12 Things You Never Knew You Could Put or Clean in the Dishwasher

12 Things You Never Knew You Could Put or Clean in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher. Saviour for those of us who hate doing dishes (so, everyone), time-saver extraordinaire, and a gadget those of us lucky enough to have one couldn’t live without.

But this handy little machine can do much more than just wash your plates. Ever think about cooking with your dishwasher? Or cleaning parts of your car? Time to think outside the box – here are our top 12 things you didn’t know you could put, or clean, in your dishwasher.

1. Salmon

Yes, you read that right. Your dishwasher makes for a great slow cooker thanks to all the steam it produces. It’s especially good for salmon.

Simply wrap the fish tightly in foil and place it on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Set it to around 70 degrees celsius to ensure the salmon doesn’t dry out too much. But make sure you don’t put any detergent in! Unless you want to be eating soapy salmon.There are plenty of other items on this list you can pop in the soapless dishwasher at the same time to make the most out of each run.

salmon, lemon, rosemary, salt and pepper

2. Refrigerator shelves and drawers

Did you know there can be up to 8,000 bacteria per square centimeter on a salad drawer? There are plenty of ways to clean the inside of your fridge – for example, using vinegar – but the easiest way is to let the dishwasher do the hard work. Just stack them inside, switch it on, and forget about it!

3. Childrens’ toys

Children’s toys can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if more than one child has been playing with them. In mouths, on the ground, in the sandpit…those toys get everywhere, and need to be cleaned thoroughly. Put them in the cutlery holder or in a laundry bag and run them through a cycle in the dishwasher. But remember, don’t put electronic toys in there. They can easily get damaged, or worse, you could get a nasty shock (literally!).

playing with sand

4. Cup holders

It is easy to forget about the cup holder on your stroller or in your car, but it’s oh-so-important to keep clean. You can get rid of all that dust and spilled coffee super easily. If it’s removable, you can stick it in the top of your dishwasher in the glass holder for a thorough rinse.

5. Dishcloths and sponges

Some studies based in the USA have shown that up to 10% of the sponges contain traces of salmonella. Other studies also indicated that a sponge contains 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat – usually because they are never replaced or properly cleaned. It’s better to recycle these everyday items than throw them away, so wash them in the dishwasher at a hot temperature to kill all those nasty germs. If possible, run a drying cycle as bacteria like moisture.

6. Make-up brushes

Are you cleaning your makeup brushes frequently enough (if at all)? It’s so easy to forget to, but bacteria builds up on your brushes very quickly. They really need cleaning at least once a month. One of the most efficient ways to keep bacteria and dead skin away is to clean them in the dishwasher. Put them in the cutlery holder and run the dishwasher as you normally would. Turn it on in the evening and let it dry out overnight, so your brushes are ready to use in the morning.

makeup brushes

7. Razors

Having a clean razor helps keep it sharp and will also lengthen the lifetime of the blades, saving you money. Most importantly, cleaning it regularly reduces bacteria stuck in the razor, which raises the risk of skin infection. Pop them in the cutlery holder and run the dishwasher as usual.

8. Oven knobs

If the knobs on your stove are removable, run them through the dishwasher! Oven knobs are exposed to grease and splashes from cooking, as well as our not-so-clean hands when we turn the oven on, so need to be cleaned frequently (along with the inside of your oven).

9. Light switch covers

Admit it, you never clean these (truth time: everyone forgets!). Perhaps one of the most forgotten items in the house, yet we use them daily. Unscrew the covers (being sure to switch the lights off off first!) and wash them on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Don’t put in any detergent, and run the machine on a medium temperature, so as not to melt your fixtures.

light switches

10. Keyboard

This may sound risky, but if you have a detachable keyboard you can clean it in the dishwasher. It’s important that you wash it with only water (no cleaning agents!), and it must dry thoroughly before you plug it back into your computer. Let it dry for at least 2 days, just to be on the safe side.

11. Shoes

The rule of thumb here is: shoes and boots that can withstand being outdoors in the rain should also be fine in the dishwasher. For example, rubber boots, flip-flops, and sandals can all be cleaned this way (but don’t forget to remove any insertions in your shoes). Think twice before putting your fabric shoes in there – they may not survive.

12. Potatoes and root vegetables

Say goodbye to endless hand-washing! If you grow and harvest potatoes, beets and turnips from your garden, or buy fresh ones from the store, here’s a good tip to get rid of the coarsest dirt. Put them in the upper shelf of the dishwasher, and run a short cycle without any detergent. You can also cook them by wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and running them once more through a hot cycle in the dishwasher, again without any detergent.

Cooking, laundry, disinfecting…do you have any other surprising uses for your dishwasher? We’re looking forward to hearing them!

Stephanie is an avid traveller who loves to explore new places and embrace different cultures. Being a huge fan of the sun, sand and the beach, you will always find her at one of the beach destinations during her off days.