10 Surprising Things You Can Clean in the Dishwasher

10 Surprising Things You Can Clean in the Dishwasher

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Lisa Freedman
Apr 20, 2017
What to clean in the dishwasher
(Image credit: Kitchn Video )

If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, you may be fortunate in ways you didn't even know. See, we spend a lot of time talking about the things you shouldn't put in the dishwasher (anything cast iron, good knives, wood cutting boards ... the list goes on). But there are tons of random things — beyond your everyday kitchen dinnerware — that can go in!

Related: 11 Things You Probably Shouldn't Put in the Dishwasher

It's true! You can take advantage of your dishwasher and have it tackle some of your spring cleaning, while you relax on the patio with a cocktail.

Here's what you can clean in there — and where it all should go.

10 Things You Can Clean In A Dishwasher:
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Top Rack

  • Baseball hats: All that head sweat! Set your dishwasher to the least warm temperature setting and be sure to turn off the drying cycle, which can damage the hat. Note: They do sell forms to help hats keep their shape, but it's not necessary as long as you remove the hat and reshape it for drying.
  • Light switch covers: If you've ever taken off your light switch covers to paint, you know how gross these things can get. Once a year, unscrew them all and give them a good cleaning. Just make sure you put the screws in a safe place so you don't lose them!
  • Hair brush: Use your fingers or a comb to pull out as much left-behind-hair as possible (you don't want it clogging up the drain). Then, say goodbye to all that dust that somehow collected over time.
  • Flip flops: These things can get so filthy by the end of the summer (heck, even just the end of the week!). Wash away dirt, grime, and who knows what else in a quick cycle.
  • Plastic succulents: It can be near impossible to dust (like, really dust) a fake succulent — especially where the leaves connect. Luckily the dishwasher can hit all those hard-to-get places.
  • Sponges: You may have heard that you can microwave a sponge to sanitize it, but that is actually a fire hazard. A safer bet? Putting it in the dishwasher with your regular load of dishes.
  • Plastic toys: Hey, moms! Did you know that plastic toys (that don't use batteries) can be sanitized in the dishwasher?
  • Silicone oven mitts: Our oven mitts take a beating over time. All things silicone can go in the dishwasher, which means your mitts can get a bath.

Bottom Rack

  • Refrigerator shelves: You could take these out and scrub them by hand, or you could wash them in the dishwasher. Smaller shelves will fit standing up (like your plates) but a bigger shelf might need to lay across the rack.

Utensil Holder

  • Ceramic cabinet hardware: Those knobs that you put your grubby mitts all over day in and day out? They're probably filthy with germs. And if they have a textured pattern, they might have all sorts of crud in the grooves. Instead of driving yourself crazy, scrubbing them with a toothbrush, just unscrew 'em and pop them in the utensil holder of the dishwasher.

What else do you put in the dishwasher?

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