I bet you didn’t know you could clean more than dishes in your dishwasher. Well, today, I’m gonna blow your mind. You can actually save a ton of time by cleaning these random things in your dishwasher. Use these tips to clean these items in your dishwasher, and you can clean your house so much faster. No more standing at the sink and scrubbing away your day.
My dishwasher has saved me so much time by helping me clean random things. I think we all know how much help our dishwasher is for cleaning all our dirty dishes, but is that all you’re using yours for? It’s time to start getting a little creative.
Here is a list of things I’ve actually put in my dishwasher. Now, the manufacturer may not suggest or advise putting these things in the dishwasher, but it has worked out for me. And, I’m always looking for more cleaning hacks to help me get more done in less time. Be sure whatever you do put in the dishwasher can handle the water and heat. You don’t want to ruin anything valuable.
Related Reading: Keep Your House Clean with the 10-Minute Tidy
14 Surprising Things You Can Clean In Your Dishwasher
Instant Pot Lid
I’m sure this isn’t recommended, but it has worked great for me. I just love my Instant Pot! I put the little vent cover from inside the lid in a basket for small items, pull out the silicon ring, placing it in the top rack, then put the lid on either the top or bottom rack. I’ve never had negative issues from doing this.
I have a gas stove and those grates get pretty gross. They’re kind of annoying to clean because they have so many surfaces, so I just put them in the dishwasher and set it to pot scrubber. They don’t necessarily look brand-new, but they look pretty good for about 1 minute of my time.
Glass Light Fixture Shades
You know how those glass fixtures get full of dust and bugs? Well, I now just put mine in the dishwasher. I did have the finish come off of one that had an antique finish, but I didn’t mind too much. No one has noticed and it actually gives off more light now.
Stove Fan Vent Screen
That screen that covers your stove fan gets so, so gross! I can hardly stand to touch it long enough to take it off and put it in the dishwasher. It turns out amazing, though. No more dust and grease on that thing.
I love this trick. All that soap scum just melts off and they look brand new again. If your bath toys have holes in them, the dishwasher will NOT be able to clean out the inside, but you probably shouldn’t have those anyway. I know some people use a hot glue gun to seal those holes up before they take their first trip to the tub.
And, you don’t have to just stick to bath toys. When my kids have left their toys out in the yard (things like balls, frisbees, cars, etc.) I put them in the dishwasher to clean them off.
Related Reading: Teach Your Kids to Clean the House
When it’s cleaning time – usually because I melted instead of softened the butter – I just put the microwave plate in the dishwasher. This takes a little of thought so you can be sure you won’t need it while it’s on its run through the dishwasher. For this reason, I tend to put it in at night so it’s clean in the morning.
Sink Strainer Basket
My sink strainer basket gets a bit slimy sometimes so I just put it on the top rack and let Mr. Dishwasher do his job.
Metal Heater Vent Covers
We don’t have any of these right now, but if I did, they’d go in the dishwasher for sure. Just go through the house, pull off as many as will fit in the dishwasher and run a quick wash cycle.
Glass Candle Jars
I like to reuse the nice glass jars from my 3-wick candles. I make sure to get as much wax out as I can, then put it in the dishwasher. It comes out sparkly and clean. If the glass jar has a sticker on it, you may need to remove that.
Sometimes I’ll put another candle in empty jar or use it for serving food in (like salsa, dips, or pickles).
I put the Vitamix pitcher through the dishwasher just fine. It can be hard to get all around that blade when the kids have made their smoothies and then left it on the kitchen counter. I find that the dishwasher takes care of it just fine. And, yes, I’m working on training those kids.
Silicone Baking Mat
I lay my Silpat Silicone Baking Mat across the top of the glasses and cups. It takes the stickiness right off, then I just air-dry it.
I use a shoebox sized Sterilite container as a refrigerator thawing bowl. I put my frozen meat in it and it catches any condensation, or blood if the package leaks.
Related Reading: 10 Proven Kitchen Cleaning Tips
You may be wondering why I’d do this … basically, it’s to get the built-up styling products off the bristles. Make sure it’s a plastic brush with plastic bristles and clear the hair off of it first.
If you have little items that you’re concerned will slip through your racks, into the bottom of your dishwasher, use a dishwasher basket like this one. It can be used for things like small utensils, corn holders, small toys, hair clips, etc.
There are a ton of other things that you can clean in your dishwasher. Just be sure they can tolerate the heat and the water before you try it out. I’d love to know what kind of things work for you.
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Use the Speed Cleaning Checklist when you're in a hurry to get things done. Is company coming? Hubby headed home from work? This kind of cleaning does the trick.