Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shining Your Sink 101

When I did FlyLady's BabyStep #1 (written about in this post), and gave my sink the DEEP shine today, I snapped some pictures to share what the step-by-step process looks like.  So here's the new and improved steps to shining your sink!  And then I promise this will be the last I post about it... for a bit. :)

Have you shined your sink yet?  If not, jump in and do it today!  (Not gonna lie, it did take me all of Ellie's 2 hr. naptime, and beyond!  The dishes took some time to clean up, and then the hour long soak gets ya... So maybe an hour before you plan to work on it, have the bleach soaking already so you're ready to go!)

Okay, want to see my Before shot?

Time to take a deep breath, put on those cute cleaning gloves that make you smile, (and a cheesy Christmas movie on Netflix, like A Christmas Kiss), and dive in.

FlyLady's Shiny Sink 101:
(From | FlyLady's words are purple; my words black)

Note: Be sure to rinse well between each step!

And remember, You only follow this procedure the first time you shine your sink. You do NOT need to follow this method every day. Just keep up the shine with a little window cleaner.

First, start by gathering your supplies: paper towels or rags, your sink plugs, bleach, tongs, 1 c. measuring cup, cleaning gloves (I like to have one pair for dishes and a separate pair for cleaning), a powder cleaner like Comet or Ajax, a sponge, toothbrush, butter knife, Windex--or your favorite countertop cleaner (I love Target's Caldrea line--check if your store carries it!), and finally, lemon Plinks (little scent balls for dish disposal--often found hanging in cleaning aisle of grocery stores).  Oh, and not pictured above but VERY important: a good hand lotion--cause oh boy can cleaning dry out those hands!  Here's my fave that you can find at Target.  It smells heavenly!   
Pink Innocencia Body Butter by Sonia Kashuk  |  $10.99 at Target
Step 1) Take all the dishes out of the sink. (I washed and put in dish washer.  This was probably the better chunk of the cleaning time come to think of it.  And side note, do you have gloves that make you smile?  I haven't always worn gloves to do dishes or clean, but it makes it more fun now that I have cute ones!)

2) Run some very hot water into the sink and fill it to the rim. If you have a two-sided sink, only do one side at a time. (I kind of have no idea why this is, but I followed FlyLady's directions.  Definitely took longer, but I was able to do subsequent steps on one side while the other side soaked.) Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. (I have a yucky cup that I use just for this reason.  It feels funny to me to use a cup I bake with for bleach.  Just me?)  Let it sit for one 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. Make sure you wear gloves so the bleach doesn’t irritate your skin, and don’t get the bleach water on your clothes.

Step 3) Rinse your sink well. I scrubbed the residue well with the scratchy side of a sponge.

Step 4) Use some powdered cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or baking soda) and scrub your sink.

Before sprinkling the Comet, I splashed water around to dampen everything.  Then after sprinkling it all over I let it sit for 5 minutes.  This scrubbing here is what gives your sink its shine, so make sure you scrub really well.  And of course, be sure to rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink.

Step 5) Take a sharp edge, such as a butter knife, and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails.  I found the butter knife worked great!  I've also seen my mom use a small spoon turned over to scrape off the gunk.  I mainly just scratched back and forth along the groove with the knife, because I noticed it could scratch the counter if I tried to go bigger than that.

Step 6) Clean around the faucets. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.  I didn't use the floss since the toothbrush did the truck.  I wonder how the floss would go over though!


Here is half of the scum behind the faucet scraped off!  Made such a difference in the overall look of the sink. 

Step 7) Now, get out your window cleaner; I use Windex. Give it a good shine.  I've liked this new scent by Windex in Lavender and Peach Blossom.  It still smells like a cleaner, but I feel like it's a bit more pleasant.  I just sprayed it all over and used a paper towel to buff it really well.  And then I stood back to admire the SPARKLE! :)

Windex® Multi-Surface with Glade® Lavender and Peach Blossom
K, now let's remind ourselves what my sink looked like BEFORE...

Aaaaaand, TA DA!!!!!!!!!!  My shiny sink!!!  It's amazing how a clean, shiny sink is contagious--it spreads its cleanliness to the kitchen counters, and then before you know it, your whole house is clean. :D

Step 8) If you still don’t like the way it looks, then you can 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!

Step 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 as part of my before-bed routine). Before you know it, you will be doing this every time you leave your kitchen! The rest of the family will, too. No more water spots. You will have a clean and shiny sink.

Step 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 words 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.

Step 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.

Step 12) To insure 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.

Now if you have a stainless steel sink, I recommend all of the above directions with one extra instruction added: after you soak your sink, rinse well, and use SOS pads to scrub it. This will buff the finish. It will look like new.  (S.O.S. Steel Wool Pads)

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.

Go Shine Your Sink!

Last note: Be sure you don’t mix cleansers like Comet with Windex (or other ammonia based cleaners); you can create dangerous gases! It is worth repeating: rinse well between each step!


  1. Congratulations on beginning your flylady journey! Her emails, flywashing, and methods have made my life so much easier, she took the overwhelm out of cleaning for me.
    And its nice to meet you!

  2. Should AJAX Instead ; It's Smells Heavenly !