Convenience On the Counter
The concept behind countertop dishwashers was always a good one. But for years, even the top-dollar models failed to deliver anything close to the spic-and-span results of a traditional unit. But that was then. Now, options like the ENERGY STAR-rated Danby DDW1801MWP finally equal their full-size peers in performance—even while providing the extra flexibility and convenience of a portable design. Setup is simply a matter of plugging in the dishwasher and hooking its hose up to the kitchen faucet. Perhaps the most amazing part: Despite being compact enough to rest comfortably on a counter, the Danby appliance boasts enough capacity and cleaning power to handle up to six place settings in each cycle. Available at Amazon; $229.99.
Adjacent to your sink, above the counter where you typically do prep work at meal times, consider mounting a magnetic utensil holder. At a generous length of 16 inches, this one offers enough real estate and, thanks to a powerful neodymium magnet, more than enough grip to organize and store a variety of kitchen tools, everything from dish scrubbers to spatulas to serrating knives. Style-neutral and at home in any kitchen, the Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar even comes packaged with its own mounting hardware, making it an all-in-one, easy-install method of making sure your most frequently used utensils remain within easy arm's reach at all times. Available at Amazon; $29.99.
Constantly squirting extra dish soap into the sink during dish duty? While you might feel like you're always short on soap, the truth is that you're probably using too much. A generous squeeze of soap often gets washed away before you get full use out of it—a problem that the uniquely designed Joseph Joseph Soapy-Sponge sets out to solve. Just fill the capsule with your favorite dish soap, and start scrubbing. The three-layer scouring sponge slowly releases the right amount of soap exactly as you need it, so each dish gets the same amount of suds. No more reaching for the bottle mid-wash—and, ultimately, less soap wasted overall. Available on Amazon; $8.56.
Hang It Up
Avoid dripping across the kitchen floor every time you wash up by keeping your towels right where you need them. While storing them in drawers or over handles works well enough to get by, cloths still inevitably slip from their ad hoc perch. Not so with the cheery over-the-door hooks from Binmer: They keep towels draped conveniently in place and are sure to brighten any builder-grade cabinet, to boot! Available on a Amazon; $1.98.
Accidents happen—especially in the kitchen. Most homeowners reach for the nearest roll of paper towels, but they aren't environmentally friendly nor are they the most effective option for picking up small crumbs. Instead, consider keeping the KOHLER Surface Swipe next to your sink. The swipe is a two-sided cleaning tool with a squeegee for wet spills and nylon bristles for dry spills. Homeowners can hang the stain-resistant and functional tool on the countertop, where it’s easily accessible for sweeping any mess into the sink. Available on Amazon; $9.98.
Extra Sink Storage
Oftentimes the counter surrounding your sink gets cluttered with kitchen necessities, like sponges, dish soap, and hand towels. Keep everything in one place with the Whitmor Over the Sink Shelf. Made with a steel frame and wood top, the shelf increases your counter space without getting in the way. The attractive piece also serves as kitchen decor, especially when topped with potted herbs and other details. Available on Amazon; $19.48.
Regular soap doesn't cut it when you're trying to get the stinky smells from garlic and onions off your hands. And while stainless steel is known as an effective odor remover, you probably aren't looking to wipe your hands all over your fridge. In comes this stainless steel soap. Rub your hands between the soap-shaped bar under cold water, and the foul smells will be gone. Because it's not actually soap, the bar will never run out, and it requires zero cleaning. Now you can cook, chop and peel anything without worrying about the smells lingering. Available on Uncommon Goods; $16.99.
Super Soft Dish Towels
Every kitchen needs dish towels. For one, they’re more economically and environmentally friendly than paper towels. They also serve multiple purposes: cleaning up spills, protecting the counter from hot surfaces, and of course drying dishes. Shaggies go beyond what’s expected from a towel. Made out of cotton chenille, these dish towels absorb almost 10 times their weight in water. The soft material is also great for dusting and cleaning in other rooms of the house. Available on The Grommet; $20.
Everything finds its proper place in this simple sink organizer. The convenient catchall sticks to the edge of your sink with a plastic suction cup placed strategically on the bottom of the unit. Stick it to the sink with a drop of water, then line it with damp sponges, wet brushes, and more—the organizer's two large drainage holes will allow your supplies to dry out in between uses. Available on Amazon; $7.49.
Unroll and Rinse
If you've ever used a countertop dish rack to air dry your dishes, you know the setup isn't ideal. No matter how carefully you rinse and place your dishes into the rack, there's always a puddle of water that collects on the counter. Never again, when you use an over-the-sink dish drainer like this one. The roll-up contraption opens flat and can be laid over half of a double sink. Set dripping dishes atop the rack and let the water drop into the sink rather than on your clean countertop. Available on Amazon; $38.99.
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