When a kitchen appears clean, it does not mean it is safe. There are many areas where bacteria can reside; on the countertops, in the refrigerators, in the garbage disposals, and on other surfaces. However, did you know that kitchen sinks and drains are some of the areas where bacteria inhabit most? According to a recent study on domestic health, gunk and food materials that buildup in the pipes under your sink attracts bacteria.
Cleaning and disinfecting the pipes is highly recommended, though, the two are different things. Cleaning removes food residues, creams, dirt, and some bacteria. However, cleaning has been found to spread bacteria to other surfaces around the kitchen. That is why disinfecting is quite important. Disinfectants and sanitizers kill disease-causing organisms, and are available as sprays, liquids, and wipes. There are also homemade disinfectants that work well.
If you have old pipes that are connected to a local sewage plant, water is not enough to clean them. In such cases, bleaches such as chlorine are the best to clean and disinfect the drains and dissolve clogs. You can do this once in every month by pouring 12 ounces of bleach directly into the drain, but the bleach should not be allowed to settle in a stainless steel bowl of your sink. After about 6 to 8 hours, flush the pipes thoroughly with water. But, you should not use bleaches to clean the pipes if you have cleaned your sink using products containing ammonia.
There are other environmentally friendly cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. If the sink is producing some bad odor, pour half-cup of baking soda and then add half-cup of white vinegar. Close the drain and wait for about 5 minutes. Pour a few cups of boiling water into the drain. Baking soda is best for scouring while vinegar disinfects, leaving your sink drains clean and bacteria free.
Now you have known how to clean and maintain your sink and the pipes. Below are 4 types of sinks based on materials used to make them.
Types of kitchen sinks
Stainless steel sinks
These are the most popular sinks, taking more than 60% of all sinks on the market. Stainless steel is relatively cheaper compared to other materials, except the expensive designer brands such as Blanco. The material is versatile, and therefore the sinks are available in a range of installation types. Stainless steel is categorized in terms of the gauge; low gauge is heavier while higher gauge is lighter. The gauge falls within 15 – 24, and most of the residential sinks are normally between 18 and 22. The thickness of the stainless steel sheet ranges from 0.048 inches to 0.030 inches. Even though they are said to be durable, they can scratch easily compared to other materials.
Cast iron sinks
This is one of the oldest materials used to make kitchen sinks but remains popular even today. It has a glossy and bright enamel coating that makes it more appealing. They are made of cast iron and are highly durable. The porcelain layer used on the finishing prevents iron from rusting, as well as resisting scratches and stains. It is imperative to note that the finish is a melted glass that is fused to the cast iron material. The finish offers ease of cleaning and does not show spots of dried water. However, cast iron sinks are heavier than the stainless steel sinks. This makes it difficult during installation, especially the under-mount sinks that need an additional support to hold the sink firmly under the counter.
These are quartz or granite composite sinks. They are made using a mixture of crushed quartz or granite and resin fillers. The combination makes the material aesthetically attractive, and also highly durable. Both the quartz or granite composite sinks are highly resistant to stains and scratches. Many homeowners like granite composite, though both varieties are rosy and long lasting.
These are made of ceramic clay, which is molded into a sink shape and then allowed to dry at high temperatures for a period of 30 to 40 hours. Once it dries, a porcelain enamel coat is applied and the sink is placed in a tunnel kiln at extreme temperatures for a period of 15 to 20 hours. The process helps to fuse the enamel and the clay, as well as increasing the overall strength of the materials. That is why they are said to be more durable compared to iron cast sinks. However, the fireclay is not permanent and the coat may chip from a bang of a dropped object like glass.