Many apartment dwellers need to buy their own groceries and cook their own meals to maintain a feasible budget, but small kitchens can pose some challenges for making food at home. As though kitchenware and food storage obstacles aren’t limiting enough, there’s also the struggle of making space to dry your dishes when your countertop space is minimal and you don’t have a dishwasher. But people are nothing if not innovative, so there have long been plenty of space-savvy ways to dry dishes in your small kitchen – here are five space-saving dish drying options.
1. Countertop dish rack
Perhaps the most common of all apartment dish drying options, a countertop dish rack easily allows you to dry dishes in a small kitchen. Place your countertop dish rack next to your sink so that, once you’ve washed your dishes, you can immediately place them in your dish rack to air dry for a few hours. Many countertop dish rack models take up only a modest amount of space, making them ideal fits for especially cramped kitchens. You can also find certain models with slots for drying utensils or two X-shaped rows for extra dish drying capacity.
2. Silicone dish mat
When you use a countertop dish rack to dry dishes in a small kitchen, the water that drips from your dishes collects on your countertop. If water accumulation concerns you, then you may prefer a silicone dish mat. These drying surfaces are lined with grooves that allow airflow for easier dish drying and serve as channels for water collection.
Silicone is easy to clean with soapy water, and a silicone dish mat’s flat shape may be easier for cleaning than the varying shapes of a countertop dish rack might be. You may also want to use a silicone dish mat in conjunction with a countertop dish rack to maximize dish drying space while catching water drippings before they hit your countertop.
3. Over the sink dish rack
Over the sink dish racks are somewhat rarer than their countertop and silicone counterparts, but they may be ideal for kitchens especially lacking in countertop space. Over the sink dish rack options span a wide variety of shapes and possible kitchen placements that allow you to dry your dishes in a small kitchen, as some models literally stand well above your sink while others dip into it. No matter which type of over the sink dish rack you choose, you’ll be saving your countertop space for other purposes including storage and food prep.
4. Dish towels
If occupying more countertop space to dry dishes in your small kitchen or buying additional kitchen devices is infeasible for you, dish towels may work best for you. A clean dish towel can take your washed dishes from soaking wet to fully dry and ready to reuse in just seconds, saving you the wait and space involved with other drying options. Dish towels can be especially useful for your apartment if you have space to hang and dry your wet towels or in-unit laundry for quick cleaning and drying.
If you’re lucky enough to have an apartment with a dishwasher in the kitchen, then your countertop drying woes may be somewhat relieved. That said, not all items can go in the dishwasher, but even for items that aren’t dishwasher safe, you can always use the dishwasher as a large post-cleaning drying rack. Of course, you’ll need to be sure to remove the non-dishwasher safe items before you run the dishwasher to prevent these items from warping, melting, or otherwise failing.
How do you dry dishes in your small apartment? Share your tips in the comments!