Buying even such a simple item as a dish dryer and hand dryers often turns into a waste of money and damaged kitchen utensils. An unreliable design can collapse at any time along with cups and plates, and ill-conceived in terms of ventilation and washing can leave an unpleasant smell or mold marks. We figure out which options are most convenient to use, and by what criteria it is worth choosing a dryer in order to make a profitable investment.
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No. 1. Type of installation
There are 3 types of dish dryers on the market.
- Internal. If you want to hide dishes from prying eyes and free up space next to the sink, buy built-in models. Internal dryers are hidden in cabinets or cabinets. They are simple structures without sides, often metal. They are selected according to the size of the furniture, installed tightly to the walls and additionally fixed. They can be stationary or retractable. The former are usually built into upper cabinets to accommodate plates and mugs. Retractable ones are hidden in the lower cabinets, they store everything – from bowls to pots. The dishes in the internal dryers are protected from dust, do not litter the kitchen, but when the doors are closed, they dry for a long time and can lead to mold in the cupboard. To avoid dampness, plates and mugs will have to be wiped additionally before placement.
- External. More stable and massive models are installed on a sink, table or cabinet. The dryer has a design that allows you to hold the weight of the dishes without additional fixation. The position of the object can be changed, removed if necessary. Models are often made of stainless steel or plastic, wood is less common. Dishes hold a little, do not protect from dust, but plates and mugs dry quickly. Problematic in terms of the selection of models suitable for the interior.
- Suspended. Options are attached to the wall. They save in small kitchens when there is not enough space in the cabinets and on the dish sink. Withstand a small load, suitable for 1-2 people. The most reliable in this regard are metal, plastic quickly fail. The model can be placed above the sink, then you do not have to wash the pan and save yourself from mold. Dries dishes in hanging dryers quickly, does not cause dampness.
For lovers of simple designs and minimalism, there are dryer rugs. These are rectangular pieces of silicone, rubber or microfiber that unfold on the table after washing dishes and roll up when not needed. Plates and mugs dry quickly, the countertop is protected from moisture, the structure will not collapse and will not lead to damage to kitchen utensils.
No. 2. Material
Modern dryers are made mainly from 2 types of materials:
The first is used in more budget models. Plastic is cheap, gives a huge choice in design, but flimsy and short-lived. Parts are easily broken, cracked. During operation, scratches appear on the surface of plastic dryers, which are gradually filled with dirt and negatively affect the cleanliness of dishes.
Metal options are more durable. It is difficult to break or damage an object, this is possible only if the rods in the structure are too thin or have a poor-quality connection. Metal dryers are more expensive than plastic ones, but they last several times longer.
Models are made of stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals. It is best to dwell on the first option – the material does not deform, does not collapse under the influence of water. The choice of designs for metal dryers is limited, but for bright interiors, painted or enameled models can be used. They will last less, after 1-2 years the layer will be erased, however, if desired, the paint can be updated.
Wooden dryers, which were common in kitchens in the 90s, are now rare. This is an impractical, short-lived option – the tree swells, deforms and collapses under the influence of water. Such a dryer weighs more than other models and takes up a lot of space.
No. 3. Design
The choice of design depends on the wishes of the buyer, the dimensions and features of the free space that the dryer will occupy in the future. The subject can be:
- straight or angled. The first are rectangular structures that are installed on cabinet shelves, on a sink or countertop and take up quite a lot of space. Corner ones can fit into complex, limited spaces and place dishes on several levels;
- fixed or foldable. Folding structures are easy to stow away when not needed and take up minimal space. But in terms of stability, they lose to the fixed ones;
- single tier or double tier. The more dishes in the house, the more spacious the dryer should be. Bunk ones are more practical in this regard, but you will have to look for a stable and very reliable design. When overloaded or the slightest staggering, a tall dryer can tip over and turn clean dishes into a mountain of broken glass.
Affects the design of the model and the type of kitchen utensils that can be dried. The simplest models are suitable only for standard plates. Represent a rectangular frame with dividers for each item. More advanced options are equipped with a flat space or hooks for drying mugs and glasses for cutlery.
Choose based on the number of family members and dishes in the house. If 1-2 people live in an apartment, a compact dryer is enough for a couple of plates and mugs. Dried kitchen utensils can be hidden in the closet.
No. 4. Dimensions
Most built-in dryers are made to fit standard kitchen cabinet sizes. However, it is better to focus on individual measurements. Before shopping, decide on the future location of the dryer. Measure the length, width and height of the free space. In the store, choose with a tape measure so as not to be mistaken, or look at the characteristics prescribed by the manufacturer or seller.
If the model is built-in, there should be no gap between the walls of the cabinet and the dryer. The ideal dryer fits tightly, which serves as an additional fixation.
No. 5. Build quality
When buying offline, carefully inspect the dryer. The design must be securely fastened, not hang out or creak. The paint is applied evenly, without smudges and bald spots.
If you choose a model online and look at branded models, read the reviews. During operation, people may notice flaws that are not visible or seem insignificant when buying.
Try not to save a lot and don’t chase very attractive discounts. A dish dryer is an inexpensive thing in itself. Additional significant discounts may be a sign of marriage, fake or initially low-quality item. It is better to pay attention to proven brands that care about reputation: Metaltex, Edenberg, Stenson.
No. 6. Sustainability
The safety of the dishes depends on the stability of the structure. It is better to check the dryer in the store: install, put a load, try to loosen or touch an object. If the model does not seem secure, check that the structure can be fixed. Feedback on the selected model will save you from an unsuccessful online purchase.
If you are looking for external options for installation on a sink or countertop, additionally test the stability of the model on a slippery surface. Wet the table, set up the dryer, and make sure the item won’t slip due to moisture. Rubberized legs or an additional silicone mat save the problem.
No. 7. Load
During the operation of multi-tiered or simply high dryers, problems may arise due to improper load distribution. A thing designed for standard dishes holds an average of 3 plates for every 10 cm of length. If there are a lot of dishes in the house, take a long dryer or several similar models so as not to overload the design. Otherwise, the item may collapse under the weight of kitchen utensils or topple over with the contents.
No. 8. Pallet availability
If the model is not placed above the sink, it is better to choose a dryer with a tray. Lack of a container to collect dripping moisture will lead to puddles in cabinets and on countertops. Gradually, water will begin to spoil the materials, dampness will provoke mold and an unpleasant odor.
Make sure that the water collection container is deep enough or has a clever system for draining without human intervention. If you do not calculate or forget about the moisture in the pan, one day the liquid will overflow and ruin the furniture.
To keep the design hygienic, a pallet must be placed on each tier. Be sure to try to remove the container. The tray should be easy to remove even if the dryer is overloaded. It is necessary to pull out the container – periodically you will have to drain the accumulated liquid and wash the container. Fixed pallets are inconvenient to wash, and accumulated dirt can provoke the appearance of insects and mold.
No. 9. The presence of a cutlery compartment
For desktop dryers, a compartment for cutlery will not be superfluous. It is best to stay on a model with a separate tray: rectangular plastic or metal.
Glasses for storing forks and spoons are not very convenient. Water will drain directly to the bottom of the container, and the cutlery will be in this liquid until removed. This method of storage is not hygienic, forks and spoons will have to be rinsed before each use. Washing glasses is also inconvenient. Dirt will accumulate in scratches on the bottom and create a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply.
The metal tray of horizontal type with an additional pallet is convenient and safe. Cutlery dries quickly, and moisture flows into the container and does not come into contact with forks and spoons. The only drawback of metal dryers is the distance between the bars. Cutlery may fall through or get stuck.
To find a durable and functional model, design is not so important. But if you are looking for an option that is kept in plain sight, it is better to choose a dryer for the color and prevailing textures of the interior.
The most versatile will be the model with steel coating. Silver elements in the form of furniture handles or elements of household appliances are found in most kitchens, it will not be difficult to enter a new item. The dryer will last a long time. During operation, the metal may fade and become dull, but polishing with a soft cloth will cope with the problem.
If silver hues don’t work, look for colored plastic or painted metal. Such models are less durable, quickly lose their presentation, but allow you to complement the interior or create contrasting spots in the kitchen.