Get Your Dirty Hands Out Of My Kitchen Sink

One cardinal sin in a professional kitchen is to wash your hands in the same sink where you wash dishes or prepare food. Why? It’s unsanitary. Hands carry lots of germs. That’s why professional kitchens have separate sinks dedicated to hand-washing.

Well, that rule shouldn’t fade in home kitchens. My home kitchen is where I prepare food and wash dishes for my family, which includes two kids under two years of age. In my home, we have bathrooms and powder rooms, with separate sinks and hand soap, so you don’t have to wash your hands in the kitchen sink.

Please be sanitary. Don’t wash your hands in the kitchen sink.

This post was motivated by a surge in violations in my own home amidst all the kind visitors for Baby Celeste.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

Join the Conversation


  1. Why should I chill out? People even ask me if I can stop cooking sometimes, and step aside, so they can wash their hands in my sink. That's not cool. Kitchen sinks are for food and dishes.

  2. Max, totally agree with you here! I wash dishes by hand frequently (eco friendly) and wash my hands in the bathroom before washing dishes. It should be noted that I don't get sick during flu season either. You can transfer all kinds of bacteria to your food, you're not being anal, just smart.

  3. If you have to though, check out copper sinks. Not only do they work great for washing dishes, copper itself is an antimicrobial surface that is naturally self-renewing. Few metals have these properties of being both germ free and able to naturally repair themselves.

  4. I am so glad to hear someone else is willing to fight the “norm” of hand washing in the kitchen sink. I was brought up with this as the standard, and not until I was a teen did I even see anyone wash their hands in the kitchen sink, and when I did I was so grossed out. No wonder they find feces on kitchen sinks!!! I cannot understand why people assume that the health department standards of not washing hands in the food prep or dish washing sink is wrong. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for doing what you know is right, and respecting your home and your rules.

  5. Wow. Is that all you have to worry about? Stop complaining and count your blessings. Your kids need to build up immunity to bacteria which they won't do if you keep them in an sterile enviroment. Lighten up. Life is short…

  6. Thanks Mel. I do count my blessings. But I also used to work in a
    restaurant and am aware of the feces that travel on hands. Agree with
    you on benefits of germ exposure, but I prefer to keep them away from
    my food!

  7. As I write this comment, I am recovering from 3 days of sickness from germs in my food. I went to the mall and ordered a fruit smoothy from Orange Juleus. After eating it, i became immediately ill with headache, nausia, upset stomach.

    Please excuse my misery, but PEOPLE PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS, people really get painfully sick and suffer for days because you don't think its important to clean the germs off your hands and food preparation utensils.

  8. I think if your hands are clean when you enter the food prep area, then to keep your hands clean while handling different types of food it would be ok to wash your hands in the same sink where you wash dishes or prepare food.

    Also, copper sinks do have the benefit of killing even E.Coli in about 1 hour. I like having this property of copper on my side with my copper kitchen sink.

  9. I also have a problem with people washing their hands in the kitchen sink. I grew up where the kitchen sick was only for food preparation and dishes. My husband had to learn this because I was not going to tolerate anything but. Now my kids are the same way. Just recently my oldest son went away to University, and rented a room from a married couple, and shortly after living there noticed some things they were doing in their sink (mopping the floors and leaving the water in the sink for days, and putting the dog dishes in the dishwasher are only a few). Disgusted by what he seen, he went out and bought all paper plates, plastic utensils, and cups, and a toaster oven to prepare his food. He wasn’t there for long. Another thing that really bothers me is when people use their dish cloths to clean up spills on the floor, and then put a load of their dish cloths in the washer with towels and underwear. Come on people…..get some common sense. Don’t you realize this is DIRTY???

    1. I dont know what brand of washer and detergent you’re using, buy if your clothes, regardless if they are underwear or dish towels, are not coming clean you better start over. It’s ideas like yours that have created the super bugs you are so paranoid about……………………..

  10. I don’t understand the big deal. I never wash dishes in the sink or let any food touch the sink unless I have just disinfected it. I’m not going to wash dishes where dirty dishes have been sitting. So if someone washes their hands there, which I do occasionally, the sink gets disinfected anyway before anything that should be clean touches the sink. Don’t tell me that you put food in a sink that was not thourghly clean just prior to food preparation. That’s just plain gross.

  11. I think we are getting carried away here! Wash your hands of course…but going to a seperate room to wash your hands? The bathroom? You are more likely to carry germs from the bathroom into the kitchen than anywhere else…

  12. I think the reason people don’t get quality answers is they don’t ask quality questions, what are the dangers of this type of habit pattern in and around food? what are you teaching your children by doing this? and why not wash your hair, brush your teeth and spit in the kitchen sink? what kinds of self defeating unconscious habit patterns are you setting up by this behavior?

  13. I agree. Hands should not be washed where you prepare your food.. That is what a powder room or bathroom is for.

  14. My wife complains about me washing my hands in the kitchen sink all the time so when I decided to Google it and came across this article I found it very interesting as to the reasons why not to do it and I don’t think I will ever do it again thanks a lot

  15. Totally with you here! And I wish you could speak to my husband who has just been sick in my kitchen sink (had time to make it to the toilet) and thinks this is acceptable… Livid is an understatement! Seriously, in my eyes that is grounds for divorce! It’s grim!

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