Using your dishwasher to wash all sorts of household items is a great time-saver, and your stuff will probably even come out cleaner than if you’d spent 20 minutes scrubbing it. I’ve done my research, and I’ll admit, some of these things are going to sound crazy, but if it works, why not? Check out the list below for some great ideas!

Car parts

Certain parts, like hubcaps, can be run through the dishwasher for a quick cleaning and polish. Remember to use a mesh bag or container for smaller parts.


As long as your shoes won’t get damaged by water, you can throw them in the dishwasher. Flip-flops, canvas shoes, and rubber boots all come out bright and fresh, but make sure you take out the liners first, and you probably don’t want to put your leather dress shoes in there.

Hairbrushes, combs and accessories

You can put these items in the cutlery or silverware tray, but some cheaper barrettes might get ruined, and the little decorations could come off.

Plastic toys

Dishwashers are great for washing plastic toys and action figures. Put them in the silverware tray, a mesh bag, or something like that. You can wash pet toys and dishes, too!

Light switch plates

This is another plastic item that can be easily removed, cleaned and replaced.

Baseball hats

If you wash baseball caps in the clothes washer, they’ll likely come out all shrunken and ruined. But, if you put them in the dishwasher instead, especially if you buy a plastic hat frame to fit around the hat, they’ll come out nice and clean.

Cup holders

Dirty cup holders, especially in my car, are one of the things that really bother to me. Many stroller and car cup holders are removable – just pop them out every other week or so and give them a good cleaning.

Computer keyboards

Ok, you probably just rolled your eyes, but Homesessive says there are some folks who “insist that the keyboard can in fact survive the dishwasher. This much debated tip is very much a ‘do at your own risk’ kind of chore.”

Kitchen brushes

Kitchen brushes are one of the things I hate to clean most. I sometimes give up before they’re really clean. So, just throw them in the dishwasher, they’ll get cleaned and sanitized.

Scrub brushes

You can pretty much put any brushes you have in the dishwasher, including vegetable and bottle brushes.

Fan grills and vent covers

Both of these tend to catch a lot of dirt over time as the air passes through. Forget trying to clean in between the grooves, just throw them in the dishwasher.

Window screens

If the screen fits, wash it. You’ll save a heck of a lot of time letting your dishwasher do the dirty work for you.

Light fixture covers

After a while, glass light fixtures will fill up with dust and dead bugs that had a way too strong attachment to the bright and shiny things in life. Set the covers in your dishwasher on gentle.

Stove Knobs

I found out fast that just about everything in your kitchen gets dirty, and pretty quickly too. If your stove element knobs come off, throw them in the silverware tray every few weeks to keep them squeaky clean.

Ceramic cabinet knobs

Just like your stove knobs, unscrew your ceramic cabinet knobs, and put them in the silverware tray or mesh bag in the dishwasher.


I know this is another one that sounds kind of crazy, but it works! Just make sure to put the potatoes in the top rack and run the dishwasher on rinse without detergent.

Fake flowers

Stow your plastic flowers in a mesh bag or tray on the top rack and run them through a quick rinse cycle to make them fresh and bright as new.

Faucet handles and shower heads

Over time, your shower head can get clogged from mold and gunk building up in there, and your faucet handles tend to lose their shine. So, put them in the dishwasher on the top rack, along with your dishes.

Refrigerator shelves

These babies will get dirty in a hurry, especially if you’ve got a leaky jar or bag of vegetables hiding way in the back of the fridge. You could spend a lot of time scrubbing them clean, or you could just pop them in the dishwasher.

Plastic broom heads and dustpans

This is probably one you haven’t thought about before. Just make sure you take out any dust or hair from the broom before you stick it in the dishwasher so it doesn’t clog the drain!

Personal hygiene items

There are all those little things that get dirty over time but are a pain to clean. So, make it easy on yourself; plastic makeup brushes, icky soap dishes, nail brushes, toothbrushes, toothbrush holders and even bathtub drain plugs can all go in the dishwasher. Put them in the top rack and run on normal with your other dishes.

Desk accessories

Got dust or coffee stains on your penholders, sticky note trays and other plastic desk accessories? Just throw them in the dishwasher.

Trash can lids

Washing these in the dishwasher will definitely clean them up, but some people don’t like bringing their garbage into the dishwasher. You could also just hose off your trash can lids, or wipe them down with bleach wipes.


Household tools, garden tools, basically anything with metal or plastic handles, can go in the dishwasher. Towel dry them when they’re done to keep them from rusting.

Sporting equipment

Shin guards, kneepads and mouth guards – pretty much anything for hockey, soccer, lacrosse, football or other such sports, can go in the dishwasher on the top rack.

Using your dishwasher as an all-purpose cleaner is a great way to multitask and save a lot of time. As you can see, there’s not too much you can’t put in your dishwasher. Just make sure it’s a material that won’t get ruined by water and that it can handle a little bit of heat.

Take a minute and let us know if you have any other tips for washing stuff in the dishwasher.



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