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How To Clean Plastic Dish Rack: The Ultimate Guide

Blog, How To

How to clean plastic dish rack

Are you tired of a dirty, smelly dish rack that seems impossible to clean? (1)

Well, fret no more! In this article, we will share some expert tips and tricks to help you keep your plastic dish rack sparkling clean and odor-free.

So, grab your cleaning supplies and let’s get started!

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How To Clean Plastic Dish Rack?

To clean a plastic dish rack, start by emptying it and scrubbing with a mixture of warm water, dish soap and baking soda using a soft sponge or cloth. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely.

7 Simple Steps to Deep Clean Your Plastic Dish Rack

Nothing can take a plastic dish rack from sparkling clean to grungy faster than built up food particles and hard water stains. Give your rack new life with these easy steps. 

Start by emptying any leftover dishes and rinsing away loose debris. Make a paste with dish soap and baking soda then coat the racks with it. Let sit for five minutes before scrubbing with a scrub brush or towel. Rinse thoroughly under warm water. 

To remove stubborn grease or residue, fill the sink with a few inches of warm water and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Soak racks for 30 minutes, periodically scrubbing any tough spots. The acetic acid cuts through grime like no other. Rinse and dry. 

For mineral stains from hard water, saturate a cloth with undiluted vinegar and wipe down each rail and rivet. Watch as white film fades away! Dry and buff dry with a microfiber cloth.

A scouring pad takes rust or corrosion off sinks and racks. Wear gloves and scrub in circular motions with baking soda paste for difficult rust spots. Rinse to reveal clean, smooth surfaces. 

Dry completely before replacing to prevent mildew. Air dry in sun if possible for natural sanitization. Consider applying a protective coat of mineral oil on metal parts every few months to slow rusting. Your rack will stay bright for longer!

How to Remove Stubborn Dirt and Stains

No matter how diligent you scrub, some cooked-on gunk just won’t budge. For caked-in goo, fill your kitchen sink with hottest water possible then submerge dirty racks. Add a few tablespoons dish soap and let sit overnight.

In the morning, nearly all buildup will wipe right off with light scouring. Extra tough spots may require a plastic putty knife to scrape. Rinse, dry, and admire your sparkling clean racks again! 

To battle dried food from last week, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Mist problem areas and let fizz for five minutes prior to standard scrubbing. The acid cuts through grime better than any kitchen chemical. 

For rust or mineral deposit stains, make a paste from lemon juice and salt. Apply generously and let sit in sun for an hour. Wipe clean to reveal bright metal underneath. Lemon’s natural bleaching effect gets surfaces dazzling white.

The Best Cleaning Products to Disinfect Your Dish Rack

How to clean plastic dish rack

When deep cleaning dish racks, nothing outperforms good old vinegar for cutting grease and minerals. Additionally, undiluted lemon juice naturally whitens without harsh fumes. 

Use baking soda to scrub baked-on bits from silicone or plastic parts. The mild abrasive buffs surfaces to a streak-free shine. 

Dish soap breaks the surface tension holding dirt in place for easier rinsing away. Look for varieties containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide for antibacterial protection. 

Hydrogen peroxide is another budget-friendly option to disinfect and whiten chrome or metal. Spray it on and wipe off with vinegar for a sparkling finish.

If stubborn stains persist, spray them with full strength white vinegar and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in sunlight for a day before scrubbing away dead bacteria and scum. 

Get Rid of Unpleasant Odors with These tips

Musty smells can develop if your dish rack never fully air dries. Make it a habit to tilt racks over the sink after hand washing and wipe with a cloth regularly. 

Baking soda is legendary for eliminating odors in fridges and garbage cans, and it works wonders on smelly racks too! Sprinkle generously inside and let sit for an hour before shaking out residue. 

If damp mildew lingers, scrub with a paste of borax and hydrogen peroxide. Wear gloves and scrub all surfaces thoroughly before rinsing away bubbles. Your rack will be fresh-smelling once more!

Add a few drops essential oil like lemon or eucalyptus to the white vinegar solution when doing maintenance cleaning. The light scent masks odors while disinfecting nooks and crannies.

Place fragrant houseplants, cinnamon sticks or dried orange peels near your drying area. Their natural fragrances will help override mustiness as racks air dry between uses. 

Prevent Mildew and Mold with Proper Drying

Allowing standing water to pool anywhere promotes breeding grounds for mildew. Be sure to drain trays fully after washing and wipe all surfaces dry with a lint-free cloth. 

Open windows near your sink on drying days for optimal airflow circulation. Direct breeze through racks to fully evaporate moisture quickly. 

Place clean racks outside or in a spot with direct sunshine whenever possible. UV rays are nature’s best disinfectant and help prevent fungal buildup. 

Some dishwashing racks come with drying mats that wick away standing water. Be sure to remove these mats regularly and hand wash or replace when looking worn. 

Clean and dry racks as quickly as you can after use to keep mildew spores from setting up camp. The longer surfaces stay wet, higher the risk of unwelcome microbial guests.

Eliminate Hard Water Buildup for a Sparkling Finish

If you live in an area with mineral-rich hard water, residue can easily adhere to racks without effort. Stay on top of it by wiping surfaces with a vinegar-soaked sponge weekly as a maintenance step. 

For heavy deposits, fill your sink with equal parts white vinegar and hot water. Submerge soiled racks and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes to dissolve crusty chalkiness away. 

Dry completely and polish off any remaining clouds with an old sock or cloth. The smooth sheen and refreshing scent eliminates need for harsh chemicals. 

Rinse racks in hot water after regular washings to flush away minerals clinging to nooks and crannies. Do this as a habit before lying racks flat to air dry. 

Adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your dishwasher also removes mineral tracings from racks and other contents for brilliant shine.

Tips for Maintaining a Hygienic Dish Rack Long Term

Dish racks host moist environments perfect for bacteria growth, so focus on thorough cleaning and drainage habits. (2) Scrub removable parts with dish soap weekly as a basic maintenance routine. 

Wash silicone handles or mats by hand in a mild bleach solution monthly for added disinfection. Rinse and lay flat to dry completely before returning to use. 

Inspect racks regularly for corroding or rusting areas that harbor germs. Repair or replace parts showing wear and tear to discourage lingering dampness. 

Only rack dry dishes that have been washed in hot soapy water or run through the hot cycle of your dishwasher. Air drying will not sanitize piles of crumbs stuck to plates!

Store cleaned racks upside down on a towel or paper towel to expose all nooks. This improves airflow circulation between uses for optimal hygiene long-term.


In conclusion, cleaning a plastic dish rack is a straightforward process that can be done by anyone.

By using a simple cleaning solution and following a few easy steps, you can keep your dish rack clean and hygienic. Remember to clean your rack regularly and use some of the secret tips and tricks mentioned above.

By doing so, you can ensure that your dish rack remains in good condition and your dishes stay safe and clean. If you have any questions or additional tips, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my dish rack?

It is recommended to do a quick wipe down of your dish rack with hot water and dish soap after each use to prevent residue buildup. For a deeper clean, scrub the rack once a week. Make sure to fully dry the rack before storing.

What is the best way to dry my dish rack?

Thoroughly drying your dish rack after cleaning is important to prevent odor and mold growth. The best method is to let it air dry completely in direct sunlight if possible. You can also dry it by placing it on a towel or using a cloth to wipe off remaining moisture. 

Can dish racks go in the dishwasher?

Many modern dish racks are dishwasher safe, but it is best to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Plastic racks may melt or warp in the hot temperatures. It is generally safer to hand wash racks using hot water, soap and a cloth or sponge.

How do I remove rust from my dish rack?

Baking soda or a paste made from baking soda and lemon juice can help remove light surface rust from stainless steel or metal racks. For heavier rust, use a cloth, sponge or non-abrasive scrubbing pad and scrub in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and dry after cleaning.

What is the best way to prevent odors in my dish rack?

Thoroughly drying your rack after each use, cleaning it regularly, and allowing good air circulation can help prevent odors in dish racks. You can also sprinkle baking soda and let it sit before wiping to absorb smells. Regular cleaning and maintenance is important.

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