To avoid cleaning kitchen countertops with chemicals that might contaminate food, use a spray bottle filled with equal parts white vinegar and water.
Quick dry for baking utensils
Most home bakers have just one piece of any given type of equipment, such as a strainer or sifter. Of course, these tools must be completely dry before you use them, but waiting for a just-washed strainer or sifter to dry fully can be frustrating, and it is easy to miss spots if you hand-dry with a dish towel. If you’re in the midst of a holiday baking bonanza and in a rush to use your sifter, try this way to dry it off quickly and completely: because the oven is on anyway, put the utensil in it to dry out. Set a timer for about 2 minutes to remind yourself that the utensil is in the oven. Just be sure that the utensil does not have any plastic parts that can melt. After 2 minutes, the utensil will be quite hot, so use a mitt to protect your hand when you remove it from the oven.
Air-drying large vases
Drying a wine carafe or glass vase upright can leave behind unwanted residue, but balancing these fragile items upside down to dry can be tricky. For a sturdier solution, try placing the vase or carafe upside down on an empty vertical paper towel stand, allowing it to properly drain and dry. Alternatively, try anchoring a wooden spoon in the dish rack, handle-end up. Vases and bottles fit easily over the handle so they can drain properly.
Jump-started dish drying
Many cooks who wash dishes by hand would prefer to wash, dry, and put away the dishes in one fell swoop. Rather than waiting for them to air-dry and putting them away later, try propping up a small table fan level with the dishes in the rack and directing the air flow onto the dishes, which will dry in record time.
Makeshift dish-drying racks
Everyone dreads the huge pile of dishes that builds up after a dinner party or holiday gathering. In these situations, when the dishwasher and dish rack are already full, drying space can be hard to come by. To create extra drying space for glasses and dishes, try one of the following tricks. A. Wire cooling racks used for baking are an ideal source of drying space, especially for delicate wine glasses. Place a towel underneath the rack to absorb the water that drips off the glasses. B. Set an oven rack or wire rack over the sink. The air circulating on all sides of the rack will help dry dishes, glasses, and any other items placed on it. C. If you keep your dish-drying rack underneath a cabinet, try attaching hooks to the underside of the cabinet for those times when the rack is overflowing with dishes and utensils. Extra items can be suspended from the hooks to drip dry. D. Try repurposing a colander with extending arms as an extra, over-the-sink drainer for small dishes, utensils, or cutlery when the countertop rack is full.
Taking your dishes to the mat
If you hand-wash your pots and pans, you may find that a dish towel is never absorbent enough to soak up all of the water that trickles from the cookware. Instead of a towel, try placing a clean terrycloth bath mat beneath your dish rack to catch all of the drips. The bath mat can be laundered and used repeatedly.
If you're cleaning crystal stemware, line the sink with a terry towel.