20 Things You Can Clean in Your Dishwasher (Besides Dishes)

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So you have this great big cleaning machine in your kitchen that you use once or twice a day to wash the dishes. Ever thought about what else that dishwasher can do for you?

Here is a list of things that people wash in their dishwashers, that you may have never thought of! There are many small items that can be washed simply using a small mesh laundry bag. Additionally, any time I wash something “unusual” – I never use heat drying. (Honestly, I never use heat drying anyways. I feel it uses too much energy.) Anything that is washed, I recommend drying right away by hand.

20 Things You Can Wash in your Dishwasher - that Aren't Dishes! | Homemaker Helps from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

So here’s 20 things you can wash in your dishwasher to make life easier…and clean!

  1. Light Fixtures – When you do your Spring or Fall Cleaning, and you take down the light fixtures, there’s no need to wash the glass globes by hand. Wash them in your dishwasher!
  2. Toothbrush Holders – When you deep clean your bathrooms, put the toothbrush holders in the dishwasher to thoroughly clean them. I don’t recommend washing your soap dishes that way though.
  3. Exhaust Filter – The metal exhaust filter over your stove is normally dishwasher safe! Wash it on a regular basis and it will last way longer – saving you replacement money!
  4. Sponges & Scrubbers – Stick your sponges and scrub brushes down in the silverware holder and you’ll have clean, sanitized cleaning tools that will last you a bit longer.
  5. The Kids’ Plastic Toys – If you have little ones, you probably have lots of toys. All of those plastic toys that they have laying around – teething on – put them in the dishwasher on a regular cycle and get them clean and germ-free. Skip the heat drying and dry by hand.
  6. Pet Dishes and Plastic Toys – Don’t forget about your pets! Those pet dishes have a way of getting yucky fast – so run them through the dishwasher on a regular basis too. You can also toss their plastic toys in there, just like the kids’ plastic toys.
  7. Removable Car Cup Holders – Many vehicles have removable cup holder inserts. Pull those out and toss them in the dishwasher.
  8. Shower Heads – Keep your shower head from clogging up so quickly by periodically giving it a good cleaning in the dishwasher!
  9. Stove Knobs – Those knobs on your stove have a way of getting grimy, and have lots of nooks & crannies on the backside. Put them in your silverware holder the next time you wash the dishes, and they’ll be sparkling clean.
  10. Baseball Caps & Visors – Your dishwasher is a great way to clean those sweaty hats! Place them in the top rack, right side up and run it on a regular cycle with no heat drying. The key though, is that you do not want to use regular dishwasher detergent. Most detergents contain bleach. Instead use Borax in the soap dispenser. After they wash, set them over a bowl or jar to dry. You an even find “hat cages” for washing your hats in the dishwasher.
  11. Kitchen Appliance Parts – Wash the chrome drip pans, fridge water dispenser grates, enameled gas grates and burner caps, microwave tray and don’t forget your sink plugs! Use the normal washing cycle.
  12. Brushes – Wash your plastic hairbrushes, fingernail brushes and your toothbrush in the dishwasher! Again, run these on the regular cycle, no heat drying.
  13. Butter Dishes, Sugar Bowls, Spoon Holders and Salt & Pepper Shakers – These things gather up a lot of grease and stickiness. Every so often, empty these out and run them through the dishwasher. I was the spoon rest every time I cook.
  14. Hair Ties & Barrettes – Get all that hairspray and residue off of your hair accessories and they’ll last a lot longer. This is where the mesh laundry bag will come in handy, to hold all these little items. Simply lay the bag in the top rack.
  15. Cabinet & Drawer Knobs – Most knobs are made of durable metal or plastic and are perfectly dishwasher safe.
  16. Tweezers & Nail Clippers – Let’s be honest, these tend to get used for lots of things other than their intended purpose, but it is very important for them to be clean! Run these through your dishwasher to keep them sanitary.
  17. Pet Collars – Your pet’s fabric collars can be easily washed in the dishwasher. Wash them right along with the hats, using Borax instead of dish detergent to keep them clean and smelling fresh.
  18. Contact Cases – Once a month, toss your contact cases in the dishwasher to get them clean & sanitized.
  19. Mouth Guards – My kids wore these when they slept – and the boys used them for football. Those things had a way of getting gross….fast! Run them through the dishwasher (no heat drying) on a regular basis to keep them sanitized and non-gross.
  20. Light Switch Plates – Those things get very dirty and smudged over time. So when you do your Spring Cleaning, pull them all off and run them through to get them sparkling clean and looking new again.

What unusual things do you wash in your dishwasher? Share your tips in the comments below!

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