Kitchn Love Letters

This Dish Rack Almost Makes Me Look Forward to Doing the Dishes (It’s Perfect for Every Kitchen!)

published Feb 16, 2023
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Woman washing dishes
Credit: Sarah Crowley

There are two household rules from my childhood that I still live by. The first: Make your bed every morning, no matter how early it is or how rushed you may be. The second: Never leave the dishes in the sink overnight. I can remember late evenings, after all the dinner guests were long gone, I’d watch my dad at the kitchen sink, still working on a pile of dishes. He’d take breaks to hand dry them and put them away when our shabby old dish rack was full and at risk of collapse. It’s a non-negotiable practice that I came to appreciate as I grew older. My philosophy: Sure, you may be exhausted after all that wine, food, and fun, but nothing beats waking up to a kitchen that’s sparkly clean and ready for a new day.

Recently though, I moved. I got a new dish rack, I fell into a new flow of life, and I abandoned my lifelong nighttime dishwashing practice. My dish rack was just too small, plus I live alone now, across the country from my partner, so there’s really no one to hold me accountable to the chore (or no one to pressure into doing the chore with me). You may think it was a weight off my chest, that abandoning my strict routine was somehow freeing; but in all honesty, I hated waking up to a stack of bowls and plates flooded with the inevitable fountain of pasta sauce, ice cream, and corners of rotini which evaded my bite. So, I finally make an executive decision, and got a hold of a new dish rack. I hoped it would put a little pep in my step when it came to after dinner dishes — I wasn’t wrong!

It came as no surprise that the dish rack that reinvigorated my dedication to my nightly routine was the brainchild of simplehuman, a brand that makes some of the highest-quality kitchen gear my colleagues and I have ever seen. And, just like every other simplehuman product on the market (I have their sensor pump soap dispenser, so I can attest) the steel frame dishrack is most definitely worth the big bucks.

Unlike other dish-drying devices on the market, the brilliant creation doesn’t rely on a tray to capture droplets draining from the clean dishes above. Instead, It essentially works as a rack situated in a basin, collecting all the drippings and allowing them to flow from the attached spout into the sink next to it (this feature also makes it easy to clean, I just pour hot soapy water into the dish rack and it flows right out, leaving a spotless basin). I find that my dishes dry extremely quickly, thanks to the hydrophilic coated plastic surface of the basin, which disperses water droplets for extra-fast evaporation (no marinating, mystery water here).

I love that it’s got a wide, flat base that can easily balance overturned bowls, mugs, and glasses without risk of them tumbling down and is hefty enough to handle the nights when I’m tired (but powering though) and just pile in a mound of freshly washed plates, pans, and utensils haphazardly. I mean, this thing’s even got enough space to dry my beloved (and extremely affordable) Dutch oven with extra room on the side for my Our Place Daily board and a motley crew of glassware.

Credit: Stella Totino

Aside from its large central basin, the steel frame dishrack boasts a detachable utensil caddy, optional stem glassware attachment, and four silicone-capped wire hooks for extra scratch- and chip-free drying storage. I find the utensil caddy extremely sturdy and roomier than it looks (it can attach inside or outside the basin), and I love the four frontal wire hooks as they keep cutting boards and sheet trays upright or safely hold my mugs, measuring cups, and glasses. The real winner here though, IMO, is the stem attachment. Sure, it’s a great way to dry flutes and wine glasses spot-free, but it also does wonders for tongs, reusable baggies, or measuring spoons hanging from a ring. Essentially, no matter how I pack this puppy, I find I have enough space to dry a sink of dishes … and then some.

I’m not gonna lie, this game-changer takes up a fair amount of my sink-side countertop real estate, but because I cook a lot (I find myself hand washing multiple times a day), I am willing to forfeit a significant portion of my precious NYC kitchen counter for a roomy dish rack. But, if that’s not you, simplehuman makes a compact version of the very same dish rack with tons of the same bells and whistles! Genius, right?

My advice? No matter if you go big, or opt for the compact, get your hands on one of these sleek dish racks pronto. I promise, it’ll make doing the dishes so much easier — and hey, it might even motivate you to pick up my no-dish-left-behind attitude.