Things you can clean in the dishwasher.
I thought I’d share a quick household hack today! Did you know that you can use your dishwasher for so much more than just cleaning your dishes? Yes, that magical box in your kitchen that you use everyday has the power to help you stay on top of your cleaning tasks. Check out this list of things you can clean in the dishwasher!
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Some things I would not put in the dishwasher are wooden items, copper or brass items, cutlery with wooden handles, cast iron, crystal and fine china.
I really don’t like to run my dishwasher unless it’s fairly full. So whenever my dishwasher load is light, I walk around and grab things that might need more than a light dusting to help fill it up. Like my utensil trays, the globe covers on my ceiling fans (especially the ones in the kitchen), drawer organizers, large fillers for apothecary jars like my plastic lemons, and the soup tureens that I display on top of my kitchen cabinets.
Things that can be cleaned in the dishwasher:
I have lots of dishes hanging on walls that I can grab to add to my load. I put in anything decorative that can be washed with the things that we eat off of. Also, the sponge we use for the kitchen counter, the sponge we use for the dishes, kitchen sink strainer/plug, my glass microwave tray. I used to put in my burner drip pans when I had a stove that used them.
Then once every 3 months or so I do a load of things that are easier to run through the dishwasher than to clean by hand. (I do not do dishes we eat off of or utensils we use in this load). I do put in things that are time consuming to wash by hand or things I might want to sanitize such as storage containers from the craft room, storage containers from the bathroom, vent covers, the exhaust fan grille, light switch covers and the trays I use in the fridge.
Things that can be cleaned in the dishwasher:
In addition to the items listed above, here are some other things I’ve recently discovered that can be cleaned in the dishwasher – Remember, your dishwasher is designed to clean and sanitize things – your mileage may vary as to whether or not you feel comfortable using your dishwasher for these things:
- Plastic hair brushes & combs (remove all the hair first of course)
- Baseball hats & visors (do not use dishwasher detergent in this load & no heat)
- Plastic toys (use a mesh bag to keep little things together)
- Shower heads
- Dust pans & broom ends (with visible dust removed)
- Flip flops
- Refrigerator shelves if they fit
- Soap dishes, toothbrush holders, cotton ball holders etc.
- Trash can lids and small trash cans
- Disinfect toothbrushes in the dishwasher
- Rain boots with the liners removed
- Desk accessories (pencil holders, sticky note trays, etc)
- Wash potatoes for a big group! (use no detergent)
- Silicone mitts and mats
- Kitchen hardware ( those dirty/greasy knobs and pulls can be placed in a mesh bag and put on the top shelf of the dishwasher
- Plastic drawer organizers
- Hard plastic pet toys
Every couple of weeks I run a cycle with just a cup of white vinegar because detergent residue and other things can build up on the inside of your dishwasher. I know it seems strange that you have to clean your dishwasher but this is what an appliance repair person told me to do (I also have to do this with my HE washing machine which I also find ridiculous!
How to deep clean your dishwasher
This is something I do once or twice a year. Before you can start cleaning your dishwasher, you need to remove as much as you can from it. This includes any dishes, filters, and anything else that can be removed. Google your dishwasher if you don’t know where to find your filter.
While you have the filter out of the dishwasher, take the time to really wipe it down and give it a good clean. If you’re not one to regularly clean this filter, it’s probably disgusting.
Take a spray bottle and combine a few drops of citrus oil, water, and some vinegar to clean your dishwasher. You want to aim for about 70% vinegar and 30% water.
Using the cleaning solution you just created, spray down your dishwasher from top to bottom. Cover every single tray, wall, and even the parts. Allow your cleaning spray to sit for 15 minutes.
Wash your dishwasher by using a hot cycle. Once finished, pour baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher and allow it to sit overnight.
In the morning, wash your dishwasher using another hot cycle.
You should notice a huge difference in both the odor and the overall cleanliness of your dishwasher. Remember, your dishwasher does a lot of heavy lifting to keep things clean. Do it a favor and give it a deep clean too.
What do think? Do you use your dishwasher for more than just washing dishes?
Theresa H. Roach says
I pack mine full when I run it too but have not washed some of those things in it:) Great tips as always! Have a blessed day dear Manuela, HUGS!
I hardly use our dishwasher – but it’s also a good place to store things out of the way when unexpected coming drops by:)
We had a dishwasher growing up…After it stopped working, I soon discovered Mama had turned it into storage for snack foods…
I use ours for combs, toothbrushes, utensil holders and drip pans but had never thought of some of the other things you mentioned. Thanks for the suggestions!
I use white vinegar as a rinse agent in our dishwasher. It’s cheap and effective, and it keeps the dishwasher clean too.
I usually use white vinegar as a rinse agent too! White vinegar is amazing – I use it to clean my HE washer too (and to shampoo my carpets). I know some people use it as a softener in their washing machine instead of Downy or other liquid softener.
Pamela Gordon says
Wow, I had no idea one could wash a lot of these things in the dishwasher, let alone cook a lasagna in one! LOL I always forget about using my dishwasher as I’ve only had one for the last 2 years out of 36 years of marriage! Thanks for the tips!
kathleen grace says
I can honestly say I have never thought to wash mostof the items listed in the dishwasher! Now I feel like going through the house today and doing a load of a lot of the things you listed. Mind blown :>)
Great suggestions! I love putting my coffee pot carafe and accessories in the dishwasher too. Question: When you clean your dishwasher with vinegar, is the DW empty? Do you use the heat setting too? Thank you! -Merry Christmas!!
Yes, I usually run it empty with just the vinegar (or almost empty) but no I don’t use the dry setting. I also just took a toothbrush and did the sides and around the controls. Yuck – it’s amazing what winds up in little crevices. I think some people use kool aid to clean their washers – you can google that. I think they use lemon or orange?
Richella at Imparting Grace says
Absolutely brilliant! Thanks for these tips, Manuela!
Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says
Love this list, Manuela! I never thought to put refrigerator shelves in. I’ll have to see if mine fit because I was just thinking the other day that I need to clean up the inside of my fridge. And flip flops! I live in mine all Summer, so I’ll have to try them, too. Separate load, of course. : )
Penny @ The Comforts of Home says
I don’t use fake plants anymore, but when I did have fake greenery (plastic not silk), I use to put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher to get the dust off. I have also cleaned my baseball caps in the dishwasher.
Great idea! I have some small potted ones that are fake and seem plastic. I don’t think I can get them out of the pots though.
Great tips, thank you!
Very interesting post. I will definitely be using my dishwasher for more than dishes now. Who remembers back in the day when Erma Bombeck talked about defrosting meat for dinner in the dishwasher–or am I just showing my age? LOL
I use my dishwasher to clean other things, too. My favorites are the plastic eating utensil tray, the glass covers from lights and the rotating glass tray from the microwave.
I have used my dishwasher for a few of the things that you mentioned. It’s a really great way to clean all of the things that you’ve mentioned. I will keep this in mind if and when I get a dishwasher. It’ll have to be in a different house, but we may be looking at buying a larger house in the spring.
Have a good evening. Cindy
Alas, I am the dishwasher here. If I had a dishwasher, I’d definitely be doing this!
Jo-Anne Lemaire says
Hi, Manuela. Great, thanks for the other uses for my dishwasher. I am so loving your kitchen floor too. Merry Christmas!
[email protected] says
I do use it for the slippers that I use around the house, not the one I use to go outside though because that one is terribly disfigured with dust and mud. Cool trick, saves me a lot of effort scrubbing and cleaning them.
Carrie This Home says
These are really good ideas! I have a lot of light fixture globes that could use a good cleaning! Pinning this right now! Glad I stopped by from Thrifty Thursday!
[email protected] says
I never would have thought of all of those ways to use my dishwasher, and I’ve never cleaned my dishwasher before… thinking I need to do that ASAP!