I do a LOT of air drying when it comes to our kitchenware. In fact, I do it almost exclusively. We use our dishwasher to sanitize our flatware, casual glassware, and (of course) dishes, but when it comes to specialty cookware, glassware or tools, I prefer to gently hand-wash them and then put them out on the counter to dry. This helps to extend their lives by avoiding corrosion or breakage in the dishwasher!
(photo from Dorai)
We recently upgraded our drying pads from washable foam mats to these natural drying pads by Dorai and I felt like I should share our experience. I will admit that another contributing factor to making this purchase is that very soon we will have an influx of baby bottles to wash and I wanted to be sure that we had a good drying space for all of them 😅, but that was merely a forcing function — we have been overdue for this upgrade for a few years now.
Dorai makes their dish drying pads from an instant-drying material called Diomat (aka “diatomaceous earth”) which they then encase in silicone. The Diomat material causes the water to instantly dissipate from its surface and by eliminating the moist environment where mold thrives it works to prevent any bacteria growth, which is a major win in my book! They’re fairly heavy and almost feel like stone. That’s one huge difference between Dorai and the foam mats we were using before. The mats took a long time to dry even after our kitchenware / glassware had finished drying and after a few days of use would begin to smell funky and required frequent washing (which would then cause their shape to warp).
The silicone grid design allows air flow “venting” so that the inside of a vessel can also dry when placed with the opening upside-down (as demonstrated in the above image).
I love the weight of these pads. There’s no risk of them slipping and sliding around on your countertops — they are going to STAY PUT. Because of their sturdiness, you can rest easy knowing that more delicate items are secure and won’t topple over.
Our foam mats were squishy (lol — obviously, given that they were foam) so they weren’t the most stable surface and would slip around on the counter. I was always nervous to dry my crystal glassware on it because I didn’t want them to lose their balance and come crashing down. Now, I have total peace of mind with the Dorai dish pads and never worry about anything toppling over.
The pads fold to maximize evaporation if they happen to get saturated with water so you can prop them up and allow more air to get to the surfaces. This folding feature also means that they can be collapsed to be 1/3 of their fully opened size when you’re done using them and makes them easy to stack / stow away when not in use.
These pads are only intended to dry items that have already been cleaned, but if they happen to get stained by food or drink they are easy to clean. There is a set of instructions as well as a little circular (mildly) abrasive scrubber pad that comes with each Dorai dish pad for additional care, but they honestly seem very low-maintenance (so far) and will likely only need special attention if we happen to stain them somehow.
While these drying pads are certainly an investment, I don’t foresee ever needing to replace them; they’re super durable and well-made. I think that if you also do a lot of dish washing by hand / air drying you would absolutely benefit from upgrading your current situation to these pads. The brand offers a $25 discount on a two pack of drying pads, and since replacing our existing two mats had been my plan to begin with, I absolutely took advantage of the discount!
Dorai offers a variety of products: additional countertop dish drying setups, bath mat “stones”, coasters, etc. so I recommend checking out their full inventory! The pricing certainly makes them investment pieces, but they’re so durable I bet these will last for the rest of my life. 🤣
I honestly can’t recommend these drying pads enough and I’m so happy to have them for our home. The design and materials are so intentional — you know how much I love when style meets function in a product! Please let me know if you have any additional questions in the Comments section.