Surprising Things You Can Put in the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher, godsend that it is, is probably even more useful than you realize. In fact, one professional organizer recently referred to it as a “multi-purpose cleaning apparatus.” Having Dishwasheralready covered some things you shouldn’t put in your dishwasher, here is a list of surprisingly helpful things that CAN go through a dish cycle successfully, emerging more sparkly clean and fresh that anything washed by hand. One caveat for these: If the item is not related to food or its consumption, it’s probably better not to include any regular dishes in the same wash load!

Personal Care Items

Toothbrushes, hair brushes, combs and makeup brushes (no wood handles) come out clean and germ-free. Include toothbrush holders and soap dishes while you’re at it.

Refrigerator Shelves and Drawers

The dishwasher is a great way to get them clean and sanitary, and uses less water than hand washing. Check first to make sure your shelves and drawers are dishwasher-safe.

Artificial Plants and Plastic Flowers

They emerge looking like new, but don’t try this with silk flowers.

Range Hood and Stove Parts

Removable knobs and filters, especially those with greasy buildup, are a perfect fit.

Car Parts

Cup holders and removable storage bins are obvious choices for this cleaning method, but some automotive gurus claim to run their hubcaps and lug nuts through with great success as well, adding a cup of white vinegar to make them gleam.

Desk Accessories

Dusty pen cups, business card holders and in/out trays will all do well in the dishwasher, as long as they are plastic. Probably best to skip the stapler though!

Kitchen Sponges and Brushes

Experts say that you should run your dish sponge through the dishwasher frequently, if it’s not spent enough to throw away. Make sure you secure it in the top rack, however — if it comes loose and clogs your dishwasher, you might be looking at an expensive repair. As long as your water is hot enough, running a sponge through the dishwasher is the best way to kill bacteria, since you shouldn’t microwave sponges (despite common belief).


Many people use the rinse-only setting (no soap) to clean potatoes and other root vegetables with the skins on. In fact, wrapping peeled potatoes in foil and running them through a rinse cycle is said to cook them perfectly for mashing. If you’re really brave, do an Internet search for the “Dishwasher Salmon” recipe.

In Salt Lake City and the neighboring communities, Complete Appliance Repair knows how important your appliances are. They are committed to keeping your range, refrigerator and all your appliances working efficiently. If you’ve experimented unsuccessfully with your “multipurpose cleaning apparatus,” their experienced repair technicians can have your dishwasher back to making dinner (and cleaning up) in no time.