Our Ultimate Dishwasher Guide

Ultimate dishwasher guide from Appliance City

So a friend of mine is in my kitchen the other day as I’m scrubbing my bin lid. Yes, this is a weekly chore because I detest a dirty bin lid. I know it’s for rubbish, but I can’t allow it to look dirty, call me OCD.

I digress. She asked my why I was putting my hands in scalding hot water ladened with bleach. I had no idea what she was on about and looked at her as if she had blue skin. She told me that the best way to clean my bin lid was in my dishwasher. Seriously, I thought she was nuts. Washing my bin lid, where I wash the dishes I eat off of. Instead of taking her word for it, I googled washing your bin lid in the dishwasher and sure enough, there is a whole host of items you can wash in your dishwasher! So here we go Spring err Autumn cleaning is a go!

Bin Lids

Go on, wash your bin lid in the dishwasher. Your bin will thank you for it.

Now this one only works if your bin lid fits into your dishwasher. I wouldn’t suggest trying to wash the ones from outside, stick to the garden hose for those. But the ones inside, mine is a swinging variety, fit nicely.

The way to wash: Hottest water cycle possible and that’s it. Voila! Instantly clean rubbish bin lid.

Shoes

Wash your wellies in the dishwasher? Why not!

This doesn’t mean go putting your Ted Baker stiletto’s on the rinse cycle. This is only for shoes that are able to be worn in wet conditions, so wellingtons, flip flops and pool shoes. Before putting them in the dishwasher remove any cloth liners that they may be sporting and off you go.

How to wash: Hottest cycle to remove any stinky smells.

Ball Caps

What can you wash in the dishwasher? Hats!

Adults and children alike love to sport a ball cap, but during Summer they tend to go dingy and smell of sweat, especially if you wear them for sports. These can be quickly cleaned and deodorised in the dishwasher. To ensure they keep their shape you can buy a cast that they sit in specifically for washing them in the dishwasher.

How to wash: Top rack only. Put a container with 150ml of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher to ensure it comes out smelling fresh and clean.

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Makeup Brushes

Dishwasher Tips from Appliance City - Makeup Brushes

If you’re like me, you’ve spent a bomb on makeup brushes. They aren’t cheap and for some reason when I go for a smoky eye I can never use that brush again for ice pink. There’s always a touch of darkness in otherwise light colours. The same goes for rouge. Well, you’ll never have to worry about that again. You can clean (and sanitise) your makeup brushes in the dishwasher.

How to wash: Put your makeup brushes brush side up in the silverware holder. Just ensure that you allow them to fully dry before attempting to use them.

Dog Accessories

Dishwasher Tips and tricks - dog toys, collars, leashes and bowls

If you own a dog, you know just how smelly their collars, leashes and toys can be, regardless of how many baths we give them. The dishwasher is the perfect way to get all your dogs accessories clean. Just remember that once the dishwasher finishes, fully dry any metal pieces on harnesses, collars or leashes to prevent rusting. Also, putting anything with sparkly rhinestones or leather in the dishwasher, is a no no. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

How to wash: Run through a normal cycle, it doesn’t need to be the hottest water. Putting 150ml of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher will help to remove any foul dog smell.

Knobs and Handles

What to wash in the dishwasher - handles of all sorts - tip 6

If you’ve had a sickness bug in your house lately and want to completely deep clean, throwing all your door handles or cabinet knobs in the dishwasher is a cinch. Not only will they come sparkly clean but they will also be sanitised. Even if you haven’t had a sickness bug in your house, dishwashing your door handles once a year is perfect for keeping any of those nasty viruses at bay.

How to wash: Place into a mesh bag and run on the hottest cycle. Remove once the cycle is finished and dry thoroughly to avoid rust.

Children’s Plastic Toys

Appliance City - Hints and TIps - What to clean in your dishwasher - Childrens Toys

Now I’m not just talking about rubber ducks in the bathtub, but those were the first to come to mind. Children’s bath toys tend to be disgusting, despite always being in a clean bath! Stick them in your dishwasher once or twice a month to completely disinfect them. This also works for all your child’s plastic toys. Bringing in the sandbox toys for the winter or has their been a sickness recently? Putting your child plastic toys in the dishwasher gets them clean and makes sure they are nearly germ free.

How to wash: Bigger toys can be placed anywhere in the dishwasher, the smaller toys are better off being placed either in a mesh bag. This will keep them all in one place. No detergent needed, just run on the hottest cycle to ensure everything is germ free. If there are any metal pieces ensure they are fully dried to keep rust at bay.

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Sponges and Mop Heads

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - What can I clean in my dishwasher - Sponges and Mop heads

Kitchen sponges tend to get quite disgusting. According to WebMD it is “the No. 1 source for germs in your home”. Coming into cold and flu season we really should do everything we can to keep our families as healthy as possible. That starts with keeping that kitchen sponge clean. Unless you have a load of them at your disposal and you can use a new one every time, sticking them in the dishwasher is a quick way to get them clean and nearly germ free.

You can also stick your mop head in the dishwasher to get it clean and disinfected, particularly useful after sickness.

How to wash: Sponges can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher even when you are doing your normal dishes. For mop heads, I pour a generous amount of bleach onto the mop head before running it on the hottest cycle.

Ensure that if you do use bleach that  you do a few rinse cycles to ensure you don’t have bleach remnants left over when you want to run a normal dish cycle.

Shower Head

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - What to wash in the dishwasher - Showerheads

Don’t be misled by the picture above. My shower head looks nothing like this. Unfortunately, I live in an area that has hard water and the build up doesn’t take long to make my shower head start spraying everywhere but on me.

Quickest way to descale your shower head is to place it in the dishwasher. Since my water is extra hard, I make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and put it all over the spray part and leave it for about 20 minutes before placing in the dishwasher. My shower head comes out looking new.

How to wash: Disassemble your shower head if it is one that is able to be taken apart. Place in the dishwasher with normal dishwasher liquid or use my method above. Remove from the dishwasher once the cycle is finished and reassemble. Repeat at least once a month, twice if your water is extra hard.

These aren’t the only things you can wash in your dishwasher. You can wash bike parts, tools, any facial brushes or hair brushes. If you paid good money for your dishwasher it is best to use it as much as you can! Plus, many of them have eco settings that will use less water than you would if you washed it by hand.

After all these dishwasher “extras” your dishwasher may need a serious clean. We have the answer for that as well!

How to clean your dishwasher

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - How to clean your dishwasher

There are a few things you will need to ensure that your dishwasher has a good deep clean.

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Washing up liquid
  • Water
  • Sponges / Washing up cloths
  • Scrubber – If it is extra dirty
  • Tweezers
  • Bleach
  • Gloves

Seems like a lot for just your dishwasher, certainly you could just run a cycle with just water and it would be clean. Right? Wrong. Your dishwasher needs a deep clean several times a year to make sure it is running at optimal levels.

  1. Fill your sink half full with hot water and two cups of the white distilled vinegar.
  2. Remove all the parts of your dishwasher that are meant to be removed, so racks, holders, etc. Place these into your sink that has the water and vinegar solution. If the parts don’t fit take your scrubber soaked in the solution and scrub off any food debris that may be stuck to your racks or holders. Once all the debris is removed, fully wipe down all the removable parts with a washing up cloth soaked in the vinegar solution. Leave these to dry.
  3. If your dishwasher has spinning arms you will need to clean the holes that are at the end of them to ensure water can run through them effortlessly. If they are completely blocked up you may need to grab something like pointy ended pliers to pull any gunk out of them. If the holes are extra small a pipe cleaner can be inserted into the small hole to help you remove any debris.
  4. Clean the parts that your dishwasher doesn’t reach. This includes wiping down all around the edges where the seals are. When your dishwasher is running, these areas don’t get clean. Use a washing up cloth and the vinegar solution to clean around these edges, removing any debris and sanitising it at the same time. Ensure that you get all the seal areas including the area between the door and the cavity at the bottom, this area tends to be particularly dirty. If you washing up cloth isn’t doing the trick, get your sponge on it.
  5. If it has been a long time or this is the first time you’re cleaning your dishwasher you may need to remove any mildew or mold that has built up.  When using bleach it is important that you don’t mix it with any other chemicals and because it is particularly harsh make sure that you are wearing gloves. Using a new washing up cloth and bleach you can remove the mold or mildew in your dishwasher.

Cleaning is never something we like to do but alas it is essential. Keeping your dishwasher up to scratch will make it last longer and work just like it’s supposed to. Plus, with all it’s extra uses it’s going to need this deep clean now more than ever.