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Hand washing isn't just an irritating chore, it may actually be bad for the environment. But there's just so much out there that can't stand up to the onslaught of an automatic dishwasher—right?
Wrong. We tracked down some pretty unusual items that you probably didn't know were dishwasher-safe.
1. This wooden cutting board
Not all wooden cutting boards are dishwasher-safe, but these composite wood boards from Epicurean are. They're available with a natural wood or slate color, and in sets from two to five pieces. Plus, Epicurean says they're made using sustainable forestry and manufacturing standards, which is great for everyone.
2. The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY food processor
Time saved by using a food processor would be wasted if you had to wash off all the parts by hand. Cuisinart's DFP-14BCNY uses dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleanup. Not only is it dishwasher-safe, it also proved itself to be the best food processor we’ve ever tested.
3. This box grater
The Microplane Four Blade Four Sided Box Grate is dishwasher-safe. We found this out during our research and testing for our grater buying guide. No more shredding your sponge—or your hand—cleaning up after Taco Tuesday.
4. These BPA-free reusable sandwich bags
Sandwiches are great, but sandwich bags aren't. Lunchskins reusable bags are non-toxic, BPA-free, seal shut with Velcro, and—you guessed it—are dishwasher-safe. And there are three different designs to choose from. The one thing you might not like are the kitschy patterns. If you’re looking for something with a more subtle design, we’d suggest checking out our reusable sandwich bag roundup.
5. This non-stick electric skillet
Non-stick electric skillets are great for everything from bacon to chicken to pancakes. And now, the cooking surfaces of most electric skillets—including this one—are also dishwasher-safe. We recommend scooping out the bacon grease first, though.
6. The interior of a slow cooker
Slow cookers already make dinner a breeze, but did you know the interior—usually some form of stoneware—is also dishwasher-safe? Once it cools off, just stick it in the dishwasher for a clean up that's as easy as the cooking. Be sure to check out some of our favorite models.
7. George Foreman grill plates
A George Foreman grill is a pretty sweet alternative to standing outside in a snowstorm if you want grill marks on your chicken or burgers in December. But did you know those cooking plates are dishwasher-safe? Yep! Just detach them from the grill unit and stick them in the dishwasher for easy clean up.
8. These luxury chopsticks
Conventional American cutlery is usually dishwasher-safe, but now you can get some swanky chopsticks that can also be washed by machine. Made from natural lacquer and organic hardwood, these chopsticks are lightyears ahead of the cheap kind you get with your takeout.
9. These stainless steel straws
We hate it when a plastic drink straw splits, making it unusable. Save on waste—and feel really classy—with a set of stainless steel drinking straws that will spruce up any float, smoothie, or cocktail.
Not only are they dishwasher-safe, but they also come with a cleaning brush for when you aren't ready to run a full load of dishes. Based on our lab tests, we think the FinalStraw will suit the most people the best.
10. This Detachable high chair tray
Babies can make messes that would make even Jackson Pollock proud. The Fisher-Price Total Clean tray is dishwasher-safe, so it's one less worry for a busy parent. Not to mention, the seat pad can go in the clothes washer. Our testing showed that this high chair is easy to adjust, well-built, as well as easy to clean.
11. These smiley face placemats
These adorable placemat/plate combos—available in blue, green, and pink—can suction right onto that high chair tray for a mess-free (well, who are we kidding—less messy) lunchtime with the little one. Plus, they're all BPA-free and FDA-approved.
12. Teething rings
You've got meal time covered—now lets deal with teething time. Ike and Leo sells a BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free set of teething rings that are also dishwasher-safe.
13. This Vicks Humidifier
Humidifiers make winter so much easier, but they're a pain in the neck to clean. You can never quite get all the water out, and good luck fitting your hand inside with a sponge. Unfortunately, the tank still can't go in the dishwasher, but the filter, medicine cup, and chimney can.
Plus, this model by Vicks comes with a three-year warranty. We recommend checking the Vicks V745A because it placed first in our humidifier roundup.
14. These self-laminating stick-on labels
You might be asking yourself "Why would I care if a label is dishwasher-safe?" Well, how many times have you wondered which water bottle was yours, or if your kid couldn't find his juice cup at daycare?
If you said "never" then you're probably more organized than most people... or don't have kids. These labels are great for easily labeling something that would normally go in the dishwasher.
15. Waterproof glue
If you've glued the handle back onto your favorite dishwasher-safe mug, normally it would be banished to the sink for a gentler hand wash. If you glue it with Mod Podge, though, that might not be true: Mod Podge is a water-based sealing glue that can hold up to dishwashing. Head's up, though: they recommend 28 days of curing time.
16. Picture frame glass
Picture frames hold and display some of our most precious memories. You can keep your photos looking great by removing the glass and placing it in the dishwasher.
If the hubcaps for your classic ride are looking a bit greasy, a trip through the dishwasher can make them look fresh again. Just think, your greasy metal pans go through the dishwasher, so why not your hubcaps? At first you might think that they won’t fit, but even an 18-inch cap will fit into an empty bottom rack.