15 Unusual Things You Can Clean in a Dishwasher

If you have a dishwasher at home you probably already know there are some things that you absolutely shouldn’t put in it.

For example, cast iron pans, fine crystal, copper pans…even high-end knives will quickly be ruined in a dishwasher.

However, did you know that your dishwasher can clean more than just dishes, pots, pans, and silverware?

Here are just some of the unusual and downright crazy things you can clean in your dishwasher.:

1. Tools

Interestingly, pliers, screwdrivers, and even wrenches can be washed in a dishwasher.

Run them on the hottest cycle possible with your regular dishwasher detergent. This will remove most if not all of the dirt and grease, down to the smallest crevice.

2. Hubcaps

Who knew that a dishwasher could be useful for car maintenance!

Toss your hubcaps along with a cup of white vinegar and your regular dishwasher detergent into the dishwasher. Run it on hot and out comes bright, shiny hubcaps that look almost new.

3. Removable cup holders

One of the best inventions car manufacturers ever made is the removable cup holder.

Not only is it easier to clean than holders that don’t come out, but they can even be tossed into the dishwasher for a fast, easy clean.

No more cracker crumbs or sticky soda residue!

Set them in the top rack, use your regular dishwasher detergent and they’ll come out nice and clean. Take care to not use the dry cycle to avoid the possibility of it melting your plastic or rubber cup holders.

4. Window screens

While this won’t work for big windows, if you have small windows simply toss your window screens into the dishwasher, run it through the rinse cycle to remove pollen dust and dirt that accumulates on them.

If necessary, rinse them off with a hose first before putting them into the dishwasher to knock off bigger clods of dirt and debris.

5. Rubber boots

While you can just wash your rubber boots off with a hose did you know they can also be washed easily in the dishwasher?

After you’ve removed large chunks of mud or dirt, place your rubber boots upside down on the bottom rack. Run them through the dishwasher (without the dry cycle) and out they come clean as new.

6. Flip flops

Yes, in addition to rubber boots, flip flops can easily be washed in a dishwasher.

Be sure to hook them well. They are so lightweight it may be possible for them to be tossed about.

7. Baseball hats

Instead of tossing baseball caps into your washing machine set them on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run your machine on the lowest warm setting and turn off the drying cycle

While you can purchase a form that will help the hat keep its shape it’s not really needed. Just reshape the hat before it air dries and it will keep its shape.

8. Mouth guards

If you have any athletes in your home they probably have one or more mouthguards lying about…perhaps even stuffed at the bottom of their sports bag!


Sanitize them by tossing them in the top rack the next time you run a load of dishes.

9. Plastic toys 

Your dishwasher will clean and sanitize your littles’ favorite plastic toys.

Simply toss their stacking toys, rings, or even small balls in the dishwasher and they’ll safely come out both clean and sanitized.

10. Dog toys

Most dog toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher too. Set them in the top rack for best results.

11. Dog collars

And while you’re cleaning Fido’s toys why not toss in his old collars into the top rack and let the dishwasher get them sparkling clean.

12. Shower head

If you have hard water you know how much of a pain it can be getting the shower head clean.

Fortunately, tossing the shower head in a dishwasher every few months can help remove some or all of the hard water stains that tend to accumulate over time.

13. Hair brush or comb

Have you looked at your hairbrush lately?

To wash your hairbrush or comb in the dishwasher remove as much hair as possible first. Next, place your brush(es) on the top rack and your comb(s) in the utensil holder.

Note: If you have Boar’s hair brush do not wash it in the dishwasher as it will ruin it.

14. Hair ties

While you’re cleaning your hair brush and comb why not toss your hair ties into the dishwasher as well?

Put them in the bottom of the utensil holder and weigh them down with a spoon. This will prevent them from flying up once the wash cycle starts up.

15. Makeup brushes

Finally, if you use makeup brushes you know how grungy they can get over time.

If you choose to wash them in your dishwasher, only wash them on a low setting; this will prevent the glue that holds the bristle hairs to the handle of your makeup brush from dissolving.

What strange and unusual things have you washed in your dishwasher lately?

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