Two Smart Reasons You Should Throw Your Dish Rack in the Dishwasher

published Apr 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I’ve been reading a bit about birth order and one thing I learned about myself is that the reason I’m so committed to doing everything “the right way” could be because I’m a first-born rule-follower. There are ways things should be done in my house, and especially my kitchen.

But I try to remind myself all the time: There are other ways of doing things that could be just as fine as your way—could be *better* even.

So I’ve been working on it, finding new, unintended ways to use familiar things. I loved learning about all the things you can clean in the dishwasher—when I opened my eyes to see past just dishes, I realized I can get some tricky-to-wash things really, really clean (like LEGO bricks that a sick kid slobbered all over, for instance).

Another thing that’s hard to clean, needs cleaning, and is probably physically quite close to your dishwasher is your dish rack. Here are two compelling reasons to give it a whirl through the dishwasher:

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

1. Your dish rack needs to be cleaned

Your dish rack works hard to hold your drip-drying dishes. Like anything that’s exposed to water regularly, if not perpetually, it will eventually grow slimy black stuff. (Yes, that’s the official term.) If you have a metal or plastic-coated dish rack, it’s safe to toss it in the dishwasher. (Wood or bamboo ones can’t be, obviously, but I’d shy away from those anyway because of inevitable mold growth.) A run through the dishwasher will sanitize this hard-working tool that holds your clean dishes. And it will do it without you having to scrub thin rungs by hand.

2. It will hold small items in place in the dishwasher

When you wash small items on the top rack of the dishwasher, they tend to fly around or flip over and get filled with water. Placing your dish rack on top of these items will corral them in place and keep them facing the right way so they get clean without becoming tiny reservoirs.