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Why you Should Ditch Your Sink Grid NOW!

Kitchen sink grids can be handy and they look really great in the bottom of your pretty stainless steel sink.  But looking pretty isn’t always good enough and which is Why you Should Ditch your Sink Grid, NOW.

Sink grid with scrub brush and text overlay.

Purpose of a Sink Grid

They sure look pretty in the bottom of a shiny stainless steel sink. They’re great at keeping pots and and things off the bottom of the sink. Plus when you rinse the sink you’re not rinsing around things that might be in the sink.

And it’s nice to have a stainless steel sink protector, because as great as it is, stainless steel can get scratched.

But did you know sink grids are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria?

Gross. Disgusting. Slimy. Filthy. Those are just a few adjectives that come to mind while describing what I discovered happening under my sink grid.

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This isn’t my typical DIY post but it’s something I’ve wanted to share with you for some time. 

I haven’t written too many cleaning posts thus far but one of my favorite cleaning items in the kitchen that I wrote about is Bar Keeper’s Friend. You might want to check it out.

When we were planning our Kitchen Renovation a few years ago I searched online long and hard for the perfect sink. We had a cheap double stainless sink that was too small.

After literally hours and hours of looking at every possible sink I finally settled on a beautiful Kraus sink I found on Amazon. It’s big, deep, and shiny. What everyone wants for their new kitchen.

It came with a kitchen sink grid for the bottom, which I initially thought was awesome.

How to Clean a Sink Grid

The sink is really big which means the sink grid is also big. Because I chose to have my counter top slightly overhang the sink it was awkward to easily clean the sink bottom and the underside of the grid.

I had to tilt it a weird way to raise it enough to clean it well. Awkward as it was I still cleaned it thoroughly every few days.  

I even bought a scrub brush to use “exclusively” for scrubbing it and keep it clean.

Someone told me I should just put it in the dishwasher but it’s too tall to stand up and I’m not wasting all that space on the top rack with just one item.

And you can’t just scrub the top….

First I would load up my scrub brush with dish soap and scrub the sides of the sink and the top of the sink grid.

Cleaning the sink grid again, never ending.

Then I’d lift the sink grate and stand it on the side to scrub the bottom, sides and the little sink grid bumpers really well. Then I’d rinse everything off with hot water.

The kitchen sink grid clean once again.

Dirty Little Secret of a Sink Grid

One thing that drives me crazy is anything in a sink.  Kitchen or bath, I’m constantly rinsing and wiping them out.  It’s one of my few pet peeves.

Without easy access to move food particles to the drain I spent so much time chasing them with the sprayer on the faucet.  That’s not great for water conservation when you live in CA.

When cleaning my sink, in addition to the special scrub brush, I also use my trusted Barkeeper’s Friend when the bottom of the sink had food bits stuck that wouldn’t wash away with the faucet sprayer.

So many food bits below.

Food under the kitchen sink grid.

But it wasn’t just the food particles on the bottom of the sink that was the issue. It’s the stuff that got stuck around the rubber feet.

Sludge forms around the feet of the kitchen sink grid.

And then there was the rubber bumpers on the sides.  This was only 3 days after I’d scrubbed it clean.  Just 3 days!!

Side bumpers of the sink grid catch food.

YUCK!

I know a sink is for cleaning and scrubbing, and I’m really not a germ-a-phobe.  But having a breeding ground where you do food prep and wash dishes is just nasty. And gross. And let’s be honest, it can be bad for your health.

Non-scientific Study of a Sink Grid

So I decided to do a little photo documentary. These pictures were taken over a 10 day period.  Clean, grimy, clean, slimy, clean, sludgy, and repeat.

Scrubbing the sink grid with a scrub brush.

I always hang the wash rag over the faucet and never directly on the grid. But the green scrubby?  They were often just left to “dry” on the grid.  Not by me.  They belong in the cute little dish that sits by the sink. 

Not only was there slime in the sink around the rubber feet, but on them. Seriously gross.

The feet of the sink grid a slimy germy mess.

I counted over 270 cross points for food and stuff to get stuck.  That doesn’t count the tops of the grates for things to get caught and not be easily rinsed away.

See the many drips in the picture below?  That’s just water after a good scrubbing.  Imagine if that as thick sauce or milk that didn’t get rinsed well.

As it dries and gets gunky and becomes a petri-dish for germ growth.

Water droplets hanging from the kitchen sink grid.

Imagine this. Lay your dishrag or sponge on the dirty sink grid. Now pick it up and wipe down the counter where you’ll serve lunch to your family.

You can’t do it, can you?

Food wrapped on the sink grid, it's hard to rinse away.

So more sink grid scrubbing.

Kitchen sink grid all scrubbed and clean.

Best Sink Grid Alternatives

If you can’t see yourself living without a sink protector but you’re sick of the grid, my advice is to pick something you can easily disinfect. Throwing them into the dishwasher daily is best to keep them clean.

Looking for the best sink grid alternative? Below are the most popular sink grids my readers have purchased after reading this post.

READERS BUY THESE MOST OFTEN

Ditch the Kitchen Sink Grid Forever

Every time I cleaned the grid I snapped before and after pictures.

Food stuck on sink under the sink grid is hard to access and clean.

Until I couldn’t take it anymore…

Sink grid with food stuck all over.

Out it went, right into the trash. I never regretted the decision, not once.

MORE KITCHEN POSTS
Kitchen Drawer OrganizationKitchen Reno Must Haves
Every Kitchen Needs Bar Keepers Friend

So are you ready to ditch your sink grid?

Yes, without a sink grid your stainless steel sink will get scratched. And mine has. But I’m the only one who sees them.

I’ll gladly take some scratches in the bottom of my sink than ever live with that germy gross grid again.

Tiny scratches after removing my sink grid.

READERS BUY THESE MOST OFTEN

Here are even more  silicon sink protectors  you can check out to keep your sink scratch free.  And, they can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. I think anything silicone is really the best sink protector options.  Win Win.

If you really like your grid and want to keep it, that’s cool! I was finally able to find some of the little sink grid feet and bumper replacements should you need them.

I’m still happy with my decision and I hope this honest review of my sink grid experience has helped you make your decision to ditch your metal sink bottom grid.

Like it, Pin it!

If you found this helpful don’t forget to pin it to your favorite cleaning board so all your friends see this too.

Soapy kitchen sink and metal grid with text overlay

Thanks for sticking with me for this less than pretty post.

Toni

Harriet

Saturday 27th of August 2022

Toni You came along at the perfect time. I just spent an hour cleaning my sink grid which I try to do regularly. I was telling my husband I wasn’t going to use it anymore. You article was right on. You made my case for me. I am putting mine in the garage, in case I change my mind, getting a different smaller non SS grid for my pots and going to start enjoying my sink. I have chased my “sink stuff” around for the last time. Great article. Thanks.

Karen Edwards

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I think of the scratches that inevitably happen in my stainless sink as a soft patina that comes with use and age. Recognizing how gross that sink protector could potentially become, I never used it in the sink. But I did keep it - I use it as a giant rack to cool baked goods, just avoiding the sink hole!

Carol Shaw

Thursday 21st of July 2022

I put my sink grid in the dishwasher on the top rack. Sparkles like new. Absolutely no issues and is thoroughly sanitized.

Beth

Monday 11th of July 2022

The downside of the large OXO silicone sink mat is that is for a wide sink rather than a long (front-to-back) sink. It doesn’t have an option to cut a drain hole in the back of the short side. My large sink side (left side) is also the one with the disposal. I hope you’ll have a suggestion for me! Thank you for the article. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money for a grid!

MountainDi

Thursday 7th of July 2022

Thank you! I think they are disgusting! I bleach soak my dad's whenever I visit him. So gross. I have an old stainless sink and never notice the lack of a grid, but now that I'm looking to remodel I've been wondering why everyone promotes them. Are the sinks more fragile or something??