Washing the dishwasher
Letting your dishwasher do all the hard work is convenient. But you’ll need to back it up by cleaning it thoroughly.
Start by cleaning out the drain under the dish rack by hand. Sprinkling baking sodaacross the bottom and rinsing it will clean away food stains and bacteria.
If your machine is plagued by bad smells, there are two handy ways to get rid of them:
- Leave a cup of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of your machine. Run it on a warm cycle and the water-vinegar mix will give your machine a thorough cleaning, no scrubbing required.
- If you prefer a sweet smell, you can pour some Kool-Aid powder into an empty machine and let it run. Now, the inside will smell fresh and fruity.
But wait, there’s more
While we’re exploring all the surprising uses for your dishwasher, you should know it’s good for more than just cleaning dishes.
Just about anything in your home made of plastic can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher. It’s a quick way to remove germs from some of the messiest items in your home.
Bathroom wastebaskets, pet bowls, toothbrush cups, gardening tools, vacuum brushes and even certain kinds of shoes (flip flops and runners) could benefit from a quick rinse.
My mother used to take all of my siblings’ plastic toys and toss them into the dishwasher. It was an easy way to clean off all of our germs, especially after one of us caught the flu.
But of course there’s a method to this household cleaning madness: you’ll want to run a cold cycle with no hot drying. Or else you’ll open up the door to find a mess of melted toys and shoes.
Here’s one of the most surprising cleaning jobs for a dishwasher: your grungy computerkeyboard.
Yes, tech geeks say you can run this filthy computer part in a cold wash, solo, then let it air dry for a few days (this is a crucial step). But you should try other, simpler ways to tidy up your keyboard first.
Get even more surprises, from the 12 everyday objects you’ve been using all wrong.
And if you’re on a cleaning kick, here are 15 natural ways to fight household odors.
Check out our video below that shows items you can wash in your dishwasher that aren’t dishes!