Most of us rely on our dishwasher to, of course, wash our dishes. Anyone who’s lived in a home without the helpful appliance for any length of time can attest to how much nicer it is to “set it and forget it” rather than wash each dish by hand. That said, the pots, pans, plates, and utensils we use to fill our faces with food aren’t the only items you can make squeaky clean again with your dishwasher. In fact, you can even use it to cook food if you’re in a pinch for oven space — or just want to try it out for fun!
Take a look below to see all of the surprising things you probably didn’t realize you could be putting in your dishwasher.
- Household Fixtures: Things like dingy metal vents and dirty light switch covers can be tucked into the dishwasher and come out sparkling like new.
- Sponges: Old sponges are a soggy minefield for bacteria and germs, but the heat and soap from your dishwasher will make them just like new. The same goes for your shower poufs, too.
- Plastic Toys: Whether they’re for your pets or grandkids, those plastic toys can hold onto plenty of germs that a quick run through the normal wash cycle can fix.
- Hair Brushes and Clips: If your hair brush and accessories are made from sturdy plastic or metal, you can get rid of any buildup from oil or hair products with a normal cycle in the dishwasher.
- Fake Flowers: Get more than just the dust off and make your faux blooms shine like new with a rinse in the dishwasher. If they have paper petals, just pop those off beforehand and back onto the freshly cleaned stems again.
- Vacuum Attachments: Keep those handy attachments from being caked in dust and debris with a spin through the dishwasher. You can do the same with the dustpan for your broom.
- Garden Tools: Considering you use these to dig through dirt, they can definitely do with a spin through the regular dishwasher cycle to get rid of any residue.
- Veggies: Instead of washing off your produce piece by piece or with a colander in the sink, you can pop them all in the dishwasher for a quick, cold rinse without soap.
- Fish: Food Network's Bob Blumer shared his trick of steaming filets of salmon (not a whole fish) in the dishwasher by wrapping them snug in aluminum foil and running them through the normal cycle. The same can be done for veggies!
You might want to run a totally empty cycle of your dishwasher before experimenting with any food preparation just to make sure all of the soap is out. Otherwise, enjoy the ease this appliance can add to your life in so many more ways than just your dishes.