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While not as chaotic as the kitchen junk drawer, the space under the sink is also notorious for harboring its fair share of endless clutter. Drop-ins and chic farmhouse apron fronts can undoubtedly please the eye, but one glance under the sink can ruin the illusion. 

While a sink caddy and drying rack will keep you organized on top, don’t forget about below the deck, which often becomes a dumping ground. In order to make the space more usable, there are a few general rules as to what should and shouldn’t be placed under the sink. Who knew?

Although you might be pressed for space, not every item in your kitchen cleaning inventory should reside under the sink. So, what items should you evict as you begin to organize? And more importantly, what is the best way to get the most out of this precious space? Read on to find out.

What To Avoid Storing Under The Kitchen Sink

1. Extra Unopened Supplies

Extra cleaning products can clutter up the precious space under a kitchen sink.
(Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock.com)

Despite its appeal, hiding unsightly unopened trash bag boxes, large awkward bottles of detergent, and mounds of dishwashing pods under the sink should be a no-go. Although it seems innocuous, leaving unopened supplies under the sink can easily make the space crowded and unorganized, especially if you buy in bulk. They are also more susceptible to damage from a pipe leak or other plumping mishap, which could cost you more in the long run.

Consequently, do yourself and the kitchen sink a favor, and find a more suitable place for those extra supplies. We recommend storing them in a pantry, laundry room, under the stairwell, or in a hallway closet that is easily accessible. 

2. Harsh Chemicals

It is best to keep harsh chemical like bleach in a more secure location out of reach of pets and kids.

You’d be hard pressed to find a homeowner without a collection of cleaning supplies under the sink. Although things like hand soap and an everyday cleaning spray are convenient to have within reach, keeping harsher chemicals by them may not be the best idea.

In actuality, chemicals like bleach or drain cleaner are only needed on occasion. As a result, keeping them under the sink not only creates more clutter, but it also poses a risk to pets and children. Alternatively, store harsh chemicals in your garage or basement. 

3. Household Tools

Various tools shouldn't be stored under the sink, rather in a work area in the garage or basement.
(Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock.com)

Phillips heads, flat heads, and hammers, oh my! In spite of the fact that they’re convenient tools, and finding them in a toolbox seems like a hassle, it may be the best place to keep them. Under the sink storage and rust-prone tools just don’t mix–we guarantee it.

Similar to storing extra supplies, it’s not uncommon for leaks to occur underneath the sink or for it to be a wet place, which can cause expensive tools to rust. If you do not want to replace them, store them in a designated toolbox.

4. Anything Flammable

Flammable products should not be stored under the sink and rather in a more secure location.

Although it may seem obvious, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is advisable to keep anything that is flammable out of the kitchen! If you’re storing solvents, thinners, polishes, paints, or cleaners that have a warning stating they may spontaneously combust, it’s probably best to keep them away from the sink. When the right conditions are met, spontaneous combustion can happen even from oily rags used to polish furniture. What a scary thought! 

5. Pet Food & Pet Treats

Dog and cat food or treats should not be stored under the kitchen sink.

Although seemingly harmless, storing Fido’s food under the sink is never a good idea. Often, pet owners store pet food and treats under the sink so their pets won’t sneak seconds, thirds, and so forth. But, the environment under the sink is usually humid, and leaky pipes are inevitable at some point, which in turn can cause mold issues with your pet’s food. By storing the food in an airtight container away from the sink, you can ensure that your pet’s food is safe.

What To Store Under The Kitchen Sink

1. An Absorbent Mat

An under the sink mat like this option from Drymate is perfect to deal with inevitable spills and leaks.

In order to properly prepare the area under your sink, you should put down an absorbent mat before any products are stored there, like this great option from Drymate. Spills and leaks are practically inevitable under the kitchen sink, so having more than contact paper lining is a must to prevent damaging your cabinets while preventing mold growth.

2. Under The Sink Organization Tools

Under sink organizers like this 2-tier sliding basket from PUILUO is great to maximize the space.

We’re all familiar with sink caddies to organize sponges and dish soap, but there are also handy organization tools for below the sink. For kitchen rags and rubber gloves, simply install hooks on the cabinet door for easy access (we love these adhesive heavy-duty hooks which are super easy to install).

For the bulk of storage, gliding drawers, like this handy option from PUILUO, are a convenient way to store everyday cleaning supplies. Easily store frequently accessed items on the bottom pull-out drawer, while other less used items can be securely stored on the second tier. A set of side hooks are great for towels, gloves, and any other hangable tool.

3. Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

Keeping a kitchen fire extinguisher like this option from FIRST ALERT on hand is a safety must have.

A small fire extinguisher should always be available in any kitchen in case of electrical or grease fires. Having peace of mind is worth the relativly small cost, and storing this handy life-saving tool under the sink can be great depending on your kitchen setup. You want something nearby to act quickly, but also something that is safe to retrieve in case the flame is more severe.

But don’t grab just any old fire extinguisher, as different models exist for different sources of the flame. For the kitchen, having a Class B (for flammable liquids like cooking oils and grease) and Class C (for electrical fires from cooking appliances or faulty wiring) is a must. We love this option from FIRST ALERT that is suitable for both Class B and Class C fires and is small enough to easily store in your kitchen.

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