The dishwatering can (Day 289)…


OK, so this picture might be confusing. Here’s the explanation: I’ve realized that washing dishes by hand and letting them dry on a tea towel means all the water dripping off ends up wasted. It soaks into the towel, rendering it smelly and in need of laundering, which just uses even more water.

Clearly, the answer to this is a dish rack so that I can use the water collected in the tray for my indoor plants. However, dish racks are often made of plastic and I’d prefer not to buy a new one. Then again, something about getting a used dish rack off Craigslist or Freecycle grosses me out.

So my temporary measure is to let everything dry on the top rack of my dishwasher (currently not in use), and stick some plants underneath to catch whatever drips down.

If anyone has any better ideas for catching dish drippings — ones that don’t involve purchasing anything new or sacrificing the cleanliness of my smoothie blenders — please let me know!

19 Responses to The dishwatering can (Day 289)…

  1. Catherine says:

    I’m pretty sure that right there is pure genius.

  2. Hellcat13 says:

    Catherine stole my comment…ingenious!! A good way to dust them too. I just spent 10 minutes last night dusting my plants.

  3. E-Jay says:

    Excellent idea! This one should go in your “Hall of Fame”.

  4. Theresa says:

    Wow! What a creative idea! And one more illustration of why you have been awarded the “Roar for Powerful Words” blog award. Please see this website for details:

  5. Mary says:


    WAY TO GO!!!


  6. gmpicket says:

    Very clever solution! Well done.

  7. daddypoo's says:


    shame you can’t get a patent on that

  8. Emma says:

    u take cool photos.

  9. Rachel says:

    That is such a good idea! Why don’t you just put a baking sheet or something underneath that will catch all the water, and then you can pour it onto your plants?

  10. There is an incredible prototype invented by John Arndt that completely captures your concept and more. It is called Flow and it incorporates whole systems in drying dishes, watering plants and composting kitchen scraps. I don’t even know if it is for sale. I know that I am going to create my own knock off of this inspired design. I think you will enjoy this. Check out Flow.

  11. kathryn borel says:

    dammit. where’s the glass dildo post??

  12. Siel says:

    I got my dishrack at a garage sale, which made me feel at least somewhat better about the chunk of plastic I brought into the house. You might also try Goodwill 🙂

  13. michelle says:

    This is beside the point of what to do with dish drippings, but I when I refresh my cats’ water bowls I use the “stale” water on my indoor plants.

  14. Jerad says:

    depending on the acessability of your dishwasher’s hoses you could disconnect the hose going out and stick it into a jug or pan.

    Mine hooks up to the sink and expells water out the connection so I usually put a jug under it to reuse the water.

  15. Harvee says:

    You are listed on my website. This is so cool.

  16. Kyle says:

    You don’t show us your sink. Most sinks have a flat space either side to put dishes. I’d put the dishrack on one side, and simply let the dishes drip off that – I don’t understand why you need a tea towel at all.

    To catch the water, either let it simply dribble into the sink with the plug in, or else as someone else said put a baking tray under it.

  17. Vanessa says:

    Hey katecontinued — that’s an AWESOME site! Such a cool invention, and it looks purdy too! And Kyle, I do not have a flat space on either side of my sink (at least not any flat space that leads water back down into my sink). If I didn’t use a tea towel (or the rack in my dishwasher), my dishes would be sliding around the counter top and most likely falling onto the floor.

  18. […] Dishwater drip irrigation. Green as a Thistle** came up with this interesting idea: “let everything dry on the top rack of my dishwasher […]

  19. Hi, I have just come across your blog browsing on online as I am researching some material on dishwashers. appears like a good site so I have bookmarked your site and I will return tomorrow to give it a more indepth read when i have more time. Great site!.

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