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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.

This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this post (at no extra cost to you).

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.

Finding the Perfect Sink 

The pictures in this post are like a car wreck, when you can’t look away. A rubber-necker drawn to view the grotesqueness of the “accident.”

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.

I loved everything about the sink I chose.

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?

I knew you couldn’t, no one in their right mind would risk that.

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.

Ditch the Kitchen Sink Grid Forever

Every time I cleaned the grid I’d snap 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 after reading all this, are you ready to ditch your sink grid?

Best Sink Protector Alternatives

If you can’t see yourself living without a grid in your sink then please pick something you can easily disinfect, or throw into the dishwasher daily.

Here are some silicon sink protector alternatives that will help keep your sink scratch free.  And, they can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher so I think these would really be the best sink protector option.  Win Win.

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

I tried to find the sink grid replacement bumpers for those who want to keep theirs, but I didn’t have any like finding them. Sorry about that!

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

Tiny scratches after removing my sink grid.

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

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Cynthia

Friday 23rd of July 2021

Im so happy to find your post...thanks! You confirmed that Im not crazy because two friends told me they dont have any issues with their sink grids after I had asked if it gets slimey. I asked that question from experience because I would have to soak my oxo silicone one in water & bleach every week or so.

So I knew what was in store with the 36" grid but wanted to check with friends who had been using it while my kitchen remodel was underway.

The other thing that annoyed me even more was spraying water to chase scraps toward the drain. Scraps fall from the grid to the sink and aren't easy to get.

I lasted two weeks using the grid and the first day without it was frustration free!

Lee Hi

Sunday 11th of July 2021

Mine came with my sink as well and I honestly like them so far. But they are not for everybody mainly for the reasons mentioned in this article. I don't have an issue with gross build up or food and things. I would attribute it to how I handle dirty dishes. I always scoop every bit of food into the trash and rinse out as much debris as possible so only tiny particles even enter the sink. This prevents food from going down the drain and keeps the sink a lot cleaner. But this can be more challenging for people with families in particular. Children, and teenagers may not always follow this method, in which case the grid may be less useful. Overall it's important to recognize the points made in the article when considering using a sink grid or not.

Sonny

Saturday 12th of June 2021

Any ideas for cleaning grime that accumulates in crevices of a hard edged stainless steel sink? The modern ones all have rounded corners… But I have an older one where it is right angled and grime builds up! Thx.

Toni

Saturday 12th of June 2021

I think what will work perfectly is Barkeepers Friend and an old toothbrush. I even wrote an entire a post about how great I think it is. I hope it works, it's all I use in my stainless steele sink.

https://www.girljustdiy.com/every-kitchen-needs-bar-keepers-friend/

Andrea

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

PREACH!! After nearly two years of hating my sink rack I decided tonight -no more. I hate you sink rack I don’t care if my sink gets scratched. It’s so so so hard to clean the sink with one in it. And my sink rack was too large to fit in the dishwasher. I decided I would be a happier person with no more sink rack!! And then I saw this post and I’m right there with you. No going back for me!

Toni

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Yay, I'm so glad I could give you validation that you made the right choice for you! I've gotten some flack comments from readers who think I don't clean well enough (some I respond to, others I just delete LOL). But whatever, you do you, I'll do me, and we'll all be happy with how we manage our own households and our sanity LOL

Welcome to the grid-less sink society!

Laura K

Saturday 27th of March 2021

Thank you for giving me permission to throw out the sink grid! I struggle with keeping things clean and tidy thanks to depression and adhd. My grid, like yours is difficult to get out and makes cleaning the sink a chore when it can really be easy. I'll take the scratches and a clean sink. Might be silly, but your post really helped me.

Thank you!

Toni

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

You are so welcome! I felt bad tossing mine (well I think I put it in the recycle can). But I'm not keeping what doesn't work for me and I knew I probably couldn't sell it. I know some people might think I'm crazy or don't clean well enough or often enough, which isn't true. They're great for some people, they're just not for me.