6 Best Alternatives To Dish Drying Rack

Alternatives To Dish Drying Rack

Sharing is caring!

There’s usually more than a single way of doing almost anything. Ok, that’s debatable but let’s skip it for today. Now, dish drying racks are ultimately a kitchen necessity, at least for those who have used them. Sometimes, a dish drying rack may not be the viable option for getting the dishes dry for some reason. These may include:

Kitchen space

When the kitchen’s countertop space is hardly enough, cluttering it with a dish drying rack wouldn’t the best idea. In such a scenario, explore other alternatives to dish drying racks, as we shall see in a short while.


More often than not, the budget is usually the most unforgiving limiting factor for any shopper. It thus goes without saying that if your household budget is limited to not more than ten bucks, you are well off without a dish drying rack altogether.

Personal preference

Dish drying racks of these days are both functional and ornamental. Nevertheless, the racks are not a favorite for everyone. Some people would rather dry their dishes in other ways than have a dish rack right on their possibly exquisite countertops.If this describes your situation, read on to the end to find out how else you can have the dishes dry without cluttering the countertop for even a moment.

Suppose you also want to compliment your dish drying rack? If so, then you may want to consider one or more of the following alternatives.

Ways of drying dishes without a dish drying rack

You can have your dishes dry in several ways and within varying periods. The different methods we will see are ideal in an average kitchen, though some are also applicable for camping activities. Check if any of these ever crossed your mind;

  • Kitchen towel
  • Paper towels
  • Air-drying
  • Dishwasher
  • Countertops
  • Dish drying mat
  • Dish drainer board
  • Accessories such as magnetic knife holders

Kitchen towel

I know you have done this already and perhaps liked it. The kitchen towel is a savior in several situations, including those moments when you desperately want to get a dish dry in a hurry. May it be pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, or even dining sets, the kitchen towel is the #1 quick fix.

The kitchen towel is, unfortunately, very susceptible to bacteria and mold growth. Should you have to use the towel, ensure you thoroughly wash it with detergent at least twice every week.

Paper towel

Paper towels can also serve to dry your dishes if you got no other way. Their main advantage over the kitchen towels is that they are single-use and do not promote bacteria growth or spread dirt. Paper towels are also a little bit more efficient than the conventional kitchen towel. Their single-use nature makes it an expensive option as compared to a dish drying rack.

Air drying

This method is one of the most hygienic ways of drying dishes. If you’re germ-phobic, you must already be smiling with satisfaction. To air-dry your dishes, open the dishwasher door after the wash. This allows a flow of clean air, which carries away the moisture on the dishes.


A dishwasher was once a prize for the fortunate, but not anymore. An average American’s kitchen has a dishwasher, which in essence doesn’t require that you also have a dish drying rack. Again, most of the current models have an option to sanitize the dishes, that is, by applying the hot water cycle. The water heats up to 150F, leaving no chance for bacteria.

Another great thing with the dishwasher is the heated dry option. This method is the real deal when it comes to dish drying rack alternatives. The Heated Dry option turns the dishwasher fan on to blow hot air over the dishes, thus drying them. However, this option is advised against for the obvious reason that, since the machine’s fan is forced to work harder, the former’s useful life is significantly shortened. It is also the reason why manufacturers are abandoning this option in newer energy-efficient models.

Drying the dishes in the dishwasher doesn’t mean that you have to use the sanitizing option. You can skip the sanitizing option and clean on hot water. After rinsing, there’s still some heat that’ll be left on the dishes and the stainless steel machine interior. This heat speeds up evaporation, thus drying your dishes.

It would be best if you were cautious about the items you use in the drying cycle. Whereas ceramic and glassware are suitable for high temperatures, plastic items are not to be dried similarly. Plastic degrades when exposed to high temperatures. In some cases, it may melt in the dishwasher, slamming you with a fresh episode of inconvenience.

The countertop

Did it ever hit you that the countertop on itself can also serve as a dish drying facility? Or was it already your primary dish drying area before the dish drying rack came? Either way, the countertop can also get the job done, but without perfection.

The countertop can hold drying dishes, just like it holds the dish drying rack. The only problem is that you’d need to place something under the dishes for the water to drain off properly. Still, if your countertop finish is shiny, it will be left with hard watermarks after the water dries off it.

It would help if you also wiped dry the countertop after the dishes have drained and stored away.

Dish drying mat

A dish drying mat is the most popular option regarding drying dishes and nothing more. Fortunately, even inexpensive dish drying mats can serve as fridge liners, heat resistant trivets, and cupboard liners. That’s pretty much to get from just a mat.

Dish drying mats are mostly made of either microfiber or silicone, making them a sanitary option to dry your dishes. You should not forget to clean and dry them regularly, though, lest mold and bacteria create a home out of your precious mat.

Dish drainer board

A dish drainer board is just like a drying mat, only that the board is perhaps not flexible. As the name tells it, the drainer board is meant for draining excess water off the utensils. The drainer is placed next to the sink with the lip positioned to drain water directly into the sink. The most recent designs have the drainage grooves near the edges deeper, so water flows from the central region into these grooves and then into the sink.

You should also not forget to clean and sufficiently dry the drainer board before storage. A drainer board occupies lesser space compared to a dish drying rack. You may thus find this item ideal if your kitchen is low on space.

Other accessories

Did you know that you can get rather spooky when it comes to drying the dishes and utensils? Think of something like a toaster oven or even a magnetic knife holder. The former requires that you place the dishes on the toaster oven rack and control the temperatures. If the toaster has a thermostat, you’re even better to set the temperature for drying.

On the other hand, a magnetic knife holder is designed like a hanger but without the hooks. A knife on the holder is held in a vertical position, pointing up, the ideal position for drying.

are dish drying mats machine washable?

Yes, most dish drying mats are machine washable. Check the care instructions on the label to ensure safe cleaning. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can damage the mat’s absorbency. Air-drying is recommended to prolong its lifespan.

Final words

Drying dishes don’t always have to be done on the rack. The methods I have shared above are also efficient. You can even invent your own alternatives to dish drying racks provided you observe safety and use commonsense.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top