The Ingredient That'll Make Your Sink Shine And Won't Leave A Watermark Behind

Regularly used spaces like kitchens and bathrooms play crucial roles in our lives, from cooking to personal hygiene, and there's undeniable satisfaction in seeing them sparkle. Among the endless range of cleaning challenges, keeping sinks and chrome fixtures free from watermarks is among the most frustrating. Watermarks and streaks that appear after water dries are primarily caused by minerals found in hard water. However, there's a household ingredient many overlook for this purpose: rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol (IPA), is not just for medical use. Its properties make it a potent cleaning agent, particularly for sinks. Unlike water or other liquid cleaning agents, rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly. This rapid evaporation ensures no watermarks or residue remain on the cleaned surface. Rubbing alcohol is excellent at dissolving dirt, oils, and other grime that may accumulate on sinks, faucets, or other chrome fixtures. 

Beyond mere cleaning, rubbing alcohol has disinfecting properties. It can kill many germs and bacteria, ensuring a cleaner, more hygienic sink. The most effective concentration of rubbing alcohol is 70%. Contrary to popular belief, stronger isn't always better — the more concentrated the rubbing alcohol, the less potent it actually is as a disinfectant. When used appropriately, IPA can be safe for most surfaces in your home, including stainless steel, porcelain, and chrome. However, always do a spot test before applying it widely, as there are some common things you should never clean with rubbing alcohol, like certain varnishes, treated wood, and delicate fabrics such as silk.

How to use rubbing alcohol for a shiny sink

Now, let's get to cleaning with some rubbing alcohol. Opt for a soft cloth that won't scratch or damage — microfiber cloths are an excellent choice. Pour or spray a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto your cloth, just enough to make it damp. Gently rub the cloth over the sink or chrome fixture in circular motions and apply some pressure for stubborn spots. While IPA evaporates rapidly, you can still give the area a quick wipe with a dry cloth once you're done to ensure an even better finish. With a soft cloth and a bit of elbow grease, your fixtures will shine bright and watermark-free.

There are a few safety measures to keep in mind when cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Never mix bleach with rubbing alcohol — they will create chloroform, as per The International Association for Chemical Safety. Chloroform is toxic if inhaled or swallowed, harmful to many parts of the human body, and even carcinogenic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Moreover, rubbing alcohol is flammable, so please avoid using it near open flames. Additionally, ensure your space is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling fumes while cleaning.