Published on January 21st, 2020
You’d be forgiven for thinking that your dishwasher is just for washing dishes; it is the appliance’s name, after all!
Your dishwasher’s hot water cycle, however, makes it the perfect device for cleaning and sanitising a surprising number of items around the home. Here are our top five.
Image source: Stay at Home-ista
Let’s be honest. As much as we love our small children, they dribble on everything! Add in those grubby hands and runny noses, and plastic toys are packed full of bacteria.
As long as the toy doesn’t have electrical parts or hair (such as dolls or Barbie), put them and items like teething rings and pacifiers into the dishwasher at least once a month.
Image source: One Good Thing by Jillee
Scan your bathroom for items that could go through the cycle, such as soap dishes, bath toys, shower heads or grimy faucets. Your shower loofahs and sponges could do with a wash as well.
One of the main objects you should be placing in the dishwasher regularly is your toothbrush holder. Slimy residue can form at the bottom of the holder, which is pretty disgusting when you consider you’re placing your toothbrush in your mouth twice a day!
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You may not have considered it before, but our hair and body oils create a build-up of grime, so we should be cleaning beauty tools more than most of us do.
Strands of hair should be removed before putting brushes and combs on the top rack, to avoid clogging the drain. Steer clear of including brushes with wooden handles or natural fibre bristles – plastic or metal only. Throw your bobby pins and hair bands in as well.
You can also put your make-up brushes, and manicure and pedicure tools in the utensil basket, to eliminate product build-up and accumulated bacteria.
Clean Your Appliances’ Shelves and Trays
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Microwave, dish and oven racks can collect grease over time, so pop them in for a cycle. A good clean will target germs and make your metal shine again and look like new.
Include your kitchen exhaust fans in this cycle as well; you’ll be astonished how dirty they can get!
Next time you’re cleaning the fridge, put the shelves into the dishwasher for a wash. It’s one less thing you’ll have to do yourself! Note that you may have to take out the dishwasher top rack to fit them in.
Items around the Home
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These are the best of the rest that we found in our research.
Most of us usually only give our vases a quick rinse after binning the wilted flowers – they should be sanitised and the dishwasher is the perfect method for it!
Head to the study and grab desk accessories, like pencil holders, in and out trays and sticky note dispensers, for a wash.
A final, and my favourite, tip is to place baseball caps into the dishwasher. Putting sweaty baseball hats into the washing machine makes them lose their shape so I was excited to learn my favourite caps could go on the top shelf of the dishwasher and come out smelling fresh again!
How to Clean Your Dishwasher
With all of this extra use, your dishwasher needs to be in great working order. You should be cleaning it once a week.
We share some easy tips on cleaning a smelly dishwasher in this article but here are the basics.
Take out the bottom rack and clear the drain of food items.
Place a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run a normal cycle. Vinegar works well as a non-toxic and inexpensive antibacterial.
If the dishwasher still smells, sprinkle bi-carb soda at the base and run another cycle. Bi-carb soda does an excellent job of soaking up odours and can be used around the home for a variety of cleaning tasks.
Clean the interior and exterior of your machine with a microfiber cloth and an equal parts vinegar and water spray.
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