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The Best-Ever Dishrack for drying dishes  RSS feed

 
Kim Goodwin
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I'd like to hear/see ideas for the best dishrack ever. I can't stand leaving dishes to dry in half of the sink - there's never enough room with the sort of thing we cook, and then you can't wash dishes as effectively.

Right now I think the best dishrack ever is a dishwasher. I don't use it to wash dishes - I just set them in there to dry. Then they are out of the way.

But, we're moving to a place with a small kitchen, minimal counterspace, and no dishwasher/rack. We cook a lot, including using lots of big pots, so I'm going to miss our out-of-sight dishrack.

Anyone have an awesome dish rack hack they can share? Any great DIY ideas?

Thanks!
 
Joy Oasis
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My aunt had a cabinet above her sink, which didn't have solid bottom, just metal spaces for plates, and they could drip and dry freely. However it didn't fit anything else, except plates. But I am not a big fan of cabinet right under my nose, when I wash dishes. But maybe you could make something under, that can catch water and maybe even direct it to some plants.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
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It's kind of stupidly expensive, but I love this thing: http://www.amazon.com/simplehuman-Steel-Dishrack-Holder-Stainless/dp/B005Q3VXDY

I bought one after seeing one at a friend's house. The big win for me is that the legs put it up high enough to clean under and for the spout to reach easily over the lip of the sink. My previous cheapy dish drainers with the plastic mat underneath all seemed to assume your sink was flush with the counter, and if that wasn't true they would just backflow to create a puddle of stagnant dishwater. When loaded with fresh wet dishes, this baby neatly funnels a stream of drip water right back into your sink.
 
Burra Maluca
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My husband made me one of these, which fits directly above the sink.



The plates go straight in after being rinsed, drip down into the sink, and they stay there until I'm ready to use them.
 
Kim Goodwin
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Roberta's above has really nice points to it, like being able to clean underneath. It all looks quite cleanable.

I echo Joy's complaint - I don't like having anything right in front of my face when I'm working at the counter, either. It's important to me to have a window at the kitchen sink, since I spend a ton of time there, and like to at least see outside.

Maybe combine Joy's metal version, make it similar to Burra's wooden one (except metal), and then find a place to put it other than over the sink...I wonder if beside the sink could work.

I'm leery of anything wood, because I've had wood dishracks mold too easily. We do a lot of cooking...

But these are good starts! I hope people will post more ideas. I'm sure the ultimate best-ever idea is still to be developed...

This is sort of like making a better mousetrap, I know, but I've done that one accidentally... 5 gallon bucket, some oil in the bottom (it was for sticking an axe in to clean it). That accidental mousetrap caught many, many mice.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Kim Goody wrote:I'm leery of anything wood, because I've had wood dishracks mold too easily.
Have you considered perhaps an anti-fungal wood, such as black locust for example? [Yes, the dust when it's worked is toxic, but after it's been sanded and finished with a food-safe oil coating it's not going to be releasing anything nasty into your dishware.]
 
Tyler Ludens
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I just put mine on a towel and then put them away in about an hour, sometimes slightly damp. We don't have roaches so the dampness isn't a problem. Sometimes I can be bothered to dry them, usually not.

Towel gets hung up to dry or put in the wash.

 
William Bronson
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I plan putting up white wire shelves above my sink
It should allow anything to dry, and plates might be able to go on edge, but if not, we use glass pie pans anyway, so they will be stacked upside down to dry.

Currently they , sit in the fills sized sink installed just for rinsing,till the space is needed, then they go into the doorless cupboards onto dish towels and rags.

I also want to make one of these:


Mine will be cheap stainless forks secured through the tines to a walmart cutting board.
 
R Scott
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That is one thing Ikea does really well. Many to choose from that work well for small spaces
 
Kim Goodwin
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William Bronson - what will you use the thread spool holder for, regarding dishes? I think your white rack idea is very good - that gives me a lot of ideas.

Those white metal closet organizers come in a huge variety of configurations. I bet I could figure out something I like.

My primary issue is that I don't want to use counter space for drying dishes. And I don't want a mold problem. It's not really about a lack of space in the kitchen as a whole, but lack of extra counter space.

So, I actually want a huge dish drying rack, one that will hold a lot of dishes including big mixing bowls.

I know a lot of people dry as they go, and I used to do that when I was single, but now it's a bit much. Plus then I would end up with a ton of wet towels. I never seem to have enough dishtowels - but that's another matter.

Please keep the ideas coming!
 
Tobias Ber
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hey... you could get one of these plastic dish racks. you can cut it in half ... or to whatever width that your space and the setup of the rack permits. you can put that unto brackets (for building shelves) and fasten them with cable straps.

you could make a shelf with a 1 cm high rim. paint it on the inside. make a hole with a small tube in one corner. set it up with slight slope to have the water drain through the hose. on this kind of shelf you could put a normal wire-dish-rack.
 
Kim Goodwin
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The drain shelf with a tube to the sink is a good idea. That opens up the options where you could position the drying rack in regards to the sink...
 
Kim Goodwin
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Here's a really different idea, but I'd need to either park it outside, or figure out the drain situation.

I looked the IKEA dishracks. They were all tiny, which defeats my purpose (being able to set large pots and pans to dry). But then I looked at their utility carts, and saw this one:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30216536/



This could work if I either set it outside the kitchen door, or made a way to catch the water underneath.
 
Tobias Ber
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hmm.... what about a conventional dishrack. you place it next to the sink. conveniently....

but when it s full, you lift the whole thing up to a shelf above the sink. it ll be mostly drained by then. it wont drip much, but will air-dry up there...
 
Kim Goodwin
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Tobias Ber wrote:hmm.... what about a conventional dishrack. you place it next to the sink. conveniently....

but when it s full, you lift the whole thing up to a shelf above the sink. it ll be mostly drained by then. it wont drip much, but will air-dry up there...


Lifting it up wouldn't be an option for me. It would be far too heavy, with all the stuff I'm washing. The other issue is that the house we're buying doesn't have room for a shelf above the sink, or any part of the counters. There are cabinets above all the counterspace, with the exception of the sink (which has the only window in the kitchen), and the one space of open counter, which is the only spot we can set our water purifier. It's a very narrow spot anyways.

But those things aside,all the conventional drying racks I've seen would still be too small. We eat almost all of our meals at home and like lots of complicated dishes. So, lots of pots, pans, and mixing bowls. Even a couple of those overwhelm a normal drying rack. That's why I've loved having a dishwasher to use as a drying rack, but am trying to find a similar, less expensive solution than a dishwasher that never gets used as one.
 
Tobias Ber
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ok... next plan... there are mobile small tables for bbq n stuff. they re on wheels and have a small steel countertop. they ve often got a drawer, and various shelves and baskets. you could build a shelf on top of it. it has two drying racks above each other. the upper one drains into/onto the lower one. and that drains on a boards with rim and hose that leads into a bottle.

so the whole thing is moveable. you can add holders for other item to the sides. maybe a towel rack etc.
 
William Bronson
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That rack is 4 drying glassware in a lab setting I would use it for my glasses and any bottles I would happen to use.
 
Rob Irish
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I'm in a similar situation. I did some searching and I like the minimal solution here that won't block the window sunlight too much.

Checkout this bad boy I found

Looks like it was made by http://www.small-projects.com/p24.php with stainless steel and timber.
suspended-drying-rack.jpg
[Thumbnail for suspended-drying-rack.jpg]
dish01.jpg
[Thumbnail for dish01.jpg]
 
Judith Browning
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I think above the sink drying racks are a great solution for a small amount of dishes and I want one

I'm also wondering if anyone has real dish towels anymore...the thin very large and absorbent white cotton ones (that many times had something embroidered in the corner)? If space is really a problem why not just dry the dishes and put away after washing?
I only do this after a party (or actually my friends do this for us after a party), just have plenty of towels clean and available only for drying dishes.
I prefer air drying but in a pinch when the dishes get beyond us the towels are there.
They are easily made from thrift store cottons if you search for thin white material.
 
Tobias Ber
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towels are great...
but air drying is more comfortable

it helps to towel-dry a few of the biggest items to save space. the rest can air dry.

but it would be best to have an air-drying rack which will act as storage. you just leave the plates etc. THERE and get them out as needed. no cupboard for plates... or for CUPs ... as the name says.
 
Judith Browning
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but it would be best to have an air-drying rack which will act as storage. you just leave the plates etc. THERE and get them out as needed. no cupboard for plates... or for CUPs ... as the name says.


Yes, this is what I would really love for plates and cups. I need a larger window above our sink...it gets really nice morning sun that would dry them quickly.
 
Brian Van Dine
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Location: Glendale Heights, Illinois
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Just an idea. Any of the racks pictured in previous posts would seem to work, but if you didn't want to hang it directly over the sink, but would rather hang it over another counter area, you could simply take some thin sheet aluminum to make a custom-fit shallow tray that is attached to the bottom of the rack. The edges of the tray could be bent up wards and the corners - with tabs - folded over and pop riveted. The bottom of the tray could be flexed from diagonal corner to diagonal corner (before folding the edges) to make a slight "X" bend in the flat of the tray. This would cause the intersection of the bends at the center of the "X" to be the lowest spot so, water would collect there. Drill a drip hole at that point. If you need a small spout to protrude beneath the drip hole to guide the drips you can use a short piece of small diameter brass tubing - the best being a spent .38 cal. brass casing as it has a flange at one end to keep it from falling through the drip hole. If you can find a spent .38 cal. casing you would drill out the primer base to enlarge the hole to facilitate drips. If you can't obtain a casing, you might just solder a washer to a piece of brass tubing to make a flange, instead.

When using the rack for drying, place a cup beneath the drip hole to collect the water. Use the collected water to hydrate a house plant.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The best ever dish rack is not yet completed.

It will be the dish drying and storing oven attached to the edge of my cooking oven, which is part of my Wood-Fired masonry stove. Clean dishes go in and the door is closed until they are needed. They heat and cool with the stove, but never get as hot as the cooking oven. By the time a meal is cooked, they will be at least warm and sometimes hot. Plates, bowls, saucers and coffee cups will go in the oven. Drinking glasses will be stored elsewhere. No plastic items will go in this particular dish rack.

If the kitchen needs a quick heat up, the oven door will be opened, to let the dishes give up their heat.

Metal oven shelves from scrap electric stoves, will be the drying surface. It will be loaded from the top down, so that dishes that are added don't drip on the ones that are already there.

I'm not a freak about sterilizing dishes, but this will tend to do that whether I like it or not. No need to use boiling rinse water.
 
Devin Lavign
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Judith Browning wrote:I think above the sink drying racks are a great solution for a small amount of dishes and I want one

I'm also wondering if anyone has real dish towels anymore...the thin very large and absorbent white cotton ones (that many times had something embroidered in the corner)? If space is really a problem why not just dry the dishes and put away after washing?
I only do this after a party (or actually my friends do this for us after a party), just have plenty of towels clean and available only for drying dishes.
I prefer air drying but in a pinch when the dishes get beyond us the towels are there.
They are easily made from thrift store cottons if you search for thin white material.


On the dish towel concept, I would like to suggest to folks to look at flour sack dish towels. You can do a search using that term, and you will find they are around all over the place at varying prices. Or you can do what the folks did in the older days, and buy flour in sacks and cut them up to make dish towels with. The flour sack dish towels have always seemed to be the best dish drying towel I have ever used. Thankfully I grew up with a mother who used only those, so never got suckered into the other towels. Even turned on many roommates over the years to the wonders of flour sack towels.
 
Chuck Zinda
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There are many sizes of bags available. Working on trail maintenance crews, we hung our dishes from a hook. I think this is the simplest method.
single-dish-drying-bag-small.jpg
[Thumbnail for single-dish-drying-bag-small.jpg]
Mesh bag
 
Mary Berry
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Dish towels come to mind. Ikea has the best ones currently available in the USA because they are woven in Sweden. Unless you weave your own. Which I do.
 
Deb Rebel
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I handle some pretty large pots and frypans, they just have to get washed and set to drip, I have an old oven rack I put on the FLOOR with a towel under it (I am the queen of rummage sale towel adoptions) and put the pot there out of the way for about an hour, wipe off with a dishtowel after that and put the big stuff away. My current kitchen has an ugly layout with crappy counter space so I have to make do. I have a barstool that also pinch hits as a 'here hold this' for non hot stuff. About once a month I get into cook mode for about three days and cook all day, wash dishes about 8 times and portion and freeze things for DIY instant-meals....

Handle a dozen large glass cake pans in one shot, pots that I have to use outside with a gas burner, etc. You may have to think outside the kitchen to handle the dishes... the big stuff I can put on the oven rack in the next room to do their drip-dry. Here over sink or countertop doesn't work, neither does open shelves. We have a lot of dust, plus can have fly issues no matter what you do. (It's part of living here). I'd rather not have either all over my dishes and cook stuff. If your kitchen is too small you might be able to set up prep areas in an adjoining room (especially with more than one person cooking at once). Good luck.
 
Sadie West
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Chuck Zinda wrote:There are many sizes of bags available. Working on trail maintenance crews, we hung our dishes from a hook. I think this is the simplest method.


With the bar mounted on a swivel, this could hang over the sink while actively dripping, then be swung off to the side while using the sink for something else, then swung back for getting the dishes out as needed.

With two bags and two bars (and maybe two swivels) while one finishes dripping you could start another bag filling with freshly wet dishes.

And/or, the full, finished bag/bar could be lifted off and stored somewhere else.

It's at https://www.riversports.com/rs/product_detail/365/DRE-Dish-Drying-Mesh-Bag-Camp-Kitchen-Rafting-Camping
 
Mary Love
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This one is cool: link
 
Robin Bryant
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How about hacking a dishwasher? I like to use the dishwasher as a drying rack too - it is large and keeps things out of the way. When cooking large or complicated meals in a small space I wash everything in the sink as I prep, and just keep putting the clean dishes in the dishwasher to drip dry - or at the ready. When I was a kid we had a portable dishwasher (on wheels and had a butcher block top). We would roll it over to the sink and hook up the hose to the tap, plug it in and run it. When not in use it also functioned like a small island for prep-work or extra surface area. At one point we lived in a very small cabin and Mom still figured out a way to use it. So, even if you are moving to a place with a small kitchen could you hack an old dishwasher and incorporate it into an island? Then just run the drain hose outside ( through the floor to the outside ) there will not really be that much water from drip drying clean dishes but you don't want to create a mildew/mold habitat.

In my current house the window over the kitchen sink was changed (by a previous owner) to a greenhouse style pop out window. It's about 16 inches deep counting the window sill, I use that area for drip drying some larger items...
 
brad roon
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My ideal was to move cabinets back from the kitchen window about 18" each side, and build a series of shelves of brass, that gently slope to the window and slightly toward the person washing the dishes. You can use non-lead solder for this i suspect. Each shelf would be connected with brass tubing - bent, and on each tube would be wires and hammered decorative leaves - grape or whatever floats your boat. The tubes would drain each shelf into the drain line back along the counter - probably make the lowest shelf a single back drain.

Then i'd stack the dishes there - they'd be back from the window about six inches so it wouldn't feel claustrophobic, and if i didn't put them away it would still look reasonably cool. You could make the brass drain tubes look like any sort of vine thing that you preferred, really, or why stick with vines? i just think it would look bitchin' - and wash, rinse, stack, do something.
 
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