What is a Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer? (Explained)

To put it simply, a basket strainer for a kitchen sink is a mesh or sieve-like strainer that filters things out in your water lines. Strainers can be of different kinds, but the basket strainer is highly regarded as the best option out of them all for its affordability and functional output.

What is a kitchen sink basket strainer?

A basket strainer is a small equipment with a mesh screen that filters out foreign objects in your sink. Usually made of stainless steel, this device helps to keep the basin area clean, hygienic, and debris free. By catching solid particles, a sink strainer keeps the water line free and functional.

A sink basket strainer is one of the small yet essential plumbing devices needed in a residential or even industrial kitchen area. This steel netlike object acts as a sieve by straining out solid remains so they do not fall into the sink and below. 

By making things easier to drain, strain and dispose of- they add extreme utility to your kitchen or pantry area. On top of that, they are affordable, easy to replace, and even easier to replace.

Why do I need a basket strainer for my kitchen sink?

A basket strainer, also known as a crumb cup, may be tiny, but it is a vital part of the kitchen sink. It is also one of the most affordable ways to guard your plumbing. It is basically a strainer shaped like a basket that filters matter out of the sink, so the drain pipes do not clog.

The main reason you need a basket strainer for your kitchen sink is that it catches all solid debris that may fall off of objects. It acts as a screen to let the water or liquid to pass through, but it blocks larger items. The remains stay in the basket and can be later cleaned out.

Another reason you need one is that a basket strainer has been proven to be easier to clean in addition to offering an increased straining surface area. They also improve flow rates by reducing the pressure loss.

Aside from these two, the third reason is that strainers also help to prevent the gathering of organic filth in the pipes, pumps, and valves. This congregation also leaves a revolting, pungent odor as well as attracts gnats, bugs, and flies. A good strainer will make sure this happens the least, if not never.

Last but certainly not the least, by filtering out the germs and foreign particles in the water system, the strainer makes sure you are staying hygienic and healthy as well.

An ideal strainer will be effective, fade seamlessly into the fittings while working effortlessly for a long time. It also prevents rust, clogging, and blockage which will potentially create wide-ranging plumbing problems. So, without a working and proper strainer, you are basically inviting extra plumbing bills that could have easily been avoided.

One should not tone down the role strainers serve in the daily kitchen lives household. They should be indispensable for they make sure the kitchen and so the house stays clean and germ and waste-free.

How much does a kitchen sink basket strainer cost?

Basin strainers are obtainable in all shapes, sizes, and finishes- made to fit all sorts of kitchens fixtures. The material is usually stainless steel, but you can find finishes in chrome, nickel, and even bronze.

Found in most home centers and supply stores, the price range for kitchen sink basket strainers is between 10 dollars to 60 dollars from amazon.

What size kitchen sink basket strainer do I need?

Each and every strainer is made in such a way that the mesh-lined basket will filter and collect the unwanted and discarded remains. So, it can be said that the mesh size is an important consideration.

If you pick a strainer that has openings too small, it will catch most things, which will lead to a regularly clogged up sink. In contrast, picking a strainer with openings too big will let undesirable debris to fall through. This will, in turn clog up the pipeline and equipment.

Therefore, the ideal kitchen sink basket strainer for you will be the one with a perforated mesh somewhat smaller than the particles needed to be strained.

Since mesh size has to be selected by the job purpose and not by the system’s size, the number of openings in a screen’s linear inch matter. A 15-mesh screen has 15 holes per inch. Meanwhile, a 120-mesh screen has 120 openings.

Higher numbers, in this case, mean they can filter out the smallest particles with the finer net. It is advised to meet in the middle so you can get the most bang out of your buck.

Are kitchen sink baskets a standard size?

Kitchen sink baskets are manufactured in a standard size, yes. 

The standard sizes are the drain hole opening being 3.5 inches (90 mm); some can be even bigger- going up to 4 inches. Therefore, a basket strainer has to be around 3.4 inches wide, while the lip should be approximately 4.5 inches, like this one on amazon.

While the strainers can be from a vast number of styles, materials, colors, and finishes, most manufacturers will design them to fit 3.5 inches. There are also “mini” basket strainers that will fit a smaller sink outlet hole of 2 inches.

You should always check the product specifications when selecting a strainer size so it can fit the opening.

What to look for while choosing a kitchen sink basket strainer?

Seeing how important and protective the sink strainer is, it is understandable to research the criteria needed to pick one. It can be plain or decorative, but it will always need to get the job done. Mesh size, material, attached stopper are three of the main things to look for.

Mesh Size:

As mentioned before, mesh size determines the quantity of particles that can be filtered through. The smaller the perforations are, the better they can catch food and waste particles.


Moving on, the material the basket is made of matters as well. The most common material for the kitchen sink basket strainer is stainless steel.

Stainless steel allows it to be water and so rust proof but shows up scratches. Silicone is the second choice for strainers because they are scratch-resistant, but they definitely are not as good looking. There are also strainers that are made of plastic, but they tend to be not as durable.

Sink Stopper:

Another criterion that is absolutely necessary when it comes to choosing a basket strainer is whether it will have an attached stopper or not. A stopper is a device that blocks off the sink and holds water in it. A stopper is a useful object that helps with increased kitchen functions, but it also changes the price and makes of the strainer.

Ease of Use:

Aside from the above mentioned three bases, when looking for a kitchen sink strainer, ease of use also matters. Ease of use means exactly that, how easy or simple it is to use said device.

Since the sink strainer is something that actively deals with our trash habits, it has to be user friendly and uncomplicated to clean. Removing, replacing, and adding it should be easy too.


Since durability has been mentioned, it also needs to be expanded upon. As stainless steel is the first choice, you should make sure it is not too thin. If it is too narrow, daily wear and tear will destroy it in a matter of months, if not weeks.

You should always look up the technical information section of plumbing supply webpages, so you have access to all the data you need to know.

You can also find different types of kitchen sink basket strainers like, OXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Sink Strainer Stopper, Highcraft 9843 Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Strainer Basket-Replacement for Standard Drains (3-1/2 Inch), Highcraft 97333 Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer Replacement for Standard Drains (3-1/2 Inch), SoLID (TM) Kitchen Sink Strainer Basket Catcher 2 pack 4.5 inch Diameter on Amazon!

How do you install a kitchen basket strainer?

Installing a kitchen basket strainer is an easy, quick task that requires minimal involvement. The tools you might need are

  • Putty knife
  • Plumbers putty
  • Joint pliers
  • Spud wench
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Rotary Tool

It is highly advised to turn off the hot and cold pipe of the main water supply or at least of the kitchen sink faucets before starting anything. You should also clear out the area around the sink and the cabinet it is under so it is easy to access.

Basically, you have to take apart the new strainer and keep it close by. Remove the old one from the pipe using a wench. After this, insert the newer strainer with plumbers’ putty into the sink opening. Finally, assemble the pieces together and re-join with the water supply drainpipe.

Installing the basket strainer by yourself can be done in around an hour, but you can always opt for a plumber or a professional to get it done. It should cost about an hour’s wage and will leave you to do your own activities.

How do you clean a basket strainer?

To increase the longevity of your strainer, proper cleaning is advised. Since strainers collect the residue and gunk of waste, they tend to clog up sooner or later.

Cleaning said mess of waste is rather easy. What you need to do is use a bottle brush or even a toothbrush and brush it off. A solution of vinegar and baking soda will help the process be smoother and faster. 

A kitchen sink strainer, as explained above, is one of those underrated yet necessary kitchen equipment that should not be taken lightly. The strainer makes sure foreign and harmful particles do not get into the way of downstream gears and cause blockage in the valves and pumps. 

They make day-to-day kitchen activities easy and mess-free, so they should be chosen, installed, and maintained properly with required caution. 

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