The Kitchen Essentials That Can Double As A Dish Drying Rack In A Pinch

Sure, you can use a drying mat for clean dishes, but drying racks are often a better option. What makes drying racks so great for dishes is the airflow. So, when you don't have a drying rack but need a quick solution to get your dishes dry on the counter, you want to identify items that also allow for similar airflow — for example, a wire cooling rack! These handy wire trays allow the dishes to be spread apart from one another and let air in around them to get them dry faster. The caveat of this is that the wires aren't spaced out in the same way as a traditional dish rack, so you won't be able to place your plates on their sides as you normally would. (Another great use of a cooling rack is to create more storage in your fridge!)

If you don't have a cooling rack, or if that's one of the things in your dirty dishes pile, head over to your oven. Your oven racks (if they aren't too gunked up with frozen pizza cheese) are also a terrific option for a dish rack in a pinch. They're often longer than a dish rack or a cooling tray, giving a lot more room for dish drying. Depending on the length of your rack, you could also place it over your sink. Just be mindful of how full you stack your dishes onto it to avoid any unfortunate dish-to-sink collisions. 

Even if you own a dishwasher, you sometimes need to handwash dishes

According to a 2020 study by the Energy Information Administration, over 89% of Americans own a dishwasher, but over 17% don't use it weekly. It's widely known that dishwashers use less water than handwashing dishes. Handwashing dishes regularly can use more gallons of water per year compared to dishwashers. On top of that, it's just so convenient to load the washer and be done with it instead of toiling over a sink of hot water. Using a dishwasher is also better than stacking dishes like a Tetris game over an all-too-small dish rack.

Clearly, many of us rely on dishwashers to get the job done, but there are times when we need to wash a dish by hand or risk ruining it altogether. If you aren't handwashing dishes regularly, you might not have a rack at all since a dish rack can end up being more counter clutter. Additionally, anyone who owns a dish rack knows they get full quickly, which is why makeshift ones can come in handy, such as cooling racks or oven racks. Whatever the case may be, you may need a makeshift dish rack in a pinch. After all, Grandma's antique china cannot touch a dishwasher. And it isn't as sanitary to towel dry them.