Americans are very good at a few things. For example, we have brought men to the moon, invented today’s most popular musical genres, and one of us will even marry a British prince come May. Pretty impressive, right?!

That said, it has recently come to our attention that there is one thing about our domestic routine in particular that we do very, very poorly. Can you guess what it is? We’ll give you a hint—it has to do with that bulky drying rack that’s sitting on your kitchen sink right now…

Yep, that one.

These dish drying racks may have been invented to make our lives easier, but they certainly don’t—they’re ugly and they take up WAY too much precious counter space. To tell you the truth, we got rid of ours’ years ago when we made the switch to the dishwasher, but even that machine just doesn’t do the job. It cleans the dishes, but it never fully dries them!

That’s why we were so happy to come across the astiankuivauskaappi (try to say that ten times fast! Or at all…), a dish-drying system that comes from Finland. Astiankuivauskaappi translates, roughly, to “dish dry cabinet,” and, luckily, the object is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

It is a small, built-in, 5-sided cabinet that sits directly above the kitchen sink. Most come equipped with several layers of shelves made from stainless steel grates that allow for three very important functions: 1) it stands up your dishes for optimized air flow, 2) it forces the excess water from the dishes to drip directly into your sink, and 3) it gives you extra storage space, if needed.

See what we mean?

Apparently, the astiankuivauskaappi comes standard in most homes in Finland, a reality that we, ourselves, certainly envy. The fact that the perfect solution to drying those dishes has been under our noses this whole time is more than a little aggravating. Something tells us you probably feel similarly, too!

How to make the switch to the astiankuivauskaappi

If you are convinced that this Finnish dish drying option is the one for your household, then you have a couple different routes that you can take…

First, you can always give your existing kitchen cabinets a makeover–though we wouldn’t necessarily suggest it unless you are an experienced DIYer with the right tools at your disposal.

To do this, you can either remove your cabinet that sits above your sink, take out its base, then add wire shelving OR share the astiankuivauskaappi design with a local cabinetmaker. The cabinetmaker probably won’t have heard of the special, built-in dish dryer, but it shouldn’t be difficult to replicate.

If that doesn’t seem like a viable option for you, you can always purchase the next best thing, a stainless steel, over-the-sink drying rack, like this one by NEX. It may not be as sturdy as the Finnish alternative, but it will do the job:

stainless steel drying rack”NEX

We, for one, are pret-ty excited to get our counter space back AND never have to hand-dry those dishes, ever again. Astiankuivauskaappi for the win!

Are you with us, people? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the astiankuivauskaappi. Have you ever used one of these cabinet drying racks before? If so, how did you like it? Have you ever made one?