21 dishwasher hacks and cleaning tips to help improve your health

Sometimes when you think out of the box, you can find out new, better, and more efficient ways of doing things.  

For the past few years, I’ve been reaping the endless cleaning potential of my dishwasher! I was amazed at how well my dishwasher cleaned regular household items. 

The word dish in “dishwasher” can lead you to believe that it can only accommodate dishes. And most likely, it was designed with the intention of being for eat-wear. 

Let’s think about the technology that’s inside a dishwasher for a minute. It has water jets that spray hot water, the heating element that heats the water to 110F – 170F(43C – 77C), the release of rinse aid(Newer models), and drying. It serves as a cleaning and sanitizing device. 

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I think of my dishwasher as an ultimate all-in-one cleaning device!

I wouldn’t be surprised if manufacturers started including washing options for other household items, not just plates, cups, and cutlery. 

Here’s a list of 21 items you can clean in your dishwasher.

Clean fruit and vegetable wax

When fruits grow, they have their own self-producing waxy protection. Which slows the decay process down. When food producers wash all the fruits and vegetables

The natural wax comes off.

Food producers add artificial wax to reduce moisture loss and keep fruits fresher for longer, which increases the shelf life. The wax is also applied to enhance the firmness and make them look appealing to the customers. 

Morpholine is the main synthetic chemical that binds all the ingredients together to make the final wax product.

There are chemicals added to bring all the ingredients together.

According to Nicole Jolly from True food TV.

“Morpholine is a chemical compound in the form of a colorless liquid, with a fish-like odor.

US farmers who cook their produce with morpholine can’t export it to Europe. The problem with morpholine doesn’t seem to be with the compound itself. 

It’s a chain reaction that can occur in our bodies if nitrates are present when we ingest the morpholine. The two together can form a carcinogen – something that promotes cancer. 

Nitrates can come from drinking water that’s contaminated with fertilizer or eating sausages preserved with nitrates or simply eating lots of leafy greens. So this is why Europe says no to morpholine.”

Cleaning your fruits and vegetables in the dishwasher might shorten their shelf life due to the heat. But I rather have fruits and vegetables with a shorter shelf life than giving myself a shorter shelf life due to the risk of getting cancer! 

If your dishwasher has variable heat settings, make sure to turn it down. And make sure not to run it for an extended or a full cycle or your food will cook.

Range hood grease filters 

Range hood filters can get quite nasty with grease!

Most people don’t realize that a dirty filter can affect the performance of your range hood. 

It will not vent properly due to all the grease. Depending on how long you haven’t changed your filter, it can pretty much become a wall of grease.

Putting your range hood filters in the dishwasher can give it a new life!

Smelly dish sponges 

If your sponge starts to smell a bit stinky, it may be the result of bacteria. I live my life, trying to create less waste. So I don’t like tossing out my sponges all the time. Especially if it’s not that old.  

One sure trick to get rid of the smell is to toss the sponge in the dishwasher instead of tossing it out. The heat and hot water that 110F – 170F(43C – 77C) will kill the bacteria and clean the sponge. This process will remove the smell from your sponge.

Soap dispenser 

No matter how good your soap dispenser is, it will get filmy from caked-on soap and dirty finger smears. The sure shot way to remove the caked-on soap and filmy look is to toss the soap dispenser in with a load. 

Make sure there is not too much soap covering your dispenser because it can cause your dishwasher to produce suds.   

Figurines, faux flowers, and faux plants

Depending on how much cooking and frying you do in your home. Oil particles can float in the air, mix with dust, and land on household items. 

The result is a dusty, oily layer of film over your figurines and faux flower. Your dishwasher can make them spotless. This will eliminate the time-consuming task of hand cleaning them one by one. 

Kitchen sink mats 

I make it a routine to throw my kitchen sink mat into the dishwasher every time it’s filled with plates and ready to run.

instead of that task of cleaning it by hand and using soap, and it just makes sense to wash it with the rest of my dishes.  

Dryer filter

Having a clean dryer filter improves the efficiency of your dryer. Dryer filters get filthy with lint. You can never get it 100% clean just by banging the tray in the garbage to get the lint fluff out. Every 3-6 months, I toss it in the dishwasher to make it spotless. 

I wouldn’t recommend doing this if your dryer filter has fabric components on it. An all-plastic dryer filter works best.

Britta water jug

Britta’s get quite filthy with water spots, dust, and other residues. Once in a while, I throw it in the dishwasher. 

I disassemble all the components and place them in the dishwasher rack individually. I make sure to remove the water filter, and not add it to the wash. 

Sanitize your kid’s toys

Kid’s toys can pick up a plethora of dirt and bacteria.

This dirt can make it into their eye or mouth, causing them to become sick.

With that 110F – 170F(43C – 77C) temperature water, your dishwasher is a bacteria killer. You can place fabric-based toys. Just remember to give it enough time to dry thoroughly. 

Clean and sanitize makeup brushes

Makeup brushes develop a build-up of product. Your first instinct might be to throw it away. 

Putting your makeup brushes in the dishwasher can give them new life. 

Oven and cabinet knobs and handles

Handles and knobs can become quite unsightly, especially if you have kids getting their grubby little hands all over the place. 

A dishwasher is a great way to clean all the dirt and grime off all your handles in one shot. It will take a bit of your time to unscrew and re-screw. But it will save you time, and putting it in the dishwasher will provide an adequate wash. 

Toothbrush holders and soap dishes

When investing in a good set of holders for the bathroom, you want it to look its best! I love the look of scum-free soap dishes and toothbrush holders.

I try to put them in the dishwasher every other cycle to prevent a massive build-up of soap scum. 

Clean keyboards(Waterproof)

There was a viral video going around about washing your keyboard in the dishwasher. Some people had success with washing it, and it actually worked on their computers.

Manufacturers do not recommend this, and it will void your warranty. 

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Keyboards can collect a massive amount of germs that can cause us to get ill. It is recommended to clean your keyboard once in a while. 

One easy solution is to get a waterproof keyboard. 

This type of keyboard can be submerged in water. Just make sure to turn your dishwasher’s heating down. You wouldn’t want to damage any of the keyboard’s internal components.  

Waterproof keyboards you can wash

Clean removable car cupholders 

It’s time to clean out that hard disc-shaped pool of coffee at the bottom of your car’s cup holder.

Some models of cars come with removable cupholders.

I love this feature! Instead of trying to force my hands into the holders to try to clean them. 

I toss them in the dishwasher, and they come out spotless! 

Refrigerator shelves and trays

Some refrigerator trays can present a hassle to clean. 

My shirt usually becomes soaked with water trying to maneuver and wash the larger trays. 

I love placing the smaller trays in the dishwasher. It makes life so much easier when cleaning the fridge. 

Cook a salmon

Personally, I haven’t cooked a salmon in the dishwasher. I came across this dishwasher hack a few years ago. I thought it was kind of strange. Till my friends started telling me, they tried it, and the salmon came out delicious. 

Sink strainer

A sink strainer prevents all the food from your dishes from going down the drain. They can get pretty dirty and stained. 

Placing them in your dishwasher with a regular cycle can make them pristine again!

Baseball caps

I’ve met a few people who swear by putting your hats in the dishwasher is the best way to clean it. It removes all the embedded sweat and stains. And it comes out smelling fresh and clean. 

This can be a better alternative because there is no tumble or agitating feature in a dishwasher like laundry machines.

 So your hat is less prone to lose its shape. 

Steam cooking in a dishwasher 

I came across this cool video of a guy making his lunch using his mom’s dishwasher! He added chicken, red peppers, noodles, and spinach. 

This is a cool way to take advantage of the energy your dishwasher produces! 

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Clean your register/vent covers

Vent covers get covered with all kinds of dust and dirt and other contaminants. 

When we turn on our furnace, it blows all the settled particles into our home. It’s a good idea to clean them once in a while. 

Using a dishwasher can really speed the process up. And the water the dishwasher sprays get into all the hard to get to areas of the vent cover.

Clean your window screens

Our window screens can become a bug’s final resting place. Not to mention all the trapped dust and dirt on them. It’s not that easy to clean.   

If you have smaller window screens, you can pop them out of the window and pop them into the dishwasher. 

Bonus dishwasher hacks

Replacement wheels 

After prolonged exposure to high temperatures, the dishwasher wheels can dislodge or even break. This can lead to your tray continually falling off the track when you pull it out. 

I found standard replacement wheels that fixed the problem.  

Dirty/Clean dishwasher magnets

Sometimes we lose track of time, and we forget to remove the clean plates from a completed cycle.  

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put dirty dishes with plates that have been cleaned.  

Here’s a little trick we use so that we never put dirty items in the dishwasher again.

Dirt and clean indicator magnet. 

Custom vinyl for dishwasher

I love to switch things up once in a while. And I like things that look visually pleasing to the eye. 

Adding a vinyl wrap to your dishwasher can give it an updated, fresh look!


Co-founder, product tester, and editor-in-chief around here.

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