How Often You Need to Clean Your Dish Rack, According to a Pro House Cleaner

published Jun 24, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman

We depend on dish drying racks to air out our newly-cleaned dishes, but what do you do when your dish rack itself gets dirty?

We hit up Kadi Dulude, founder of Wizard of Homes to find out how often we actually need to clean our dish racks—and how to do it when the time comes.

So, how often should we be cleaning our dish racks?

According to Dulude, you’ll need to clean it weekly if you want to prevent mildew from growing in the first place. “If you see it getting moldy faster, then you’ll need to clean it more often,” she says. “Ideally, you’d give it a quick clean every time it’s empty and can easily be rinsed off.”

How do you clean a dish rack?

Regular dish soap and a dishwashing brush will work fine. “If you keep up with it, then you never need to scrub it too hard,” says Dulude. Here’s her recommended method: “First, take it apart as much as possible. Then brush or scrub off any little gray gooey spots that have developed, rinse with very hot water, and leave it in the sink to dry completely.”

What should you do if you see or smell mold on your dish rack?

Dulude says to wash and brush the dish rack immediately, and don’t use it again until it’s properly clean. “Last thing you want around your clean dishes is mold.”

What about rust?

Dulude thinks rust on a metal dish rack is a sign it’s time to retire it to a less-damp tour of duty: “It will start staining and will only get worse over time. A good use of an old dish rack would be to put it inside your cabinets and use it as pot lid organizer!”

Are some dish racks more hygienic than others?

If you’re in the market for one, Dulude recommends looking for a model that won’t hang on to water. “Ideally you’d have a dish rack that can drain into the sink without you having to do anything for it,” she says. “If your dish rack collects water then you’d need to dry your dishes and empty it every day to empty and dry out the water collection under. If you don’t do that, then mildew will easily start growing right where you keep your clean dishes.”

Any dish drying rack secrets you use at home?

“Personally, I use two dish drying mats like this one,” says Dulude. “One is always drying (hanging off the oven door) and the other one is usually in use. When the dishes have air-dried, then I put them away (and polish or dry them if needed) and trade out or hang up the mat. Whenever I see signs of the mat getting dirty, I just throw it in the washer and problem solved.”