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Dish drying mats

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations to make regarding dish drying mats? Someone I know raves about hers. At the time I didn't take a super close look, but now that I've gone to the store what I'm seeing looks different than what I thought she had. (I would ask her, but it's not so easy at this point.)

All of the Amazon reviews seem quite positive. I guess I'm inclined to get one of the less expensive ones, just to try it out. I don't have such a big kitchen, so smaller may actually be better. But I suppose if "The Original" is hands-down the best, I could see springing for it.

One of my concerns is that these pads start to get smelly after a while. I recall reading a review somewhere about that being a problem. If that's true, I might skip getting a pad altogether!

Right now we have the standard Rubbermaid drain mat and foldable dish rack. They take up prime real estate in the kitchen, though, so if the mat truly works, that would be wonderful. We would just have to be prepared to live without the convenience of a dish rack, I guess.

http://www.amazon.com/15x20-Microfibe...

http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-18-Inch-...

http://www.amazon.com/The-OriginalTM-...

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  1. We have the Norpro mat and were very happy to get rid of our SimpleHuman dishrack, which worked fine but took up too much space. We've used it for a month so far and have no complaints.

    1. We have had dish drying mats for a couple of years, and we love them. We have one next to the kitchen sink, and one next to the sink in the butler's pantry where we put crystal glasses to dry. We love them, and we have never had a problem with them getting smelly. They hold an incredible amout of water, and we actually wring them out when we are having parties and washing a large number of pots and such. We will hang them from the handle of the stove when we want to dry them out, as we did during some very humid summer weather. We launder them every week when we do the dishtowels and such.

      This is where we got ours, but they don't have the exact one we purchased on line. One is a steel grey and the other is a mossy green.

      http://www.chefcentral.com/products/J...

      1. I've also used them for a few years and like them. We just pop the in the washing machine.

        1. Wow, thank you all for the positive feedback! We will definitely order one now. One more question, if I may: if you put something really wet on the mat, is there the risk that it will run through the backside? In other words, would it be risky to put the mat on, say, a wood table while you wait for the dishes to dry?

          3 Replies
          1. re: uwsgrazer

            You definitely wouldn't want to put this on a wooden table. The mat gets wet all the way through, but it holds the water so that it doesn't slop out.

            1. re: uwsgrazer

              < if you put something really wet on the mat, is there the risk that it will run through the backside? >

              It certainly has a finite capacity.

            2. I don't know if the "Original" is hands-down the best. I have the Original, and it is good, but I have not tired the others. They could be better or worse. I just don't know.

              For disclosure, I actually do not use mine for drying dishes -- a few time, but most of time, I used it as a cutting board support mat. So it does get to absorb a lot of water, blood and meat juice...etc. You can always put it in a dishwasher to wash it. I have not found mine to be particularly smelly. Hope this information help.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                That's an interesting idea, to use the pad under a cutting board. I would never have thought of washing the pad in a dishwasher -- interesting. I just washed mine in the laundry this week, but let it "air dry". I guess I was reluctant to put it in the dryer. No idea if that makes sense.

                Just to report back, I am pleased with the drying pad. It has definitely freed up counter space; it also forces one to be more disciplined about putting away dishes, not necessarily a bad thing. I will say, though, that I end up having to hand-dry stuff, just because stuff facing the mat tends to not to really get dry, I guess because of the lack of air circulation. Regardless, I am pleased with the purchase and appreciate everyone's input. SO is less keen, though is dealing with things well enough.

                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  <I would never have thought of washing the pad in a dishwasher.... I was reluctant to put it in the dryer>

                  I just wash and dry mine along with other kitchen stuffs, like my kitchen towels...etc.

                  <I am pleased with the drying pad.>

                  Good to hear. Did you get the "original" brand or another brand?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I got the "Norpro" (the larger size shown in the link below), which I guess doesn't count as "the Original". It cost a lot less and I guess the reasoning was that I would test out the general concept first (i.e., getting rid of drying rack, to free up counter space, etc.). I figured the pad would work well enough and it does. Not sure if the Original would work better. I mean, the Norpro doesn't get the dishes bone-dry so I don't know, does the Original?

                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008...

                    By the way, ChemKin, did you mean to write "dishwasher" or "washer" in your post above? I know you referenced dishwasher twice, I think, but I still can't imagine putting my drying pad in the dishwasher!

                    1. re: uwsgrazer

                      Thanks so much. Yes, I do mean the regular washer, not dishwasher. I put my kitchen towels and dish drying mat in the regular washer (clothing).

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  <You can always put it in a dishwasher to wash it>

                  I meant to say a laundry washer, not a dishwasher. Although, it probably works in a dishwasher too. I don't know.

                    1. re: uwsgrazer

                      No, thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct myself -- otherwise I would never know.

                3. We have two. They go in the laundry now and then. Easy to use and take care of.

                  1. You & the other Hounds have piqued my curiosity about drying pads. I checked at Marshall's and found a huge selection that were priced at $3.99 for all makers. The most expensive one I saw in their selection was $4.99.

                    1. We get 2 of what ever is cheapest at bed bath and beyond every fall when the (insert expletives) mice pay my kitchen a visit and shite all over. I wash them a couple times a year with the regular kitchen towels, but mouse droppings equal spending another 10 bucks to be happy again.

                      1. I bought a microfiber dish drying mat (approx. 16" x 21", by HD Designs) at Ralph's (So. Cal.) a month or so ago and liked it so much that I went and bought another one. One is red and the other yellow, with embossed flowers on both sides. They have thin sponge in the middle and really soak up the water well. Unless you really put a lot of water on them, they don't even look like they are wet.

                        Some of my friends bought them on my recommendation, and now I want a couple more, especially if I could find them in other colors (preferably solid color on both sides, like these). But yesterday I went to look in Ralph's and there was no sign they had ever been there--no label on the shelf, or anything. Groan. That is why I am looking around on the Internet now. I never want to be without one of these again.

                        As to the "stink" issue: If you let things sit around damp for days, they are going to get mold and other organisms in them and they are bound to stink. That happened with the towels we used to use as dish mats before I found these. The solution is either to remove the dishes at night and hang the mat up or drape it over something so it can dry (that is what I do), or else wash it more often. The label says to wash often in liquid detergent and dry in the dryer, but I want them to last, so I hang them up to dry.

                        I looked at the ones on Amazon and was not too impressed. Guess I'll have to continue to try to find the HD Designs site, which (hopefully) would be selling them, or else beg Ralph's to stock them again. These are even something I would buy to give as a present, and if my memory serves me right, they were only around $5--on the shelves with all the colorful plastic dishes for summer.