Should You Leave Dirty Dishes in The Sink or On the Counter? 

The countertop and the sink area are some common areas to leave dirty dishes.

Choosing the best spot between the two can be hard because each choice presents its advantages.

So, Should You Leave Dirty Dishes in The Sink or On the Counter?

The sink is an ideal spot because that is what it is made for in the first place. Countertops are meant for kitchen operations like preparing meals. They are not storage places for dirty dishes unless your sink is overwhelmed.

See Also: Can You Leave Dirty Dishes In The Dishwasher Overnight? Should You?

Why Should You Only Leave Dishes In The Sink?

1. Pets and Kids

Pets and kids can cause much trouble in the kitchen if they are not watched.

Placing dirty dishes on the counters is a direct way of inviting accidents. It is easier to knock something over the counter.

You risk losing your dishes through such accidents. Besides, your kids and pets can get hurt.

The sink, on the other hand, is an ideal place. Unless it is overwhelmed by dishes, there are slim chances of them falling on the floor.

2. Hassle-Free Cleaning

If you leave your dishes on the counter, it will be difficult for you to transfer them to the sink for cleaning.

Instead, leave them in the sink. The goal is to minimize strain and the need to transfer dishes from one spot to another. It is tiresome.

3. To Avoid Leaving Dirt On the Counter

Remember, you are dealing with dirty dishes. There are food leftovers on them. Leaving dirty dishes on the counter will force you to clean the entire countertop.

If food falls on this platform, you may require to execute serious scrubbing later on.

It is yet another reason why your sink proves easier to clean. And because it is often a smaller and hollow space, cleaning it is much easier compared to your counter.

How Long Can You Keep Dishes in The Sink?

Most people let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.

Let’s face it most folks turn lazy when handling dishes.

Commitments are jammed up in your schedule, and you are probably postponing one simple kitchen task of cleaning your dishes.

Of course, you know that if dishes overstay in the sink, they will start stinking. It, consequently, poses serious health risks. Knowing how long your dishes can stay in the sink is crucial.

Well, you should wash and rinse your dishes immediately after use.

If they overstay in the sink, it should not be beyond a day. If they stay in the sink for more than 24 hours, there is every chance your house will smell bad.

Bacteria start developing as food remains start going bad in the sink.

The next thing is mold growth. You do not want to get this far.

Especially dangerous are dishes you use to handle raw meat. So, ensure you thoroughly clean your dishes within a day of use. We recommend cleaning them after meals.

See Also: Is It Better to Wash Dishes with Hot or Cold Water?

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Soak Dishes in The Sink

Never mistake soaking dishes in the sink if you know you will not clean them soon.

Soaking adds water to food remains, and this results in more problems, including:

1. Development of Bacteria from Meat

More than 65% of raw meat sold in stores contains E.coli bacteria.

And it can make people very sick. It has also been found that beef and pork are contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

Touching such meat and washing hands using the same water in the sink becomes a serious hygienic breach. They will eventually end up in your gut and cause serious ailments.

2. Harmful Bacteria from Your Hands

Washing your hands on a sink with soaked dishes releases bacteria from your hands into the dishes.

And because you will use the same dishes to serve your food, the bacteria will eventually end up in your system and pose dangerous health concerns.

3. Kitchen Pipes Are Laden with Bacteria

Most people do not know that bacteria thrive well in kitchen pipes.

So, if you soak your dishes in the sink, you connect an entryway for bacteria onto the sink and the dishes.

Where will it then end up? In your gut because you will serve food using the same dishes.

Unless thorough cleaning is executed on the dishes, there is every chance that traces of these bacteria will find their way into your system.

How Fast Can Bacteria Grow On Dirty Dishes?

Scientists say bacteria can grow on dirty dishes within the first four days. Remember, you can have clean dishes with bacteria on them. How they manage to stay there for some days is puzzling.

Bacteria grows immediately you leave dishes in the sink. That is a few hours after you are done using them. The environmental conditions dictate their multiplication rate.

The rate of growth equally varies. Bacteria on food particles, for instance, double their numbers in no less than 20 minutes if they are subjected to room temperature.

For mold, water is necessary for them to develop and multiply. With moisture, they can do so pretty quickly.

It is among the primary reasons you should not soak your dishes in the sink if you intend to leave them overnight.

Three Things You Should Never Store On the Counter

It is not entirely wrong to leave dirty dishes on the counter. If you find a plastic pin, you can put your dishes together and leave them on the countertop.

However, there are certain things you should never leave on the counter, as you will learn in the next section.

1. Rarely Used Small Appliances

They include juicers and waffle makers. These kitchen appliances and dishes are very delicate.

Do not leave them on the counter, especially if your kitchen has limited space.

You could easily knock them over and incur serious losses. Of course, you can put them there during kitchen operations, but you must work with extreme care.

2. Knife blocks

It would help if you did not leave knife blocks on the counter. And for obvious reasons.

You want to avoid accidents and injuries that these delicate tools can inflict on your body.

3. Cleaning Products

Whether using detergents or soaps, ensure they are far away from the counter.

You do not want to risk contaminating your food with such detergents.