9 surprising things you can sanitize in your dishwasher

9 surprising things you can sanitize in your dishwasher
(Image credit: Getty)

More and more of us have upped our cleaning regime in recent years, scrubbing, sanitizing, and decluttering as we spend more time at home than ever before. 

But, aside from ways to deep clean your home, we’ve rounded up nine surprising things you can actually sanitize in your dishwasher! 

Long gone are the days when the best dishwashers 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. Even better, many of these items will fit inside the best countertop dishwashers, too. 

When you’ve tackled your floors with a carpet cleaner, sanitized your floors with a steam mop, and washed cushion covers, curtains, and comforters in the washer, 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 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 by scrubbing them in the sink and placing 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.

9 surprising things you can sanitize in your dishwasher

(Image credit: Getty)

3. Air conditioning vents 

If you’ve got a central air conditioner or window air conditioner, 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 cleaning. The same goes for metal fan grates and coverings. Just be sure not to use anything that is painted or contains 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 makeup brushes might be a regular fixture in your home, but you could save yourself hours of washing and rinsing your makeup 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 and then place the grill racks in the dishwasher. Before you know it, your gas grill racks will come out sparkling and clean and ready to use again.  

6. Keys  

Keys can harbor germs but are hardly ever considered in our cleaning routines.  Thankfully, dishwashers provide a super easy solution. Obviously, it's 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. 

Change your door locks every five years, according to security experts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 build 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 is in need of a deep clean, there are plenty of kits or home remedies that are great at tackling the cooktop, the 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 or even a side-by-side refrigerator, the shelving boxes and drawers are often suitable for the dishwasher, too. 

Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.