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5 Surprising Uses for Your Dishwasher

You likely use your dishwasher daily to clean up your cookware and dinnerware, and there’s no doubt that the chore of dishes is made easier with your trusty dishwasher. However, if you are only using your dishwasher to clean your dishes, you are missing out on its full cleaning potential. Make your life a little easier by taking advantage of these surprising uses for your dishwasher.

Sanitizing Kids’ Toys
Bath toys, building blocks and other simple plastic toys can likely go in the dishwasher. Keep your child’s toys sanitized and grime-free without harsh chemicals by simply stacking them gently on the top rack.

Cleaning Pet Items
Pet bowls and toys can get grimy (to say the least). Throw them in the dishwasher (toys on the top rack) and get them shiny and new in no time at all. Fido may not notice the difference, but you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when you don’t have to handwash the grimy food bowls anymore.

Removing Gunk From Soap Dishes and Toothbrush Holders
Have a bathroom accessory set that has been gathering dust and toothpaste? Save yourself some scrubbing by putting them in the dishwasher. Since these items are often made of plastic, prevent them from getting damaged by your dishwasher’s heating element and stick them on the top rack.

Disinfecting Garden Tools and Plant Pots
Plastic or steel hand tools for the garden can host fungi and other residues. If you had to use your tools to remove an infected plant, you don’t want to spread that to any veggies or flowers that you intend to plant later. 

Remove any excess dirt and debris and run your garden tools through the dishwasher to get them sparkling clean (just be sure to avoid putting in anything with wooden handles). Similar to garden tools, new plants can get diseases through old flower pots. Put plastic and completely coated ceramic pots in the dishwasher to keep disease at bay.

Cleaning Vases
If your fresh flowers were left in the vase until they weren’t so fresh at all, just clear away any excess organic material and cleanse your vase in the dishwasher. Most glass and porcelain vases are safe for the bottom or top racks, just be sure to give it space so it doesn’t clank against other items and chip. Finally, always avoid putting anything with gold or metallic embellishments in the dishwasher, as these will likely be damaged.

Make your chores a little easier this week by taking advantage of the versatility of your dishwasher. You’re unlikely to go back to hand scrubbing again.