19 Things You Never Knew You Could Clean In Your Dishwasher


There’s a quick and easy way to clean some of the smaller items around your house, and it’s one you may not have considered before: cleaning things in your dishwasher! Because much like your washing machine, your dishwasher is capable of cleaning more than its name suggests.

To show you just how versatile this particular cleaning machine can be, today we’ll be exploring 19 different things you can clean in your dishwasher. Keeping those smaller things clean just got a whole lot easier!

Related: 18 Unexpected Things You Can Clean In Your Washing Machine

Learn how to clean your INSTANT POT LID in the dishwasher in the video at the end of this post!

things you can wash in your dishwasher

2 Guidelines To Follow When Cleaning Things In Your Dishwasher

  1. Only sturdy items should go in the bottom rack of your dishwasher, while everything else should into the top rack to avoid potential damage. (When in doubt, choose the top rack just to be safe!)
  2. In most cases, you can wash non-dish items and dishes in the same load without worry, but if the item you want to clean is caked in dirt or really grimy, you may want to wash it by itself.

19 Things You Can Clean In Your Dishwasher

things you can wash in your dishwasher

1. Silk Flowers

Say goodbye to that stubborn layer of dust and grime on your faux flowers! If they aren’t completely dry after washing, allow them to air dry before putting them back on display.

2. Baseball Caps

Toss sweaty or dirty ball caps into the top rack of your dishwasher to clean them.

(Note: This applies to modern caps only, almost all of which have sturdy plastic brims. Vintage caps should be carefully cleaned by hand, just in case they were made back when cardboard was standard in cap brims.)

3. Flip Flops

If your favorite pair of flip flops that could use a bit of TLC, toss them in your dishwasher to clean them up.

4. Vacuum Attachments

When was the last time you cleaned your vacuum attachments? (I personally can’t remember the last time I did it, which is never a good sign!) Toss them in the top rack of your dishwasher to clear out any dirt that may be trapped inside them.

things you can wash in your dishwasher

5. Hairbrushes

Unless your hairbrush is made of wood or has natural bristles, you can clean it in your dishwasher. (Just try to remove as much hair from it as possible beforehand, and allow it to air dry for several hours or overnight afterward.)

6. Gardening Tools

Your dishwasher can help blast away all the dirt and grime that’s stuck to your trowel.

7. Exhaust Fans

If your bathroom exhaust fan looks particularly dusty, it may be preventing the fan from working properly. Non-electrical parts are easy to clean in your dishwasher.

(For more on cleaning your bathroom fan, read my post on the topic!)

things you can wash in your dishwasher

8. Kitchen Sponges And Brushes

Even your cleaning tools need to be cleaned occasionally, especially germ magnets like kitchen sponges, brushes, scrubbers, etc.

9. Silicone Hot Pads And Trivets

Many of today’s kitchen accessories are made from silicone, both because it can withstand high temperatures and it’s easy to clean. In fact, you can toss your silicone trivet, oven mitts, spoon rest, sponge holder, and other accessories in the top rack of your dishwasher to clean them.

things you can wash in your dishwasher

10. Microwave Turntables

When microwave spills happen, the turntable usually takes the brunt of the mess. Just load that messy turntable into the bottom rack of your dishwasher to clean it up!

11. Vases

Use your dishwasher to clean out any gunk that may be clinging to the bottom of your vases. Sturdy glass and ceramic vases should do fine in the bottom rack, but thin vases should go in the top rack.

things you can wash in your dishwasher

12. Fridge Shelves And Bins

If you’ve never had something sticky spill inside your fridge that went all the way down the back wall and into the produce bins, consider yourself lucky! But if you ever do end up with a sticky situation inside your fridge, let your dishwasher help with the cleanup by loading any sticky shelves and bins into either rack.

13. Light Fixtures, Switch Plates, And Outlet Covers

The plastic covers on your switch plates and outlets are pretty much always dirtier than you’d think, and light fixture covers often become dust-ridden resting places for long-departed bugs. Clean them all quickly and easily in your dishwasher—plastic plates on top, sturdy light covers on bottom.

14. Air Vent Covers

The metal covers over the vents of a central heating or air conditioning system are another frequent repository for dust and debris. Load the covers into the top rack to give them a good cleaning, hands-free!

things you can wash in your dishwasher

15. Desk Accessories

Cleaning all the knick-knacks on your desk by hand can take forever. But a lot of that stuff can go right into the top rack of the dishwasher, like metal or plastic pencil cups, paper trays and organizers, and even small waste bins.

16. Bathroom Accessories

Get your bathroom accessories looking good as new! Your soap dish, toothbrush holder, and other such items can go right into the top rack.

things you can wash in your dishwasher

17. Loofahs, Sponges, And Brushes

The sponges and scrubbers you use in the bath can get bogged down with soap scum and product residue over time. A quick wash can give them new life!

18. Toys

You can clean all kinds of kids’ toys in your dishwasher! Think small toys, bath toys, blocks, etc. (If anything has small parts, zip those into a mesh laundry bag to ensure they won’t go missing.)

things you can wash in your dishwasher

19. Pet Stuff

You can clean a surprising number of pet items in your dishwasher too. Use it to wash food and water bowls, synthetic collars and leashes, and plastic toys too.

BONUS: Your Instant Pot Lid

Do you clean anything in your dishwasher? (Apart from dishes, of course!)

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