Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Minimalist Kitchen Sink

A primary focus in a kitchen is the sink and it offers up many opportunities to save time, space, money, the environment, and your health.

They say some kitchen sinks are as bacteria ridden as a toilet. It is really easy to let this happen or to keep it from happening. The best line of defense against bacteria is a spray bottle filled with water, a bit of dish washing liquid, and a cap full of bleach. Spray your sink and kitchen surfaces, let it sit for about a minute, then wipe off. Green Tip: I just cleaned and reused an old spray bottle.

Space saving tip: Install a dish washing liquid dispenser into your sink. They're inexpensive and easy to install. Just ask for directions from someone at Lowes or Home Depot.

Kitchen sponges and scrubbers are another source of bacteria. I used to think that those fake drawer fronts that tilt out to hold sponges were great because they were out of sight but, they are bound to become bacteria ridden from moisture. The best place to keep your wet sponges in in your dishwasher in the silverware compartment, (so they don’t cause any trouble!) Keep a few in circulation. Use them once then pop them in. That way you are always using a fresh, sanitized sponge.

Bar rags are great for keeping counters clean. Use them with the bleach solution. Buy a bunch and use a new one every day. Just circulate them through the laundry. Paper towels are a waste of money, space, trees, and create garbage but you might want to keep one roll from recycled paper on hand to use sparingly.

Cutting boards that fit right into the sink are really handy and save space in cupboards and counters. They can be used, then washed right away and can be sprayed quickly with the bleach solution when you wipe down your counters. If your sink didn't come with one, use a small cutting board next to the sink. Another green tip: Use a bowl to collect your veggie scraps, then toss them into your outdoor compost bucket. (Bowl then can be rinsed and put away or popped into your dishwasher.

Most kitchens have a large slide out cutting board, but unless you are cutting up a turkey or roast they’re over kill. When used on a daily basis, they tend to end up pushed back in dirty or wet, yuk! I pull them out when I use them and wash and dry them at the sink with my bleach solution when done.

Party Tip: Large cutting boards can be used to put out a spread of cheeses, French bread, and other yummies on your kitchen or coffee table at a party.

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