A-Z Uses for Your Dishwasher

posted by Andrea | 03/25/2011

Dishwasher

I’ve had a dishwasher for as long as I can remember — and you better believe that I use it for everything I possibly can!

I’m not really one to worry about ruining something in the dishwasher, so I fill it as full as I can…and turn it on. There are only a few things we still wash by hand — like my good china dishes, anything with wood, and some of my good knives.

I also use my dishwasher for a variety of of other cleaning needs — and am always surprised when I find something else I can stick in the dishwasher!

So just in case you aren’t utilizing YOUR dishwasher as much as you could, I’ve put together a list of things I have personally put in the dishwasher — or things I know a friend/relative has put in the dishwasher. I tried to hit the entire alphabet…but my mind went blank for a few letters!

A-Z Uses for Your Dishwasher

Action figures and small toys: put them in a mesh lingerie bag on the top rack.

Source:

Baseball hats: wash them in a Ball Cap Washer {$6.29 from Amazon} on the top rack and they’ll hold their shape much better than in a washing machine. {Don’t wash with dishes}

Crystal stemware: OK, I know the direction don’t tell you to do this –but I’m telling you that I ALWAY wash my nice stemware on the top rack and have never had a problem yet!

Dog toys/bowl: keep your pet’s food dish and toys germ-free by tossing them on the top rack.

Source:

Electrical outlet covers: all our covers are white, so if they get really grimy and sticky I just put them in the dishwasher

Flip flops: Hook them on tines in the top rack. {I’ve been told that Crocs are not dishwasher-safe.}

Garden tools: obviously, you don’t want to wash these with your dishes, but small pots and gardening tools clean up nicely in the dishwasher. {Don’t wash tools with wood handles though.}

Hairbrushes, makeup brushes, and combs: as long as they are made of plastic, they should be prefect candidates for  spin in the dishwasher, but be sure to remove all the hair first so you don’t clog your drain.

Source:

Ice cube trays: We didn’t have an automatic ice maker in our old house, and I found that by washing our ice cube trays every month, the ice cubes popped out of the trays easier. Maybe it was just my imagination — but it seemed to help!

Jewelry: ok, nothing too small or fancy would work, but I’ve washed my bulkier costume jewelry in mesh bags or in the silverware caddy

Knee pads and shin guards: these will clean up great on the top or bottom rack.

Lunch boxes and bags: whenever these get gross and sticky, just toss them on the top rack. You may have to let the lunch bags dry for awhile

Source:

Mouth guards: these get SO gross, but all you have to do is toss them in the silverware caddy and they’ll clean up nicely.

“Nobs” a.k.a. Knobs: Take the knobs off your cabinets, oven, etc. and put them in the silverware basket. They should come out sparkling clean.

Office supplies: quickly clean your pencil cup, draw dividers, and any other plastic desk accessories by tossing them on the top rack.

Potatoes: instead of scrubbing all your baked potatoes by hand, simply but them on the top rack and run the rinse cycle {no soap!}

Quart jars: Ok, so this is obvious…but I couldn’t think of anything else with “Q” :)

Rain boots: simply remove the liners and lie horizontally.

source:

Silk flowers: these get dusty over time, but a quick spin on the top rack will have them looking good as new.

Tools: anything with metal or plastic handles will be fine. Just make sure they are dry before you put them away — to prevent rusting.

Toothbrush and toothbrush holder: I know people who put their toothbrushes in the dishwasher every day. I personally don’t do it that often, but it is a good way to keep them clean.

source:

U: I couldn’t think of one for U — but I have TWO for “t”

Vent covers {register covers}: These get really dusty and can be hard to clean. As long as they are plastic, aluminum, or steel — feel free to stick them in the dishwasher.

Window screens: as long as they fit in the dishwasher, this is a REALLY easy way to get them squeaky clean.

Yams: Same as potatoes — put them on the top rack with no soap and save yourself a bunch of scrubbing!

 

What do you put in your dishwasher?

Any suggestions on what NOT to put in the dishwasher?

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38 comments

  1. amy

    03/25/2011

    as far as stemware in the dishwasher the biggest issue i’ve seen is from movement when things wiggle around. best problem solver: rubber banding the stems to the rack loosely so they don’t move! like a seatbelt for your glass ware….i put the rubber band around the stem through the side of the rack and back around the stem!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Great tips Amy — I personally have never had a problem with my stemware, but this is SUCH a great a idea!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  2. Marci

    03/25/2011

    Wow, I’m a basic just dishes in the dishwasher girl but I may have to try some other items. Vent covers sounds great to me right now. Thanks for the refreshing ideas.

    [Reply]

  3. Kelli

    03/25/2011

    I used it wash my contact case, too. Great tips! Very creative.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I didn’t think about a contact case since I don’t use them…but I’ll add that to my growing list. Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  4. Terri G.

    03/25/2011

    Just don’t put the kids in there.

    Cool tips!

    [Reply]

  5. Amy

    03/26/2011

    My girls just emptied the dishwasher. I think I’m going to go around the house to find stuff to wash! haha

    I think I’ll start with bath tub toys!

    Great ideas!!

    [Reply]

  6. Kim

    03/26/2011

    Do NOT put the baseball hat case in the regular clothes washing machine. We did and it tore it up! It was awful. Make sure it is secure in your dishwashing machine.

    [Reply]

  7. jane mcjunkin

    03/26/2011

    Great ideas Andrea. Want a humorous use. I visited an elderly lady last week and guess
    where she kept her snacks. You guessed it, her dishwasher.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ha — that’s hilarious! My grandma actually kept her dishes and food storage containers in her dishwasher {the snacks were in the oven!}. She obviously didn’t cook much!

    [Reply]

  8. Jaci

    03/26/2011

    I’ve put Crocs on the top rack and they turn out great. I just take them out before the drying cycle. I have also sanitized clay pots in the dishwasher.

    [Reply]

  9. Sue

    03/29/2011

    I never would have thought to put these things in the dishwasher.. I never had a dishwasher growing up.. and I have had to leave to use one since I have been married. I broke the first dishwasher we had in our apartment right after we were married for Lack of use.

    But putting the kids bath toys in there is a great idea.. Thanks for the tip !

    sue in NJ

    [Reply]

  10. SJVSJV

    04/01/2011

    I regularly put my small plastic trashcans in the dishwasher. I’ve put the removable parts of my refrigerator in there, though I did belatedly notice when taking the crisper drawer out that it said “not dishwasher safe” on the bottom! The most unusual thing I’ve put in the dishwasher…mini blinds. keep them pulled tight with just a little bit of space between each slat, and arrange the string outside the dishwasher so it doesnt get tangled up.

    [Reply]

  11. Live Love Serve 04 16 11 | House of Hills

    04/16/2011

    [...] A-Z Uses For Your Dishwasher: Simple Organized Living – LOVE this. There are so many things that you can use your dishwasher to clean besides just dishes. Here at the House of Hills we also put baseball caps and Crocs in the top rack. Yep, we do. [...]

  12. Laura Kasperski

    04/19/2011

    I knew an older lady who never used her dishwasher, so she kept her paperwork in there. The tines kept them all standing upright and in neat order. She kept envelopes in the top rack and full size papers in the bottom rack. If I didn’t use my dishwasher, I would do this for sure!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Ha — that’s hilarious! Well, at least she had organized papers!!
    However, with 3 kids, I don’t think you can sacrifice your dishwasher :)

    [Reply]

  13. Kitchen Plumbing

    07/05/2011

    Great tips on what to put into your dishwasher never thought about putting half of these things in there. I used to always put my children’s toys in there for a quick clean.

    [Reply]

  14. Naomi

    02/15/2012

    My dad takes the covers off the car head lights and puts them through. Come up a treat!

    [Reply]

  15. Anne Kamstra

    02/15/2012

    We also wash our metal furnace filters in there with no soap and short wash. Works great.

    [Reply]

  16. Fran

    02/15/2012

    I wash the stove top burners and chrome trays from under the burners in my dishwasher.

    [Reply]

  17. monica

    02/15/2012

    I clean/santize my sink drain plugs and bathroom trash cans. Great tips…flip flops! Never thought of that one!

    [Reply]

  18. Tanna

    02/15/2012

    This isn’t a use for the dishwasher as much as the dishwasher detergent. I found out you can use your dishwasher detergent in your regular washing machine. Be careful though, it does contain bleach. I once splashed teriyaki chicken all over my favorite white cotton blouse at a restaurant . I put it in the washer with some of the detergent and not a stain left!

    [Reply]

  19. Lori

    02/15/2012

    I put my glass globes from my light fixtures in the dishwasher. I also put my scrubbie from my kitchen sink in.

    [Reply]

  20. Patty Gardner

    02/15/2012

    Sponge.

    [Reply]

  21. April H

    02/15/2012

    Cloth diapers! If you get a residue buildup put them in the top rack with no soap. The wuper hot water strips them clean.

    [Reply]

  22. Eileen @ Space Matters

    02/15/2012

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I will be sure to share them around :)

    [Reply]

  23. Barbara

    02/15/2012

    I clean our electronic air filter cells in there along with the metal screen prefilters. They can be washed in the bathtub but then I have to clean that up next!

    [Reply]

  24. Lindsey

    04/17/2012

    Do you put soap in the dishwasher when you put in your toothbrush?

    [Reply]

  25. The Dishwasher and its Many Uses « Endless Baby

    04/18/2012

    [...] glassware however being a busy mom or dad there is so much more this dishwasher can clean. I read this article on Simple Organized Living and I must tell you, yes some of the items washed made me laugh. I hope [...]

  26. Heidi

    03/20/2013

    I do all my canning in the dishwasher. Soup, salsa, peaches, applesauce, pears … all of it. Skip the canner, load up your dishwasher, and run on the sani-rinse cycle. It also cleans everything up so that you don’t have all the sticky mess to contend with! And best of all, you can fit tons of jars in one cycle. I usually put the quarts on the bottom and pints on top, and can do a whole batch of something in one cycle. I’ve never had anything fail to seal this way either, and I don’t even own a canner anymore since this is so effective.

    [Reply]

    Tammy Reply:

    Genius!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    What!! Are you serious! This could revolutionize the way I can from now on. Do you have any more tips or another website you could point me to for more information?
    Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    I’d really caution everyone about dishwasher canning. It puts your food at risk since a dishwasher does not reach the boiling point, nor does it heat evenly throughout the dishwasher. The USDA does not recommend this method.
    On page 10 of the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, it says:
    “Equipment and methods not recommended:
    Open-kettle canning and the processing of freshly filled jars in conventional ovens, microwave
    ovens, and dishwashers are not recommended, because these practices do not prevent all
    risks of spoilage.”
    You can find the full PDF of their recommendations here: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf

    [Reply]

  27. Ann

    03/20/2013

    When you load up your dishwasher, if there is a little room left, look around. Rather than waiting until it is full to run it (and risk that not all of the new stuff will fit in) throw in any dusty knick-knacks, tea kettle, etc.

    [Reply]

    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    That’s a great idea! Our farmhouse gets really dusty because of our dogs/dirt blowing around outside…thanks! :)

    [Reply]

  28. Cindy

    04/04/2013

    Oooooh! What about fan blades? I bet top rack safe?
    Love the toothbrush idea and lots of others. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  29. Stacey

    06/02/2014

    I put the light covers from the ceiling fans and other glass shades in the dishwasher as well as a lot of my knick knacks.

    [Reply]

  30. Debbie

    06/02/2014

    I wash everything – globes from most light fixtures, heat vent covers, toothbrushes, wastebaskets, the toilet bowl covers, stove grates. You get the picture! All come out very clean, Amazing what you can think of to put in the dishwasher!

    [Reply]