How do we keep our shared office sink clean?

Sharing a space with others can be a source of frustration since people will typically have different values. While I have seen boyfriends and girlfriends sharing rooms get into big fights over cleanliness, it gets worse when it is a shared office space. The kitchen and especially the sink is one of those spaces that tends to elicit a lot of emotion as it is bound to get dirty on a daily basis. With so many people sharing the sink the responsibility of cleaning it can become blurred over time resulting in a dirty office sink. If you have been asking how do we keep our shared office sink clean? follow this guide on how to do it.

1. Have a Duty Rota

If you cannot agree to clean the sink immediately after use, then you need to have a duty Rota. The best way to do this is to make everyone signup for kitchen duty at least once every few weeks. The person in charge will thus clean the sink every evening for a week before another takes over. Pin the chart in a public place in the office where everyone can check and see whose turn it is to clean the sink. You also need to impose strict fines on those that fail to clean the sink when it is their turn. Another easy way of making a duty Rota is by assigning everyone a different task such as who scrubs the microwave, counter, the floor, and another takes out the trash. Once one or two persons have done their part it will be clear who has not and they will likely be embarrassed and clean the sink.

2. Reward Good Behavior

You need to come up with a system to reward employees that keep the office sink tidy. You could have a star board where office staff can award themselves a star for tasks such as clearing dirty dishes from the tables, turning on the dishwasher, unloading dishes from the dishwasher, and loading dishes into the dishwasher. At the end of the week, you can award the employees that have collected the most stars with gift cards or other incentives.

3. Buddy Up For Cleanup

Nobody likes cleaning dishes as it can be a boring and thankless task. However, you can make it better by buddying up when you need to do the dishes. Even with a duty rota, you can decide to pair up with a friend and clean the sink together when it is your turn to do it. By doing it this way one person could be rinsing and loading the dishwasher while the other unloads and dries the dishes.

4. Agree on Kitchen Sink Rules

One of the best ways of keeping the kitchen sink clean is to have a set of rules. While some people are cleaner than Martha Stewart others cannot reach those heights. However, you have to have an agreement on the minimum standards of cleanliness. Some rules to consider include: you have to clean the dishes immediately after use, everyone has to clean up after themselves, and there is no cooking before the sink is clean. You also need to rules and regulations including penalties for those not adhering to the rules.

5. Make Everyone Clean Up Their Own Mess

You can make a rule that says that everyone needs to clean the sink immediately after using it. This is one of the most effective rules as it is easy to follow and does not place a huge burden on the person cleaning the sink. For instance, a person who has used one plate will not feel that it is a big task cleaning the plate and sink as compared to having to clean something like ten cups and plates at the end of the day. This also has the effect of embarrassing anyone who does not clean up after themselves. Moreover, it can be easy to tell who did not clean the sink after they used it.

6. Hire a Cleaner

If you have tried everything and still cannot get the office kitchen sink clean then you may need to consider hiring a professional cleaning company. Professional cleaning companies can have an in-house person in charge of office cleaning. This will ensure that your sink is clean at all times. Since they are employed to clean the office they will do it without complaint and you will have a cleaner office and less conflict in the office. Since most conflicts over the office sink arise when there are too many people, hiring a cleaner is often a cheaper and more convenient solution. You can split the cost of hiring the professional several ways and also not have to clean the office as they will do all the cleaning work nobody wants to do.


Having a clean kitchen is critical to maintaining office harmony and peace and hence it should not be taken lightly. It can be hard keeping the office kitchen sink clean given that there are too many people which blurs the responsibility for the sink. However, by implementing a few rules for cleanliness, having a duty Rota, buddying up for cleaning, making everyone clean up their mess and as a last resort hiring a cleaner you can have a clean productive office space.