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Quick Tips to Clean the Kitchen Sink

Tools You'll Use

• Eraser-type sponge
• All-purpose cleaner with bleach
• Chlorine bleach and regular sponge

Biggest Challenge

Stains — and who knows what else — in the kitchen sink.

Fastest Fix

Get rid of the gunk: Just about everything that happens in the kitchen — cooking, cleanup, kids' craft projects, and more — involves the sink, so of course it gets stained easily. Splotches show up most obviously on light porcelain or solid resin surfaces, though even stainless steel is susceptible. The speediest way to remove marks from these surfaces: Use an eraser-type sponge like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. (Extra-stubborn spots may need a spritz of an all-purpose cleaner with bleach, and more "erasing.") Then rinse. To sanitize any sink after cleaning, plug the drain and fill the sink with a gallon of warm water. Swish in a tablespoon of bleach. Dip in a sponge; wipe down the faucet and handles. Let sit at least five minutes. Rinse, and air-dry.

Make It Easier Next Time

• Stash Arm & Hammer's Baking Soda Shaker ($1.26) under the sink. Sprinkle it on stains before they set in, then just wipe and rinse. Bonus: Baking soda fights drain odors.

• To keep a stainless steel sink looking its spiffiest, take a few minutes to smooth away scratches, which harbor stains and bacteria, with a powdered stainless steel cleanser, like Cameo, and a regular sponge. While you're at it, help repel grime by applying a light coating of mineral oil with a rag.

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