Things you didn’t realise your dishwasher can clean

Smiling woman using dishwasher and looking at camera.Dishwashers are huge time savers, as well as sanity savers. But the set and forget cleaning magic of our favourite kitchen appliance could be applied to more than just dishes. Here are the best things you can clean in your dishwasher that you may not have realised.

Running shoes

If your dishwasher can clean up even the grimiest of dishes, who is to say it can’t do the same for your runners? Turn off any dry heat setting just to make sure you don’t melt any of the plastic and put them through without any detergent. If you’re worried about the contamination of miscellaneous bottom-of-shoe-gunk to your dishes, then run an empty cycle afterwards to remove any lingering traces of where you’ve been walking.


This one probably takes the prize for laziest solution, but it definitely works. This is more designed for big family gatherings or holiday feasts which require a much larger quantity of potatoes than your average weeknight dinner. If you’re in a situation which requires a great amount of washed potatoes, place them in the dishwasher (don’t stack them) and put it on rinse cycle without detergent. Voila, perfectly scrubbed spuds!

Plastic toys

Whether for kids, babies or fur babies, every now and then their toys need to be cleaned. Grab a mesh washing bag and put in any toys like action figures or puppy chew toys – make sure nothing with electronic components goes in! Then just pop it on like a normal wash and they’ll be germ-free, ready for their next playtime.

Baseball caps

Putting caps in a normal washing machine would only bend them out of shape, that’s where your dishwasher steps up to the plate! First check the washing instructions, before carefully placing them on the racks and putting them through a short wash. You don’t need to use detergent unless they’re very dirty, and if they are, only use the tiniest amount. Once done, let it air dry.


Whether being used in the kitchen sink or for makeup, sponges can often hold a lot of build-up, which you don’t want on your dishes or your face. To remedy this, just pop all your sponges in the dishwasher and let it clean them out. If you want there to be extra bacteria removing powers, put it on a heat-dry setting.

Whether you choose to use these tips or not, at least now you know that your dishwasher has more potential than you thought. Dishwashers are not just for dishes!

Is your dishwasher operating at full potential? Check out our consumer ratings guide.

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