5 Things You Should Always Throw Into the Dishwasher If There’s Room

updated Oct 9, 2021
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A person loading dishes into a dishwasher
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Loading the dishwasher is a special art (that couples and roommates love to fight about). Maybe you’ve mastered your own loading system, one that wastes no space while also still making sure everything gets cleaned. Maybe you often find yourself needing to run a load that’s not totally full? If you fall into this second group, we’d like to suggest adding a few things to your next load.

Here are five things you should always throw into your dishwasher if you have the space.

Credit: Kitchn Video

1. The microwave turntable

Isn’t it wild how quickly a recently cleaned microwave can get sticky and splatter-y? Obviously, you’ll have to hand wash the inside (try steaming a bowl of lemon water to make removing all that gunk easier), but you can toss the turntable right into the dishwasher for a thorough clean. Put it in the bottom rack like it’s a plate.

2. The sink strainer

Your sink strainer is probably grosser (and smellier) than you realize. Empty it out over the trash and get as much food out of the holes as you can (you don’t want them clogging up your dishwasher filter), and then put it on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. The dish drying rack 

If you have a wood drying rack, definitely don’t expose it to the heat in your dishwasher. But for anyone with a plastic or metal dish drying rack, your dishwasher is the perfect place for a refreshing bath. Put it on the top rack and it can also help to hold down plastic food storage containers that could otherwise flip over while they’re being cleaned.

Related: The Internet’s Brilliant Trick for Cleaning Plastic Containers in the Dishwasher

4. Your spoon rest 

Spoon rests are a great way to keep your counter from getting messy while you cook, but that means they need frequent cleaning. If your spoon rest is dishwasher safe, add it to the top rack each night.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. A bowl of vinegar

Hard water can make your dishes look cloudy or dirty — even after they’ve been through the dishwasher. But some vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl on the top rack of your dishwasher can help combat that.

Got anything else you always throw into the dishwasher? Tell us in the comments below.