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Style & Living Home and Design

Hate Doing the Dishes? Us, Too. Here's How to Make It Easier


By Katie Leahy

I find it ironic that one of my favorite parts of the day—sitting at the table after dinner wraps up and chatting—is quickly followed by my least favorite part of the day...dinner clean up. Let’s get serious, no one loves to do the dishes. Buuuuut, it is a part of all of our daily routines that is never going away, so we might as well embrace it and make it more efficient. And by efficient, I mean the fastest way to get you on the couch in your pajamas with a glass of wine in hand so that you can dive into your DVR’d Southern Charm before the dishwasher has even kicked on. I mean, Shep is waiting for you!

While I have experienced life with and without a dishwasher (and by all means a dishwasher is a game changer), you always have the dreaded soakers that will be staring back at you the next morning as you make coffee, the non-dishwasher-safe items and the wine glasses that are too fragile to survive a wash cycle. I think we can all agree that regardless of the products we buy, we are never going to think that scrubbing leftover food off of our plate is a rockin' good time, but investing in some key items can make the whole process a lot less brutal (and gross).

Below we have rounded up 15 practical products such drying racks, dual-purpose sponges and pretty gloves (to keep your manicure on point) that are totally worth the investment. So turn on some tunes, slap on those stylin’ gloves and knock out dinner clean up without blinking an eye. It may not be such a dreaded part of the day after all!

Simplehuman Sensor Soap Pump & Caddy

With a sleek design and brushed nickel finish, the Simplehuman soap pump is a must-have. Holding 13 ounces of soap—which is automatically dispensed each time you hold your hand under the spout—you don't have to worry about drips, spills, or needing an extra hand to pump. The built-in caddy is the perfect spot for sponges or brushes. Bonus: You can also use it for lotion or hand sanitizer!

BUY FROM: Amazon, $50

Gold Metal 3 Tier Glass Drying Rack

Pretty as it is practical, this gold-finished drying rack can hold up to 15 glasses. At just over 9-inches wide, it can fit on any counter and isn’t an eye sore to look at. You can even place it on the bar during a party as a glass holder for guests to serve themselves.

BUY FROM: World Market, $16.99

Simplehuman Sink Caddy

You’ve got your sponges and your scrubbers, your brush for stemware and now you need a place to keep these tools neat and organized. (And not leaving slime all over your sink!) This slim caddy is the perfect combo that won’t take up a lot of space, but will keep everything within arms-reach. The caddy attaches securely to the side of the sink with 4 suction cups, has removable plastic dividers and drain holes to keep all your cleaning tools clean and tidy.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $17

Stonewall Kitchen Dish Drying Gloves

These one size fits all gloves are a game changer. Eliminating the need for a towel, the gloves are designed with a foam layer between two pieces of microfiber, making them ultra-absorbent (they can soak up to five times their weight in water!).

BUY FROM: Stonewall, $9.95

Simplehuman Compact Steel Frame Dish Rack

Whether you have a dishwasher or not, you always have use for a drying rack for the hand-wash-only items or overflow that doesn’t fit. We love the compact Simplehuman dish rack because its smaller size doesn’t take over your countertop but still holds full-sized plates and up to three wine glasses in a separate attached rack (protecting them from getting knocked around). The swivel spout ensures run off water makes it into the sink for one less thing to clean up!

BUY FROM: Amazon, $60

Stemware Cleaning Brush

I can’t tell you how many times I have broken a wine glasses trying to clean the hard-to-reach spots. This brush made specifically for stemware has soft bristles to go gentle on your glasses, while effectively leaving them sparkling clean. Made of foam that doesn’t absorb water, you’ll never have to fear another broken glass again!

BUY FROM: Bed Bath & Beyond, $5.99

Stonewall Kitchen Dish Drying Mat

Similar to their drying glove, this mat is made with ultra-absorbent microfiber that creates a gentle surface for fragile glassware and protects your counter from moisture and scratches. Additional features include a reversible design and being foldable—making it convenient for storage.

BUY FROM: Stonewall, $7.95

Sur La Table Citrus Pan Scrapers

When you have dirty pots and pans with that burnt layer of baked-on-food, you need to bring in back up. Because let’s face it: Sometimes, sadly, sponges simply don’t cut it. These nylon scrapers with rounded corners work miracles on numerous surfaces including nonstick pots and pan and are dishwasher safe.

BUY FROM: Sur la Table, $5.95 for a pack of 3

Simplehuman Pull Out Organizer

Keep all of your cleaning gear neat and easily-accessible with this sturdy chrome-plated steel organizer for under your sink. The ball bearing gliders make for a smooth track and easy installation. The removable and adjustable dividers work well to separate your extra sponges, detergent and any additional cleaning tools you may have, along with a tray at the base to catch any spills.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $40

Kikkerland Design Fish Magic Soap

Kitchen clean up isn’t just the dishes, pots and pans—you may need some scrubbing yourself! Garlic and fish tend to be the two culprits that leave an odor behind on your hands, regardless of multiple hand washes. By simply rubbing this fish on your hands with warm water like a traditional bar of soap, this 100% stainless steel product breaks down the sulfur compound found in fish, garlic and onions and leaves your hands odor-free.

BUY FROM: Bed Bath & Beyond, $12.99

Cleanbear Rubber Latex Cleaning Gloves

Make those mani’s last longer with this two-pack of cute and cheery latex dish gloves. Cotton-lined, these gloves are comfortable and feature a long cuff for extra protection keeping not only your hands safe from suds, but also your clothing. With a textured pattern on the fingers and palms, the nonslip design will keep your dishes safe from accidents to boot.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $9.99 for 2 pairs

Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaners

While garbage disposals are a clean-up helper, they can also be a cause of some really stinky situations. Say goodbye to the odors with The Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaners. These were developed by a plumber, so they are safe for your pipes but tough enough to break down grease build up and eliminate the not-so-fresh smell that comes along with it. You simply drop a pod into the disposal, run it for about 15 seconds along with some hot water et voila! Buh-bye stink! With the choice of orange or lemon, you are left with a nice citrus smell.

BUY FROM: The Container Store, $7.99 for a pack of 20

Bean Bottle Cleaning Sponges

I tend to find that my vases, in particular, are one of the toughest things to wash. With a cloudy film and small opening, it’s screaming for a sponge to scour it. Well, Bean Bottle Cleaning Sponges are answering that scream. Simply add the weighted sponges along with liquid dish soap and water to your vase or water bottle and give it a shake for a quick yet effective clean.

BUY FROM: The Container Store, $5.99 for a pack of 2

Scratch-Free Scrub Daddy

Not only does the Scrub Daddy make you smile with its happy design, it works! Made of FlexTexture material, its surface adjusts depending on the temperature of the water you use. Becoming firm in cold water for maximum scrubbing power and softening with warm water, its diverse design comes in handy on nonstick cookware, dishes, appliances, wood, plastic, stainless steel, copper and glass. It’s also machine washable and dishwasher safe extending its lifespan.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $13.99 for a pack of 4

Stainless Steel Compost Pail

Make your dish routine green by investing in this compost pail to use for your biodegradable scraps of food. Charcoal filters and a vented lip help keep the odors at bay so you can easily keep it under your sink or even on the counter…while helping the Earth.

BUY FROM: The Container Store, $44.99

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