Day One Down: A Shiny Sink

So, if you read my previous post about needing an intervention, then you'd know that today I started a personal challenge of completing Fly Lady's Baby Step program to create habits and routines to make my home and life run more smoothly. This 31 day program takes one baby step at a time and builds on each one, day by day, bit by bit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those cat ladies with years of Smuckers jars packed to the ceiling, or rooms you might find on Clean Sweep. Actually, my home is quite nice and I take pride in it. I'm just a mama looking to feel a little more in control of her home, life and schedule. According to testimonials, Fly Lady has done it for many...so for the next 31 days, I am her student. Anyone care to join me?

Today's challenge: Shine Your Sink.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, Fly Lady has a very specific process for shining your sink, so according to her plan, here's what I had to do...
  • Take all the dishes out of the sink. This was easy. They were already washed, except for two items, which I quickly washed, dried and put away. 
  •  Run some very hot water into the sink. Fill to the rim. Only do one side at a time. Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. Let it sit for 1 hour. Now, pull the plug with a pair of tongs. If you don't have tongs, then scoop some of the water out of the sink into the other sink and use your hand to pull the plug (wear gloves and don't get the bleach-water on your clothes). Easy enough. I let the bleach water sit while I bathed my son and put him to bed. I'm usually pretty anal about cleaning my kitchen and keep my sink relatively clean on a regular basis, so I didn't think it would make that much of a difference but I swore it looked brighter afterward.
  • Rinse your sink well. Forgot this part. Oops. 

  • Use some cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or Baking Soda) and scrub your sink. Ensure you rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink. I started with some Bar Keepers Friend, since I had it on hand and she mentioned it worked for many people. I had some silver "scratches" on my white sink that appeared to be from metal pans scraping it or something. It did seem to help. However, as noted in #3 above, I forgot to rinse it well before adding the Bar Keepers Friend. Maybe this is why I was smelling that weird smell. LOL. I then rinsed well and did the same thing with Soft Scrub (with bleach) since that's what I typically use. So far so good.
  • Take a sharp edge and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails. Umm...seems I forgot this one too. I guess I should have printed these steps out and read one by one rather than 'memorizing' what to do. But in my defense, I didn't really have a lot of dirt around the rim. (guess I'll make up that part tomorrow).
  •  Clean around the faucets too. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss. I grabbed a steak knife and used the sharp edges. This really seemed to help with the built up calcium deposits that don't wash away. The rings around the faucet and handles were slightly tinged, so this step made a HUGE difference.
  • Now, get out your window cleaner, I use Windex, and give it a good shine. I rinsed first (making up for previous set-backs) and then used Windex. Gotta admit...it looked nice. Here's before & after pictures. Okay, not a huge difference, but notable if you saw it in person.

  • If you still don't like the way it looks, then you could try some car wax. What? Car wax? Just know in your heart that you have cleaned it very well now and it doesn't have to be perfect. Thanks Fly Lady, I'm all good.
  • Every time you run water in your sink, take your clean dishtowel and dry it out (I lay out a clean one, every night with my before bedtime routine). How realistic is this, really? I feel like I'm running water in the sink several times an hour. It's one thing to be clean, but to be dry too? Sounds like a big time waster to me, but I'll be a good student for now...perhaps there's more to it than I realize.  
She goes on to say that the dish drying rack should go under the sink when you're finished with it (implying that dishes should be washed, dried and put away all in the same day...uh, I mean moment) and the drying rack need not be a repository for dishes. Heck, I'm lucky to get them washed with my schedule and two young children. This should be an interesting adventure.

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