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6 Surprising Items You Can Clean in Your Dishwasher

by Waverly Wilde

It’s not common knowledge, but dishwashers are an amazing appliance made for more than just washing your dirty dishes. They are made with the power to tackle all kinds of items in your house (and outside) that could really use a little extra love. From sticky baby toys to your car’s hubcaps, use this cleaning hack on those hard to reach areas like the pro it is.

1. Baby Toys

 boy playing with toys

Anyone who has had kids knows that these adorable little humans are actually germ-infested beings. They like to put their mouth on everything, and their toys are normally covered in layers -- bleh -- of saliva. Cleaning each toy with soap can be a tedious endeavor, especially since it’s something that needs to be done thoroughly and often. 

Instead of wiping your child’s playthings down in the sink, place them in the dishwasher every evening after a long day of being chewed on. What makes something dishwasher-safe? Most children’s toys are a hardy plastic or silicone material, making them sturdy enough to handle a regular wash cycle on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Be sure to take the toys out right after the dry cycle. The toys will be nice and warm, and your child will love the cozy sensation.

2. Dog Toys

dog running with bone

If you think about it, dog toys are a lot like baby toys. Some are designed to have squeakers, make rattle noises, and many are even made of a resilient silicone material that can handle a lot of tug o’ war. Sounds exactly like baby toys! And just like your children’s toys can be placed in the dishwasher for a good sanitizing, so can your dog’s toys! 


Unlike your baby’s toys, though, your furbaby’s toys can generally handle a rough beating in the dishwasher, so feel free to place them in the bottom shelf if you need to. Just make sure everything is secure to not have items thrashing around while the dishwasher cycle is going.

3. Oven Mitts and Baseball Caps

 girl wearing hat

A dishwasher is basically a smaller laundry machine, right? It washes, sanitizes, and drys -- so it’s like an all-in-one washer and dryer without the tumbling and agitating, sort of!  With that logic, washing smaller items of clothing that don’t need as much roughhousing may actually do well in a dishwasher. Oven mitts and baseball caps, for example, are both great items to throw in your dishwasher during a regular cycle. You’ll probably want to place your cap on a bowl or other round-ish object to prevent your hat’s shape from morphing while in the cycle.

Afterward, let your cloth items air dry and wear like normal!

4. Refrigerator Shelves

cleaning refrigerator shelf

Cleaning out your refrigerator can be a rather intimidating job. From the stuck-on food that spilled who knows how long ago, to the expired foods that need removing, it can really feel like a jungle in there. Fortunately, there is one easy way to clean it out and all you need to do is take out the shelves! The refrigerator shelves are 90% of what needs to be cleaned in your fridge, and all you need to do is remove them and place them in the dishwasher! 

Don’t rinse them off or scrub them beforehand because your dishwasher was made for this! 

Depending on how gnarly your refrigerator is, you may want to set your dishwasher to a more powerful cleaning cycle, but a regular one should do the job!

5. Hub Caps

various hubcaps

When The Fast and the Furious is your favorite movie and your favorite hobby is going to car shows, then we know you are someone who likes to keep their automobile looking clean. And while you can’t put your whole car in the dishwasher, you can put one of the most difficult parts to clean in there: your hubcaps. No need to get down on your hands and knees and diligently wipe away the muck in those hard to reach areas when you can pop them off and place them in your dishwasher to clean! 

Set your dishwasher to a heavier cleaning cycle to really wipe away all the grime that’s been smudging into those hubcaps to make sure they come out looking as shiny as the day you bought them!


6. Microwave Turntables

sponge and microwave

Your microwave is no stranger to messes. From food spills, splatters, and even explosions, your microwave can get untidy in just a moment. While we suggest cleaning the inside of your microwave right away after the first spill, one easy way to get those layers of food cleaned up is with the help of your dishwasher! And no, please do not put your whole microwave in the dishwasher. Just take out the microwave turntable and place it in the lower rack and let a normal cycle run. 

It’s important to keep your microwave free of germs and illnesses, and using your dishwasher to disinfect your microwave’s turntable is a great way to prevent that from happening!

At Grand Appliance and TV, we know how important a working dishwasher is to have. From handling an intense load of dishes to thoroughly disinfecting those miscellaneous items throughout your home, we want to make sure your dishwasher is doing its best for you. Contact our store today if you’re in the market for a new dishwasher or have questions and our experts will be happy to help!