Most people who own a dishwasher appreciate the luxury of not having to clean and dry dishes but few realize the power of this appliance. Your dishwasher can do a lot more than wash dishes. This machine can help kill germs and clean all sorts of household items. Here are 10 items I bet you didn’t realize could be put in the dishwasher.
1. Shower heads and faucet handles
Spruce up your faucet handles and unclog shower head holes with this trick. Place these items on the top shelf and run the machine with a pots and pans cycle. You can place these items in while cleaning cookware, saving you time, electricity and water.
2. Plastic toys
Remove the dirt and kill off the germs on baby toys, teethers, pacifiers and action figures. Most dishwasher safe toys will be labeled as such, or you check on the manufacturer’s website. Put the items in the dishwasher basket or mesh laundry bag, and then place them on the top rack. You can run these items on a normal cycle with your regular dishes.
3. Baseball caps and visors
You wouldn’t think that a dishwasher could also double as a hat washer, but it can. Run a separate cycle as regular detergents contain bleaches which can damage the material. Instead run a cycle with borax as the detergent. Place the hats on the top rack with the head opening downwards, and skip the heating part of the cycle. Dry the hat over a glass or jar and reshape the brim while the hat is still damp.
4. Hair accessories
Hair related personal items tend to get coated in hair oil and product gunk. They can be effectively cleaned in your dishwasher. Make sure all the hair strands have been removed and place these items in a mesh laundry bag or dishwasher basket. You can run a normal cycle, placing the items on the top shelf. Note that this trick doesn’t apply to natural bristles or wooden handles. The heat and water can damage those kind of brushes.
5. Personal care items
Regular bathroom cosmetic items like toothbrushes, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, nail brushes, makeup applicator brushes, and bathtub plugs also deserve an occasional clean. You can wash them with your regular dishes on a normal cycle. Since these items tend to be small, it’s best to place them in a dishwasher basket.
6. Pet food bowls and toys
Washing pet bowls regularly ensures that no bacteria starts forming. If you have a baby or person with a suppressed immune system, it’s best to wash them in a separate load. Otherwise, it’s fine to stash them in with your other dishes. Rope toys and rawhide chews can’t be washed and should be disposed of when they look gross.
7. Glass globes (Light bulbs)
You can make you room look so much brighter by cleaning the globe. Since this glass is more delicate than drinking glasses be very careful, placing them on the top shelf. Use the crystal or china cycle if your machine offers one, and skip the drying part of the cycle to ensure the globes don’t break. Avoid washing antique, gold-trim, or hand painted globes in the dishwasher.
8. Kitchen sponges and brushes
These can be washed with your other dishes on a normal cycle. It’s best to stand the brushes up, wedged between other items on the top shelf. Similarly, place the sponges in between other items on the top rack.
9. Kitchen accessories
These include items you use everyday such as spoon rests, salt and pepper shakers, spice jars, sugar bowls and butter dishes, which tend to accumulate a lot of grease and grime from daily handling. Periodically empty these containers and run them in your dishwasher with other dishes.
10. Appliance parts
Make your kitchen appliances sparkle with the dishwasher. Not only does it make them look good, but it cleans parts well that you might otherwise only superficially wipe. The items you can clean include sink plugs, microwave trays, range hood grease filters, fridge water dispenser grates, enamel-coated gas grates and burner caps, and chrome drip pans. You can run these on a regular washing cycle.