The $16 Amazon Find That Makes Doing Dishes So Much Easier (and It Has a Surprising Extra Feature!)

published Mar 7, 2023
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Sink full of colorful dishes, mid-wash with suds
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

Despite all of the good things about city living, there are a few downsides: pollution, traffic, crowds, and — of course — not having a dishwasher. Now, if you also have a small kitchen, having a compact dish rack is a must, but you can’t always fit all of your freshly washed dishes on the rack at once. So, instead of leaving them in the sink to, uh, “soak,” I usually whip out a dish cloth, lay it out on the counter, and use it as a makeshift drying mat for the pots and pans that don’t fit into my dish rack. Unfortunately, I then have to hang dry the dish cloth afterwards, and I can only use it a few times before it gets gross and needs to be tossed in the wash. Thankfully, I found the perfect solution to my dish-drying dilemma: the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat — and, it has a surprise extra feature that makes it a double-duty kitchen workhorse. 

Suffice to say, this isn’t your ordinary drying mat. It’s designed to fit large items including frying pans, serving platters, salad bowls, and more, and the ribbed bottom helps everything dry by increasing airflow underneath. It’s also made from soft, food-safe silicone, which prevents scratches and chips if a wet dish or wine glass slips when you’re putting it on the mat. You can also store it pretty much anywhere, since it has a removable hanging hook and can be rolled up and tucked away in a cabinet or drawer when not in use. (It’s roughly the size of an average placemat, so it’s not too intrusive on your storage space.) However, its best feature is that it also doubles as a heat-resistant trivet to hold hot dishes and pans fresh off the burner or out of the oven. 

Credit: Ian Burke

I love using the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat as an extension of my dish rack, since the little ridges on the bottom allow for solid airflow that actually gets the dishes, pots, and pans dry instead of just turning them into miniature, humid terrariums. And, though I have a little cork trivet on my dining table for serving, since this two-in-one beast is heat-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, I find myself constantly reaching for it to pop fresh-out-of-the-oven sheet pans on (it’s the perfect size) when my stovetop is crowded with skillets, or while I assemble weeknight meals and sheet-pan dinners. Plus, cleanup is a total breeze — I find that as long as I give it a good rinse with hot water after every other use, it really doesn’t get too dirty. (To be honest, if I didn’t live with my girlfriend, I’d probably never wash it, but since I’m trying to stay on the up-and-up these days, I just lay it on a cutting board in the sink and scrub it down with a sponge every so often.) 

So, if you’re in need of a little more real estate while drying dishes, or an extra place to put hot pots and pans without scorching your countertops, snag the easy and affordable OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat ASAP.