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What are Dish Racks?

Deborah Ng
Deborah Ng

Dish racks, usually placed next to the kitchen sink, are used to assist in air drying wet dishes, glasses, silverware and other items. Most dish racks have slots and spaces so dishes can stand and bowls and glasses can be placed upside down in order to provide proper drainage.

Dish racks used to come in one standard model and material —- rubber and wire. They've evolved however, and depending on a homemaker's lifestyle, dish racks can range from the inexpensive variety found in dollar stores to the more sophisticated version found in specialty kitchen shops.

So, how do you know which dish rack is right for you?

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Your first consideration should be counter space. If you live in a small apartment with limited counter space, perhaps you'd be interested in a small folding dish rack. Folding dish racks are made of wood or metal and come in a variety of sizes. Since these dish racks stand on legs instead of flat bottoms, they take up less counter space. In addition, they can be folded and stored in a cabinet when not in use. Folding dish ranks tend to be more expensive, especially those found in gourmet kitchen stores.

In most cases, folding dish racks don't come with any type of catch basin or rubber mat to place underneath. This means that water from the dishes will drain onto the counter top, which will then have to be wiped down. Another down side to folding dish racks is that they don't come with a separate compartment for drying silverware and small items.

Those with more space might like to have a dish rack with a flat bottom. These dish racks come with a second piece to be placed underneath to catch the draining water before it reaches the counter. This feature saves the owner from having to mop up after the dishes are done draining. The bottom piece also has a sloped area for water to drain into the sink. These dish racks tend to hold more dishes than folding racks and, in most cases, come with a separate caddy for holding silverware and other smaller items.

Other considerations are material and price. Dish racks come in wood, stainless steel or rubber. Wood and stainless steel look nicer and are more expensive, but also require a bit more maintenance. Wood can warp and stainless steel can spot or become dull. For the most part, rubber can be wiped clean. Anyone contemplating the purchase of a new dish rack would be advised to research the care instructions first.

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Discussion Comments


I bought a stainless steel dish drainer set from Zojila.

It drains water to the sink continuously and stays dry and hardly requires any cleaning. It is very well made and looks great as well.

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