Asked on Nov 14, 2012

Do you keep your dish drainer out at all times? If not, what works for you?

Therese Given
by Therese Given
While cleaning up the breakfast dishes this morning I realized how much space my dish drainer takes up and how generally unattractive it looks. I have always kept it out at all times (with the exception of when we entertain & will have many people in the kitchen) but I'm realizing now what an awful eyesore it is any day of the week. To top it off, it is in clear view from my foyer / front door. We are a family of six so there are lots of dishes/pots washed daily but I need a better solution. What are some alternatives to this boring & ugly dish rack?
ugly dish rack :(
view from the foyer
  69 answers
  • Ben Ben on Nov 14, 2012
    I will definitely be watching the answers to this question..
  • Melissa K Melissa K on Nov 14, 2012
    When we restored the kitchen in 2006, my hubby went by himself to bring home the sink. To my surprise I have not used a dish drainer since!. He arrived with a metal rack that fits into the left sink that is PERFECT for draining. It has a hole in it for the drain hole so it only fits in the one sink, works great!
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Nov 14, 2012
    @Therese Given - I have a chrome dish drainer that hangs over the second sink, so while out it is not above the sink and not unsightly. Also comes in handy when washing and draining veggies like potatoes and lettuce :)
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Oct 11, 2016
      It is the same at my house. It blends in with the s/s sink, and isn't really visible when empty.
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Nov 14, 2012
    Gail, I have an over the sink chrome dish draoner too and I ike the fact that its not sitting out on the counter too. I also have a thick pad that I bought at bed Bath and beyond that you put on the counter to dry glasses. I love that too. Once the glasses are dry just fold it up. It drys really fast too.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Nov 14, 2012
    About the only thing we hand wash is our cast iron skillets, my pot rack hangs above the sink...once done they go straight up. My sweetie is stickler about keeping the counter free of clutter...I'm almost completely trained now as I like the look myself.
  • Carroll A Carroll A on Nov 14, 2012
    I have a chrome on the counter drainer and a drying pad. One side under the sink is just for the drainer's home. I dry the dishes by hand then put drainer away as soon as I am done. The drainer is never left out on the counter. p.s. I don't have a dishwasher so this is a daily.
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Nov 14, 2012
    i would love to have three sinks one to wash one to rinse and one to with a built in drainer all of them wide and deep we have a family of six also and lots of company cant wait to see all the answers :)
    • Pam Galicki Pam Galicki on Jul 27, 2020

      This is an amazing idea! A third “sink” just for air drying! Ingenious!

  • Alexis W Alexis W on Nov 14, 2012
    I have a red and white plastic one that I bought at target on my counter and when everyone walks in my kitchen they make a positive comment about it. For some reason it looks nicer then t he chrome one i use to have
  • Now you know why there is a window in the back of the sink. Open window throw everything out, close window. See no clutter. Really I have no idea of how to keep that area looking uncluttered. I hope someone comes up with a good one, We lost our counter several years ago, I know I have one, because when we have guests in the house it magically appears.
  • Dee W Dee W on Nov 14, 2012
    I used to dry mine off every night-I do have a very large one and stick it under the sink. Over the years it seemed pointless so it is out most of the time.
  • Theresa B Theresa B on Nov 14, 2012
    I like my drainer. Makes me think of home and hearth. Regular families with busy lives.
  • Sharon E. Hines Sharon E. Hines on Nov 14, 2012
    I have a decorative one and I do keep it out all the time.
  • Sheila Vives Sheila Vives on Nov 14, 2012
    Buy a dishwasher and hide all your dirty dishes in it like everyone else does :)
  • Sheila Vives Sheila Vives on Nov 14, 2012
    Wait ! The picture does show you have a dishwasher ! So what gives with the dishdraining rack ! We just use a terry cloth towel to drain then put the dishes away.
  • Terri J Terri J on Nov 14, 2012
    My dishwasher is broken, so I tuck my drainer away inside of it when I use it. Woodbridge Environmental - you are just to funny!!!
    • Linda Cox Linda Cox on Oct 03, 2017

      When I was between dishwashers I used the dishwasher racks for drying the dishes!! I just left the door ajar so air could one could see the dishes!!!

  • Robin F Robin F on Nov 14, 2012
    I hang it on the inside cabinet door under the sink with 2 screw hooks.
  • Michelle M Michelle M on Nov 14, 2012
    You can buy those dish drying mat. After they are done drying I just fold it up and put it under the sink! When they are dirty you just throw them in the washer!
  • Eleanor P Eleanor P on Nov 14, 2012
    I have a dish drainer that has slides that pull out and set on the rim of the sink. The main part of the drainer sets inside the sink. Works really well and when you put the dishes away you can barely see the drainer. You do have to have a double sink. Big Box stores and internet stores carry them.
  • Robyn Robyn on Nov 14, 2012
    Just use your dishwasher as a drain rack!!!
  • Becky P Becky P on Nov 14, 2012
    I realize your sink isn't big enough for the drainer to sit IN the sink, but I have never used my drainer up on the countertop. I think I am in the minority....
  • What is "wrong" with having a dish drainer on the counter? I don't get it! It's a kitchen, folks!
    • See 1 previous
    • Mavis Mavis on Nov 01, 2020

      I have the same problem @Ayca Sonmez. I have a fully open floor plan. If you are sitting in the family room / living room, you see everything in the kitchen.

      The house I grew up in (60s and 70s), was a typical compartmentalized house from that era, so when my mother left the dish drainer sitting out all the time, no one ever saw it unless they went into the kitchen.

      For me, it's those large pots and pans that need handwashing and that don't fit well into the dishwasher that are the problem. Those over the sink or in the sink options don't work for me either, because I rinse my dishes in the left side then place them in the dish drainer to dry. The in-sink or over the sink-options wouldn't work because of that. I tried keeping it under the sink for awhile but due to the configuration of the pipes plus needing to keep other things in the cabinet beneath the sink, that just didn't work as well.

  • Phyllis Ursery Phyllis Ursery on Nov 15, 2012
    My dish drainer sits in the sink. I never take it out.
  • Tammy Tammy on Nov 15, 2012
    I keep mine in the other side of the sink as well. But there are never dishes left in either sink. When we use our dish, we wash, dry, put away.
  • Therese Given Therese Given on Nov 15, 2012
    Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I picked up a dishing drying mat today and I'm going to try that out. If not, I saw plenty of nicer looking dish drainers to chose from at Bed, Bath & Beyond. And to those who were wondering about my dishwasher, we fill that with mostly dishes & glasses and leave the bulkier stuff to hand wash.
  • Becky P Becky P on Nov 15, 2012
    @Therese, there are lots of things I won't put in my dishwasher.....I spend too much (in my opinion) on pots and pans to put them in there. Mostly use dishwasher for glasses/plates/silverware. I never even had a dishwasher until 6 years ago. What was I missing!
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Nov 15, 2012
    I use my husband with a towel to dry and put away dishes as I wash (or vice-versa) drainer necessary!
  • I have a bamboo dish drainer and I leave it out always, except when we are having company. I have never understood how people live without them. So I just bought the prettiest one I could find and it is out!
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Nov 16, 2012
    I use a towel on the counter top when I wash and let them dry. If rinsing in hot water they dry pretty quickly and can be put right away.
  • Charlotte Lehman Charlotte Lehman on Nov 17, 2012
    Either put it in the dishwasher, or dry it and put it away right away. Don't think about it. Having the family help you would be a blessing.
  • Marg C Marg C on Nov 17, 2012
    Mine stays out all the time. We go through too may dishes to put it away all the time. I would love to hear some more solutions...for now I drape a pretty kitchen towel over the whole lot.
  • Ben Ben on Nov 19, 2012
    I just found this interesting gadget - Collapsible, dishwasher safe, and fits in sink for those of you with a double sink. Let me know if any of you try it.
    • See 1 previous
    • Mavis Mavis on Nov 01, 2020

      I have seen that thing in person and it is way to small to contain pots and pans, which is the main reason many of us use a dish drainer.

  • Linnea Krones Linnea Krones on Nov 19, 2012
    @Ben the Builder --pretty swift little drainer. Would work great for light load or dish overflow. I like that you can put it in the dishwasher.
  • Ben Ben on Nov 19, 2012
    @Linnea Krones we think so too. let me know if you get one and try it out. seems bed bath is supposed to carry it as well.
  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Nov 19, 2012
    i love this ben the builder great ideal for small kitchens
  • Marg C Marg C on Nov 20, 2012
    woh! I like that drainer @Ben the Builder
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Nov 21, 2012
    I sent this on to my son who lives in a 5th wheel! Perfect for small spaces! thanks!
  • Ben Ben on Nov 21, 2012
    @Bernice H Glad I can help! Please report back how it functions in "real life".
  • Mary DeVine Mary DeVine on Nov 21, 2012
    I am using the ClosetMaid Compact Over the Sink Dish Drainer. It is constructed of durable, white coated steel wire construction. My sink is also white, so the drainer blends in. It can be found for $8.50 to $12.99. If I didn't already have this drainer, I would consider the Collapsible Over the Sink Dish Drainer. It is $24.99 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 23, 2012
    Since dishwashers use less water and less energy, we bought one that has a rinse cycle that I run if not full...then fill it and run it later on clean cycle. I despise dish drainers! If I must hand wash pots, glass pot tops, etc., I lay out a towel on the counter for my drainer, wash and rinse and turn them down. By the time I get most of them done, they are ready for a quick swipe with a dry towel and put away. If I don't have time to do this, I rinse them and leave them in the sink...WON'T get in the habit of using a dish drainer! Just won't!
  • Nikkimaloy Nikkimaloy on Dec 03, 2012
    I follow the concept of "if it's not décor, it shouldn't be seen-it should be stored" I believe this is how magazine kitchens always look so amazing and home kitchens don't-try studying magazine pics and u'll see. what I leave out is my dolce gusto and utensil/matching paper towel holder, kitchenaid, and a tray of fruit/veg. EVERYTHING else goes inside cabs. Try it see if u like it. p.s. I don't even have a dish holder, we use dwasher it's more eco friendly surprisingly and I wash and put away anything that doesn't go in dw. I don't use refrig magnets either to achieve that magazine look.
  • Zelma Daley Zelma Daley on Dec 14, 2012
    I got a dish drainer that will fit in the sink. When I dry the dishes, I put it away until I need it again. It just doesn't look very pretty sitting out.
  • Lisa Blankenship Lisa Blankenship on Dec 15, 2012
    You could always use your dishwasher as your dish drain......
  • Therese Given Therese Given on Feb 07, 2013
    Here's an update on what I ended up doing with my dish drainer situation... Thanks again for all the suggestions!
  • Sharon E. Hines Sharon E. Hines on Feb 08, 2013
    Love your solutions.
  • Carroll A Carroll A on Feb 09, 2013
    Looks great!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 10, 2013
    Great idea...can't have a mess if you don't have a drain board! It takes so little effort to take that extra 4-5 minutes to put them up. I find that by the time I get a few things washed up, make sure other things are put up and all counters are wiped, they are almost dry. BY THE WAY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those chairs!
  • My dish drainer sits down in the sink while washing any hand wash only dishes. After washing I dry everything and put the dish drainer on hooks on the inside of the door under the sink. We only have two people in our house, so less dishes.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 11, 2013
    Nikkimaloy, I too use the dishwasher continually but I am not ashamed to admit I use refrigerator magnets! I just HAVE to be able to see my pumpkin drawing my only grandchld made in K3. He is now 21 and sitting on Nana's lap is not the most important thing in his life! Can you believe concerts and college football are more fun to him! Who would have thought it! So I keep his drawing close! (I will admit that I keep my "stuff" on the side of the frig instead of the front). But when I had little ones, posting their drawings on the frig were a BIG honor! And I have to admit, I LOVED IT!
  • Helen Pilecki Helen Pilecki on Mar 13, 2015
    What I see is some body made cookies, had a nice glass of milk and (this is the best) cleaned up.
  • Suz2046206 Suz2046206 on Aug 06, 2015
    I have not had a dish drain for 25 years if it doesnt fit in dishwasher i wash and dry and put away immediately. even clean dishes in a drain make a kitchen look unkept
  • JEWEL C JEWEL C on Sep 19, 2015
    My dish drain is too pretty to hide. Chrome and red kitchenaide. After the dishes drain I put it on a small chrome wheeled cart. Handy for holding things, like a mini island.
  • ST ST on Dec 09, 2015
    I sit my dishes in rack, in the sink and let them drain, minus the tray.
  • Patty Gutierrez Patty Gutierrez on Jul 17, 2016
    there's only one solution....put the dishes away..why would you learn e them out...takes a couple of mins to finish them....I won't own a dish rack. any dishes I have from grandkids lunch ..I hand wash and put away..........I don't leave dishes to lounge around on my counter. they get dusty and water spots appear
  • Matt Matt on Jul 17, 2016
    When I was the dishes I use the dishwasher as the drainer. Then just empty it when they are dry.
    • 153091 153091 on Jul 17, 2016
      Good one! I also place clean dishes in dishwasher, only I put drain board in too. Don't always, but when I don't have time.. at least out of sight!
  • Chris Chris on Aug 22, 2016
    For some one that has a family of six to take care of you have a lovely clean kitchen. Just use all the extra few minutes you have to give them all attention and you are the one that will be remembered. Not your kitchen.
    • See 1 previous
    • Tea8142225 Tea8142225 on Oct 14, 2017

      Yes! 👍🏻

  • Singerofdreams Singerofdreams on Aug 22, 2016
    I use my dishwasher as a drying rack. The only time I have enough dishes to merit running the dishwasher is after a major meal so I use it as a drying rack for clean dishes. I'm usually on the run and don't have time to wash them plus dry and put away. Plus, this way each person (there are 2 others in the house) can clean up after themselves and not leave their dishes piling up in the sink or not rinse them before putting them in the dishwasher. The dishes are hidden as they dry so there's nothing unsightly. I don't have to even think about storage for a bulky rack or how it looks.
  • Barbara Barbara on Aug 22, 2016
    Being single - here's my solution: styrofoam dishes and plastic flatware. BAM.... dishes done. But yes, when i cook those two times per year, I use my double oven racks as a drying rack. My kitchen is so small: "How small IS it?" I literally have 3sq ft of counter top so every inch counts.
    • See 1 previous
    • Barbara Barbara on Oct 11, 2016
      Oh, good point about the Styrofoam. Rethinking....
  • Launa Elaine Strickland Launa Elaine Strickland on Aug 22, 2016
    I grew up in a home where everything was washed, dried and put away after dinner, then the drainer was dried and put away under the sink. Since I've been on my own, I can't be bothered with that Most of our items can be run through the dishwasher. I have a small drainer that fits inside the sink for hand wash items (it's virtually invisible) and put them away the next morning. Other items, like pots n pans and knives, are hand dried and put away immediately. Well usually. ;-)
  • Nancy  Fuller Nancy Fuller on Aug 22, 2016
    My kitchen is decorated in red accents, toaster, coffee pot, microwave AND the dishdrainer and the board. So, I like it. Plus, it's only me, I'm a widow and the only one to please is ME.
    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Sep 22, 2016
      Same here, Nancy, but my kitchen is very visible from the foyer. Daughter lives in JAX.
  • Sylvia Violette Sylvia Violette on Sep 22, 2016
    I use a drying cloth. I wash dishes and put it on the cloth, when dishes are dry, cloth fold up and sits on my fridge. No dishwasher, no dishrack, no problem
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 23, 2016
      I LOVE these drying clothe! I have a couple, yet I have a small drainer up all the time. I cook almost every day and wash up as I go...I have to have one! I have a new dishwasher but HATE IT! It does not get the dishes dry and takes over an hour!
  • Juliebd Juliebd on Sep 24, 2016
    I have always had a 2 section sink with a drainer that fits into one side. I don't think it looks bad as it can't even be seen from across the kitchen. I use it for hand washed items- most dirty things go into the dishwasher. However, my husbands family has always used their dish drainer to hold rinsed but still dirty dishes until they 'get around' to putting in the dishwasher or hand washing. ??!!?? This makes NO SENSE to me. !?! And even after 30 years of housekeeping w this guy, anytime my husb visits his mother- he comes home and mixes dirty items w my clean ones for a few days. !?! LOL!
  • Glm8781282 Glm8781282 on Sep 24, 2016
    So funny that I should see this today! I love to look at beautiful kitchens online and it only occurred to me yesterday that a dish drainer is never shown. I cannot believe that I just realized this. I think those kitchens are just staged and not real life. Some have no appliances. Most have a separate coffee bar. You never see a toaster oven or other "unsightly" appliance. I must have a drainer, and I actually admired a small, narrow, black metal one that my cousin had. I searched hard to find it, but I did, and am happy with it.
  • Ida Ida on Sep 23, 2017

    Marg C you are the most down to earth person who answered, everybody has dishes what's the big deal.

  • Angela Angela on Sep 24, 2017

    I also have a small dish drainer that fits over the left side of my dual stainless sink. It's expandable as well to fit a much larger sink. I think I got it online (Link blow). I leave it over the left sink 24/7. It is not unsightly, and takes up no counter space.

  • Ann Gross Ann Gross on Mar 11, 2018

    Drains in the sink aren’t practical dishes can get dirty from the dirty dishes you are washing next to it. And I’ve had issues were the disposal will back up on the other sink and you have to wash everything again

  • Barb Barb on Mar 11, 2018

    I’ve been preaching this for years to my brother because his home you have that birds eye view of the kitchen sink, I bought him this rod iron strainer and found a black drain tray for under it. This was the only fix we could come up with unless you place it in the larger sink and use the smaller one fir washing and rinsing. See photo below

  • Joseph Yencho Joseph Yencho on Jul 10, 2019 Problem solved ( :

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2023

    Leave the drainer and contents in the sink to drain!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 02, 2023

    Like Melissa I have a metal grid that I keep in the sink. No need to have a dish draining eyesore. Easy to keep the grid clean just take it out and wash off with Dawn and hot water. Also keep the bottom of the sink from getting scratched up and takes the worry out of putting a hot pan in the bottom of the sink.