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14 Surprising Items You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in the Dishwasher

Let’s talk about dishwasher-safe items!

Dishwashers are wonderful appliances when you think about them. They can clean up to a week’s worth of dishes at a time, to a higher hygienic standard than washing by hand, while using less water.

But that’s not all dishwashers can do; they are actually very versatile machines, accommodating larger pans and pots as well as kitchen utensils. However, there are lesser-known items that can be cleaned in a dishwasher too.

In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the surprising dishwasher-safe items you can clean using the appliance so you can make the most of it. Before we go into the list, keep in mind that if you’re unsure whether or not a thing is suitable for the dishwasher, it’s better to play it safe and wash it by hand instead. Otherwise, you could wind up damaging both the item and the dishwasher.

Here are 14 dishwasher-safe items you can now stop washing by hand!

dishwasher-safe items
Photo by Lipskiy from Shutterstock

1. Microwave turntable

Food dried on the turntable can be very annoying because it often takes a lot of elbow grease to remove it. But save yourself the trouble and run it through the dishwasher.

As one of the dishwasher-safe items, the glass turntable can be thrown into the appliance to restore its sparkle. Always check your manual before doing so, but the majority are safe for this type of cleaning.

2. Appliance knobs

Spills are inevitable in the kitchen, especially when it comes to the stovetop and other appliances. The worst parts to clean are the knobs; they have weird shapes and nooks, so removing all the dirt can be really annoying.

Here’s what you should do: pop off those knobs and run them through the dishwasher because, yes, they’re dishwasher-safe items. While the knobs are off, it’s way easier to clean the surface of the appliance to get it really sparkling.

3. Terra-cotta pots

Some gardeners prefer their clay pots with a weathered patina, but if you don’t clean your pots between plantings, pests and diseases can ride along and harm your new plants.

The good news is that you don’t have to wash each terra-cotta pot by hand; these pots along with their saucers are dishwasher-safe items, but remember to run them on a gentle cycle. This will get them ready for your new plantings.

4. Fridge shelves and oven shelves

You don’t need to struggle over a sink anymore; both fridge and oven shelves can be washed in the dishwasher. Make sure you stack each shelf in the lower rack.

Oven shelves can endure a hot cycle, but fridge shelves should be washed on a standard cycle. While they sanitize in the dishwasher, the rest of the refrigerator is easier to wipe down because the shelves aren’t in your way.

See? Easy!

5. Light switch covers

These can grimy from fingerprints surprisingly quickly. So quickly that, if you’re obsessed with cleaning, they can be so annoying. If you want to give them a deep clean, all you have to do is unscrew the covers (make sure you keep the screws in a safe place) and put them in the upper rack of the dishwasher. Dry them thoroughly before putting them back.

While plastic switch covers are dishwasher-safe items, brass or metal ones shouldn’t go into the dishwasher.

6. Hairbrushes

Hair brushes can harbor oil, grease, and dead skin cells, so they need cleaning semi-regularly. Since most are made from plastic, they’re suitable to wash in the upper rack of the dishwasher.

Just make sure you remove any hair before you run them in the appliance. Don’t put a hairbrush with boar bristles or a wooden handle in the dishwasher. The moisture and heat can damage them.

baseball cap
Photo by Lopolo from Shutterstock

7. Baseball caps

Baseball caps can end up filled with dirt and sweat, but they can be misshapen or damaged by a washing machine, so why not use the dishwasher? Simply toss your caps in the top rack, secure them with plastic clothes pegs or rubber bands, and run without detergent.

Make sure you skip the drying cycle and hang your baseball caps outside instead. Be aware, though: this isn’t for caps with cardboard brims. Vintage caps aren’t dishwasher-safe items either.

Keep reading to discover other surprising dishwasher-safe items!

8. Flip-flops

Is your favorite pair of flip-flops looking a little sad? Because they’re on your feet, flip-flops can end up dirty and smelling very quickly. Since they’re made from rubber and plastic, these shoes are dishwasher-safe items you can easily clean without getting your hands dirty.

Actually, they’re better off in the dishwasher than in the washing machine. Place them in the top rack, secure them, and turn off the drying cycle because it can damage any rubber. And that’s it!

9. Vacuum cleaner attachments

We need to clean things we clean with. Vacuum attachments are very helpful when you’re deep-cleaning crannies and nooks. During this heavy-duty job, these tools can get really dirty. In fact, there may be nothing in your house dirtier than our vacuum attachments.

You could rinse them off in the sink and let them out to dry, but it’s much easier and more effective to put them in the top rack of your dishwasher and run them on a gentle cycle.

For hygiene reasons, run them separately from a cycle with dishes and any kitchen utensils, and run an empty cycle in between. Also, use a low-temperature wash for this.

10. Exhaust fans and vent covers

Are your bathroom metal vent covers looking a bit dusty? And your exhaust fan—the same thing? Dust can impair airflow, so it’s important to get rid of it regularly. But don’t fret about it; these are dishwasher-safe items, so you won’t have to clean them by hand.

Pop any non-electrical components and metal items into the dishwasher, and they will come out shiny and look brand new.

11. Kitchen sponge

If your kitchen sponge looks dirty, please throw it away right now! Kitchen sponges harbor a ton of germs, and you don’t want to “wash” your dishes with something so dirty.

However, if your sponge still has some good days ahead and has gotten a little funky-smelling or is just stained from tomato sauce, run it through the dishwasher to kill all bacteria and freshen it up. Don’t forget about detergent, and this eco-friendly option from Binbata does an incredibly good job.

It’s important to sanitize sponges every couple of days, and since they are dishwasher-safe items, you can easily get this work done by tossing them in the appliance on your next load.

dishwasher-safe items
Photo by james benjamin from Shutterstock

12. Bathing and nail accessories

Long-handled back scrubbers and loofahs love a quick, hot bath in the dishwasher. Similar to kitchen sponges, these are also dishwasher-safe items, and you can kill all the germs lurking because, yes, they can also harbor bacteria.

Manicure and pedicure tools quickly become fungus- and bacteria-free after a good go in the dishwasher.

13. Glass light fixtures

If you struggle to hold your breath as you dust the glass light fixtures, try running them through the dishwasher. Just remove the glass covers and run them along with the rest of your glassware.

However, if your fixtures are particularly fragile or expensive, wash them by hand instead. You don’t want them to chip or potentially damage your dishwasher.

14. Plastic car accessories

Crusty car accessories clean up very well in the dishwasher. You know how sticky the little change tray and cup holders can get, right? Generally, you can easily pop these plastic inserts out, wash them through a gentle cycle, and they come out clean and sparkling again.

If you liked our article on dishwasher-safe items, you may also want to read Experts Say You’re Not Cleaning These 12 Areas in Your Bathroom.

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