Dish draining racks

Although I have a dishwasher and the majority of my kitchenware is dishwasher-safe, I usually wash a sink-full of dishes by hand every day. Some of these dishes include non-dishwasher-safe items such as chef knives and wine glasses, small plastic containers from school lunches that would get tossed around inside the dishwasher and large, oddly-shaped items that don’t fit in the dishwasher like my ceramic crock-pot insert.

Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of dish racks. One was made of such flimsy plastic that it broke when I placed a heavy pot on it and the tray underneath that was supposed to drain the water back into the sink, warped so the water pooled in the middle of it instead. For a while I was using a drying mat but it was too small for what I needed.

I finally settled on the Rubbermaid Space Saver Dish Drainer (which seems to be available only in Canada). However, there are many other types of dish draining racks available depending on your needs.

People who have double sinks may prefer a dish drainer that fits over one of the sinks so they have more counter space available. This silicone-coated steel rack can be suspended over a sink to let dishes drip dry. It is very easy to clean and rolls up for convenient storage.

A basket-type dish drainer can fit inside a sink or be suspended over a sink using its telescopic handles. It is rust-resistant and the bottom and handles are rubber coated so they won’t slip or scratch sinks and counter tops.

For those that do not have a double sink, there are folding counter top dish drainers. Bamboo dish drying racks are very popular, as are chrome-plated ones. Both can hold a fair number of dishes and when collapsed, they take up very little space. They should be placed on a drying mat. Some people may wish to purchase a utensil-drying rack to hook on to the dish rack as well.

The Full Circle Smart Rack is a drying rack and draining board in one and it folds away neatly. It may not be sturdy enough for a large family with no dishwasher but it would be great for those who only have a few dishes to wash. The OXO Good Grips dish rack can be configured several ways depending on whether you’re larger or smaller dishes. It also folds away to save space.

I’m always very nervous about putting my wine glasses on a dish rack or drying mat. Every holiday season one or two get broken by tipping over or falling off the dish rack. I thought about purchasing a drying rack just for stemware. I quite like the Kohler collapsible wine glass holder. It would allow me to easily carry wine glasses from the sink back to the cupboard plus it folds away for easy storage.

Is there a style of dish drying rack you prefer? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments below.

6 Comments for “Dish draining racks”

  1. posted by Cat on

    I use the dishwasher as a drying rack; big enough to hold everything I’ve washed, doesn’t take up counter space, and it’s already there.

  2. posted by Whitney on

    That is GENIUS. I’m definitely going to start doing that.

  3. posted by D T Nelson on

    For five years I have been using the OXO compact dish rack (a different OXO than the one linked to the article) and I love it. Cannot recommend highly enough.

  4. posted by Kyra on

    I just use a towel on the counter, another towel to dry the item (or let it air dry), then put it away.

  5. posted by Beverly on

    I have a rack where the drainer slides into a slot on the bottom so it sits above the counter and drains right into the sink. I love it!

  6. posted by kw on

    I recently moved into an older house with no dishwasher.
    For practical purposes (and more storage) I loved the dish-drying method seen in Europe, which is a drying rack inside a cabinet directly above the kitchen sink. For the moment I have improvised the same by flipping a white wire shelf (3′ x 1′) upside down and securing it to the wall & adjacent cabinets with hooks.
    I LOVE the extra drying space it gives me and it cost me nothing!

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