This $6 Space-Saving Find Makes Drying My Dishes a Million Times Better

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Credit: Lauren Volo

This may be a bold statement, but I’ve hated every single dish rack I’ve ever owned. They are clunky space hoggers that never seem to fit all my washed dishes at once, even when I resort to expert Jenga-like maneuvers to stack it all. So when I moved into my new apartment, I refused to buy one, instead, using hand towels as a makeshift solution, only to find that everything would stay wet for hours. I thought to myself, there has to be an easier way to dry dishes, and that’s when I found this dish drying mat at The Container Store. The squishy yet sturdy mat accommodates all my hand washed items, dries super fast, and saves a ton of counter space. Best of all, it’s only $6!

Since I have a dishwasher, I reserve hand washing for my specialty items like delicate wine glasses, knives, and fancy pots like Le Creuset. None of these ever seem to fit in a standard dish rack. My glasses risk tipping over and breaking, the blades of my knives might dull or start getting rusty, and I know for certain that rack would crush under the weight of heavy cast iron. Instead, this mat lays flat and has a soft foam interior that’s equal parts squishy and sturdy, meaning my wine glasses and heavy pans have the same chance to stay put without getting damaged as they dry. And measuring almost 18 x 16.5 inches, it’s spacious enough to fit an entire meal worth of those dishes at once.

Another major pro? The microfiber exterior is highly absorbent, holding up to four times its weight in water. So unlike even the best kitchen towel, it soaks up everything that splashes onto it and dries within minutes. Which simply means, that the faster it dries, the faster the dishes dry, and the faster I can tuck things away and get them off my counter. Once I’m done, it rolls or folds up really easily, and slides into a tiny nook under my sink. No dish rack, even the ones that fold down, are this convenient to store. Even if you do prefer a dish rack, this mat is an excellent companion to keep your counters dry as it lays underneath.

I’ll admit, there is only one downside to this mat. If I leave it out for too long, my cat likes to use it for naps. So, this is probably a good time to mention that it is also machine washable. Plus at only $6, even if I decide she’s got a little too comfortable on it, I can just order a new one and not feel bad about it. Or maybe if I finally find a rack I do like, I’ll get another one for underneath it and have double the drying space…or another cat bed. Sigh.

Buy: Dish Drying Mat, $5.99