These design tweaks make chore time a breeze. 

By Caylin Harris
Updated September 03, 2019
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Design Tricks to Make Doing the Dishes Easier
Credit: Getty Images

Love cooking, but hate the cleanup that follows? While doing the dishes, or at least pre-rinsing them, is a natural part of dinner cleanup, it doesn’t have to feel like such a chore. Start by tweaking your kitchen design so it's the ideal spot for dishwashing. Everything from a stylish dish drying rack to a more spacious sink can make this chore feel less laborious. With these simple design touches in your kitchen, washing the dishes will become a little easier—and dare we say, even enjoyable.

1. Choose a built-in soap dispenser.

A little change that makes a big difference, installing a built-in soap dispenser banishes that ever-present bottle of dish soap from your counter for good. Not only will you clear the beside-the-sink clutter, but you won’t have to worry about the bottle falling into the sink constantly (so annoying). While you’re at it, why not upgrade your suds to your favorite scent or brand. You can buy a bulk size now that you’re pouring it into the dispenser, so it will save you money on soap refills over time.

Elkay Lustertone Stainless Steel Sink
Credit: Elkay

2. Install a larger sink.

If you have a big family or just love to cook, do yourself a favor and invest in a spacious, easy-to-clean sink, such as the Elkay Lustertone Iconix Stainless Steel Sink. It's 32 1/2-inches long, providing plenty of space for meal prep and dishes. The shiny stainless steel finish is scratch-resistant, so you don't have to worry about it standing up to your daily dishwashing routine. And neatniks will love that it has an edgeless drain, so food and gunk flush right down the drain, helping the sink look cleaner without all the elbow grease.

3. Add art above the sink.

It never hurts to have something nice to look at as you’re pre-rinsing or washing dishes. If you don’t have a window over your sink, don’t worry—you can hang pieces of art above the sink instead. Install a shelf with a ledge high above the sink (you want to keep the art away from splashes) so you can lean a few pieces of art quickly and easily. When you're ready for a new view, it's easy to swap them out.

4. Buy a top-shelf drying rack.

Say buh-bye to the tragic, dirt-collecting drying rack. If you have to hand-wash your dishes, the least you can do for yourself is invest in a really nice looking drying rack. They do exist! This wood-handled dish rack comes in pretty colors like blush and has a minimal design with plenty of drainage. Plus, it comes apart easily so you can clean every crevice.

5. Invest in better cleaning tools.

One way to speed up dishwashing sessions is to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Invest in a heavy-duty scrub brush that makes cleaning away cooked-on food much easier. Then, order a scrubber that works wonders on dirty cast iron pans. Store all of the brushes in a pretty ceramic canister and invest in some attractive dish towels. When you're surrounded by dishwashing tools that not only work well, but also look attractive, this once-dreaded chore becomes much more pleasant.