Things You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in the Dishwasher


When it comes to using the dishwasher, most people think of it as a kitchen appliance designed exclusively for cleaning dishes, glasses, and utensils. Your dishwasher can be a versatile tool for cleaning various items beyond your typical dinnerware. Why not make the most of your dishwasher and explore the possibilities it holds?

How to sanitise dishcloths and kitchen sponges in a dishwasher


It’s certainly possible to effectively sanitise dishcloths and kitchen sponges in a dishwasher. To do it successfully, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preparing the dishwasher

Start by ensuring your dishwasher is clean and free from any food particles or residue. Clean the filter and remove anything remaining for optimal cleaning performance.

Step 2: Separate the items

It’s imperative to separate dishcloths and sponges from other dishes and utensils during the washing cycle. It is possible to eliminate the risk of contamination and guarantee a thorough cleaning.

Step 3: Pre-rinse


Before you run them in the dishwasher, rinse the dishcloths and sponges under warm water to remove any loose food particles. It will help prevent clogging the dishwasher and provide better cleaning results.

Step 4: Choose the proper dishwasher cycle

Select a high-temperature cycle for sanitisation, such as a “Sanitise” or “Hygiene” option if such are available. These cycles use higher water temperatures and extended wash times to kill bacteria and other microorganisms effectively.

Step 5: Placement in the dishwasher

To ensure proper cleaning and sanitisation, place the dishcloths and sponges in the dishwasher’s top rack and avoid overcrowding it because it can prevent proper water and detergent distribution.

Step 6: Add detergent


Use a high-quality dishwasher detergent that’s suitable for sanitisation. Follow the instructions on the label to determine the correct amount to use for your specific dishwasher.

Step 7: Extra care for sponges

If you have sponges with abrasive sides or scouring pads attached, consider placing them in a dishwasher utensil holder or a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent them from moving around or causing damage during the dishwasher cycle.

Step 8: Run the dishwasher cycle

Start the dishwasher and allow the cycle to complete. Make sure that the water temperature reaches at least 60°C to sanitise the dishcloths and sponges effectively. It kills the most bacteria, viruses, and other germs present.

Step 9: Drying process


Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, allow the dishcloths and sponges to air dry thoroughly before using them again. This will help prevent the growth of any remaining moisture-loving bacteria.

Many of us are familiar with the traditional items that can go in the dishwasher, such as plates, bowls, and silverware. But did you know that there are also some unexpected items that can be safely washed in the dishwasher? There are several surprising household items that I know one can safely clean in a dishwasher, such as:

Kitchen accessories


Apart from dishes and utensils, you can clean various kitchen accessories in the dishwasher, such as stove knobs, cabinet handles, plastic cutting boards, refrigerator shelves, spice jars without labels, and silicone oven mitts. However, before you do that, make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions or material compatibility to ensure that the items can withstand dishwasher cleaning.

Glass light fixtures

Glass light fixtures, such as pendant lights or glass lampshades, can accumulate dust and grime over time, and many of them are dishwasher-safe and can be easily cleaned in the appliance. When doing that, carefully remove the glass parts, place them in the dishwasher, preferably on the top rack, and run a gentle cycle with no detergent. Make sure that the fixtures are completely dry before reassembling and reinstalling them.

Children’s toys


Certain plastic toys, especially those without electronic components or batteries, can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Items, such as small action figures, building blocks, teething toys, and some bath toys, can be placed on the top rack and run through a gentle cycle. However, before you do that, ensure the toys are free from any loose parts or potential choking hazards. This domestic cleaning hack saves you time and ensures your child’s toys stay hygienic.

Sports equipment

Some types of sports equipment can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher, such as mouth guards, shin guards, plastic or rubber flip-flops, and even golf balls can often be placed on the top rack and run on a gentle cycle. Before you put them in the dishwasher, make sure to remove any loose dirt or mud.

Garden Tools

After a day of gardening, your trowels and hand cultivators can be caked with dirt. Rinse them and place them in the dishwasher for a deep domestic cleaning session. Just make sure to dry them afterwards thoroughly.

Vent Covers


Vent covers, including those from your stove hood or bathroom exhaust fans, can accumulate grease and dust. Remove them and run them through the dishwasher to restore their shine and improve air circulation.

Pet Bowls and Toys

Your pets’ bowls and toys can also benefit from the dishwasher’s domestic cleaning power. It’s a convenient way to remove lingering odours and keep their belongings clean.

Hubcaps and Car Parts


Surprisingly, some automotive parts like hubcaps and small car accessories can be dishwasher-safe. Check your car’s user manual or consult the manufacturer for guidance before attempting this.

Remember to always check manufacturer recommendations and labels for dishwasher-safe symbols before placing items in the dishwasher. As water can harm electronic components, avoid washing anything with them. You can save time and effort while maintaining a cleaner, more organised home with these creative applications for your dishwasher.

Final Thoughts

Your dishwasher, often considered a kitchen workhorse, can be an unsung hero in your domestic cleaning arsenal. It is much more than just a place to store plates and utensils – it can be a powerful tool in keeping your home clean. From sanitising items such as dishcloths and kitchen sponges to restoring grime-covered toys, garden tools, and vent covers, it offers the potential to free up more time for other household chores.

Your dishwasher can serve as a valuable partner – keeping your home clean, well-organised, and free from germs, regardless of whether you’re a parent with a hectic schedule, a dedicated gardener, or someone looking to simplify their household cleaning tasks. So why not explore the possibilities it holds and make the most of this underutilised domestic cleaning resource? Your cleaner, more organised home awaits–thanks to your trusty dishwasher!