Reduce Stress By Keeping The Kitchen Sink Clean

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!”

KITCHEN SINK

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

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!

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.  If you click on the link, you will be directed to Amazon where you have the option to make a purchase.  If you chose to purchase through the provided affiliate link, I will earn a commission.  In addition to this disclosure, I would also like to say “thank you” to those who do chose to purchase through the provided affiliate links. 

MacGyver of Housekeeping

Three months ago, the toilet would not flush.  The chain that connects to the handle had broken off from the “flapper” (the rubber plug thingy inside the tank that makes the toilet flush).  Although a typical job a lovely wife, like myself, would assign to her husband, my loving husband does not do dirty jobs.  In fact, he doesn’t do any jobs that require “fixing.”  He is a man who believes, if something is broke, just replace it with a new one.  Then later complains about our broke bank account while sitting on his new porcelain throne.  Luckily for him and our bank account, I am a MacGyer of Housekeeping.

Science Rocks!

I can band-aid just about anything.  Although I do own tools of my own (pink and petite), it is amazing what you can also do with a penny, a few rubber bands, a box of paperclips, floss, and a handful of alphabet kitchen magnets.  I am serious!

floss

When you need to solve a problem using common household items, it is important to not just think about an items intended function, but its strengths in general.  Although a rubber-band can be used in a variety of different ways to hold things together, it’s elasticity can be used for other purposes, especially, since elasticity has the potential to store energy.  Paperclips can conduct electricity.  Floss is a sturdy string.  Kitchen magnets, although mostly silly decor, are still helpful magnets.  With a little science, creative imagination, and access to the internet, anything is possible.  One of the many reasons I love science!

A Dirty Job 

I do not mind a little dirt, but I draw the line with toilets.  Being elbow deep into the tank of a toilet does not sound very sanitary, regardless that the water in the tank is supposedly “clean.”  But, a girl has to do what a girl has to do to save a little money.

Standing over the toilet wearing my yellow-colored thick dish-gloves, (later to be properly disposed of) I remove the toilet tank lid.  By the way, I do not understand why the tank lid weighs more than the toilet itself.  Anyways, peering into the tank, I found that the chain was still intact, but the rubber loop on the flapper (rubber plug thingy) that connects to the chain is broken.  So, when you flush the toilet, the handle pulls the chain and the chain unhinges from the flapper.  The flapper remains in place and the toilet does not flush.  The flapper needs to be replaced, not the chain.  Although an inexpensive $5 replacement, that is $5 that I can spend on milk, a package of diapers, or a celebratory ice-cold refreshing bottle of soda when I am finished.

Like the amazing petite, pretty, plumber that I am, I turned off the water to the toilet, pulled the flapper to drain the tank, and got to work on repairing the rubber flapper.  The easiest thing to do would be to glue the rubber loop back together so that it holds the chain again.  I used Gorilla Glue, but a week later, it broke again.   This is because the rubber flapper is old and cracking. That is what happens when rubber is submerged in water for longer periods of time, it eventually cracks.

Hot Glue For The Loo

Unfortunately, Google, Yahoo, and Bing told me to just replace it.  Youtube was not helpful either, because nobody has ever had the need or wanted to repair a rubber toilet flapper.  Just as I was about to order a new chain and flapper, I had an idea.  HOT GLUE!  Yup, you never thought hot glue could be used to repair a toilet.

Hot glue is basically a liquid plastic.  Have you ever noticed that when hot glue dries its all rubbery?  Yup, so the idea was to reinforce the glue (Gorilla Glue) with the hot glue.  First, I used Gorilla Glue to glue the rubber loop back in place, attaching the chain to the flapper.  After the Gorilla Glue set (about 24 hours) I covered it with hot glue.  The hot glue dried over the vulnerable parts of the rubber holding the chain to the flapper.  When the chain pulls on the rubber loop to lift the flapper, the hot glue should take most of the force and the chain should not break the the rubber loop.  Science at it’s best!

It has been three months and our toilet has been flushing ever since.  One day, I will need to replace the rubber toilet flapper, but for now, it works just fine.  Oh, and the $5 I saved from having to buy a replacement, bought my kids a couple color books at the grocery store.

The next time you need to fix something, I challenge you to find your inner MacGyver and come back and share with us your experience!