by Marla Cilley (FlyLady)
This is your first household chore. Many of you can’t understand why I want you to empty your sink of your dirty dishes and clean and shine it, when there is so much more to do. It is so simple. I want you to have a sense of accomplishment. You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. I can’t be there to give you a big hug, but I know how good it feels to see yourself in your kitchen sink. So each morning this is my gift to you. Even though I can’t be there to pat you on the back, I want you to know that I am very proud of you.
Shiny Sink 101
I want you to smile from ear to ear when you gaze upon your shiny sink. I have heard every excuse in the world. Even old sinks can look new again with a little elbow grease.
Note: Follow this procedure the first time you shine your sink. You do NOT need to follow this method everyday. Just keep up the shine with a little window cleaner.
BE SURE AND RINSE WELL BETWEEN EACH STEP OF THE WAY!
1. Take all the dishes out of the sink.
2. Run some very hot water into the sink. Fill to the rim. Only do one side at a time. Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. Let it sit for 1 hour. Now, pull the plug with a pair of tongs. If you don’t have tongs, then scoop some of the water out of the sink into the other sink and use your hand to pull the plug (wear gloves and don’t get the bleach-water on your clothes).
3. Rinse your sink well.
4. Use some cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or Baking Soda) and scrub your sink. Ensure you rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink. Now if you have a stainless steel sink, use SOS pads to scrub it. This will buff the finish. It will look like new.
5. Take a sharp edge and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails.
6. Clean around the faucets too. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.
7. Now, get out your window cleaner, I use Windex, and give it a good shine.
8. If you still can’t get it to shine after the Windex, put a light coat of lemon oil or olive oil on it. I mean just a tiny bit on a cloth and rub it. This will make you smile. Some people have had very good results from Bar Keepers Friend. If you still don’t like the way it looks, then you could try some car wax. Just know in your heart that you have cleaned it very well now and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Our perfectionism is what got us in this situation in the first place.
9. Every time you run water in your sink, take your clean dishtowel and dry it out (I lay out a clean one, every night with my before bedtime routine). Before you know it, you will be doing this everytime you leave your kitchen. The rest of the family will too. No more water spots. You will have a clean and shiny sink.
10. Don’t have a fit if someone doesn’t take as much pride in your sink as you do. It is very easy to fix. You have already done the hard part. You will never have to go through this process again. Daily maintenance will keep it looking this way all the time. Nasty hurtful word are not as easy to repair. Just be sure and tell your family what you are trying to do. They will think you have gone crazy.
11. If you don’t have a dishwasher, don’t worry. A dishwasher is just a dirty dish disposal. Clean out a place under your sink and put a dishpan in there. Teach your family, that instead of putting their dirty dishes and glasses in the sink, place them into the dish pan. Get into the habit of putting your dishes away as soon as they have been washed and are dry. No more leaving the dish drying rack on the counter or in the sink. Put it away under the sink when you have finished. If your old one is nasty, you may want to soak it in the sink full of bleach water at the same time you soak the sink or go buy a new set.
12. To ensure that your family remembers this, put a note in the sink. It will get their attention and remind them where to put the dishes. Be patient! They have never been taught either. It is going to take some practice.
Last note: ensure you don’t mix cleansers like Comet, etc. with Windex (or other ammonia based cleaners), you can create dangerous gases! It is worth repeating: rinse well between each step.