What with their simple, unassuming design and construction, you’d imagine dish drying racks to be useful for little else than simply holding your wet dishes.
This is why you might be pleasantly surprised if I were to tell you that the benefits and uses of a dish drying rack far exceed this simple task, making it one of the more versatile objects in your kitchen by far!
Curious as to what else you could use your dish drying rack for? Well, read on to find out.
The Benefits of a Dish Drying Rack
Air-drying (vs electric drying) dishes
For many people who own an electric dishwasher, the prospect of buying a dish drying rack is a redundant one, since most dishwashers today come with a drying option too.
On top of that, dishwashers are also more efficient when it comes to water and detergent use than simply washing dishes by hand. And as someone who’s used both a dish drying rack (after washing dishes in the sink) and a dishwasher, even I can’t deny the convenience the latter provides.
However, that convenience comes at a cost, usually in the form of a higher power bill. Not to mention the initial cost of actually buying and installing a dishwasher in the first place, something that many people really aren’t even in the financial position to consider.
In this scenario, the traditional approach of washing your dishes is certainly preferable; it may take a little longer, but washing dishes by hand and letting them dry on a dish drying rack still gets the job done.
But that’s not to say a dish drying rack won’t come in handy if you have a dishwasher. On the contrary, you can have the best of both worlds by using your dishwasher to wash your dishes and then letting them air-dry on the dish drying rack on your kitchen counter.
That way, you can benefit from the speed, convenience and efficiency of your dishwasher, while saving power by air drying at the same time.
Extra storage and better organization
A dish drying rack need not necessarily be used only when you have wet dishes to dry. In fact, the rack is one of the best places you’ll have to store your dishes when you’re not using them since it was practically made to hold them in place.
Using the dish drying rack as extra storage is especially useful for people who don’t have a lot of cupboard space to spare in the kitchen.
It’s also handy to use your dish drying rack for storing your dishes since then you won’t have to constantly transfer your dishes in an out of cupboards, saving you time and effort on a regular basis.
You’ll also find you’re better able to organize your cutlery, dishes, and glassware if you store them in your dish drying rack instead of your cupboard.
This is thanks largely to the special ridges and compartments these racks have for storing dishes and other items, but many models also come with detachable components to give you even greater flexibility.
Keep in mind, however, that if you do intend to use your dish drying rack as a storage compartment, you’ll have to invest in one that offers you the maximum space and flexibility to do so (Click here to learn what else you need to know when buying a dish drying rack).
There’s really only one caveat with storing your dishes on the dish drying rack: they’re bound to gather a lot of dust with the constant exposure to the air. But this issue can be rendered more or less insignificant if you just drape a cloth over the whole thing when you’re done using it.
Keeping your kitchen tidy while you cook
Are you a messy cook, and the prospect of cleaning up as you work sounds like too much of a hassle? Do you often find yourself running out of space on your kitchen counter as you prepare your daily meals? Well, a dish drying rack can help you out here too!
Having a dish drying rack nearby means you can quickly put away the dishes and cutlery you use as you use them. Fruits, vegetables, meat and other food items can also be piled on here before you’re ready to move them. You can even store your hot pans on the rack and save yourself from accidentally burning your hands, so long as your dish drying rack is sufficiently heat-resistant, that is.
The only real problem with using your dish drying rack like this is that it gets dirtier quickly, but fortunately, cleaning it really isn’t that hard of a task. Click here to learn more.
Safely drying and storing your dishes and glasses
Has taking out your fancy dishware for a party ever put you on edge? Watching the delicate dishes and glassware going around the room, exchanging hands, dreading the careless slipup that would cause them to crack or break? Well, imagine surviving the night like this, only to have your dishes be damaged when you set them aside to dry the next morning. Painful, isn’t it?
When it comes to these delicate kinds of dishes, you have to be extremely careful how and where you set them down to dry. Thankfully though, if you’re using a dish drying rack for this task, you need not worry too much since these racks come with specialized sections that keep the dishes safe while drying them. Even the oddly-shaped glasses (like wine glasses) can be stored in a way so as to ensure they don’t tip over and shatter, thanks to special hooks or compartments most racks have for them.
Air-drying fruits and vegetables
Besides your dishes and cutlery, a dish drying rack is often the best place to keep your wet fruits and vegetables to dry before you eat them or use them in your cooking. Keeping them on the kitchen counter will only serve to make a wet mess of it, with your greens rolling all over the place if you don’t place them carefully. Using a dish drying rack instead, however, will ensure your vegetables and greens don’t fall off the counter, and the water that drips off of them doesn’t make a huge mess.