17 Items That Can Be Washed In Your Dishwasher

Real Simple

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No, our list definitely DOES NOT include a cat!
You know how we love our other uses for common things lists' here on Apartment Therapy. Maybe it comes from our small house ingenuity where space is at a premium so what we choose to have in our homes must work hard but from vodka to velcro to used dryer sheets, we're always searching for other ways to use the stuff we have so when we came across this list on Real Simple, we were excited. And here you thought a dishwasher was just for washing dishes!

Use it to wash:


  • baseball caps: where they'll get washed without being tumbled around and losing their shape. They'll need to be washed separately from items with food on them. We'll also toss in canvas sneakers here (no pun intended)
  • rain boots and flip flops: Hook flip flop thongs to the tines on the top rack. Don't wash Crocs though.
  • Action figures and small toys: Barbie and other dolls with hair will not wash well
  • Tools with metal or plastic handles: towel dry them post cycle to prevent rusting.
  • Ceramic cabinet knobs: though we think it'd be easier to do this one by hand
  • Hairbrushes and combs made of plastic: skip the ones with wood handles or those with bristles made from boar's hair. Pull out all the hair before you toss 'em in so you don't end up with a drain problem.
  • Fan grilles, switch plates and vent covers: but only ones made of plastic, aluminum or steel.
  • Shin pads, knee pads and mouth guards: lay them in the top rack
  • Garden tools: not the ones with wooden handles. Wash those that have come in contact with animals or pesticides separately from dishes.
  • Potatoes: use the rinse-only cycle only and no detergent. Plus, they'll be easier to mash up into mashed potatoes.

For more details, including 13 items that should never go in the dishwasher, some items that may be able to go in the dishwasher and a recipe for dishwasher salmon, click here

[image by Dan4th from his Flickr with a Creative Commons License, some rights reserved]