Washing dishes by hand is no fun. All the scrubbing, rinsing and drying can be super boring and the thought of it is enough to make you feel tired. Investing in a dishwasher might increase expenses and water usage, but it definitely saves your time. Did you know what dishwashing machine does more than just wash dirty dishes? It’s capable of washing various other stuff you probably will be surprised to find out. This means you can throw in more household items inside the machine to get cleaned without having to scrub and wash them yourself.
According to Max Appel, the founder of Powerizer Complete (a multi-purpose cleaner), you can put ceramic, metal, glass and resistant plastic in the dishwasher. Always check to see if the item is safe to be put inside the machine.
Keep in mind that the internal heat of dishwashing machine increases to get dishes cleaned thoroughly, and you won’t be able to put just any material inside to be washed. “Before you put plastics inside the machine, see if the plastic type is suspected to releasing harmful chemicals due to long-term exposure to high heat,” says Apple. Check the bottom of items for dishwasher safe icon, or read the manufacturer’s instructions.
There are many dishwasher safe household items you can put inside the machine without further concerns. However, if the item is too grimy and dirty that might contaminate dishes or other items, it’s better to have it washed and sanitized separately before or after washing the load of dishes/items. We have presented a list of general items you can wash in the machine, plus some cleaning tips to get best results.
1. Phone cases: Silicone, rubber, and plastic phone cases are generally dishwasher safe. However, it might not be a good idea to put a case in dishwasher if it has glued-on pieces for they might come off and go lost. Remove the case from your device and place it on its side on the top rack.
2. Dog toys: Dog toys made of rubber, hard plastic and nylon are safe to be washed in the machine. This will also sanitize them and kill any bacteria and germs. Check the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand to ensure it’s dishwasher-safe.
3. Stand-mixer parts: Machine attachments such as mixer bowls, beaters and stainless-steel whips are dishwasher-safe. Remove the attachments and place them in the top rack of your dishwasher.
4. Baseball caps: If your cap is stained, spray some stain remover on the spots before putting them in the dishwasher. Place hats on the top rack so they keep their shape.
5. Kids’ toys: Plastic pieces and babies’ chewing toys are generally considered dishwasher-safe. According to Allison Gillespie, senior brand manager for Maytag, you should put plastics in top rack to keep them away from heating elements. Small pieces such as lego blocks are better placed into a mesh bag so they won’t move around and cause damage to the machine or get lost.
6. Microwave turntable: Remove the turntable from the microwave and load it like a plate in the dishwasher’s lower rack.
7. Mouthguards and baby teething guards: Sports mouthguards or baby teething guards can be sanitized in dishwasher. Place them in the silverware caddy so they stay in place.
8. Dustpans: Wash dirty dustpans by loading them like a plate in the dishwasher. “For full cleaning, items should be placed at an angle with dirty surfaces facing down,” Gillespie says.
9. Vacuum attachments: If space allows, you can wash vacuum attachments such as brushes and detachable filters in the dishwasher. Put them up in the top rack. Place larger attachments on the lower rack or lay them on the top rack horizontally. Rinse filters before loading them in the lower rack standing up.
10. Slides and flip-flops:Sneakers and boots shouldn’t go through the dishwasher, but rubber slides and flip-flops are welcome. Load them on their sides like plates.
11. Oven mitts: Silicone oven mitts and pot holders can go in the dishwasher on the top rack.
12. Rubber bath mats: Quickly sanitize your rubber mat in the dishwasher. Appel recommends weaving it around the vertical pegs of the top rack like an accordion, which helps ensure maximum exposure to all surfaces. If the water hasn’t thoroughly drained from the mat after the cycle, dump out any excess water that may be trapped in the crevices.
13. Faux flowers: If your flowers are made of hardy, heat resistant material, throw them in! Lay them horizontally on the top rack before running a regular dishwasher cycle.
14. Workout gloves: Stand gloves up on the top rack, placing at least one finger over a vertical peg to keep it upright during the cycle.
15. Manicure and pedicure tools: Metal nail files, clippers, and other manicure and pedicure tools can be washed like silverware in the dishwasher’s utensil caddy, but make sure you protect them from moving around and getting lost. Appel suggests placing a jar cap on the bottom of the compartment before loading small pieces.
16. Grill grates: You should scrape off your grill grates after each use, but an occasional deep clean is helpful, too. Once the grates are cool, scrape off stuck-on food and char before placing them in the dishwasher. It’s important to note, however, that cast-iron grates and specialized grilling equipment shouldn’t go in the dishwasher.
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