Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shiny Sinks?

Ahhhh.....cleaning my favorite task.  Yeah, not really.  As I've said before cleaning is not my favorite thing.  I try to avoid it at all cost.  The problem is that I can't stand to live in a dirty house.  I came across a website one day that kinda changed my life: www.flylady.net .  This woman has amazing ideas on how to keep your home clean and clutter free without spending all of your time cleaning.  Her method is based in the concept of spending 15-30 minutes at a time on a task whether it is cleaning the kitchen, organizing your bills, or scrubbing your toilets.  I found that if I set a timer and know that I am only going to spend 20 minutes going through my sons' room, it doesn't seem like such an overwhelming task.  The Flylady has a daily email you can subscribe to that presents a task for the day which is great to get you started.  After several weeks of doing this I learned a lot and was able to create a schedule that fit my family's needs.  Flylady also has a section called baby steps that really helped to get the ball rolling for me and I would like to share the first baby-step with you.  This is something I now do once a month....here is an excerpt from FlyLady.net :

Shiny Sink 101

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.
Dear Friends,
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.
Here is how you do it:

  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.
  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 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 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.
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: 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.

  Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed!  The FlyLady also has a book called Sink Reflections that can be purchased HERE.  Next week:  homemade household cleaners....do they work?  HAPPY TUESDAY!

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