Monthly Habit: January – Shining Your Sink

Shining Your SinkIt’s a brand new year and a brand new month. That means it’s time for a brand new habit. Welcome to January and Shining Your Sink. All month long we are going to practice keeping our sinks nice and shiny. Here’s some great information from FlyLady to help get you started.

When you get up in the morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. – FlyLady


Do you need a way to make the idea of shining your sink a little more fun? Treat yourself to FlyLady’s fantastic rags in a bag! A set of three purple microfiber cloths, FlyLady’s rags will make you smile as you shine your sink. Order FlyLady’s rags in a bag from The FlyShop!

Don’t forget to keep up with the habits you created last year. View our habit of the month list. 

Shiny Sink 101

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:

Note: Be sure to rinse well between each step!

  1. Take all the dishes out of the sink.
  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. Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. 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.
  3. Rinse your sink well.
  4. Use some powdered cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or baking soda) and scrub your sink. Be sure to rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink.
  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.
  6. Clean around the faucets. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.
  7. Now, get out your window cleaner; I use Windex. Give it a good shine.
  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!
  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 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 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.
  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: 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!

Testimonial – Oh! You meant “Shine the sink!”

Hi, Marla 🙂

Oh! You meant “Shine the Sink!”

I just read the note from the reformed lady and had to laugh. I uploaded the toolbar, which I love, a week ago and clicked for the first time on the video of shining your sink. Now, I started with Flylady about four years ago after the birth of my first BBG (beauuuutiful baby girl) and successfully found the joys of putting on my shoes each day. I glanced at the “Shine Your Sink” part, but I said, “No way, not going to happen.” I bounced in and out of the system and took what I could use and was happy with the bits of things changing here and there.

Once, about eight months ago, I attempted to shine the sink and stayed up until 1 a.m. to do it. OK, you guessed it. I’m a SHE and a “P,” and you will forgive this, but it serves me well in my talent, which is music. I adore perfecting and have concluded it’s something I really like to do, so I do attempt to do it (now that I have two kids) in at least one thing every day — and forgive myself when the other 99 things needed done are barely touched. 🙂 In four years, until I saw the video this past week, it NEVER dawned on me — you meant JUST “Shine the Sink.” LOL — I’m serious!

To me, “Shine the Sink” was the symbol of the perfectly cleaned kitchen, which meant catching up the four loads scattered around the dishwasher, sink, stove, and every available counter, wash and dry, wash and dry, wash and dry — then run the one full load left in the dishwasher. THEN put them all away, making sure, of course, that the silverware is polished and free from hard water stains (if not, they need to be re-rinsed and shined…) Clean the counters with disinfectant, run over them once with windex so they’re pretty, don’t forget the top of the fridge, which gets covered in grime and dust every three days, make sure all pantry items are put in their place, sweep and mop the floors, THEN — the ultimate reward: SHINE THE SINK. On a good day, this takes me two hours. LOL, honestly I am getting better, but you can imagine what a dunce I felt like when I realized from the video — you meant, “Shine the Sink.”

I have recruited the help of two professional kitchen cleaners, Hannah Rose (age 4-1/2) and Bethany (age 3-1/2), and we have come up with a plan. In addition to their point chart for keeping their room clean (with pennies per point for reward at the end of each week), we have started a third chart, which HR kindly drew for me. Mommy gets five points each night for JUST (this is exceedingly hard for me) shining the sink each night. Ten points if the dishes are also done, and 15 points if I’ve perfected the kitchen. Hannah Rose lovingly stops me from my creative tasks promptly at 8 p.m. and lets me know “It’s time to shine the sink.” (…and reminds me, “No whining or complaining,” if I say, “Wait, just a few more minutes, I’ve got to finish this…” 😉 ) We three now have started the new habit of SHINING THE SINK. (They shine while I try to perfect…) Sigh, oh, well, it’s getting there. I may just need to check through your tasks again with new eyes.

Thanks, Marla, for your immense patience with us (don’t scold me, please, I’ve had enough of that to last me the rest of my life…) and for saying, “I’m proud of you,” which I’ve learned from you to say to my BBGs and my beloved as well. You are changing lives —one shiny sink at a time. Cool.

Thanks and hugs,


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