8 Clever Dishwasher Hacks (and 3 You Should Definitely Avoid)

May 05, 2020

The dishwasher's main function is right there in its name. And for most of us, that's all we use it for: washing dishes. However, there are so many other things you can wash! Read on below for some easy cleaning hacks to make your life a little easier, as well as a few things you should avoid altogether.

Try These

Microwave Turntables

If you're not vigilant about careful cooking, your microwave turntable can get nasty pretty quickly. Anything liquid you don't clean will adhere to the glass, turning it into a sticky, grimy mess. An easy fix is to throw it in with your next load. The glass is dishwasher safe and cleans right up!

Vent Covers

When was the last time you popped out your vent covers and gave them a good clean? If your vent covers are metal, you're in luck. Instead of soaking and scrubbing all that dust off, consider putting them all in the dishwasher for a quick clean.


Yes, even hubcaps. Salt, asphalt, dirt, and even chemicals can build up on your hubcaps over time. If you miss the clean and fresh look your wheels had, run them through a warm cycle and they'll be good as new.

Sponges and Dish Scrubbers

Are we supposed to clean the cleaners? Absolutely. In fact, sponges and other dish cleaners can become a haven for bacteria after continued, unwashed use. Avoid any nastiness and include your sponges and scrubbers in your next load.

Soap Dishes

Soap dishes are another thing we often forget to clean. Soap is an anti-bacterial, right? What's the harm? While minor, soap dishes (and even the soap!) gathers bacteria. The risk may be low but you can reduce it further by tossing your soap dishes in your dishwasher every now and then.

Toys and Figurines

Kids love toys. They love to play with them, chew on them, and generally get them covered in dirt, germs, and carpet lint. Easy way to clean it? You guessed it. Dishwasher. 

Pet Accessories

Pet toys, brushes, and water/food bowls can all be cleaned in your dishwasher. Always check the label to make sure the material is dishwasher safe, but the majority of pet accessories can easily be cleaned with a simple wash.

Glass Light Fixtures

Removing a light fixture is always a fun (read: gross) experience. Dust, spiderwebs, and dead insects love to congregate here. Avoid a messy cleaning experience by adding them to your next dishwasher load for a quick and easy wash.

Avoid These

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned before use. This process requires a special oil to be applied to the metal surface. Washing this surface with any type of detergent, but especially in your dishwasher, will strip the oil seasoning off and leave your cast iron ineffective and vulnerable to rust.

Non-Stick Items

Much like cast iron, non-stick cookware has a special surface that provides the easy cooking we're used to. Also, much like cast iron, washing these items in the dishwasher will strip the surface off, leaving the pan rough and difficult to clean.


We'll be honest here. Yes, you can successfully bake a potato, cook lasagna, and steam your veggies in the dishwasher. We suggest you don't. There's a lot of room for error and your fun experiment can very quickly turn into a messy experience. Cooking any type of food in your dishwasher is more of a novelty than anything, so it might be safer to stick with non-edible items.