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10 Little-Known Uses For Your Dishwasher

Are you only using your dishwasher to clean dishes? If so, you’re seriously missing out. The truth is that the dishwasher is a real multitasker - it can clean and disinfect all items in your home, and it can even be used to cook foods. In that regard, it’s not so different from other kitchen appliances like the microwave or even a rice cooker, as we’ve specified in the article - 12 Unexpected Uses of Home Appliances. Wait no more and expand your dishwasher’s potential with these genius but little-known hacks!

1. Rinse fresh produce

Dishwasher Hacks potatoes
We’re all a little more concerned about disinfection and cleaning these days. Like many people, you may be wondering how to clean the fresh produce you just purchased at the supermarket or the farmer’s market without spending an entire hour on hand-washing each fruit and vegetable.
Here’s a pretty clever solution - just rinse them in the dishwasher. To do so, place each type of fruit and vegetable strategically: softer and more fragile foods like tomatoes or grapes should go on the top rack, whereas studier items, such as potatoes and oranges can be placed on the bottom rack. Rinse the foods by switching the dishwasher to the cold setting and running only the rinse cycle. Avoid using detergent when you’re rinsing produce.

2. Disinfect toys

Dishwasher Hacks legos
Washing kids’ toys such as legos and plastic figurines by hand can become a real project, a project that will consume a big portion of your day. Still, it has to be done since kids can and will chew and roll around in their toys, whether or not they’re dirty and covered in bacteria. Luckily, you can make the dishwasher get the disinfecting done even better than you ever could.
Here’s how to do it: put the smallest toys in the silverware basket and the medium toys on the top rack. Bigger toys should go on the bottom rack. Do NOT use the highest heat cycle or the heat-dry setting because both of these could damage or melt plastic toys. It’s safer to use a light wash cycle. Extra tip: you can also use the same directions to wash pet toys in the dishwasher.

3. Prepare tender fish

Dishwasher Hacks salmon in foil
Do you hate the way your oven overcooks fish no matter what? According to a Real Simple recipe, you can prepare soft and tender fish filets using the dishwasher. The results are similar to when you’re steaming fish. To make fish in your dishwasher, take two fish filets (we used salmon) and season them with lemon, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil.
The next step is crucial - seal the salmon filets airtight in aluminum foil. It’s best to use plenty of foil and seal each fish filet individually. Finally, put the two foil packets on the top rack and run the dishwasher on a normal cycle. Do not use soap.

4. Ripen avocados in no time

Dishwasher Hacks avocados
Avocados can take awfully long to ripen. If you need to ripen an avocado fast - and we mean really fast, i.e. in a matter of a few hours - use your dishwasher. Place the unripe avocados on the top rack of the dishwasher a run a regular cycle. This is a well-known chef trick used in restaurants.

5. Keep the dishes warm

Dishwasher Hacks plates
If a specific meal you’re preparing is best served on a warm plate, you can use the dishwasher to keep them warm. While some dishwashers have a plate-warming setting, every regular dishwasher placed on the heat/dry setting has the same effect.

6. Make steamed vegetables

Dishwasher Hacks asparagus
Steaming veggies can be quite tedious, which is a shame because they’re so healthy. But we found a really simple hack that will make steaming veggies super easy, and it involves a dishwasher. To prepare steamed vegetables in the dishwasher, you will need a Mason jar.
Take your vegetables — asparagus, broccoli, and green beans work especially well for this method— and put them in the jar. Add 1 cup of water, lemon, butter, and any herbs and spices of your choice into the jar, and then seal it shut. Place the jar on the top rack and run the dishwasher on a normal cycle. Et voila, you have a serving of perfectly-cooked and seasoned steamed veggies!

7. Cook lasagna

Dishwasher Hacks lasagna
If for whatever reason the dishwasher is the only tool you can use to cook an entire lasagna, it’s totally possible! But you will need to choose a watertight container to do it. Just like the fish recipe, aluminum foil is a good choice, for example. But you’ll need to use plenty of foil and fold it up tightly to ensure that no water can leak through in the cooking process. Place the lasagna on the top rack and turn on the dishwasher on the normal washing cycle without any soap.
Related Article: Uses for Cooking Spray

8. Clean makeup brushes and hair combs

Dishwasher Hacks makeup brushes
Washing hair combs, hairbrushes, or makeup brushes is another tedious task that needs to be done on a regular basis. Otherwise, the dirty makeup brushes can cause eye irritation and make your skin break out, and they will be less effective at applying your makeup, too.
Likewise, dirty hair combs and brushes can cause scalp irritation, dandruff, and other scalp problems. So it’s a really good idea to clean these items at least once a month, and the dishwasher can do the job for you. Simply place the brushes and combs in the silverware basket and wash on the gentle cycle, preferable without using soap.

9. Wash flipflops and hats

Dishwasher Hacks flipflops
Even though many shoes and hats can be safely cleaned in the washing machine, they can become misshapen in the process. So, instead of washing things like flip flops and baseball caps in the washing machine, you could just toss them in the dishwasher. Just don’t mix them with dirty dishes because that’s unsanitary.

10. Keep food warm

Dishwasher Hacks dish covered in foil
Need to keep a certain food warm while also preparing another dish in the oven? Why not let your dishwasher do the job? Cover the dish with some foil to seal in the heat, and place the dishwasher on the heat/dry setting. This cycle uses no water, and it will keep your food nice and warm while you’re busy finishing up the dinner.
Share these useful tricks with others!
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