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20 Everyday Items You Can Put in the Dishwasher

20 Everyday Items You Can Put in the Dishwasher

If you have a dishwasher in your home, you own one of the best cleaning machines out there. Dishwashers are great for cleaning your dirty dishes, but they can do so much more than that. There are a variety of different items you can put in the dishwasher.

Here are 20 everyday items to wash in your dishwasher.

20 Everyday Items You Can Put in the Dishwasher

1. Clips and Barrettes – You can put these in a mesh laundry bag (found at most dollar stores) or in the cutlery tray.
2. Hairbrushes – Remove all hair so you don’t clog the drain, and place the hairbrush on the top rack.
3. Plastic Toys – These can go anywhere in the dishwasher, but thin, plastic toys should go on the top rack.
4. Vent Covers and Fan Grills – These things are a pain to clean, so why not let your dishwasher do all the work instead?
5. Bottle Brushes – If you have a baby that drinks from a bottle, it’s likely that you use your bottle brush on a regular basis. Sanitize it by running it through the dishwasher periodically.
6. Scrub Brushes – Those brushes that you use to scrub caked-on food off of your dishes? Yeah, those need to be cleaned (and cleaned well) to prevent bacteria from growing on them. Throw them in your dishwasher to sanitize them.
7. Switch Plates – Light switches get a lot of use. This means that they can get dirty rather quickly. Put a bunch of them in a mesh laundry bag and wash on the top shelf.
8. Shoes – That’s right, you can wash your shoes in the dishwasher. Not just any shoes, though. Jelly and canvas shoes, as well as rubber boots, all can be put into the dishwasher to be cleaned.
9. Baseball Hats – You can put these in your washing machine, but they will usually end up coming out mishapen. Instead, clean and sanitize your baseball hats by putting them in the dishwasher.
10. Stove Knobs – Pull them off your stove, toss in a small mesh laundry bag and wash on the top rack. You could also put your stove knobs in the cutlery tray.
11. Potatoes – Yes, you really can wash your potatoes in the dishwasher. This comes in handy when you have a large amount of potatoes to clean. Put them on the top rack, don’t add any soap, and turn on the “rinse cycle” (may be called “quick rinse” on your dishwasher).
12. Soap Dishes and Toothbrush Holders – These items can get pretty gunky over time, so make sure to keep them clean by putting them in your dishwasher every once in awhile.
13. Fake Flowers – To get rid of all that dust that can accumulate on decorative flowers, put them on the top rack of your dishwasher.
14. Dustpans – They assist you in cleaning your floors, and because they have such a dirty job, they end up very dirty themselves. Dishwasher to the rescue!
15. Makeup Brushes – Makeup brushes need to be cleaned often to get rid of any bacteria that may be lingering. You can put these on the top rack of your dishwasher. Let them air dry once clean.
16. Garden Tools – Scrape off large chunks of dirt and then let your dishwasher do the rest of the work needed to clean your tools.
17. Shower Heads – Your shower heads get you clean, but have you ever considered cleaning them? If not routinely cleaned, shower heads can under perform, so take care of them.
18. Pet Bowls – Your pets need clean dishes, too! They can go in the dishwasher, just like your own dishes can.
19. Salt and Pepper Shakers – Handled on an almost-daily basis, salt & pepper shakers can quickly become grimy and gross. Make sure to keep them clean by sticking them in the dishwasher sometimes.
20. Desk Accessories – Note paper trays, pen & pencil cups and magazine holders are just a few desk accessories that can be put in the dishwasher to be cleaned.

Did you know that you could put those items in the dishwasher? That magical machine can do so many wonderful things, but many of us just don’t know what they are capable of.

Instead of spending much of your time cleaning, have your dishwasher do the bulk of the work for you.

What is the last “everyday item” you put in the dishwasher?


  1. Vicki

    I also put the prism’s from my chandelier into the dishwasher.

  2. StephanieS

    You can wash your keyboard in the dishwasher! Takes a couple days to dry (I have an old spare that I use in the meantime). Cleanest keyboard you’ve ever seen!

  3. Cara

    OMG…going to run a cycle right now! Never would have thought about a couple of these.

  4. Kris

    I have 2 plant pots in the bottom rack right now waiting for the next cycle.
    I regularly wash the little Ikea stepstool our older kids use at their bathroom sink…it gets toothpaste dropped on it a lot. And I use the dishwasher to sanitize the potty before putting it in storage for the next kid.
    Pretty much anything that is made of hard plastic can safely be run through the dishwasher.

    • Heather R

      Great idea on the stepstool and potty. Thanks!

  5. teachermum

    I regularly do the plastic floor vents (who’s idea was it to have white anyhow!) and electronic air filter parts (I actually made sure the dishwasher would accommodate them when shopping), but none of these beat washing small cucumbers for pickles in the washing machine! Sadly, only works with top loading ones with the standard agitator…but best thing ever for getting off all those little sharp thorns!

    • Carrie H

      what a great idea

    • Amber

      My mom used to wash the carrots from the garden this way… until my dad started complaining about all the little carrot hairs plugging up the washing machine filters!

  6. Kris

    I nearly forgot: trash cans!! The small kind you keep in your bedroom or bathroom. I use the dishwasher to sanitize them, especially when they get used by sick little kiddos with tummy bugs…

  7. Helen W

    One note about makeup brushes – I tried this once and they came out greasy. I think it could still work if you are careful about what you put them in with. Probably not a good idea to put them in with your dinner dishes!

    My mother used to clean her chandelier prisms this way too!

    Thanks Cassie!

  8. Carrie H

    was not aware of the potato thing!!!

  9. me

    It will ruin makeup brushes, you are not supposed to get the entire brush wet, as it effects the glue

  10. Lisa

    I used to put Lego bricks in a mesh laundry bag and place it on the top rack. Water gets trapped inside the Lego bricks, so I skipped the dry cycle and lay them on a big towel to dry.

    • aww

      try putting the lego in your clothes dryer (low heat) with a couple of large, dry towels. The water will gut tumbled out of them and the towels will absorb it. I’ve used the washing machine more than once for duplo, and that’s how I dry them.

  11. Kristin

    I do bathtub toys, potty seats, stepstools and the vent covers regularly.

    I also put plastic duplo and mega bloks (not tiny lego-size) as well as plastic toys (such as pretend food, baby toys)in my washing machine! Especially nice to do after your family has had a bout of the flu and you just want all the flubugs gone!

    • aww

      I’ve always used the (clothes) washing machine for duplo and such and people thought I’m nuts. I do not recommend it for the lightweight balls for ball pits…they just spin right out because they are so buoyant.

  12. christine25

    I always put my kitchen sink stopper & dish “scrubbies” in, also oven racks ( you may need to prop them up with a tall item to accommodate their size) and… I have never tried it but appparently you can actually COOK a fish wrapped well in foil in your dishwasher!!

  13. Stephanie

    You can clean small household appliances in the dishwasher as well – such as the toaster. when the cycle is over, turn it upside down on a towel to dry for 24 hours. Don’t plug it in until after 24 hours. This is the best way to clean your toaster! It works for keyboards, mixers and other small appliances that get gunky and dirty. Just let them dry and voila, they’re like new. =)

  14. Nicole

    I don’t put plastic in the dishwasher as it’s not good to have it in hot temperatures…same thing for the micrcowave.

  15. Suzanne

    I am really grossed out by putting things that are really germy, like bathroom items, in the dishwasher. I don’t have confidence that all the cooties won’t get on my dishes.

  16. Sandy Dowling

    I put the kitchen scrubby sponge right in with the dishes.

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