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PSA: Your Dishwasher Can Clean More Than Just Dishes

It's more versatile than you think.

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It's called a dishwasher because it's designed to clean dishes, but the ubiquitous kitchen appliance can handle tasks from all around your home. Aside from certain items that absolutely shouldn't take a spin inside, just about anything that’s made of plastic or metal and doesn't have electronic components can survive a run in the dishwasher.

For most unusual items, you’ll want to use white vinegar instead of the normal dish detergent, since you're not dealing with food stains. But once you make that switch, your dishwasher transforms into an all-purpose cleaning machine. So the next time you need to freshen things up around the house, try letting your dishwasher take on some of the tasks.

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Around the Kitchen

You don’t have to look far to find stuff that could fit in the dishwasher. Your stove knobs, microwave tray, and toaster oven tray (and rack, if it’s detachable) can all go in the wash. If you’re going to be cleaning those appliances anyway, your dishwasher can make the chore a little easier.

And if you dread cleaning out the fridge, there's good news: The shelves on most side-by-side fridges should fit inside a standard 24-inch built-in dishwasher. It sure beats scrubbing them yourself.

In the Garage

You won’t find any dishes in here (hopefully), but you will find plenty of items that you can and should wash. Basically, any non-power tool such as a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, or pair of pliers can go in the dishwasher. This is especially useful for cleaning off grease and grime without applying any elbow grease of your own.

While you can’t wash your car with a dishwasher, you can wash the hubcaps. You might as well chuck the lug nuts in the cutlery basket while you’re at it, too. Obviously, don’t wash these alongside actual dishes, unless you enjoy the taste of road debris and brake lube.

Who Washes the Washers?

Kitchen shears, gardening tools, lug nuts, wrenches—The dishwasher can do it all!

Think of all the various tools you use to clean your house. After you’re done mopping, sweeping, and dusting, you’re left with broom and mop heads, dustpans, and rags that could all use a wash. Those can all fit in your dishwasher.

While you’re at it, you can throw in your towels, dish sponges, and even toothbrushes (and makeup brushes). This is a perfect reason to use your dishwasher’s Sanitize option, if it has one, since these all come in contact with your mouth in one way or another.