Here’s one way to "Finnish" the dishes.
"I love washing and drying dishes!" Said no one ever. The back-breaking task of standing at the sink, hand-drying endless of dishes is probably one of the most loathsome chores in your everyday cleaning routine. For those who aren’t keen on dish duty, the perfect solution can be found in the Nordic country of Finland. Say hello to "astiankuivauskaappi," which translated means, dish-dry cabinet.
This resourceful cabinet looks like the average cupboard, but it functions more like an over-the-sink dish rack. It’s customized with built-in dish racks, instead of slotted shelves. Not only does it save you time in the kitchen, but it also leaves you with plenty of counter space.
Sure, dish towels are handy to have around in the kitchen. But sometimes those towels (if not washed properly and frequently), can become breeding grounds for bacteria. With a cabinet like this, though, you can safely store wet dishes and protect your precious ceramics and cups while they air dry. As long as the doors are kept open while the dishes dry, you wouldn't have to worry about mold or bacteria developing.
One Canadian scientist loved her dish-drying cabinet so much, she extolled its benefits in a blog post written in 2008.
"I love this thing," wrote Cheryl Quinton, who lived Finland for more than three years. "I have stuff in this that probably hasn't been to a real cupboard in months. I can throw lots of stuff up there, then just close the doors and, whoo-hoo, clear counters."
"The dishes drip a lot, of course," Quinton added. "But that's often not a problem in Finland, because it's common there to have stainless steel counters and sinks. The trick is to put glassware on the top rack so it doesn't get water spots."
Unfortunately, this European cleaning method hasn’t made its way stateside yet, but we’ve found a couple of smart alternatives that will produce the same dry results.
This stainless steel model can be positioned right over the sink.
BUY IT: NEX Dish Drying Rack with Chopstick Holder; $49; amazon.com
For those who want the full Finnish experience of having a drying rack inside of the cabinet, this version is a close substitute and even has a drip tray to catch water droplets.
BUY IT: Probrico Stainless Steel Dish Drying Rack for the Cabinet; $45; amazon.com
WATCH: 5 Things That Make Your Kitchen Look Messier Than It Is
Here’s to incorporating a bit of "astiankuivauskaappi" into your home. Even though the word may be hard to pronounce, the concept of saving you (and your tired hands) some time and keeping things organized in the kitchen is pretty simple.