Search Articles

Find tips, tools and how-to guides on every aspect of property

26 unusual things you can clean in the dishwasher


It’s time to say goodbye to scrubbing hard-to-remove grime of household items. There’s a magic box called dishwasher sitting in your kitchen than can do the cleaning for you. And you don’t have to stand over the sink for a second.

© bacho12345 | 123rf

Yes, that’s correct, the dishwasher can get sparkling clean a hell of a lot more than just the dishes.

→ Navigate Covid-19: Property knowledge, stay at home articles and tools. Get started now.

While there are few items you should avoid throwing in the dishwasher – think fragile, wooden, cast iron, copper and such – there are many you can.

There are three general rules of thumb:

  • First up, as dishwasher safe materials include glass, pots, pans, metal and plastic items, just take a look around the house and get creative. Make sure they’re dishwasher safe before popping them in.
  • The second rule is, remember to be cautious and follow manufacturer care tips on specific items and if in doubt, don’t pop in.
  • The last rule is to keep in mind that the top rack is safest to load these items (never put them in the bottom rack) into as it is farther away from the heating element when drying.

Lastly, don’t forget that as some of these items can be quite grimy, you might want to put them in a separate load to your dishes and put the dishwasher on cleaning mode in between washes.

Pro tip: It’s true that dishwasher consumes lots of energy. If you want to cut down your energy consumption, we recommend not using the heating option on your dishwasher. When the load has finished washing, turn the dishwasher off and open the door a crack to let the dishes dry. This keeps available heat inside but allows the dishes to air dry.

1. Kitchen sponges and brushes

© 123rf

A great way to keep them cleaner for longer (and will make things easy to clean with your sponges).

2. Most kitchen exhaust fans and covers

Because who wants to scrub off all that grime by hand?

3. Silicone oven mitts and trivets

Silicone Oven Mitts
© hskoken | 123rf

Doing this about once a month should be more than enough.

4. Refrigerator shelves and bins

refrigerator shelves
© Ozgur Guvenc | 123rf

From top-shelf to the bottom, this is sure to make sure your fridge shelves are in pristine condition at all time.

5. Vases and glass candle holders

row of glass vases with flowers
© rawpixel | 123rf

A great way to get smudgy finger marks out.

6. Soap dishes and toothbrush holders

toothbrush holder
© Raskolnikon | 123rf

Because no one wants to deal with what lies at the bottom of the toothbrush holder.

7. Rubber bath mats

rubber mat
© foodandmore | 123rf

No more scrubbing required.

8. Shower poufs (loofah), sponges, and brushes

They will come out like new.

9. Drawer organisers (think cutlery and bathroom drawer organisers)

Be honest with what lies beneath the cutlery. © Getty

It’s time to rid the dust hiding in those drawer organisers.

10. Plastic hairbrushes and combs

woman brushing hair in front of mirror
© Anna Bizoń | 123rf

With all of that product build-up, this is a great way to make them like new. Remember to remove hair from the brush before you put it in.

11. Manicure and pedicure tools

manicure tools
© Anton Starikov | 123rf

This is also a great way to ensure they are bacteria-free.

12. Bath toys

Pink rubber duck in bath foam
© George Tsartsianidis | 123rf

It’s a good idea to clean bath toys at least once per month.

13. Plastic toys

plastic toys
© Sanja Jovanovic | 123rf

From blocks to small plastic figurines, this is a great way to clean away grime, dust and even saliva from little ones putting things in their mouths.

14. Garden tools

gardening tools
© Alexander Raths | 123rf

Be sure to rinse these guys off before popping them in the dishwasher.

15. Rubber flip flops

flip flops, slippers
© Valentina Gabdrakipova | 123rf

A great way to make your favourite pair of slippers like new again.

16. Keys 

© Nils Weymann | 123rf

Obviously not the electrical ones with keyless entry to the car. Because go everywhere – who knows what they’ve picked up along the way.

17. Small plastic bins

This is another job you can cross off the don’t-want-to-clean list.

18. Pet dishes

Feeding the hungry dog in a pet dish
© Jaromír Chalabala | 123rf


Simply rinse and throw in the dishwasher. You’ll never look back.

19. Dustpans

Floor cleaning tools. Brush and dustpan
© Dmytro Sidelnikov | 123rf

This isn’t even an item people think to clean. A quick run through the dishwasher and it will sparkle.

20. Mop bucket

mob bucket
© nitsuki | 123rf

The mop and bucket are notorious for being hard-to-keep-clean items. Simply put the bucket through the dishwasher and it will help keep your floors cleaner too thanks to less grime and grit living in the bottom of the bucket.

21. Removable car cup holders

Have you ever even cleaned yours?

22. Vacuum cleaner attachments

vacuum cleaner
© scyther5 | 123rf

Say goodbye to that build-up of dust!

23. Oven knobs

oven knobs
© Daniel J?dzura | 123rf

Are yours covered in food and oil? We thought so.

24. Sink strainer

Close up sink drain and yellow sponge
© Kira Yan | 123rf

Because who wants to clean this one?

25. Golf balls

Golf ball on tee pegs
© Jamras Lamyai | 123rf

Believe it or not, it’s possible to pop golf balls into the dishwasher. Just don’t wash dishes at the same time.

26. Light fixtures

glass light fixtures
© aozora1 | 123rf

Yes, your dishwasher can even help you clean your light fixtures. Be warned, only plain glass items are allowed. Don’t place any metal or wooden items in or it will be damaged by the hot water.

This article was originally published as 24 surprising things you can clean in the dishwasher by written by Alexandra O’Brien. Additional content by Stephanie Yap. 

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More Articles