Ideas for Keeping Track of the Dishwasher

Little is worse than dropping a messy plate into a dishwasher load of (previously) clean dishes. You either have to waste water and money running the whole load again, or admit your lesser kitchen cleanliness standards and use those dirty-by-association dishes. Next time, save yourself the trouble and leave some—any!—reminder of what lies beneath the dishwasher door.

It's a convenience to those sharp minds who live alone, but it becomes a necessity to us forgetful folk or anyone living with roommates or their S.O.

But it's easy to keep track of the state of your dishwasher. There's plenty of store-bought magnets, sliders and spinners that can help you out, but we're encouraging you to go a little anti-mass-production on this one.

The idea is the same—switch to the "clean" marker when you run the dishwasher and switch to "dirty" once you unload—but the methods are all different:

The DIY Way:
Instead of store-bought, go DIY and get something better suited to your tastes. Flickr user scmntgirl sewed some green-and-blue floral fabric around a rectangle of cardboard with a magnet attached to the back.

The Etsy Way:
We love these organic tea towel designs from Etsy seller ShowPony; they can become a subtle way to communicate with roommates. Hang the "Do the Dishes" towel up on your towel rod when the dishwasher is dirty, and hang "Keep it Clean" when it's waiting to be unloaded.

The Easy Way:
Don't feel like doing much Etsy shopping or DIY? Go bachelor-chic and doodle on your dishwasher with a dry-erase marker, like Flickr user massdistraction.

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in an apartment with her husband and their Boston Terrier, Bacon, she loves to entertain and hates having a tiny kitchen.