1. Kids’ toys. Germophobes everywhere swear by this method of sanitizing baby toys and teethers in the dishwasher.
2. Hairbrushes, barrettes, scrunchies and hair ties. Dirt and oil, as well as residue from hair products, can build up on combs, brushes and hair accessories. The top rack of the dishwasher is the safest place for these hair tools.
3. Garden tools. Top rack only for plastic-handled tools.
4. Baby bottle brushes, scrub brushes, vegetable brushes. Ensure the bacteria hiding in your kitchen brushes is eliminated by sanitizing them in the dishwasher. As with all plastics, it takes trial and error to make sure the material used is safe for the dishwasher; wash only one of each type at a time until you establish their safety.
5. Baseball hats. Get them clean and looking as good as new by washing in the top rack of the dishwasher. There are even cool dishwasher safe plastic cap holders available to protect their shape!
6. Toothbrushes. Make sure that plaque germs don’t get back into your mouth by way of the toothbrush. Sterilize in the top rack.
7. Pet toys. Eliminate pet saliva and dirt periodically with a nice toy wash in the dishwasher (no, you don’t have to wash them in the same load with your dishes!).
8. Faux Flowers. No more dusting floral arrangements – wash them in the dishwasher on a light wash setting instead!
9. Kitchen sponges. Kill the germs instead of spreading them around. Sponges can handle 2-3 hot dishwasher cycles before they start to break up.
10. Makeup brushes. Dirt and oil from skin can cling to bristles; sterilize every 2-3 months, depending on frequency of use.
11. Shoes. (including athletic shoes, sandals, jelly shoes, crocs, and rubber boots).
12. Plastic broom heads and dustpans. Unscrew the head from your broom handle and kiss the germs goodbye. Top rack placement is recommended to protect the plastic.
13. Keyboards. Google this one... I don't know how to do it but I know it can be done!
14. Cages of fans. Completely dismantled (read: no electrical pieces and/or cords!), the front and back cages, as well as removable fan blades, can be washed in a dishwasher to get rid of dirt and grime that clings from the air.
15. Tooth brush holders. Toothpaste and minerals from water can build up on your accessories; wash in the dishwasher from time to time to prevent build-up.
16. Refrigerator shelving. Most modern refrigerator shelving is designed to be dishwasher safe (older appliances are likely not). If in doubt, only wash one shelf to ascertain its dishwasher-safeness. Removal of the top dishwasher rack may be necessary to fit shelves in properly.
17. Soap dishes. Soap buildup can be hard to remove (seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?!). Dishwashers can have soap dishes looking brand new in no time.
18. Pen holders. Ink from leaky pens can pool up in the bottom of pen jars and cups. A thorough washing may not remove the ink stains, but will prevent the spread of gummy ink to your pens and papers.
19. Cup holder inserts from your car. Many cars now have removable cup holders that are dishwasher safe (thanks go out to Chrysler/Dodge for pioneering this feature for busy moms on the go). No more sticky cup holders!
20. Glass globe covers for light fixtures (don’t use a heavy wash setting). The top rack of the dishwasher is safest for these. You can even “wedge” them into place with sponges against the rack to keep fixtures from possibly moving or breaking.
21. Cooking foods. No this one isn’t a joke! People have honestly cooked meals in their dishwashers. It works because of the containment of extreme heat and steam, causing convection of sorts. Lasagne has been cooked in the dishwasher with success; so has fish (general) and salmon with cilantro. Now you can't cook potatoes in the dishwasher but you sure can clean them in it! (just leave out the soap!)
22. Trash can lids and trash cans. Take out the top rack to fit a small to medium sized garbage can in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.
Pretty cool, huh? I'm definately going to try some of these and if any of you know any more cool things that can go in the dishwasher let me know! Onward fellow homemakers!!!