10 surprising ways your dishwasher can help you around the home

Dishwashers are great contraptions that help to reduce the amount of time we spend tidying up after our meals. But did you know that your dishwasher might be able to help you clean more than just dishes and kitchenware? Despite their name suggesting otherwise, dishwashers are incredibly versatile appliances – most of us just don’t know it.

So, here at Repair Aid, we’re taking a look at 10 of the most surprising ways that you can use a dishwasher to take time and energy out of your daily and weekly chores.

#1: Cooking food

beetroot carrots cauliflower

We weren’t lying; dishwashers can do some pretty surprising things – like cooking vegetables. Stick some chopped vegetables in a mason jar, add some water, shove in whatever seasoning you want them to have and then seal the jar shut with a lid. Stick it in the top rack of the dishwasher, run a cycle (no detergent!, obviously) and, voila, your veg will be cooked. Completely safe and healthy. This is great if you’ve got limited space in your kitchen and if your hob has no room left. Additionally, potatoes can be softened on a rinse-only cycle, allowing them to be easily mashed.

#2: Cleaning oven parts

oven grill

Cleaning the inside of your oven can be a chore, often because of all the different parts that have to be removed and individually cleaned. Thankfully, pretty much all of these parts – such as grilles, knobs and shelves – can be cleaned in your dishwasher. If there are particularly small parts, make sure to put them in your dishwasher’s cutlery tray.

#3: Cleaning hair brushes and combs

comb hairbrush

As anyone with hair understands, particularly longer hair, combs and brushes can get quite grimy if used over a long period of time. Not only do we have to keep removing clumps of hair from them, the oils and sebum from our scalp make them pretty unhygienic. Giving brushes and combs a proper clean can be a hassle, but you can just stick them a dishwasher – as long as they’re not made of wood and come with natural bristles. Just make sure to remove the hair from them before you stick them into the dishwasher as the hair will just get clogged up in the drain.

#4: Cleaning shoes


As long as you don’t put them in for a dry cycle, and they’re not made of leather, shoes can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Just make sure to run your dishwasher through an empty cycle after you’ve finished cleaning them to prepare it for cleaning dishes again.

#5: Cleaning tools

hand tools

Plastic and metal screwdrivers, hammers and even garden tools can be cleaned in your dishwasher – just as long as they’re not wooden or battery-operated. If your garden tools have been tinged with the likes of pesticides or animal droppings, make sure to run them separate from everything else and clean your dishwasher afterwards (see number 6 for more info on this). Make sure to air dry your tools after cleaning.

#6: Cleaning itself

Dishwashers can be easily cleaned with vinegar (about half a pint) in a dishwasher-safe container or vessel that is placed on the top rack. Run a high temperature cycle and the vinegar, along with the hot water, will disinfect your dishwasher and rid it of any greasy residue, as well as any foul smells. Do this once a week and your dishwasher will stay hygienic, ensuring that your dishes are as clean as they possibly can be.

#7: Cleaning toys

plastic yellow duck toy

When kids get sick, they don’t necessarily follow the hygienic standards of adults. They’ll spread their gems all over the place – including on their toys. Even if they aren’t sick, their toys are often caked with all sorts of food leftovers and griminess. Thankfully, your dishwasher is able to clean lots of small plastic toys, such as action figures. If you’re cleaning particularly small parts – such as Lego – make sure to put them in a mesh bag to ensure they don’t get stuck in the dishwasher’s drain.

#8: Cleaning make-up brushes

Like hair brushes and combs, you can also clean your make-up brushes in a dishwasher on a monthly basis. As with their follically-focused counterparts, you don’t want to put make-up brushes into a dishwasher if the handles are painted, wooden or if the brushes contain bristles comprised of natural hair.

#9: Cleaning fake/faux plants

Known for being collectors of dust, fake plants need a bit of a clean every now and then. While a bit of water can help, a simple and short low-heat cycle in the dishwasher can have them looking good and clean in no time at all.

#10 Cleaning light cover fixtures

Light covers tend to get overlooked when it comes to cleaning which makes them popular holiday destinations for bacteria. Thankfully, they can be run through a dishwasher as long as they aren’t painted, aren’t covered by enamel and aren’t old enough to be considered ‘antique’. A great way to keep your lights being the brightest they can be without adding a lot of extra work to your cleaning routines!

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