Dish drying racks are one of those kitchen items that we take for granted. While irreplaceable for some, they are an annoyance for others. Too big or too ugly, sometimes dish drying racks are just not cutting it. But can you actually dry dishes without a dish rack?

You might also notice that most kitchens don’t have a lot of free space around the sink. And while the kitchen design can be at fault, it’s clear that dish drying racks are often too big. But every kitchen needs a place where you dry the dishes, right? And so, people have started to look for ways to fix overcrowding issues and reclaim their kitchen space.

Why Some People Avoid Dish Drying Racks

Although dish racks are highly popular, here are a few things to consider before buying one:

  • A dish rack might not fit with the overall style of the kitchen
  • Dish racks can be big or inconvenient
  • They get dirty and are not sanitary
  • Most low-quality dish drying racks get rusty over time

For those who are trying to avoid rusty dish drying racks, here is the list of the best rustproof dish racks.

6 Alternatives to Dish Drying Racks

It doesn’t matter if you have a problem with the size or style, we’ve already established that dish drying racks are not for everybody. That’s why a lot of people have been looking for ways to avoid using one. From homemade solutions to other wonder devices, I bring you the best options out there. Let’s learn how to dry dishes without a dish rack!

1. Dry Your Dishes Inside the Dishwasher

An obvious and somewhat popular method is to leave your dishes to dry in the washer. Most dishwashers already have a cycle that reaches high temperatures and makes sure your dishes are dried.

Dishwasher Recommendation

While most dishwashers will do their job, one of the best out there is the EdgeStar BIDW1802BL. It has everything you need, from heated dry options to sanitize cycles. Furthermore, it’s easy to install and use, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling manuals or tutorials. On top of that, you will never have to worry about leaks, as the smart sensor will automatically shut off the water.

2. Use A Towel to Dry Dishes

Although some might consider it an unhygienic solution, you can always use a towel to dry your dishes. However, make sure that you’re using a clean towel and avoid reusing the one you dry your hands with. Using the same towel for both the hands and dishes can increase the risk of spreading bacteria. So once the towel gets too moist, let it dry a bit or switch to a new one.

Dish Towel Recommendation

Even though you can use any towel for drying, the KAF Towels are a great choice for dishes. They are specially designed for drying dishes and, as such, will provide top quality cleaning without the fear of scratches. Not only that, but the KAF Towels are easy to wash and don’t require bleach or other chemicals. All in all, you can’t get any better than the premium grade KAF towels.

3. Paper Towels Can Dry Dishes Too

Similar to regular towels, a cheap yet great alternative is to use paper towels. They act the same way as a towel but are single-use only. That being said, drying all your dishes using paper towels will be wasteful as it will require lots of paper. This option should be used as a last resort in case you don’t have any towel lying around.

Paper Towels Recommendation

Not everybody uses paper towels and so, most people don’t know what to look out for. The Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels should be your go-to option primarily because they have double the absorbing power and more sheets than most paper towel brands out there. What’s even better is that these towels are eco-friendly as a result of being responsibly sourced.

4. Using Dish Drying Mats

People that don’t have enough towels or don’t want to waste them often opt for drying mats. All you have to do is to place one over your kitchen table and then put your dishes on it. The water will be absorbed by the towel and your dishes will be dry in no time. Furthermore, most drying mats are foldable and so you can store them wherever you want.

Drying Mats Recommendation

The S&T INC. Drying Mat is hands down the best drying mat you can buy. It can absorb up to four times its weight in water and it’s also machine washable. The microfiber design guarantees that your kitchen counter will stay dry and won’t scratch. And if you want a color that matches your kitchen, you have plenty of options to choose from. You can’t get anything better than the easily foldable and high-quality S&T INC. Drying Mat.

5. Try Using a Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack

While some people consider this a normal rack, a roll-up dish drying rack is much more than that. What’s great about it is that it’s cheap, comes in smaller sizes, and will blend with most kitchen styles. A roll-up dish drying rack is an interesting take on the drying racks and it’s worth taking it into consideration.

Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack Recommendation

If you decide to give roll-ups a shot, look no further than the Surpahs Over The Sink Roll-Up Drying Rack. Thanks to its stainless steel design, the Surpahs roll-up is resistant to rust and is glassware friendly. The growing number of positive reviews stands proof of the high quality this product boasts. And finally, its design and look give this simple roll-up the style most people want from their kitchenware.

6. Giving the Finish Method a Shot

Similar to the roll-up solution, the finish method is a hybrid of sorts. It involves a cabinet, placed on the kitchen walls right above the sink. However, unlike a normal cabinet, this one has a drying rack instead of solid shelves.

Some models even feature a removable tray at the bottom of the cabinet. That way, you don’t need to place the furniture above the kitchen sink.

Is the Finish Method Safe?

Although it depends on how many dishes you place in the cabinet, there are small chances of it falling. Not only that, but how much weight it can handle also depends on how well it has been mounted. But usually, a normal-sized cabinet can handle a family’s worth of dishes. Just be careful not to overfill it with large pots and bowls.

How Sanitary Is It?

When it comes to sanitation, dish drying cabinets are much cleaner than most racks or towels. You will need to regularly take out the drying shelves and give them a good scrub. Also, you can try and place glasses on the top shelves to avoid staining them with dripping water. And lastly, you should coat the inside of the cabinet with a water-resistant finish to avoid mold.

Where Can You Find One?

While most stores don’t sell such products, you can make your own using an old cabinet and some racks. All you have to do is remove the shelves and place the dish drying racks. Then firmly secure the cabinet on the wall using long screws, right above the sink, and you are done. Be careful when mounting the cabinet onto the wall, as it needs to withstand the weight of the dishes.

What Dish Drying Rack to Use?

If you want to test your skills at making your own cabinet, you can use the GSlife Dish Drying Rack. It is small-sized and has side handles, meaning that it can fit into most cabinets without the need for screws. You can simply use some nails and let the high-quality handles do their work. Furthermore, the GSlife Rack also comes with a drip tray that you can place at the bottom of the cabinet.

Sticking to the Status Quo

Let’s be honest, most people will still want to rely on the good old dish drying rack. And we don’t judge them, as drying racks are versatile and pretty cheap. So if you decide to stick with dish drying racks, you need to pick the best one out there. And in this category, there is no better choice than the OXO Good Grips Dish Rack. From its compact design to its innovative plate racking, this product stands out from the rest.

The unique drip-free counters will make sure that your cups and glasses don’t drip all over the other dishes. If you don’t have enough space, try folding the plate racks to make room for large bowls and cookware. What’s even better is that you can also fold out the legs to provide direct drainage into the sink. Customizable, versatile, and classy, it’s clear why most customers prefer to use the OXO Good Grips Dish Rack.

Let’s Wash Some Dishes!

All in all, it’s not hard to see why people are slowly giving up on dish drying racks. From the annoying size to serious sanitation issues, drying racks are losing popularity. However, there are a lot of alternatives and tips on how to dry dishes without a dish rack. And with so much information available online, finding the solution that fits your needs has never been easier.

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