90 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in the Dishwasher

Did you know the dishwasher is perfect for washing far more things than simply dishes? Running other items through the dishwasher can be a quick time-saving spring cleaning hack to clean so many different items in your home quickly! This extensive list covers 90 things you didn’t know you could wash in the dishwasher to simplify your cleaning routine and save your sanity. Learn about so many new things you can wash in the dishwasher besides dishes!

90 things you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher

Why You Should Try Washing Things Besides Dishes in Your Dishwasher

Of course, the dishwasher is designed to wash dishes, but most of us don’t realize it’s a perfectly designed machine to wash so many other things too.

I bet you HAVE tossed a handful of things besides clothes into your clothes washer right? Blankets, backpacks, small rugs, etc. Basically, anything made of fabric (and beyond actually… I’ve washed shower curtains in the clothes washer many times) can be effectively cleaned in a clothes washer.

But what about things made of plastic, rubber, or glass? That’s where your dishwasher comes in!

Some items can be effectively washed in the dishwasher with normal dishwasher detergent or some can even be cleaned with just water.

A dishwasher can be a powerful tool for cleaning many things far beyond dishes!


Moms Especially Should Try Washing Things You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in Your Dishwasher

Life as a mom can get busy and overwhelming. We all wear so many hats and work 24 hours a day, whether at work, cleaning the house, caring for the kids, or some combination of these at any given moment. Any little hack that can simplify and save time when trying to maintain a clean home is something I can get on board with.

So if you ever feel overwhelmed with all the tasks of motherhood, most of which we learn to do one-handed in the early years, then try popping a bunch of things from this list into your dishwasher to save some time and experience the calming feeling of knowing things in your home are tidier in less time.

RELATED: How to Clean Your House When You Feel Paralyzed by the Mess

 things that you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher


Tips for Washing Things Besides Dishes in Your Dishwasher

  • Dry metal things after washing. There are lots of metal items that you can wash effectively in the dishwasher. However, once you take them out be sure that they are fully dry so that they don’t rust. Of course not all types of metals rust but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Remove the top rack for large items. This list has some pretty big items that you probably had no idea that you could wash in your dishwasher like window screens and refrigerator shelves. If you are struggling to fit an item into your dishwasher, place it on the bottom shelf and fully remove the top shelf for this wash cycle. Don’t worry, it’s very easy to get back in after.
  • You don’t have to use dishwasher detergent. Many of the items on this list can indeed be cleaned well using dishwasher detergent. But this list is so extensive you won’t want to use that for all of the items. Some items clean better on a cold wash and some on hot. If it is a sensitive item that you don’t want to use detergent on, consider using baking soda, vinegar, borax, or washing soda for an effective and all-natural clean.
  • Place small items in mesh bags. There are a lot of tiny items that are an absolute hassle to clean but the dishwasher can do a great job of both removing dirt and sanitizing. So place small items like legos and golf balls in mesh bags first for the most simple cleanup. Remember, this is all about simplifying your life, not complicating it!
  • Place delicate items on the top shelf. If you are washing something like fruit or a baseball cap, you’ll want to place it on the top rack where there is less intense water pressure but still can get a great clean.
  • Run a sanitizing cycle after some items. When cleaning greasy, chemical-covered, or generally gross things, run a sanitizing cycle on the dishwasher before using it for your dishes again.


Things You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in the Dishwasher

This list of things you can wash in the dishwasher got so long that I’ve decided to split it into different sections by room of the house for you. Such as kitchen items (beyond dishes), bathroom items, garage and outdoor items, and then just other household stuff that you didn’t know you can wash in the dishwasher.

Imagine gathering up tons of items from a room in your house that you rarely have the time and energy to clean, popping them in the dishwasher, and putting them back in their places an hour or two later sparkling and fresh. Now imagine that takes almost no effort on your part! It’s a dream right?

So let’s look at some unexpected home items that you probably had no idea that you could wash in the dishwasher!

36 Kitchen Items You Didn’t Know You Can Wash in the Dishwasher

kitchen items things that you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher

We load our dishwashers with dishes day in and day out, but you can basically shove everything else in your kitchen in there as needed to get it sparkling clean too! Think about how easy deep cleaning the kitchen could be if you simply threw everything in the dishwasher first!

Imagine, no more spraying and scrubbing. You’d be surprised how many kitchen items you can toss into the dishwasher to simplify and expedite your kitchen cleanups.


  1. Pet dishes
  2. Kitchen sponges
  3. Dish brushes
  4. Refrigerator shelves
  5. Silicone oven mitts
  6. Silicone potholders
  7. Microwave turntable
  8. Vent covers
  9. Drawer organizers
  10. Silverware organizer
  11. Stove knobs
  12. Range hood filters
  13. Dish drying racks
  14. Non-electric plastic kitchen gadgets
  15. Silicone cupcake liners
  16. Cabinet knobs and handles
  17. Refrigerator door gaskets
  18. Plastic or silicone food container lids
  19. Plastic placemats
  20. Silicone trivets
  21. Plastic dish drainer trays
  22. Plastic cutting boards
  23. Plastic drawer liner mats
  24. Plastic spice racks
  25. Sink strainers
  26. Plastic bag clips
  27. Plastic or glass food storage bins and jars
  28. Cookie Jars
  29. Plastic bread boxes
  30. Plastic water bottle caps
  31. Plastic jar lids
  32. Plastic jar openers
  33. Sink organizers
  34. Refrigerator Shelves
  35. Hard fruits like apples, etc. (cold wash no detergent but you can use baking soda or vinegar)
  36. Hard vegetables including potatoes and cucumbers, etc. (cold wash no detergent but you can use baking soda or vinegar to remove pesticides)


24 Bathroom Items You Didn’t Know You Can Wash in the Dishwasher

bathroom items things that you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher

The bathroom is my favorite place to clean up using the dishwasher. There are so many things that you can simply toss into the dishwasher for a highly effective clean that I used to spend hours soaking or spraying and scrubbing.

Learning what bathroom items you can clean in your dishwasher is going to lighten the mental load of deep cleaning the bathroom for you forever.

  1. Plastic, ceramic, or glass toothbrush holders
  2. Plastic, ceramic, or glass soap dishes
  3. Plastic bathroom organizers
  4. Plastic hair accessory organizers
  5. Plastic or glass makeup brush holders
  6. Plastic or glass cotton swab holders
  7. Some soap dispensers
  8. Small plastic storage baskets
  9. Bathtub drain stoppers
  10. Plastic shower curtains (top rack, no heat dry)
  11. Plastic shower curtain rings
  12. Plastic hair accessories
  13. Personal hygiene items (with removable parts)
  14. Bath loofas
  15. Showerheads
  16. Small wastebaskets
  17. Contact lens cases
  18. Shower caddies
  19. Hairbrushes and combs (remove the hair first)
  20. Small plastic bins and lids
  21. Toothbrushes
  22. Facial Scrub Brushes
  23. Mani-pedi tools
  24. Plastic bathtub mats
  25. Travel toiletry bags


12 Garage and Outdoor Items You Didn’t Know You Can Wash in the Dishwasher

 things that you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher

All the items in this category (and a lot from the following category as well) are NOT things that I would have originally thought could be washed in the dishwasher. But surprisingly, they can! Many outdoor items get muddy and dirty, which you will want to rinse off first before placing them in the dishwasher.

When you are ready to spring clean out your garage, consider letting the dishwasher help you tidy up this year.

  1. Hubcaps
  2. BBQ grill grates
  3. Garden tools (plastic or even metal, just not wooden)
  4. Golf balls (place in a mesh bag first)
  5. Tools (without wooden or insulated handles)
  6. Car cup holders
  7. Rubber car floor mats
  8. Any other rubber mats your car has to protect from spills
  9. Small window screens
  10. Plastic flower pots
  11. Plastic plant saucers
  12. Outdoor light fixtures


18 More Household Items You Didn’t Know You Can Wash in the Dishwasher

 things that you didn't know you could wash in your dishwasher

The list of things that you didn’t know you can wash in your dishwasher doesn’t end there though!

Plenty of everyday items from every room of your house can be effectively cleaned in the dishwasher! From toys to shoes and beyond, even this section of unexpected things you can wash in your dishwasher is impressive!

  1. Dryer lint trap
  2. Baseball caps (in a cap holder)
  3. Legos (in a mesh bag)
  4. Any plastic non electronic toys really
  5. Flip-flops
  6. Unlined Rubber Boots
  7. Crocs
  8. Cleaning brushes
  9. Light fixture covers 
  10. Vacuum attachments
  11. Desk Accessories
  12. Pet collars
  13. Pet leashes
  14. Dog toys
  15. Mop heads
  16. Vacuum Accessories
  17. Vases
  18. Fan grilles


Concluding 90 Surprising Things You Can Wash in Your Dishwasher

I bet now that you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post you are in absolute disbelief. Believe me, when I started realizing the effective cleaning power of my dishwasher I was as well!

Remember, wooden things don’t do great in the dishwasher (but I pop my wooden cutting boards in no problem), especially if they are lacquered. Nothing electronic can go in either of course, and anything metal needs to be dried off after washing. But anything made of thick plastic, ceramic, glass, and beyond, your dishwasher can handle no problem! So I’m curious, which items are you most excited to try washing in the dishwasher? Let me know in the comments below!

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