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10 Unique Items You Can Clean in the Dishwasher (Besides Dishes)

Aside from being that shiny stainless-steel box in your home that works literal magic on your dishes, your dishwasher can be a versatile machine that sanitizes several essential household items. Because we’re your cleaning gurus, we’ve compiled a list of 10 items in your home you probably didn’t know your dishwasher could clean for you. 

Why You Should Use Your Dishwasher More Often

  • It allows you to multitask: You could be washing dishes, cleaning tools, bath toys, and more all at the same time.

  • It saves you time: Because you’re able to wash multiple items all at once, your time is suddenly free to take care of other tasks you’ve been putting off or been unable to complete.

  • It may get items more sanitized: Your dishwasher can get as hot as 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, dislodging stuck-on dirt and enabling thorough disinfecting. And you don’t even have to use bleach or other harsh chemicals. 

10 Unique Items You Can Clean in the Dishwasher

1. Cleaning Supplies

Who’d have thought you could actually clean your cleaning supplies in your dishwasher? We’re here to tell you that you can, in fact, take your not-so-pleasant-smelling sponges, brushes, and mop heads and place them on the top rack of your dishwasher. Instead of using traditional dishwasher detergent or a gel pod, add a cup of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser. Doing this every couple of weeks will disinfect your essential cleaning supplies for future use. Remember, when you notice wear and tear on your tools or permanent stains, it’s time for a replacement.

2. Silicone Oven Mitts

Constant use of oven mitts means caked-on food residue or hard-to-remove stains, which could turn into bacteria that might find themselves on your food if you’re not careful. You shouldn’t have to think about all of the harmful germs just lying in wait on your silicone oven mitts, so put them in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning! Keep in mind, fabric oven mitts are better off in the washing machine or being replaced entirely.  

3. Makeup Brushes

There are hundreds of thousands of manual cleaning hacks for your makeup brushes and tools that you could find scouring the internet. However, you probably won’t find anything that’s as quick and easy as simply letting the dishwasher do the cleaning for you! To protect your makeup brushes’ integrity (especially if they’re on the more expensive end of the spectrum), put them on the top rack.

4. Bath Toys

If you’re a busy parent, cleaning bath toys is not at the top of the list when you have to bathe a child walking around with days of built-up dirt. If not sanitized thoroughly at least once a month, bath toys can attract dirt and skin cells from the bath and start growing mold and mildew. You definitely don’t want those toys sitting in the tub with your child. Make things easy on yourself and throw that rubber ducky in the dishwasher for a good cleaning. 

5. Pet Food Bowls

Like people, your pets’ dishes need a good scrub down after every use. Ceramic, plastic, and metal bowls are dishwasher safe, but make sure to wash them on their own cycle. You don’t want a potential visitor mistaking your pet’s bowl for a cereal bowl! If you find it a waste to start the dishwasher with only a few items inside, you can also round up your pet’s toys and synthetic fiber leashes to be cleaned and sanitized as well. 

6. Sports Equipment

Let’s face it; if there ever were a unique item that could use a little TLC in the dishwasher, it’s definitely sports equipment. With all the dirt and bacteria collected on pads, helmets, mouth guards, and caps, you might think they’re a lost cause. Fortunately, all you need to do is purchase a mesh bag to keep everything together and add it to the top rack. Doing this weekly can help eliminate odors and germs and keep your child’s essential equipment looking new. 

7. Gardening Tools

Giving your gardening tools a quick hose-down after every use can keep dirt from building up and getting stuck. However, did you know your gardening tools also carry bacteria, fungi, and pesticides that could spread and damage your greenery? With your dishwasher, disinfecting your gardening tools is a snap!

8. Hair Care Accessories

Unlike makeup brushes, combs and hairbrushes are durable enough to be placed in the bottom rack’s utensil caddy. As long as your grooming products are plastic, they can safely go on the bottom shelf for easy cleaning and sanitizing. Keep in mind that any natural bristle brushes or brushes and combs made of wood or with wooden handles should not go in the dishwasher.

9. Exhaust Fan Covers & Filters

Kitchen exhaust fan covers and filters are probably the last thing you thought you could clean in the dishwasher. Most exhaust fans have a washable filter that catches grease in the air, so you can imagine how grimy it gets. Placing the filter and removable exhaust fan covers in the dishwasher will give it a thorough degreasing and disinfecting. We recommend doing this at least monthly to keep the fan cover and filter clean and able to catch grease effectively. 

10. Light Fixtures

When you look up at your light fixtures, do you see dirt, dust, and even bugs? It can make your skin crawl a bit to think about all the grime sitting in your light fixtures literally baking. Keep your glass globes, hurricane candle holders, and light fixture covers sparkling clean by washing them in the dishwasher at least once a year. 

Your dishwasher can be a powerful cleaning partner in your home, but it can’t clean everything. For the things that can’t safely go in your dishwasher, consult with our cleaning gurus at Merry Maids®! We’d love to help you clean and organize your home at a price you can afford. 

Call (888) 490-4227 or find your local branch and get a cleaning estimate today!