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How to sanitize kitchen sink after washing diapers?

Poll Results: How do you deal with sanitizing the diaper wash water dump - the kitchen sink?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 12% (2)
    Don't use kitchen sink because I have other options.
  • 31% (5)
    Don't use kitchen sink because it is unsanitary (what do you do?)
  • 18% (3)
    Baking soda/vinegar.
  • 6% (1)
    Antibacterial wipes/solutions (which ones?).
  • 6% (1)
    Scrub down with separate scrub and dish detergent because the scrubbing loosens up the bugs.
  • 0% (0)
    Line the sink (how? please post a reply).
  • 6% (1)
    Rely on the hot water wash with detergent and hot water rinse to sanitize.
  • 0% (0)
    That's how you build resistance.
  • 12% (2)
    Sanitize? Who? What? It's a baby's diaper, for crying out loud!
  • 6% (1)
    Other, kindly be sure to post a reply with explanation.
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


My bathrooms are placed and are such that I cannot fit my portable washing machine through them nor have it right outside the door. The only available and accessible water supply and worse, water dump, is the kitchen sink.


Does anyone else connect their kiddo's diaper wash to the kitchen sink?


If so, how do you sanitize it for putting vessels and such and washing dishes in?


I posted a poll of various things I have considered/done. Also, ones that I have heard people say. Would love to hear what my favorite natural living cloth diapering community does.


Kindly also leave a reply explaining how you do what you do and if you are satisfied with your choice or are looking out for better/safer/healthier options.


I am really hoping for active participation from the community. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a reply.

post #2 of 18

you can always sanitize your sink.  are you opposed to bleach? 

if not, that's what restaurants do.  i know nothing in your diapers is more germy than raw chicken! 

use a bit of bleach and fill the sink with water & drain it when you're done.....

post #3 of 18

straight vinegar

post #4 of 18

I'd spray the sink with vinegar or peroxide.  You can get the really strong food grade peroxide at some health food stores.  Just make sure not to get it on your hands!

post #5 of 18


post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!


Bleach...my kitchen doesn't have any ventilation. That is the problem with bleach :-(. My friend's mother died from exposure to chlorine bleach in a confined space.


Straight vinegar... can I put it in a spray bottle and spray the sink? How long do I have to leave it for before rinsing it out? Or should I leave it in? I believe my sink is made of stainless steel.

post #7 of 18

You can totally put it in a spray bottle! I do. I just spray it all down and wipe it.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks, sosurreal! What do you know! My husband wants vinegar in a spray bottle to clean wash basins and such too! Dual purpose :-).

post #9 of 18

I usually add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil just to make it smell a bit more pleasant but the vinegar smell will dissipate after an hour or two anyways.

post #10 of 18

I cannot imagine a scenario where knowingly putting feces where I wash my food/dishes is an acceptable option. To the PP who mentioned that it is no worse than raw chicken, the raw chicken problem is linked to feces, so why purposefully put the two together?

post #11 of 18

I'm thirding bleach. Your kitchen is not that confined, I'm sure. Dilute it properly (1:10) in water, in a ventilated area and it will be fine. 

post #12 of 18

While vinegar has been found to reduce bacteria counts on hard surfaces, it is not as effective as bleach.   Further, the studies that found vinegar to be effective used it full-strength and lots of it -- I'm not convinced that a mist from a sprayer would be enough, given that most of the studies I just looked up involved soaking.


Further:  Reducing counts is fine if you'er dealing with typical sink issues, where your bacterial load is not very big to begin with.   Your'e contemplating deliberately introducing large amounts of fecal coliform bacteria to your kitchen sink.   The larger the bacteria load, the more important that "almost as effective" becomes.  Dilute bleach kills a lot more of those bacteria than vinegar, leaving many, many fewer to be reproducing.   


In addition, e.coli and other fecal bacteria are not your only issues with diapers.   Feces also carries viruses, and vinegar only removes about 80% of viruses, a opposed to bleach killing almost all the viruses it contacts.    

post #13 of 18

It's not like you are dissecting dead wild hyenas in that sink. Where would the germs come from? What is that baby poo going to have, Ebola virus? smile.gif


Like a previous poster said, I'd be more concerned with raw chicken and hamburger meat. And even for those, I only use hot water and dishwashing liquid to clean the sink. I'm not keeping bleach in the house and I'm not sniffing that crap. Cumulative exposure to chlorine is not good.


PS. If I worked in a hospital and had to clean sinks there, sure I'd use bleach (and a respirator.) But it's your home!

Cleaning agents are like weapons - dire situations require strong disinfectants. Unless you have confirmed plague and anthrax, don't bother with the big guns.




post #14 of 18

I would use a bleach-based cleaner after raw chicken OR diapers. (Not that I would wash diapers in the kitchen sink, in any case.) I don't get why it's either/or? It's less gross than raw meat, therefore it's not gross?


This is one of those times where I would dig into my sposie stash, personally.

post #15 of 18

While I am also loathe to use chlorine bleach in my home, in this situation I would do it without question.


post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

It's not like you are dissecting dead wild hyenas in that sink. Where would the germs come from? What is that baby poo going to have, Ebola virus? smile.gif




Well, it's going to have normal coliform bacteria -- which, in the gut, are fine, normal, non-harmful things.  However, coating your kitchen sink with them, letting them grow on a continually moist surface, perhaps moving them around with a nice warm sponge or dishcloth, and then applying them to  the outside of food and eating it?   IN those conditions, even non-harmful things can be of concern.


In addition, as soon as baby is mobile, if you go anywhere in public and let them *be* mobile, they'll be touching surfaces, putting hands and objects in their mouths, and consequently being exposed to all the lovely bacteria and viruses that can multiply in their guts and start shedding into their diapers -- and they'll be shedding those germs into diapers before you formally become aware that they're sick.


Very few people live antiseptic lives -- and that's not a bad thing.  Some exposure to germs, dirt, etc is good -- gives our immune systems something to do.   But, to put it bluntly, there's a phrase you'll hear repeated:  "YOu don't sh*t where you eat."   Human beings learned that one the hard way, over time, and I see no reason to blithely disregard it without using modern conveniences to offset the known risks.


post #17 of 18


post #18 of 18

I think I'm biased because I view things like bleach as a last resort measure, for serious potential threats. For an army latrine in a M*A*S*H  hospital? sure! For the home, no need for it. I don't use bleach to clean up after chicken wings. I already touched that chicken with my hands, I don't wear lab gloves when I cook (even though I have a hundred sitting under the sink), I'm not dipping my hands in bleach after cooking, so sink does not need it either.


I think it's because I've seen some serious dirt, and that alarm does not go off in my head for less threatening things. It's just me.


OP, if you choose to use bleach, dilute it a lot. Less exposure, still effective. Close the door, open the window (if that kitchen has a window.)



PS. Now that I think of it, I wouldn't necessarily want to wash diapers in kitchen sink either... Not that I have a nicely decorated kitchen with hand-embroidered starched linen napkins or anything...  but if there is no other way - to quote a movie, "You'll live."

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