Drying dishes in a regular drawer

cucinamiaMarch 27, 2014

Hi all,
I just had a crazy idea, and I don't think I've seen it discussed here (and I tried a thorough search on google too).

Has anyone used a drawer to hide drying pots and dishes? Not a dishwasher drawer, but an actual drawer.

I'm not obsessive about hiding this daily fact of kitchen life, but I live in Europe where it is awfully handy to be able to tuck away all my hand-wash pots in the wonderful drip-rack cabinet (with door) directly over my sink. I won't have upper cabinets in my new American kitchen, plus you'll be able to see into my sink area from my home's front door, so I've been mulling over how to handle this.

Then today, I had this epiphany - you could put a rack in a deep drawer, with a lipped metal base below it to catch most of the drips. Is there a downside to doing this? Anyone tried it?


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Sophie Wheeler

Moisture enclosed equals no air flow equals mold and mildew.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:46AM
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robo (z6a)

See link below -- I knew I'd seen this idea before --

I think the key is in this paragraph:

'The bottom of the cabinet is covered with a stainless-steel pan that is pitched to a 1-1âÂÂ2-in. drain line. It leads to a P-trap that ties into our basement plumbing.'

I also know people use a dishwasher drawer as a drying rack. If you had the budget it might be the best of both worlds?

I think the success of this idea would really depend on the relative humidity where you live. I live in a cold coastal area. We take moderate care to avoid damp in the house and I could picture this idea not going very well. If I lived in Florida...no way. Arizona, would probably work like a charm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dish Rack in a Drawer

This post was edited by robotropolis on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 8:58

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Whether you use a regular cabinet drawer or a DW it seems like a lot of money and the loss of prime cabinet space just to avoid using a dish towel.

If you are going to take the time to hand wash something just finish the job and immediately dry and put it away. Your counters will then be clear. : )

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:03AM
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Nothing new under the sun, is there? robotropolis - That is brilliant, just what I was thinking of. Great to see it with such details.

This would be in New England . . . not sure if it would work.

debrak - point well taken. But just not always the way I work. Maybe my new space will inspire me! :-)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:15AM
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Regarding the link - there does not appear to be any airflow in that drawer (despite short sides and no back - unless you have an open backed cabinet...) I would think there would still be mold/mildew issues.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Or you could use a wire front as in these pantry drawers intended for root vegetables, from the TOH Bedford house

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:50PM
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I'd want a ventilation grate and maybe a computer muffin fan to actually dry things.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:01PM
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I love the idea of those drip dry cabinets over the sink! If I had moved my sink away from the window I was going to get one, but it didn't work out this time.

I think the big difference is the uppers can have an open bottom. The lowers are pretty much enclosed. Do you have a peninsula or island where you could use screens or decorative grates on one end so 3 sides are "open"?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Another vote for ventilation here. There are times when my dishwasher doesn't get run for a week. It can get dank in there if dishes are put in wet, and we have kind of middling humidity (mostly between 40-60% by the hygrometer). The dishwasher seals it in. Even when we're more deserty than swampy (yes, I live in the swampy desert, which can be confusing), I won't put damp things in my cabinets. I'm really anti-mold.

Have you considered going New England style with this? You could have an open plate rack. It doesn't have to be part of a cabinet, and it can as easily be Modern or futuristic as early American.

Another possibility is to invest $100 in a gross of dish towels. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 7:17PM
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pillog - A gross of dish towels either way!

EAM - I really like the TOH wire front pantry doors. The plate rack wouldn't work because these are always odd-sized pieces - a draining water bottle, the colander, the moka coffee pot - which is what makes the pile so unattractive.

As always, thanks for thinking this through with me. I'm going to mull my idea over and see if I can find a spot that might work. But realistically, I'll probably have a rack on the counter!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:31PM
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When I had a double sink, I had a draining rack on the bottom of one side. Drying dishes weren't really visible - very practical.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Using your DW uses less water and energy than hand washing. So, use it. Problem solved about having a drying rack on the counter.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:49PM
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For the things that don't go in the DW, you can also use a drying pad. I have one with ridges (a bit like the green one below, but squares) that rolls up and is stored under the sink, and a big woven one someone gave me in that drawer next to the sink that's great for parties when the DW can't hold it all and a lot of the tableware can't go in the DW anyway. For everyday stuff, like my knives and cast iron, I just dry as I rinse. :) Which is what is so useful about buying towels by the gross. :) I also have a little basket that's shaped like a small hamper but is really an open latticed laundry basket with a lid to put the wet towels in. So far they haven't gone stinky or weird in it. :)

There are also a lot of very interesting looking drying racks if you're looking for something that's more visually appealing than Rubbermaid (though you can't beat the practical design of Rubbermaid!). Plus there are folding ones and collapsible silicone racks that are easy to stash away, ones that are meant to sit in your sink, or hang from the edges of your sink to hide while full, racks designed to go with all popular design styles, etc. Speaking of Rubbermaid, this first one is their "drainboard":

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:12AM
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