Everything but the Kitchen Sink
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the sink is the heart of the kitchen. From meal prep to clean up, you spend a good amount of time near your kitchen sink. Maximize the most high-traffic spot in your kitchen by adding a few essentials that will amp up the convenience, utility, and style of your space. Read on for 14 useful items to always keep near the kitchen sink.
1. Countertop Dishwasher
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 Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher 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 or filling the built-in tank with water.
2. Magnetic Strip
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 10 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 serrated 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 arm's reach at all times.
Sudsy Dish Brush
Are you 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 cleverly designed Scotch-Brite Advanced Soap Control Dishwand Brush sets out to solve. Dispense your favorite dish soap at the touch of a button, and start scrubbing. The antimicrobial bristles help prevent unwanted odors and the brush head is replaceable. No more reaching for the bottle mid-wash—and, ultimately, less soap wasted overall.
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 these over-the-door hooks from YouCopia: They keep towels draped conveniently in place and have a sleek chrome finish.
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 EuChoiz Silicone Sink Squeegee next to your sink. The swipe is a dual-use cleaning tool with a squeegee for wet spills and nylon bristles for dry spills. Keep this stain-resistant and functional tool on the countertop, where it’s easily accessible for sweeping any mess into the sink.
Oftentimes the countertop area around your sink gets cluttered with kitchen necessities, like sponges, dish soap, and hand towels. Keep everything tidy and 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.
Regular soap doesn't cut it when you're trying to wash stinky odors such as 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 the soap-shaped steel bar between your hands 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 on your hands.
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. Microfiber dish cloths go beyond what’s expected from a towel. These towels from SINLAND come in a pack of ten and are incredibly absorbent. The soft material is also great for dusting and cleaning in other rooms of the house.
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. A drop of water secures the organizer to the sink, and then it’s ready for damp sponges, wet brushes, and more—the organizer's two large drainage holes will allow your supplies to dry out in between uses.
Compact Drying Rack
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.
Cleaning cast iron cookware can be intimidating, especially if you find yourself with caked-on food residue. Enter the Knapp Made Original Chainmail Scrubber, an ingenious cleaning tool that works well on cast iron, stainless steel, and hard-anodized cookware. It’s crafted from food-service grade 316 stainless steel, and removes hard-to-clean grime without damaging the delicate surface of your pots and pans.
A dedicated sink plunger is a must-have for those inevitable drain blockages, and this one from Luigi’s offers powerful suction due to its accordion-style design. At just 11.5 inches long, it’s compact enough to tuck under the sink when it’s not in use. It’s made from recycled PVC and is easy to clean, simply requiring a spray with bleach and a rinse under cold water after each use.
Hand and Dish Soap Dispensers
Dish soap is a beside-the-sink essential, but most products on the market come in packaging that’s both unattractive and wasteful. This dispenser set from SUNRISE PREMIUM features two 16-ounce, amber-colored BPA free bottles that look stylish and are BPA free. Each purchase comes with waterproof labels for hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and can be filled (and refilled) with the soaps of your choice.
If you haven’t tried Bar Keepers Friend, you may not know what you’re missing. This multi-purpose cleaning powder is formulated to clean a wide variety of surfaces. It works well for removing mineral deposit stains from your stainless steel sink, cleaning out your oven’s interior, and removing caked-on food particles from your cookware. Once you use it, you’ll never go back.
Get the Bar Keepers Friend 2-pack at Amazon for $8.69 .
All prices are accurate as of article revision on November 19, 2021.
Have you ever been tempted to buy one of those products you see advertised on TV infomercials? Sure, the spokesperson swears it does everything (and more!) but can it really live up to the hype? Sometimes, yes! Click through now to see some of our favorites.