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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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Mary S

Saturday 20th of February 2021

Thank you for this article! We are getting ready to install new countertops in a small vacation condo and with that, we are replacing a really ugly beige sink and faucet. The granite company sells a really pretty stainless steel sink with grids and I was drawn to That beautiful sparkly shiny clean stainless steel sink in the Grid looked just beautiful! We made the decision to put that on our order but in the back of my mind I just kept thinking about that grid and whether I would really end up liking it or not. I’m kind of Picky about scratches so I thought that would be great for protecting but I also kept picturing stuff collecting under that grid and how crazy that would make me to have to pull it out and clean under it constantly. We have a Blanco brand sink made of the SILGRANIT material at our full-time house. We’ve had that for five years and it still looks brand new. It seems literally indestructible! No scratches, no dents and it is so easy to clean. After ordering the shiny stainless steel sink with grid, I just kept questioning that decision all day yesterday and then googled for info on sink grids. Came across your article and it confirms everything I was worried about. At 6 PM last night I emailed the countertop company to have them remove the sink from our order. I’m going to order the same thing we have at home instead. Thank you for saving me from my own terrible decision! 😂 I know myself well enough to know that I would have been completely disappointed had I gone with that.

Toni

Thursday 25th of February 2021

Hi Mary, I'm so glad you found my post helpful! That grid was a pain in the rump, and chasing food bits and the gunk on the sink because hubby doesn't have OCD rinsing issues like I do 🤣

Yes the sink gets some scratches without the grid so you would not have been happy about that after you removed that nasty nasty grid.

Honestly, I wish I'd known of your experience with the Blanco sink because that's what my husband wanted me to get but I wasn't sure about it holding up (picturing how Corian sinks looked over time). I won't tell him he was right 😉 But my sink is deep so I only see the scratches when I look straight into the sink.

Karina

Friday 19th of February 2021

Thanx for your photos and suggestions here. Pictures do tell, don't they? I have been very aware of the havoc this grid created mostly related to the bacteria that collects showing in "gunk" and "slimy" residue. Ugh. I've washed this several times being careful to NOT use any chemical that might damage my new stainless steel sink! While I'm not ready to ditch it, I'm out to the store to try a different scrub brush to hopefully expedite the "process" of constant cleaning. Hopefully, the chore will be less frustrating with a good brush w/handle...

L Hunt

Monday 19th of October 2020

I am a germaphobe to some degree. I love my porcelain sink in one house and my stainless steel sink in house #2. Both were pricey as were the protectors. I keep mine clean. Each evening when I finish using the sink I clean it. Then clean the top and bottom of the protector with a brush then I dry it all. Maybe drying is the key. It takes only a few minutes and we’ll worth it. One of my sinks is 20 years old and still looks beautiful. A clean sink is nice to wake up to. To each his own. Good advice for some I’m sure. I’m 72 so I’ve been at this for awhile.

Toni

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Oh I aspire to be like you with a spotless clean kitchen before I go to bed because it is great waking up to a clean house. If my grid had fit into my dishwasher I might have kept it. But it was awkward and hard to get out of my sink because of the sink lip. I'm still glad it's gone and for me it makes keeping the rest of the sink that much easier. :)

Hazel

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Your truth has set me free, lol. Truly, I have been looking, assessing for a year now. I have the Blanco Valera 50/50 in white. Two issues have put my purchase on hold. First, I bought, THE most beautiful Delta faucet in a brushed gold brass tone and I didn’t want s/s to ruin my open Counter look. 2nd , I kept thinking of how dirty all the little crevices are going to get. I’m trying to eliminate extra work that’s why I bought this beautiful sturdy sink w/ easy clean up, right? GLAD I FOUND YOUR BLOG TONI, I’m with you! ... ordering a couple sets of those XOXO ones to have on hand when the other wear out from daily use/ Dishwasher Abuse. A lot cheaper and less hassle. Thanks Toni!!

Toni

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Hi Hazel, I'm so glad that you found this post helpful. I thought it was a random and that no one but me would feel this way, but I've been amazed how many people initially love the idea and then it's just a mess with more work. Your faucet sounds lovely and you're right the stainless would take away from it. Honestly I'm over stainless appliances, except for the sink since it's so easy to clean (and at this point would be hard to replace LOL). When it's time to replace appliances I'm going with that beautiful Slate finish that shows no water spots at all. They weren't out when we redid our kitchen so I'll be waiting for several more years on that.

Cheers, Toni

Kat

Saturday 19th of September 2020

Since removing that annoying grid 7 days ago, my sink hasn't been so clean for this many days! Another in my house started cleaning the sink and clearing it sooner, so maybe the grid caused us to mistakenly believe it would help drainage, keeping the sink cleaner. I received my 2 Oxo Good Grips grey sink mats yesterday (2 to fill large sink). These mats easily drain food over and under, and no more stuck utensils! This is the perfect solution to prevent scratches, breaking glasses, and for a fellow Californian conscious of water conservation. I will repurpose that grid somewhere. Can't believe it took me years to do this! Thanks again!