Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more of us have upped our cleaning regime, scrubbing, sanitizing, and decluttering as we spend more time at home than ever before.
But, aside from ways to deep clean your home (opens in new tab), we’ve rounded up nine surprising things you can actually sanitize in your dishwasher!
Long gone are the days when the best dishwashers (opens in new tab)only tackled your dinner plates or a cooking pot after hours spent over the stove. Now, with sanitizing at the forefront of many American’s minds, we’re on the hunt for ways to get those everyday items extra clean in the hope of keeping our homes a safe haven from COVID-19. Even better, many of these items will fit inside the best countertop dishwashers (opens in new tab) too.
When you’ve tackled your floors with a carpet cleaner (opens in new tab), sanitized your floors with a steam mop (opens in new tab), and washed cushion covers, curtains, and comforters in the washer (opens in new tab), there are still quite a few items that require plenty of elbow grease and scrubbing to get them as clean as we’d like. Now you can forget that, your dishwasher will be your savior.
Here are nine things you probably didn't know you could sanitize in your dishwasher.
1. Vacuum tools & cleaning equipment
So, it’s pretty obvious when you need to clean, you’ll probably get the vacuum (opens in new tab) out or at least use a brush and dustpan. We don’t want to come across all Monica in Friends but, it really is important to clean your cleaning equipment, otherwise, you’re effectively spreading more dust and dirt around your home.
When you’re next vacuuming, take off the crevice tools and attachments and place them in the dishwasher for a deep clean. Your dustpan, plastic brush heads, and any other plastic cleaning tools (dish scrubbers, etc) are all suitable for the dishwasher as long as they don’t have wooden parts or any electronic elements.
2. Plastic toys
Kids are pretty attached to some of their toys, but that also means it’s not often you get a chance to get them really clean. Save yourself time with scrubbing them in the sink and place plastic toys including plastic figures, toy trucks, Lego pieces, and more in the dishwasher.
Place the toys on the top rack but set your dishwasher on a wash cycle without the boiling hot drying cycle, as this can damage the hair on plastic dolls and toy animals. For Lego pieces, you can use the cutlery rack or place the pieces inside a mesh bag.
3. Air conditioning vents
If you’ve got a central air conditioner (opens in new tab) or window air conditioner (opens in new tab), there’s no doubt you’ll want the cold air that is released into your home to be free of bits of dirt and dust, so it makes sense to thoroughly clean the vents on your systems.
There is an exception though. If your vents are painted, they won’t be suitable for the dishwasher, but if they’re just metal, they can be removed and placed in the dishwasher for a thorough clean. The same goes for metal fan grates and coverings. Just be sure not to use anything that is painted or containing any kind of electronic wiring or elements.
4. Makeup tools and hair brushes
Yes, you read that right. Ask yourself, when was the last time you deep cleaned your hairbrush or comb? If you can’t remember, place your hairbrush in the dishwasher, as long as it doesn’t have a wooden handle or natural fibers, it will come out gleaming.
Cleaning your make up brushes might be a regular fixture in your home, but you could save yourself hours of washing and rinsing your make up brushes and sponges, by placing them in the dishwasher. Sponges will be fine too, as long as they’re not really old. In that case, you’re better off parting ways with them to save yourself from spreading bacteria across your face.
5. Barbecue grill racks
The summer months call for barbecues but with that comes plenty of cleaning and scrubbing after. Instead, save yourself time and follow our tips on how to clean a barbecue grill (opens in new tab) and then place the grill racks in the dishwasher. Before you know it, your gas grill (opens in new tab) racks will come out sparkling and clean, and ready to use again.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it’s fair to say you’re probably washing your hands even more than before as soon as you get home, but what about your keys? Keys can harbor germs but are hardly ever considered in our cleaning routines.
Thankfully, dishwashers provide a super easy solution. Obviously not suitable for electronic car keys or building fobs, but we’re talking about the good old simple keys that rarely get a look in when it comes to sanitizing.
Place your metal keys in the cutlery section to give them a thorough clean and get rid of germs.
7. Glass light fittings
We know what you’re thinking, this is madness. Actually, it’s a super easy way to clean light fittings without dropping dust onto the floor below and ending up with smeary glass too.
All you need to do is remove glass light covers (making sure not to include anything electrical at all!) and place them on a glass washing setting in your dishwasher.
8. Dish drying racks
Not everything can go in the dishwasher (sob), but that means your drying rack is bound to have its fair amount of use. It’s also one of those places that is often forgotten when it comes to cleaning. Soap suds will collect on the rack regularly and can contain bacteria that builds up without you knowing.
Clear off your draining rack and place it in the dishwasher - you’ll be amazed how much grime and dirt comes off, especially from the underside.
9. Fridge and oven shelving
If your cooktop range (opens in new tab) is in need of a deep clean, there are plenty of kits or home remedies that are great at tackling the cooktop, inside of the oven, and the door glass too. For the shelving, you can take out the racks and use kits to clean these too, but for an easy monthly clean, place the racks in the dishwasher to prevent build up.
Wiping out the refrigerator can be a bit laborious and not something many people relish doing. Take the stress out of it and place the shelving from your fridge into the dishwasher. If you have a French door refrigerator (opens in new tab) or even a side-by-side refrigerator (opens in new tab), the shelving boxes and drawers are often suitable for the dishwasher too.
For more cleaning tips, check out our guide to what the coronavirus means for your laundry routine (opens in new tab).