Many of us are dealing with new challenges in our day-to-day lives. If you’re holed up at home self-quarantining, you’re probably doing things differently from your old normal. You might be working from home, ordering groceries online and even picking up some new hobbies.
One activity we’re doing a lot more of is cooking. It’s fun to experiment and find new recipes, but with more cooking inevitably comes more dishes. While big loads of dishes could go into the dishwasher, many of us don’t want to wait for days to have a full dishwasher ready to run, and there are always some items that you want to get clean right now, or that aren’t safe to entrust to the dishwasher. Also, many of us don’t have a dishwasher at all.
So needless to say, diving elbow-deep into a sink full of dirty dishes isn’t our favorite way to end the day.
For everyone who’s washing more plates and cups than ever, we’ve put together a list of some kitchen gadgets to help you get through the worst parts of doing the dishes. These are products we’ve tried and love ourselves, and items from brands we trust. So toss out that mildewy sponge and swap it for one of our superior picks, and check out the rest of our favorite products that make washing the dishes more bearable.
Sponge Daddy 4-Pack Sponges ($4.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This sponge has two sides, one for scrubbing and one for maximum suds. Plus the sponge changes with water temperature, getting softer in hot water and harder in cold. It’s a Bed Bath & Beyond favorite.
Cimkiz Dishwasher Magnet Clean Dirty Sign ($6.95, originally $22.99; amazon.com)
Stop always questioning whether the dishes in your dishwasher are clean or not with this handy sign, which snaps right onto your appliance with magnets.
Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Red Dish Scrubber ($5.47, originally $5.95; crateandbarrel.com)
If your sponge is always stinking up your sink, try out this silicone scrubber. It’s nonporous, so it won’t harbor any bacteria, and it has more than 5,000 bristles so you’re sure to get a deep clean.
Scrubbing Reusable Sponge ($11; etsy.com)
These reusable sponges are machine-washable, so you don’t have to worry about smelly sponges. They’re made with terry cloth and a mesh layer for ultimate scrubbing power, and you’ll never have to throw them out, since you can use them over and over again.
Sea Stone Splash Sponge & Brush Holder ($36; uncommongoods.com)
This handmade sponge holder is crafted out of beach stone and granite, making it a stylish accessory to keep your brushes off the counter.
Oxo Soap Dispensing Dish Brush Storage Set ($11.59; target.com)
With a cavity for dish soap, this brush keeps your hands away from the dirty dishes and lets you easily pump out soap whenever you need it. Plus, it’s easy to refill, so you’ll never have to worry about running dry.
Oxo Water Bottle Cleaning Set ($7.99, originally $9.99; amazon.com)
One of the most annoying things to wash in your kitchen is probably your water bottle. It’s difficult to get a sponge all the way down into the bottom, especially if it has a narrow mouth. That’s why this bottle cleaning set is such a lifesaver to keep your drinkware nice and clean.
Anzoee Reusable Silicone Dishwashing Gloves ($11.99; amazon.com)
These gloves will protect your hands while they help you wash your dishes. With silicone bristles on the palms, these are sure to provide a powerful wash while avoiding any bacterial buildup.
Orchard Hill Memory Foam Comfort Kitchen Mat ($31.99; wayfair.com)
Often the worst thing about washing the dishes is standing in front of your sink for so long. If your feet get tired, consider this memory foam kitchen mat, which has a durable vinyl cover, a non-slip finish and nearly half an inch of dense foam support.
Simplehuman Compact Steel Frame Dish Rack ($49.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This sleek, modern dish rack stores up to eight plates at once, so you can let your dishes dry without overcrowding the counter.
Avery 15.5 in. Black Stainless Steel Standing Dish Rack ($75.99; homedepot.com)
This two-tiered drying rack lets you stack your dishes while you dry, plus it isn’t an eyesore. Built out of stainless steel, it’s sturdy and will last until you can get back to eating in restaurants and letting them do the dishes.
This stainless steel sink caddy is an elegant storage solution for your sponge, brush or any other dishwashing essentials. Simply stick it on the inside of your sink with four small but powerful suction cups, and everything you need for an easy washing experience can be right at your fingertips.
KitchenAid doesn’t just make mixers — it has a wide selection of kitchen essentials that are stylish, sturdy and useful. This three-piece dish rack is no exception, featuring a large tray, utensil storage and a removable draining board, all in a fashionable aqua color.
Simplehuman Rechargeable Sensor Soap Pump in Rose Gold Steel ($59.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own automatic soap dispenser, this pump from Simplehuman will blow your mind. The rechargeable cylinder has a motion sensor that will dispense soap in 0.2 seconds. Plus, it’s got a sleek design that comes in three different colors to match any kitchen.
Bürstenhaus Redecker Large Dish Brush ($4.95; surlatable.com)
This long brush keeps your hands far away from the water and grime of your dirty dishes, plus it’s made out of beechwood and natural-fiber bristles, so it’s built to last.
Kohler Sink Utility Rack ($24.99; crateandbarrel.com)
This sink-top utility rack lets you optimize your dishwashing workflow by putting all your essentials right within reach. A small rack provides a drying space, while a soaking cup can hold dirty utensils ready to be washed. Plus it has a towel rack, so you can wash and dry without moving a foot.
Joie Sink Strainer Basket (starting at $5.99; amazon.com)
If food bits are clogging up your drain, a strainer basket can make a world of difference. These strainers have cute designs including a rooster, whale and frog to give a splash of fun to your kitchen sink.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.