12 Items You Should Never Store Under Your Kitchen Sink

You may want to think twice before storing these common items under your kitchen sink.

Kitchen Sink


When you’re striving for an organized home it feels like every available cupboard should be used to store every item in its proper place. However, sometimes the most convenient spot isn’t the right spot. For an example, look no further than the under the kitchen sink.

There is usually plenty of available space, conveniently located in the heart of the cooking area. Easy accessibility is great for some items, but if there are children or pets that either live or visit the home, that accessibility can be risky. The dampness under the sink can cause other problems, too. To find out what should never be stored under the sink, we recruited some pros for their advice. 

Here are 12 common items that you should never store under your kitchen sink:

Cleaning Products

The number one thing these professionals said to avoid putting under the sink is something that many of us naturally tuck away down there: cleaning products. “I know it is a common practice and most people do it because it is convenient, but if you have young children in your household or grandchildren that come to visit then these cleaners can be dangerous,” says Neena Nandagopal, who writes about professional organizing at AlmostPractical.com. “A better idea is to use a higher shelf in a linen or utility closet for household chemicals and use the space under the sink for other things that are safe for children.”

“We advise all our clients to never keep harsh chemicals under the sink especially ones containing bleach,” says Justin Carpenter, founder of Modern Maids. “If you have kids at home this could also be a very dangerous situation. All cleaning chemicals should be kept in a cleaning bucket or caddy and placed on a laundry room shelf, that is high to reach.” 

Pet Food

“Even if it’s in a tightly-sealed container, you’re better off storing pet food in the pantry or a different kitchen cabinet,” says Toby Schulz, CEO & Co-Founder of Maid2Match. “Pet food stored under the sink is at risk of developing mold, which is a health hazard for your beloved furry friend."

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

"I always tell people, if you're going to mix chemicals to make your own cleaning solution–whether those are from natural sources like vinegar, or synthetic ones–make sure you don't put spray bottles under the sink or cabinet with the mixed chemical solution; you never know what reactions these chemicals can have when sitting idle for too long," says Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of cleaning and restoration company ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. "As a precaution, safely dispose of any leftover cleaning mixture once you're done cleaning."


“Fragile items like dishes and mugs are not supposed to be stored under the kitchen sink,” says Stefan Bucur of Texas-based organizing company Rhythm of the Home. “That is because the plumbing pipes and the sink rattle very often and sometimes rather violently. If you store your dishes next to the pipe they're going to almost certainly break.”

Paper Towels

“Moisture and humidity could ruin the material, all the more if your pipes suddenly leak,” says Maid2Match’s Schulz. “It could dampen the paper towels and similar materials, which would make them useless–or worse, cause mold. Instead, store these items in a pantry, linen closet, or outside shelf.”

Food and Baking Supplies

“Storing any food, baking ingredients or spices under a sink is a big no-no! The dark, damp environment under the sink will lead to food spoilage,” says organizing expert, Nancy Traylor.

Flammable Products

“Anything marked 'flammable' should be kept in safe, well-ventilated places,” says Maid2Match’s Schulz. “This includes varnishes, alcohol, and aerosols. If you have electric components such as a garbage disposal under the sink, this is doubly important.”

Small Appliances

“If you have limited space, it's tempting to hide appliances you're not using in the back of a storage cabinet. However, things that combine with water and electrical appliances should not be stored together where moisture might produce damage," says Walter E Bennett of Texas-based handyman with Greenleaf Air. "To avoid uncertainty, it's better to store small appliances in another location. Your slow cooker, pressure cooker, and blender are better off elsewhere. They might get damaged if leaky water from the sink comes into contact with them. It's best to put them in plastic bins in an accessible closet, garage, or basement.”


“Propane tanks should be stored outside in a well-ventilated area away from any ignition sources,” says Phi Dang, director of home-cleaning company, Sidepost.


“Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, so it's best to keep them in a dry, well-ventilated area,” says Maria Ivanova of Mastermaid.

Spare Dish Towels

“Dish towels are great for wiping up spills, but they can quickly become dirty if they're stored under the sink,” says Beatrice Flores of Living Pristine. “Keep them in a drawer or on a hook near the sink so they're always within reach when you need them.”

Rodent Poison

“It could seem sensible to place pesticides or even rodent poison under the sink because unwelcome varmints frequently swarm there. But it's crucial to keep these hazardous substances away from small children, just like you would with harsh chemicals,” Ryan Knoll Owner at Tidy Casa says.

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