Applying SCAMPER to the following idea, Liquid-Absorbing Powder, resulted in...
SUBSTITUTE-Can I use other ingredients or materials?
My ideal strainer solution does not involve a strainer. I do not like the idea of pouring out boiling water right next to your hands. Instead of a powder, you could have a solid that expands as it absorbs water. This seems to mix with food better (won't change flavor). They could also be dishwasher safe so they were easy to clean.
COMBINE-What can be combined to maximize number of uses?
If the product was small enough to fit into a ziplock, it could be used to keep food like fruit fresh. When fruit or vegetables are washed and not dried completely they have a much higher chance to mold or go bad.
ADAPT-What else is it like?
I picture this product I saw on Kickstarter recently called Coffee Joulies. They are a specially designed material that absorbs heat at first and then slowly releases it to keep your coffee at a fairly constant temperature. This idea could also be used in this design in that it could also absorb and release heat if it's available. This could cool your spaghetti water so you do not get burned and then use the energy to keep the spaghetti warm.
MAGNIFY-Can it be used more often?
This product could be extended to other areas such as "sponging" up water in a boat. This is typically an annoying job, but could be very easy if it just required placing some "rocks" in the bottom of the boat and having them absorb the water. They would be design to have the water evaporate once the water source is removed.
PUT TO OTHER USE-What else can it be used for?
A powder could be used to dry your hands after washing them instead of drying them on a hand towel. This would be significantly more sanitary and could have lotion qualities as well. Picture a Purel-like product that would be rubbed in and the water would be absorbed.
ELIMINATE-What if it had less of something?
If the powder was super absorbent, it could potentially work with food as long as it became large enough particles that could be avoidable. For example, marble sized "sponges" that would also be safe to eat if accidentally consumed.
REVERSE/REARRANGE-What if I consider it backwards?
Instead of wanting to remove water, you could use a sponge-like material to purify water. It would take in dirty water and cause a chemical reaction or have a complex filter that would not allow particles in. Thus, the product would be purified water and the sponge would safely contain the contaminants.
Product Sketches for SCAMPER ideas:
HIT Matrix: Not all the resulting products were closely related to sink/basin theme, but some interesting results turned up.