Saving the kitchen sink from boggy horror, part 1

Historically, this has been the way sponges and scrubbing things have been stored on the kitchen sink:

Sponges and scrubbers at the kitchen sink

IMPERILED! Sponges rest on the sink edge; scrubbers sit in a dish

The dish has no drainage. It gets quite disgusting as water drips off the brushes. And anything sitting all the way in the bottom of the dish also gets quite disgusting.

So I started thinking about trying to find some kind of metal or plastic mesh that could be fitted inside the dish, raised up slightly, so that the cleaning objects could sit on the mesh, ABOVE the disgusting soapy water muck mix that accumulates. The back of the sink would also need something so the sponges would actually have a chance to dry out.

Early sketches of the brush-saving device

Early sketches of the brush-saving device

First I thought about making it all one piece that would loop up from the sink over the edge of the dish and down into the dish.

Then I thought it made more sense to make 2 pieces, so they could be removed and cleaned individually; the mesh for the sponges still needs some kind of hook on it to hold it to the dish so it doesn’t get knocked into the sink.

I also thought that maybe some kind of Y-shaped support could be inserted into the dish to hold the brush handles up; right now, they tend to fall onto the sponges. Making hooks to hang from the windowsill above the sink is another idea.

So far, I have made the mesh to sit inside the dish:

Half of the dish mesh, on a jig made with small nails and scrap wood

Half of the dish mesh, on a jig made with small nails and scrap wood

The mesh woven together, with the jig set up for the 2nd piece

The mesh woven together, with the jig set up for the 2nd piece. The feet still need to be formed from the ends of the wires, and it needs some minor bending to flatten it out.

Finished mesh

Finished, feet and all.

Mesh in dish

Mesh in dish. I had to bend a couple of the loops of wire a bit to get it to fit; apparently the jig (or my bending technique) was not quite precise enough.

Scrubbers resting on the mesh

Hooray! The scrubbers are saved from the Bog of Doom!

I used stainless steel wire, which was a disappointing matte grey, not the shiny highly polished stainless steel that I am used to seeing in the silverware drawer. However, with all the bending and manipulating of the metal with metal pliers (and rubbing against the wire nails, it was a lot shinier by the time I finished. (So if when I make jewelry with this stuff, I shall see about polishing it to make it shiny.)

The weaving process took the most time, because as soon as I’d push the wire just over the other piece of mesh, it wanted to slip off. And weaving in the very last length of wire was pretty difficult. Wire: not as flexible as string or yarn! Shocking!

I’m thinking now that pieces of woven wire might be interesting foundational structures to support beads and other, more complicated shapes, perhaps for bracelets (not that I wear bracelets) or necklaces or . . . things. And brass (or copper) would be a lot easier to manipulate. Perhaps instead of a straight, rectangular mesh, I could set up a jig to create more angular shapes, something more V-shaped. (I can see it in my head, but I haven’t sketched it out. Yet.)

Time to make:

  • One washing machine cycle (somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour). I know this because I started my laundry and then started the jig and bending, down in the basement where I could easily hear the machine going through its process. (I did the sketching on a previous day. But it didn’t take very long.)


  • Stainless steel wire from the local Tags.
  • Wire nails (for the jig)
  • Scrap wood (for the jig)


  • Hammer
  • Small needle-nose pliers (to hold the wire nails while I hammered them in; this saved me many smashed fingers. Also used sometimes to bend the wire, though I used my hands a lot, too)
  • Diagonal wire cutters

Now to save the sponges.