13 Items You Didn’t Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher

Updated: Jul. 27, 2023

A spin in the dishwasher will leave these items looking spick and span—just don't wash them with your dishes.

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Open Dishwasher With Clean Plates, Cups And Dishes
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There’s so much more you can wash in your dishwasher than just dishes. Grandma never told us this cleaning tip, but this is a highly underused appliance that has the powerful capability to clean more household items than you thought it could. Warning: Stay away from these items: cast iron pans, gold trim dishes, wood items and flatware.

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The Rotary Valve For Turning On The Gas In The Kitchen Is Dirty From Grease
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Appliance Knobs

We never think about it, but we touch our appliance knobs all the time, and we hardly ever clean ’em. Luckily, the solution’s easy—just pop the knobs off and throw them into the dishwasher. This also makes your appliances so much easier to clean!

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High Angle Close Up Of Sandy Black Flip Flops On Turquoise Floor Mat.
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Plastic flip-flops have a way of accumulating around the house in the summer. Between the beach and pool, dirt and grass, there can be lots you don’t want being tracked into your home—and here’s why you really don’t want that. So, why not throw them in for a spin? Same goes for Crocs and rain boots.

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Midsection Of Woman Hairbrush With Fallen Hair
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Hair Brushes

Pull out all the old hair first (gross) before tossing your brushes and any plastic combs into the dishwasher for a super easy clean. It will make brushing out your hair feel so much smoother thanks to the removal of any product build-up that’s been left behind from past brushing.

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High Angle View Of Hubcap On Footpath
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Is the car wash just not making your hubcaps shiny enough? Throw them in the dishwasher! You may have to take off the top rack to do this, which is just as easy as removing the hubcaps.

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Baseball Cap
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Baseball Caps

Have your baseball caps seen better days thanks to makeup and sweat stains of past hot days? Fit it around the pegs so it doesn’t become bogged down with water, secure with a clothespin and rinse in warm water. Skip the dry cycle to avoid shrinkage, and let it dry out on a counter instead. Prefer to wash things the conventional way? Here’s the trick to keeping clothes fresh and fluffy.

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Shot Of A Door Microwav
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Microwave Plate

While this won’t do anything for exploded sauces and soups that are splattered inside, this will make your inner rotating dish look good as new. If you’re also plagued with a dirty interior, put a bowl of water and lemon rinds inside the microwave to remove any grime or grease.

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Purple Bottle In Shower Caddy
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Shower Caddy

Has your plastic or metal shower caddy seen better days? Throw it in the dishwasher to remove soap scum, mold and other residues for a sparkling clean. Make sure to dry off your metal caddy after to avoid rusting! Learn how to clean a shower head using a Ziploc bag.

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Soap With Foam In Soap Dish
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Soap Dish

Maybe you don’t want to think about the amount of bacteria that gathers on a bar of soap in your bathroom, and subsequently on the dish, so just throw it in the dishwasher for good measure.

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Close Up Of Dog With Rubber Bone In Its Mouth
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Pet Toys

Your dog toys have probably been everywhere inside and outside of your house, so running them through the dishwasher when your dog won’t notice can get them squeaky clean. Make sure these are plastic-only toys that aren’t hollow, as water trapped inside can grow mold that’s even more impossible to clean out. Toss them into a lingerie bag so they don’t fly around inside.

Treat Fido to healthy homemade dog food.

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Open Refrigerator In Kitchen
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Refrigerator Shelves

Weird sticky substances or strange spots plaguing your once sparkling refrigerator? Wait until you have minimal food in the house and slide your shelves out and place them in the dishwasher for a brighter, cleaner look.

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Close Up Of Gardening Equipment Hanging Against Wall
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Gardening Tools

While your favorite wood-handled tools can’t go for a wash, any plastic or metal ones can breathe a new life into your rose bushes after a spin cycle. Make sure to thoroughly dry any metal off afterward to avoid rusting.

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Little girl is playing with building bricks
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Kid’s Toys

While wiping down your child’s toys can do the trick for daily use, it doesn’t hurt to throw a load in the dishwasher every once in a while to keep germs at bay. We know too well how kids can transfer plenty of germs into the cleanest of homes.

Looking to keep your kid occupied and teach them new things? Check out these edible sensory boards.

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Hands On Keyboard In Modern Office Space
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Computer Keyboard

If your computer keyboard has been getting a little too dirty lately and a good wipe down hasn’t been doing enough to get the grime off, wash it in the dishwasher. Any other electronics are a definite no-no.

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