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Can You Store Food Under the Sink? What You Should Know

If you don’t have much kitchen cabinet space, you may have considered the space under your sink for food storage. However, storing food under the sink isn’t common, so can you do it?

You shouldn’t store food under your sink because this space is often dark, warm, and humid after using the hot faucet. The moisture can promote bacterial and fungal growth, which can easily contaminate your food. This area is also awkwardly-shaped, can leak, and you risk wetting your food. 

Read further to discover why you shouldn’t store food under the sink. I’ll also discuss what you can store there and give you some valuable tips for storing food safely with limited kitchen space.

What Can I Store Under the Sink?

In the previous section, I explained that you shouldn’t store food under the sink because you risk contaminating it or getting it wet. There’s limited space under sinks due to the water pipe, so what are some items you can store there?

You can store gentle detergents, vases, plant holders, and kitchen and cleaning equipment under the sink. Storing a compact recycling container under your sink is also an excellent idea.

However, you should avoid storing paper products there as they could get damp due to a leak or humid conditions (source).

With its protruding water pipes, the area under your sink is awkwardly shaped and difficult to keep neat and tidy. However, an under-sink organizer can address this problem. NYYTGE Under Sink Organizer (link to Amazon) comes as a 2-piece, is easy to clean, and provides plenty of space to store your essential detergents and other items neatly.

I’ll explain why you can safely store the products mentioned above under your sink in more detail below:

Gentle Detergents

Storing gentle detergents (ones without ammonia) under your sink is fine, as long as you use them often.

The area under your sink experiences frequent temperature fluctuations – it becomes warm and humid when you use the hot faucet and then cools down. 

Storing detergents for an extended period under these conditions can cause them to lose their efficacy faster. However, it’s not a problem if you go through cleaners quickly.

Ammonia is not highly flammable, but it can explode under extremely hot conditions, so you should avoid storing ammonia-containing cleaners under your sink just in case.

Kitchen and Cleaning Equipment

Your under-the-sink area is the perfect place to store cleaning equipment, including: 

  • Rags
  • Pot scourers
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Sponges
  • Trash bags

These items won’t spoil or lose effectiveness if they’re stored in an environment with extreme temperature fluctuations. If you previously kept these items in a kitchen drawer or small cabinet, you could move them under the sink and transfer your food items to the drawer or cabinet.


Most people only have a few vases with no designated kitchen cabinet. To optimize space in your kitchen and free up space in your cabinets for groceries, you could move your vases under the sink.

Avoid storing delicate vases under the sink because the extreme temperature fluctuations could lead to the formation of cracks.

It’s also a good idea to store some of the rarely used containers under the sink to save up space. However, if you store kitchenware under the sink, it is highly advisable to wash the items with soap and water before putting them to use. 

Plant Holders

If you’re a keen gardener, you might struggle to find space inside to store your gardening items. Storing metallic gardening equipment under the sink isn’t a good idea because the humid environment increases the risk of rust.

However, the space under the sink is ideal if you need a place to store plastic or ceramic pot holders.

Compact Recycling Container

Recycling containers are typically ugly and bulky and do nothing to enhance the look of your kitchen. If you want to hide your indoor recycling container, consider storing it under your sink.

And since recycling containers come in different shapes and sizes, it’s best to choose one that perfectly fits the size of your under-sink cabinet. 

Where Can I Store Food With Limited Kitchen Cabinets?

Now that you know it’s not a good idea to store food under the sink, what should you do if you have limited storage space in your kitchen?

With limited kitchen cabinets, you can store food on the countertop in attractive, airtight containers. You could also install shelving, use a rolling cart, or store food on top of your cabinets.

Below is some more information about these storage hacks:

  • Countertop storage containers. Although this method involves using valuable countertop space, if you choose attractive containers that match your kitchen’s decor, it can enhance your kitchen’s look.
  • Shelving. You might not have space in your kitchen to install a new cabinet, but you could find a place to install a shelf. Look for places, such as the side of cabinets or empty wall space, to erect a shelf for your groceries.
  • Rolling cart. You can buy rolling kitchen carts online or from home goods stores. These typically have a few shelves to help you arrange your groceries neatly. The Simple Trending 3-Tier Fruit Basket (link to Amazon) has three wire baskets with plenty of space for your produce and dry goods.
  • On top of the cabinets. If there’s a space between the top of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, consider storing your groceries there. It might make your kitchen look a little cluttered, but it’s a better option than storing food under the sink.


It’s not advisable to store food under your sink because the area frequently gets warm and humid, which increases the chances of contamination. You also shouldn’t store paper products under the sink as they would be ruined in the event of a pipe leak.

Thankfully, you can store various items under the sink, including:

  • Vases
  • Gentle detergents
  • Plant holders
  • Recycling containers

If you have limited kitchen cabinets, consider storing your food here instead of under the sink: 

  • Countertop storage containers
  • Shelves
  • Rolling kitchen cart
  • On top of the cabinets

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