My Apartment Doesn’t Have a Dishwasher—This $5 Find is a Huge Help

published Nov 3, 2018
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

There’s a reason I’ve been living in the same apartment for nearly five years. My studio apartment is in a great location, has plenty of storage for all my stuff (read: two closets!), and even boasts a cute outdoor space, which I admittedly don’t use as much as I should.

I love my apartment, but of course, no home is perfect. My space has a bulky, built-in media center and a mini fridge instead of a full-sized one (really). But perhaps my apartment’s biggest offense is its lack of a dishwasher.

At first, washing my dishes by hand didn’t sound that bad. Most people wash their delicate dishes and stemware, so what’s a few more? A lot, apparently. I quickly learned that washing every last fork, pan, and glass is time-consuming and, if I’m being honest, annoying—especially when I’m meal prepping or have some friends over.

There’s no product that can totally take away the inconvenience of hand-washing dishes—only a dishwasher can do that—but there are some items that can help. One of them is the Room Essentials’ drain board.

Sure, there are plenty of drying racks on the market, but this one’s clever design has made it a must-have in my kitchen. This particular rack has two detachable parts—an organizing tray and grooved base—which makes assembling and cleaning the rack a breeze. Not only does the organizer feature an allocated spot for placing my freshly cleaned forks, knives, and spoons, it has six perimeter cup holders that make it possible to safely store (and dry) my stemware and drinking glasses. And, like most racks, there are plenty of slotted grooves to hold my plates and bowls.

But one small detail that differentiates this drying rack from others is its base. Most drying racks’ bases are either completely solid (which means they’ll trap water) or non-existent so your dishes’ excess water will drip on your kitchen counter and inevitably make a big mess. However, this one’s base is inclined, has raised edges, and a big hole at the front so excess water will flow back into your sink.

(Image credit: Target)

It’s been a couple years since I’ve had this drying rack, and it’s proven be a lot more than a place to store my wet dishes. You see, I’m guilty of letting dishes pile up in my sink. I’m human! When I do get around to wash all my dishes, I have way too many to fit in my drying rack so my kitchen counters are completely covered in damp casserole dishes, baking pans, and lots of glasses. It’s unsightly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasted more time by procrastinating.

As a designated place to store all my wet dishes, this rack is slowly but surely teaching me to clean my dishes right after I dirty ’em.

Will I ever love washing my dishes? Definitely not. I mean, there’s a reason dishwashers were invented. But anything that makes the entire process less, well, miserable is certainly worth a small $5 fee.