HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Do you use a dishrack?

we will have a dishwasher, but there's still things that will need to be washed by hand. and i really don't seem myself drying a putting the dishes away immediately. if you use a dish rack have you found one that you like and isn't an eye sore?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: mike0989

      This is what I do - I also have a pack of these dish drying mats:

        1. re: emily

          We have a couple of those too and really like them. No dish rack here

          1. re: rasputina

            You guys must not have many dishes! What do you do when you have 8 plates to wash?

            I have one of those, too, but I mostly use it when I have a lot of stemware to wash

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Dishes go in the dishwasher but I wash all my bakeware and pots and pans by hand.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                what i primarily use my dishrack for is the plastic storage containers that need to air dry after going in the dishwasher. and for roasting pans, knives, stemware, and baking stuff.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Some of us use this new thingy. It's called a dishwasher. ;-)

              2. re: emily

                This is what we use in our camper... they fold up nicely so they don't take up room like a dish rack does.

              3. re: mike0989

                Another towel user here. As others have said, I too do not want a rack on my counter (I'm pretty good about drying and putting away in an hour or so).

                I use a "bath mat" technically, provides plenty of space. A low-pile terry rectangle found in the bed/bath section of the dept. store Those things can be ~expensive~. Who knew?

                I now scout them out at TJMaxx, Big Lots, etc.

              4. I have a double bowl sink (which I hate, but that's another story) and a small dish rack fits down in one side. In my last house, I had a large farmhouse sink, and also, a small dish rack was kept in there. There are also some nice folding racks that you can put away after use. ContainerStore.com has several nice racks, especially a foldable stainless model that just lays over your sink. I believe I saw it first in Real Simple magazine as an item that they really liked

                5 Replies
                1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                  i'm getting a 36 inch single bowl. i'm going to check out container store. thanks!

                  1. re: eLizard

                    Container store is also an actual store, not just online, check and see if there's one near you. They have all kinds of great things

                    1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                      yeah, i'm a fan of the container store..... there's one near me.

                  2. re: jacquelyncoffey

                    I think this is what you're referring to:

                    Looks interesting and I like the fact you can roll it up and put it away.

                    1. re: emily

                      I've switched from my drying mats to the SS rack in the link above. Doesn't take up counter space, I don't have to worry about drying it out and it folds up so I can store it under the sink. Definitely an improvement!

                  3. I use a dish rack, just a standard white plastic one on the side of the sink.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I hate the look of a dish rack on the counter, and finding enough space to stash one when it's not in use is a problem. I have a double bowl sink and I've bought a plastic colander insert that fits the smaller bowl. I put hand-washed items into the colander to drain and dry, then I put the items away. No countertop clutter!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: CindyJ

                        that would be ideal. except i'm getting a single bowl sink.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          I opted for a double bowl sink for exactly that use. If I had only a single bowl, I'd be inclined to get a folding rack that took up as little space as possible when folded, and I'd try to store it under the sink.

                          1. re: eLizard

                            Our sink came with inside grates and one expected bonus is that I can stand pots and pans on their rims to dry (leaning against the wall or rim) because the steel rods that form the grid stop them from sliding. It's also handy for big bowls, I just set them upside down in the sink. Excellent bonus use! That could work with your single.

                            Between that and my drain mat I'm pretty well covered, but when we have a crowd, it's a sure bet someone's going to be drying some dishes. :-)

                        2. I replaced my dish rack with a Norpro microfiber dish mat, which I like much better.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Hi, eLizard:

                            Yes. I have one like this that I really like: http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Pine-Woo...

                            I find them superior to the plastic-coated wire ones.


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              thanks. and i just got a norpro mat....this might be good to get with it.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                We have a similar rack but it's stainless steel, not wood. Also, it has prongs from which stemware can be placed upside down to dry. Although it's collapsible and could be put away when not in use, it is not in use, it never is. We use the rack (a) to air dry items that are hand washed, and (b) to air dry items that are still wet when removed from the DW, including plastic containers or glasses with recessed bottoms that collect water when upside down in the DW.

                              2. We have 2 of the drying mat things, and then an Ikea folding dish rack for stemware, etc. Most of my daily use pots move between the drying mat, to the stove, and back to the sink. I'm lazy, but that's just me.

                                I'm living vicariously through your kitchen remodel project! Someday, someday someday it will be my turn. . . and then I'll want it all pretty too

                                1. I've had a folding bamboo rack for about 10 years, that I've used in 3 different kitchens, but when we went black and white, I wanted a cleaner, uncluttered look, so out it went. After much searching, I settled on this Oxo drainer, which does a good job and doesn't show up so much on the counter. I bought another small one to use when defrosting frozen stuff. When not in use it gets folded and stuck between a pair of slow cookers in a nearby cabinet.

                                  It's not a rack so space is more limited, but it does a good job of allowing airflow for drying.


                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: DuffyH


                                    i can't bring myself to start another thread about trivial kitchen stuff, so i'll just sneak in the question here, do you use shelf liner?

                                    1. re: eLizard

                                      Well, sort of. I prefer cheap self-stick vinyl tiles. They're easier to lay, never bunch up, dishes slide easily and they're super easy to wipe clean. How can you beat that?

                                        1. re: eLizard

                                          That's an issue for the next owner. ;-)

                                          Honestly? I've never lived in any house or apt long enough to find out. 4 yrs is my maximum so far. We're hoping for more here.

                                          EDIT - Oh! Just thought of an easy way to make sure they'll be easy to remove. Score the backing paper before peeling, then only peel off one or two narrow strips, front and back. Less residual glue to deal with down the road.

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            i am never moving. never. in boston in my 20's it felt like i moved every 15 minutes.

                                            and thanks for the tip!

                                    2. When washing by hand, I use the racks in the dishwasher with the door open and racks out. I'll use a colander to throw the flatware in to dry, making sure that the spoons are face down so no pooling. I usually wash by hand because it's daily and I don't see the need for to run a dishwasher that's barely full. If I skip a few days, well, it's time to fill and run the dishwasher. But when washing by hand, the dishwasher is still useful as a huge drying rack. All pots and pans get hand washed always, and set to dry on the stovetop.

                                      1. I got rid of my dish rack years ago and never looked back. Way too much of an eyesore.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: VeganVick

                                          I'm with you, it uglies up the counter. I use a nice dish towel instead and that gets hung back up once things are put away.

                                        2. I'd never had a dishwasher my entire life (I'm 62) until I redid my kitchen last fall. I had a great, stainless steel folding rack with a separate, hook-on, utensil basket.
                                          I packed it away before the remodel, fully intending to put it Back on the counter in the new kitchen.

                                          Nope. I didn't like the look anymore, and I couldn't see the need. If I have a lot of dishes to do, that's the dishwasher's job. If I'm only washing up my tea cup, a spoon, and my breakfast things, there are these new marvelous dish-drying mats in Bed, Bath and Beyond (and elsewhere) that can do the job. I have two; one sits on the counter, the last one used goes in the wash, and they can both be rolled up and put away when company comes.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                            Are the dish-drying mats from Bed and bath made with foam. I'm thinking , if so, the foam would be hard to dry. I live in FL and everything must be perfectly dry before putting away, or you get a musty mildew smell.

                                            1. re: Mollybud

                                              There is a thin layer of foam sandwiched between the microfiber layers. After washing, they can be put in the dryer on low, or hung on their hook to air dry. If you're not ready to wash them, but need it dry, just wring it out and toss in the dryer.

                                              1. re: Mollybud

                                                This is why I like the drainer with ridges. The dishes can breathe for faster drying, and I can rinse it clean in the sink, then use it right away. No need to have more than one, and it's always ready and clean.

                                                1. re: Mollybud

                                                  They will definitely grow mold spots if you use them a lot and don't let them air dry between uses.

                                              2. Yes, I use a dishrack. I find it very useful.

                                                1. I have one that's exactly like the one I had growing up, except that was blue and mine is pink. I was so excited when I found it at a yardsale, because the new-fangled ones just didn't seem to hold as many dishes.

                                                  I've only had a dishwasher for the past 9 months or so, but still kept the rack for hand wash items. Part of me can't think of living without it, but the other part of me thinks that if I used the towel/mat method, things would get put away faster.... It would also free up counter space. I never seem to put it away when not in use, so I lose prep space.

                                                  Definitely an eyesore, though. Big clunky mauve thing.... Does it's job!

                                                  1. We have a silicone ribbed mat, and we also put down a dish towel if needed. Mr. Sueatmo is in charge of cleanup most times at our house, and he almost always dries and puts away the dishes. We have lots of dish towels. I feel they are an important part of running a kitchen. I wash them frequently.

                                                    1. Yet another question about dish mats: how do they dry? As in, where does one hang to dry? Our hand/dish towel hangs from a magnetic hook thingy on the cupboard handle. Dish/counter washing cloth has a special stand on the counter (which DH, who acquired it, "forgets" to use). So, where to hang the dish mat?
                                                      Mind you, perhaps the greater question is... how does the dish mat ever dry, when it is continuously covered in dishes [as my dishrack seems to be]? How do mugs and glassware dry inside, when on the seemingly damp mat?
                                                      I'm having difficulty understanding where the water goes. Please excuse my complete lack of knowledge in this arena.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: KarenDW

                                                        It's easiest to just have two - so one can can go into the washer or dryer as needed, still leaving one available. Or, if your kitchen lends itself to this, wring out the wet dish mat over the sink, then hang it up by its loop.

                                                        1. re: KarenDW

                                                          <How do mugs and glassware dry inside, when on the seemingly damp mat?>

                                                          That's what had me choosing a silicone drainboard instead. I just didn't see where the airflow was.

                                                          1. re: KarenDW

                                                            Drying is not a problem for a ribbed silicone mat. We do run it through the dishwasher from time to time.

                                                            1. re: KarenDW

                                                              You can use a pants hanger with the clips, I hang my dish mat in the laundry room or the shower

                                                            2. oh, and our dish rack fits into the double sink. The rack is made by Simple Human, and there are many sizes available. Doesn't hold an entire day's worth of dishes. But we do have a dish washing machine. Pots usually move from the sink, directly to the stovetop.

                                                              1. I have a single bowl sink and use this http://www.amazon.com/ClosetMaid-Over...

                                                                We have a dishwasher but there's always a few handwash items(wooden spoons, etc) or even just wash a few small items rather than run the dishwasher.

                                                                Also handy for washing fruit, etc

                                                                I've used something like this for years. It doesn't sit on the counter, doesn't take up the whole sink. I haven't been able to find a stainless one but the white doesn't bother me so much since the rack is very functional to me

                                                                1. I have this one

                                                                  It doesn't hold a lot, but has a small profile. I use a separate washable drying mat when I have lots of pots and pans.

                                                                  1. Yup. Have a small dishwasher, but still plenty of things to wash by hand. Mats and the like don't seem as efficient, and the looks never bothered me. Rack and drip tray both get soaked in a sinkful of diluted bleach ever week or so.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                      When our rack or tray get grungy, I just run them through the DW.

                                                                      1. re: masha

                                                                        Oh, that's a great idea. I'm just a bleachaholic.

                                                                    2. Yes, no dishwasher. Plain white Rubbermaid one; the type that doesn't require a separate draining board.

                                                                      In Italy, there are often drying cupboards over the sink. You simply place the dishes there and they drip over the sink, behind the cupboard doors. However, I doubt that would work in a very damp climate.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                        I had this set up when I lived in Italy. I was in the lake regions so it was pretty damp, particularly in the non-summer months. It worked great! I"d forgotten about that as it was 20 years ago now.

                                                                        1. re: ziggylu

                                                                          Hmm, now I have an idea. I have open space above my sink with just a hanging basket and plant. Could install a rack shelf of some sort for plates and bowls and glasses that get used daily. Something that would look good of course. I really like the functional aspect of it. One less step in putting dishes away. A yellow or green rubber coated rack with green and yellow plates and bowls -- Would be camo with the kitchen, lol. Hmm...

                                                                      2. I used to but now I just lay out a dish drying mat. Much more attractive looking and I can fold it in half if I just need to lay out a knife or two.

                                                                        1. Towel for the crystal, bamboo rack for the china. My dishwasher moved to Texas, so it has devolved to me.

                                                                          1. We have a dishwasher AND a dish rack. I would prefer not to have a dish rack since it takes up so much room, but it is always in use, especially because there are only 2 of us so we run the dishwasher only every 2-4 days.. We hand-wash our pots and pans and knives, so those go in the drying rack. In addition, our coffee thermal pot and dripper need washing/rinsing every day. Also, we no longer wash our wine glasses in the dishwasher after the stems kept breaking off, so we have to wash those by hand, too. Not to mention the occasional martini glass. And finally, my husband makes a blender smoothie every day, and we need a place to dry that as well as the smoothie glass out after he cleans them.

                                                                            We got a Simple Human stainless steel rack about 10 years ago and it's still going strong. It looks like it's no longer being sold, but it looks similar to this. http://www.simplehuman.com/wire-frame...

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: goodeatsgal

                                                                              There's only 2- DH and me, in my house, and we also run the DW every 2-4 days.
                                                                              Because the DW can get smelly, I find myself hand washing too much!
                                                                              I love my drying mats, and since I can make a real mess (DH calls it my "Thanksgiving" mess), I can use up to 3 mats at a time.