17 Unlikely Items You Didn’t Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher

It’s fairly common to see dishwasher soap repurposed to clean kitchen countertops and floors. But many don’t know the dishwasher itself offers more than just helping you clean plates and spoons. Take these 17 items on a trip to the dishwasher the next time you need to wash them.


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Whether it’s for your children or your pets, the dishwasher is an excellent place to wash down toys. The lukewarm splash of water helps you easily get into those creases you wouldn’t have been able to with regular wash, and you don’t even have to separate wash cycles from your regular dishes. Just make sure these toys aren’t battery-operated.

Pet Leashes

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Like their toys, these pet accessories will fit into the dishwasher without any complications. If the leashes are made from nylon or woven fiber, then it’s even better. Just avoid throwing in leather leashes into the dishwasher, as you’ll be putting it through irreversible heat damage.

Silicone Oven Mitts

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As Alicia Sokolowski, Co-CEO of AspenClean, shares with Southern Living, silicone oven mitts will get cleaned out easily with natural soap when placed on the top rack of your dishwasher. But she also recommends that you don’t use harsh detergents or very high temperatures to avoid damage.


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The dishwasher will also make washing your favorite rubber flip-flops a breeze. Introduce baking soda and vinegar into the wash cycle, and you’ll also kill more germs than you would’ve with a regular wash. Now, you don’t even have to stop at flip-flops. Throw in your rubber crocs in there too.

Gardening Tools

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Dishwashing soap has been a common choice to get hand-held hoes, trowels, and rakes clean. You can add the dishwasher to your wash routine to make the process even easier. Tools with metal and plastic handles are the best to throw in there, and make sure you rinse off soil before getting them in the dishwasher.

Lighting Fixtures

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Save yourself time and stress cleaning lighting fixtures by giving the dishwasher the job instead. The best part of this is that they aren’t different from your ceramic dishes and glassware. Hence, you can include them in the same wash cycles as your dishes and cups.

Phone Cases

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Did you know that, as the University of Alberta shares, your phones are ten times dirtier than toilet seats? Well, one way to reduce your exposure to 17,000 bacteria is to get your cases cleaned, and the dishwasher will do a perfect job with your plastic, rubber, and silicon cases.

Vent Covers

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They’re usually plastic or metal, so be sure they’ll fit right into the dishwasher without a fuss. Putting vent covers in the dishwasher is an excellently easy way to get rid of dust, pet dander, and other allergy-triggering microparticles that may have piled up on them.


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After running them through your hair every day, there’s a lot that gets stuck without constant cleaning. Put your combs in the dishwasher for a quick wash, and make sure to put them in the top section for the best result. Also, run them through a cold cycle instead to avoid damaging them, especially if they’re made of more fragile plastic.

Bath Mats

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If you have rubber mats around somewhere, you don’t have to leave them lying dirty there—throw them into the dishwasher too. Don’t worry, the dishwasher won’t damage your flexible mats, and you can just put them through a cold cycle to make yourself comfortable.

Vacuum Cleaner Attachments


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Vacuum attachments let you reach those tight spots in your home, and they’re usually the last thing you think of washing. Nonetheless, microparticles build up in them, and the dishwasher is your quick, full-proof solution if you don’t know how to get them cleaned.

Rubber Boots

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There’s also no risk when you clean your rubber boots with the dishwasher, as long as, like flip-flops, you don’t wash them with your dishes. Clean the soil and residue off them before putting them in, and place them at the top of the dishwasher shelf for the best results. You don’t have to dry them in the dishwasher, either.

Toothbrush Holders

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A 2011 NSF study, reported by Times Magazine, found that 64% of toothbrush holders contained mold, making them more infested than toilet seats (27%). Regular dishwasher run-throughs make sure that the state of your toothbrush holders doesn’t have to degenerate into caliform and staph infections.

Microwave Plates

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Many people haven’t realized they could wash the microwave plate in the dishwasher just like their regular plates. Whether it’s plastic or glass, you don’t have to struggle cleaning them while still in the microwave. It’s also totally safe to include them in the same wash cycles as your dishes.

Faux Flowers

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With these ones, you’ll be walking on eggshells. Plastic flowers are generally safe for a cold dishwasher cycle to remove dust and grime. However, some may be too brittle for it, and it’s best to follow manufacturer recommendations about cleaning your synthetic flowers this way to avoid damaging them.

Nail Care Tools

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Your manicure and pedicure tools can easily receive their own care too, thanks to the dishwasher. Just make sure they’re made of plastic, silicon, and/or metal and not a natural material like wood to avoid damaging them with heat. The New York Times’ Woodcutter review says that even wooden kitchen utensils aren’t generally safe.

Golf Balls

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To hit cleaner strikes and prevent debris from affecting the trajectory of your shots, you need to wash up your golf balls. Thankfully, they are generally dishwasher-safe, and the best part about them is that you don’t even have to worry about damage from heat or detergent to get them sparkling.

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