Should Pots and Pans Go Under the Sink?


What goes under the sink usually stays under the sink for a long time. However, if your kitchen has a smaller space, chances are, you’ve been using your sink base cabinet to store pots and pans.

But, is it right to do so?

Kitchen materials need to be stored in safe and clean places. In this sense, pots and pans should not be kept under the sink. We use these cookware pieces for food preparation. Thereby, they should not be stored in an area so close to the garbage disposal drain.

Find out what risks are in play if you store pots and pans under the sink.

Likewise, learn how to safely store your pots and pans especially for small kitchens.  

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Pots and Pans Under the Sink?

The main reason why you shouldn’t store your pots and pans under the sink is it could easily be unsanitary.

Sure, you could just wash the pans and pots before use. But the mere thought of these kitchenware pieces next to the drain can be repulsive.

If you’re still in doubt about the harmful consequences of storing pots and pans in your sink base cabinet, think the following reasons through.

1. It is prone to damage due to leaks.

Premium cookware sets are not cheap. Even if you have gotten it out of a sale, the materials still require a certain level of care. 

Drain leaks under the sink may not result in a flooded floor but consistent leaks can damage your pots and pans. You wouldn’t want to ruin your Dutch oven simply because of poor storage.  

2. It could be a potential spot for mice and cockroaches.

Since the kitchen sink base cabinet is hidden and situated on the floor, it becomes a favorite spot for mice, cockroaches, and other pests. Placing your pots and pans in this area may expose you to disease-causing microbes or pathogens.

3. It can be a possible source of bacteria and fungi infection.

Undetected leaks under the sink give way to fungal growth such as molds and mildews. In the same way, bacterial accumulation from the garbage drain can spread over your pots and pans.

Of course, on top of that, you have the pathogens brought by common pests. Thereby, choosing to store your cookware under the sink can lead to infection especially if cleaning the cabinet is not a routine.

What Items Commonly Go Under the Sink?

The sink base cabinet is not really meant for storing kitchenware. But it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t store anything under the kitchen sink. Several items deemed to be safe and durable can take their place in this storage area.

Here are some guide questions to ask when assessing if an item should be kept under the sink:

1. Does it rust?

Considering leaks could occur, keep metallic objects away under the sink. Items like pruning shears, hammers, and other tools should be stored someplace else.

2. Is it made of paper?

Whether it’s a paper bag or paper towels, anything that can easily be damaged by water should not be placed under the sink.

3. Will it accumulate moisture?

The humidity in a kitchen sink base cabinet can ruin items like pet food. Also, easily moistened materials can be a breeding ground for molds.

4. Is it toxic?

Chemicals that are too strong are commonly placed under the sink. However, it is important to bear in mind that if these products are toxic or flammable, they could create irreparable damage to your drainpipe.

If you have children, make sure to store harmful products in a place away from their reach. Since the kitchen sink cabinet can easily be opened, make sure to add child-proof locks or hide hazardous material elsewhere.

To give you some idea of what goes under the sink, here are items that could withstand its environment.

1.      Cleaning Materials

Scrubbers, cleaning sprays, and rubber brushes along with common cleaning products can be kept under the sink.  

2.      Small Trash Can and Trash Bags

You can opt to have a trash can for dry garbage items. Next to it, you can meticulously keep your extra trash bags. Just make sure your garbage is regularly discarded.

3.      Organizational tools

Containers, S hooks, and other unused kitchen organizational tools can be housed under the sink. They can also serve their purpose for other items inside the cabinet to make it more structured.  

4.      Absorbent Mat

Since one of the biggest issues in a sink base cabinet is leakage, it makes sense to put an absorbent mat inside. In cases of rip, it prevents water from flowing out of the cabinet and molds from forming inside. Make sure to check the mat during suspected leakage.

Where Should Pots and Pans Be Stored?

If you live in a tiny apartment with limited storage, you might be wondering where else you can place your pots and pans if not under the sink.

There’s nothing to fret about because there are creative ways to store your cookware without the risk of infection or damage.

If your kitchen cabinet is still free, make use of the space to place your kitchenware.  

However, if it has other valuable items, consider the following organizing and storage ideas for your pots and pans.

1. Open-Air Storage

Get some hooks and find a good space between the kitchen cabinet and wall to hang your pots and pans. You can also use a pegboard if you want it to be trendier and more functional at the same time.

2. The Towel Bar Solution

A towel bar and S hooks can be the perfect solution for your storage dilemma. Install a towel bar on the side of your counter and conveniently hang your cookware.

3. Vertical Pot Rack

A smart way to store your pots and pans is through a vertical pot rack. Save a spot on top of the counter or near the stove to save extra space.

4. Open Wire Rack

No extra cabinet? No worries. Simply get your kitchen a stylish open wire rack. You can place your cookware on any open shelf and just grab it when needed.

5. Ceiling Pot Rack

When the walls are unavailable and there’s no extra space on the countertop, just look up the ceiling. You can simply buy and mount a ceiling pot rack to take care of your organizational needs. If you have an unused ladder, you can have it as an alternative rack.

6. A Deep Drawer

If you happen to have a drawer deep enough to store pots, pans, and lids, take advantage of that space. Instead of storing random kitchen items in that space, make use of it for cookware storage. Add some dividers to make it more structured.

There’s always a creative solution to store and set up cookware placement. The good news is these organizational tools can be readily purchased. Obviously, there is also the option of building do-it-yourself organizers. 

Either way, it keeps your pots and pans well-arranged and safely stored.

In a Nutshell

Storing pots and pans under the sink has several risks. It can lead you closer to infection and your kitchenware to damage. Let it be the last place you store these materials along with other items that could be ruined by leaks.

Consider other creative ways to store cookware and other kitchen tools used for food preparation. More than convenience, health, and safety should be your top priority.

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