Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Kitchen Sink


We have a stainless steel double sink in our scullery; a deep main sink, and a smaller one next to it. I use the larger sink for pot and dish washing, and fill the smaller sink with bleach or disinfectant water for soaking the dishcloths. This is much more hygienic than using the dishwater to rinse the cloths in when wiping kitchen surfaces, as the dishwater contains a lot of grease from the pots and pans. Grease that sometimes cannot be seen floating, especially when the water is hot and soapy. It is so very tempting to dip the cloths in this prepared sudsy water, but submitting to this urge results in the countertops looking streaky. The grease particles are well behaved; they stay wherever they are spread. Until the next wipe.

If you don't have the benefit of a second sink in your kitchen, a plastic bowl, the shape of your sink unit is an ample substitute. There are round and rectangular bowls available to suit the shape of your sink. Kitchen sink bowls are so handy. Mobile too. The bowl can be filled with 'counter and benches cleaning water', and can be carried around to each kitchen destination requiring cleaning. While your sink is left to do what it does best; hold water for the soaking and later washing of dishes, pots and pans. Alternately, your bowl can be used for washing fruit and vegetables.

Many housewives in England use bowls at their kitchen sinks. It is a domestic tradition. If they have a round sink, they have a round bowl. If they have a rectangular sink, they have a rectangular bowl. My sweet mam used a bowl. She claims that if you place cups, saucers and other 'delicates' into the bowl, they wont have to mix with 'tougher' pots and dishes, which may cause them to crack. Items can be stored in the bowl in the same way they can be stored in the dishwasher. This frees up the sink and draining board and thus provides inspiration to tackle any necessary chore involving the kitchen sink. Mounds of stainless steel, pottery, porcelain, plastic and china, not to mention potatoe peel, spinach spines, carrot peel etc. are very off-putting.


My personal experience with kitchen sinks has been a learning one. I have 'gleamed' much. As a newly wed I thought that if my sink was clean and shining and all gruesome looking food particles were cleaned off the sink, tap and draining board, that everything was truly clean. Alas - that is not so. There's much unseen life there. What I do now, and what I taught my kiddos to do, is firstly, thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire sink area. Then, give the base of the tap and water spout a 'towel rub' with the cloth. Have you ever seen what comes off of there? It's like that song we used to sing - ".....red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue.....I can see the crud crumbs, see the slime balls, I wonder, can you, too?"

After the rub, I drizzle clean water over this area. Even more crud slithers away - down into the sink. As I watch this, a childhood song comes to mind - and it is as if the goopers are singing the song themselves - "row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily merrily down the drain, as Helen cleans and gleams". Off they go -down the plug hole! And just when I think they've all surrendered, another lost soul sets sail, down to the depths of the grease trap; via the grey water rapids....

After the 'sinking', I like to use my tea towel to dry the taps, spout and sink area so that it shines. Ready for the next shift....