Cleaning: Day Five - Under the Sink

Cleaning Week Continues!

Day 1: Clean microwave and oven
Day 2: Clean small appliances. 
Day 3: Wipe down pantry. 
Day 4: Scrub down fridge & Organize and toss expired foods. 
Day 6: Clean kitchen sink and under the sink
Day 7: Wipe down walls, and wash garbage can. 
Day 8: Clean stove top, kitchen surface areas, and floor.

Kudos to Eric, aka Mr. 52, for helping me get through this one. I had an exhausting day at work and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was clean under the sink. I didn't want to fail two weeks in a row, but I was going to skip the floor tiles this post suggests using, because I didn't feel like going to the hardware store. I'd picked up the other two things I needed earlier in the week at Target, but they either don't sell or I couldn't find stick-on floor tile. 

So we went found extremely cheap floor tile, like 28 cents each cheap. They're not high quality and I wouldn't put them on an actual floor and walk on them, but they were more than adequate for my needs today.

I forgot to take a truly "before" picture, so we are stuck with a few "in progress" pics. I think they tell the story, though.

Under the sink before, minus the bottles; the bottles; and under the sink without the board. That was black shelf liner on the board before. I have no idea why I have three extra bottles of dish soap. 

Under the sink before, minus the bottles; the bottles; and under the sink without the board. That was black shelf liner on the board before. I have no idea why I have three extra bottles of dish soap. 

Yes, we still have the red Formica counter tops, too. 

Yes, we still have the red Formica counter tops, too. 

Our kitchen cabinets are the metal kind, probably installed in the 1950's, GE brand in case that's kind of thing you are interested in. Here's a picture of most of them. They are easy to clean, sturdy and, best of all in my opinion, magnetic. You can stick your recipe to the cabinet with a magnet. I am so in love with the magnetic function, I plan to put some metal in whatever wood cabinet doors we replace these with, which I'm afraid will happen eventually.

Other than the fact that our cabinets have been painted a gazillion times, there's nothing wrong with them. Except... you know what happens to metal when it gets wet? Years of leaking under the kitchen sink took a toll, and the bottom fell out. 

A while back, Eric cut a board to go around the pipes and cover up the hole, so we've been able to use the under-sink area, but it hasn't been pretty. However, this isn't the kind of thing you think about every day, especially if you're not cleaning. 

After taking everything out, I wiped down the walls and vacuumed with the shop-vac, a step suggested in the article. I thought it was silly to vacuum, until I saw what was down there. Trust me, get the vacuum. Then again, yours probably isn't as bad as mine.

Next, I set about applying my tiles. The board doesn't quite come to the edge of the cabinet, so I applied tiles to the front edge of the cabinet first, cutting them to fit (roughly speaking) (don't be angry; they were only 28 cents each). Then I did the board and put it  back in and...

It didn't fit, because I'd turned it upside down to use the good side for the tile, but the cut for the pipes was asymmetrical. It turned out okay, because the tiles more-or-less fit on the other side, too. Eric gave me some sort of sealant to use as glue, something I would have never looked at and thought "glue," but what do I know. It worked. Tiles stuck. See below.

Also, I was appalled to see that the pattern on the cheap tiles resembles a swastika in that picture. F'n Home Depot. In normal light, though, you can't see it. 

Not perfect, but SO much better!

Not perfect, but SO much better!

At this point I was really proud of my handiwork and the major difference I'd made in the under-sink cabinet.

Next I set about moving the sponges, filters, scrubbers and stuff from the large, heavy, lidded plastic thing I had been keeping them in to the lightweight, stackable, open containers I picked up on sale at Target for a whole four dollars. Money well spent. 

Then I sorted through the bottles and sprays, sent some stuff to the trash, some to the garage, and really thought good and hard about the purpose of the remaining products and how I'm not doing my part to help them fulfill their destiny as cleaners. 

Then that feeling passed. I moved on to the last step, which was hanging a two-dollar tension rod across the cabinet, from which I would hang spray bottles I "use often" (hahaha). It worked! It's like a whole new cabinet, one that belongs to someone else, someone who cleans

Ta da! That's sanitizing solution for beer brewing in between the vinegar and sink cleaner, in case you were wondering. 

Ta da! That's sanitizing solution for beer brewing in between the vinegar and sink cleaner, in case you were wondering. 

Well, I guess I clean. This week anyhow. 

Finally, I cleaned the sink and the dish drainer, but I didn't take pictures because, once again, I thought it wouldn't be bad because I do clean the sink. We wash our dishes by hand; we have to clean the sink. The dish drainer, on the other hand... who thinks to clean that??? Well, consider this your heads-up. You might want to wash it. Try not to think about the fact that you ate off things that dried on it. 

A very productive cleaning day. I'm starting to feel like I live in a kitchen museum, like the one at the science center for that exhibit on science in the home, where everything you open is sparkling clean. Of course, in my kitchen you can only open four things and get that experience. But I know exactly what to open. It's great. Be right back.

Ah, lovely. 

This will probably be the high point of my kitchen cleaning week. All we have left are walls, stove top, trash can, etc. I can't imagine that will be mind-blowing like this was but, hey, I've been wrong a couple times already this week. 

Week Eight: Household - Cleaning the Kitchen

  1. Day One - Stove and Microwave
  2. Day Two - Toaster and Blender
  3. Day Three - Pantry (and more on the 'is cleaning superficial' debate)
  4. Day Four - Fridge and Food
  5. Day Five - Sink and Underneath
  6. Day Six - 
  7. Day Seven -