: After the sink is clean, I “plink” the disposal to make it smell good.
Plink are gel capsules that you drop into the garbage disposal that keep the sink smelling good. Garbage disposals, no matter how much you run water through them, can still smell awful. I found that Plink will make my kitchen sink smell good for about 2 days, then after that, it seems to neutralize odors (I don’t smell anything good or bad) for about a week. So, I “plink” the sink once a week or whenever it starts to smell bad.
Forming New Habits
There are days when I don’t follow through with my awesome plan in keeping the kitchen sink clean. Life happens and forming new habits take time (supposedly 3 months now, not 21 days). Yet, I am happy to say that I do follow through with my plan during the week when its just me and my kids. However, the weekend is a completely different story. My husband is home, parents drop by, step-kids visit, and nobody seems to remember to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher rather than the sink. Okay, honestly, nobody ever gets close to the sink, my family just leaves their dirty dishes wherever. That is life though and a work in progress for my family.
Best of luck keeping your kitchen sink clean!
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