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

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 dishes after washing.Shutterstock / Leszek Glasner

There is so much more you can wash in your dishwasher than just dishes. (Yep, Grandma never told us this cleaning tip!) This is a highly underused appliance which 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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Brightly colored flip-flops on wood. Family vacation;Shutterstock/Aleksandra Zaitseva

Flip-Flops

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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girl with a comb and problem hair on white backgroundShutterstock / Dmitry A

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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HubcapsShutterstock / IPK Photography

Hubcaps

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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Red Baseball Cap isolated on white; Shutterstock / Coprid

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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Inside of the microwave oven;Shutterstock / leungchopan

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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stainless shelf decor at the corner in the bathroomShutterstock / spaghettikk

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 dishAnna Hoychuk / Shutterstock

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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Funny pug dog lying on concrete road with yellow chicken toyShutterstock / Ezzolo

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 Filled With Fresh Fruits And VegetableShutterstock / Andrey_Popov

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 and cleaner look.

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Garden tools isolated on whiteShutterstock / Africa Studio

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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toys collection isolated on white backgroundShutterstock / irin-k

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.

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business, education, programming, people and technology concept - close up of african american female hands typing on keyboardShutterstock / Syda Productions

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.

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.

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