The Smart Finnish Kitchen Staple That Makes Cleanup Easy

The Smart Finnish Kitchen Staple That Makes Cleanup Easy

(Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck)

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away — how did that happen? — you may have turkey on the brain. Plus stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and don't forget the pie. And once the feast is over, there will be a mountain of dishes — which would be so much easier to handle if you lived in Finland (or just stole this smart idea).

One of the dish drying closets featured on 99 Percent Invisible, from Italehti.fi
(Image credit: Italehti.fi via 99 percent Invisible)

What Is a Finnish dish-drying cabinet?

I'm talking about Finnish dish-drying cabinets, or Astiankuivauskaappi as they are charmingly (or unpronounceably) called.

The idea is just as charmingly simple: The shelves above the kitchen sink are made of wire or dowels instead of being solid. This allows your dishes to drip dry — sometimes right into the sink, or other times into trays or drawers to catch the drips.

Pretty clever, right? Especially if you don't have a dishwasher.

Side note: As it turns out, the first dish-drying cabinet was patented in the U.S., not Finland, but the idea never caught on. In Finland, basically every home has one, according to to the podcast 99% Invisible.

Of course, if you don't have shelving over your sink (and have, say, a window for watching your kids play in the backyard), this solution might not be right for you (although there are under-the-counter options, too).

But if you do have shelving over your sink and you don't have a dishwasher and you live in a small kitchen, well, you may want to start practicing your Finnish pronunciation.

(Image credit: IKEA)

We're also fans of the IKEA GRUNDTAL Dish Drainer ($28 at IKEA), which takes inspiration from the dish-drying cabinet without necessitating a complete cabinet overhaul.

What do you think? Is this the dish-drying idea that will save Thanksgiving?

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