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For several glorious years, I enjoyed the luxury of having a dishwasher, and it was truly a time-saving gem in the kitchen. But then it broke. And while replacing it is in the plans at some point, I must say that not having a dishwasher at the moment feels like a double burden.
There is, of course, the fact that I now have to apportion at least half an hour to 45 minutes every day to the menial task of hand-washing my dishes. On top of that, I also have to sacrifice precious counter space in my small kitchen to accommodate a bulky dish-drying rack.
However, I recently discovered a hack for drying dishes that doesn’t take up permanent residence on my countertop. It involves chopsticks, and it’s pretty darn ingenious. No, I’m not kidding. The chopsticks serve as a makeshift drying rack — and a surprisingly effective one, at that.
How to Dry Your Dishes with Chopsticks
First, this hack calls for chopsticks that have flat edges, similar to the ones you might get with your takeout food. Avoid chopsticks that are completely rounded, as your dishes would likely just roll off of them (or, worse, onto the floor).
Place a clean dish towel on your counter to absorb excess moisture, and lay two chopsticks parallel to each other on top of the towel. Space the chopsticks about two inches apart. If you have multiple dishes to dry at once, then you could set up several pairs of chopsticks.
Now balance the rim of your wet dishes across the two chopsticks and let them dry. Because the chopsticks lift the dishes off the surface, it allows air to flow around them and prevents condensation from building up. This facilitates the drying process, making it faster and more efficient than if you were to place the dishes directly onto a towel or drying mat.
Why This Dish-Drying Hack Is Handy
The biggest advantage of this dish-drying hack is that once your dishes are dry, you can simply put the chopsticks away and free up your counter space. Even if you have a dishwasher, you likely have a handful of items that are labeled “hand-wash only,” so you could use this method to dry those dishes conveniently without needing to keep a drying rack on your counter full-time.
Also, many chopsticks are made of bamboo, which is naturally antimicrobial, antifungal, and odor-resistant. Therefore, you could use the same chopsticks multiple times to dry your dishes without having to worry about bacteria building up. Plus, this method is much more sanitary than drying dishes with a dish towel, as towels can harbor all sorts of icky bacteria.
While this hack works well for drying an assortment of dishes (glasses, bowls, mugs, Tupperware, etc.), it’s admittedly not the most convenient method if you have a large number of plates to dry at the same time. It’s also not ideal for drying silverware or large pots and pans. It does, however, come in clutch for drying small batches of dishes as well as delicate items like wine glasses or tea cups. Because chopsticks are easy to pack and transport, this would also be a handy method to dry your dishes if you were to go camping or stay in a hotel.
If you happen to have a spare set of chopsticks languishing in the back of your silverware drawer, or if takeout is on the menu soon and you’re able to snag some extra chopsticks, I highly recommend giving this dish-drying hack a try!