As it turns out, dishwashers are the Superman of household appliances. Not only do they eliminate the physical labour of handwashing each individual dish at the end of a long work day, but they also have the ability to rinse off toys, steam vegetables and, yes, even cook salmon. Don’t believe us? Find 15 incredible things you didn’t know your dishwasher could do. You can thank us later.
Clean Air Vent and Outlet Covers
It’s so easy to forget how many dust particles and grimy fingerprints end up on air vents and outlet covers, respectively. If your covers are plastic, unscrew them from the wall or ceiling and toss them on the top rack of your dishwasher, making sure you remove any clumps of dust from the air vent cover beforehand. They’ll be sparkling clean in no time!
Clean Vacuum Attachments
This one might be a little trickier, but if your dishwasher has a removable top rack, take it out and put all the pieces from your detachable vacuum inside the lower section of the appliance (making sure to remove dust and dirt clumps beforehand). Toss in a dishwasher tablet and set to a cool rinse.
Wash Silk Flowers
Silk flowers are a beautiful addition to any room, but over time they collect a lot of dust and can be tedious to clean. But there’s a trick for that! Place your forever blooms on the top rack of your dishwasher, skip the detergent and set on a gentle cycle. Those silks will come out looking as good as new!
Rinse Kids Toys and Pacifiers
They’ve fallen in every dusty, dirty nook and cranny you can think of and endured weeks, months and even years worth of your kids’ rough and tumble games. Yes, toys are among the most germ-infested items in any household. If they’re plastic, place the smaller items in mesh bags or on the top rack of your dishwasher and set on a gentle cycle for a good rinse. They’ll magically resemble the items you once brought home from the toy store again.
Wash Gardening Tools
Remove all fungi, pesticides and sticky residue before flipping open your dishwasher to give those gardening tools a good clean. You can also take flowers pots, rubber boots and flip flops for a spin, but skip any tools that have wooden handles as it will cause damage.
Why waste time individually hand-washing fruits and veggies when you return from the grocery store when you can do it all in one shot? Run a cold (soap-free) rinse cycle with all your produce in the top rack – especially the more delicate items such as tomatoes and peaches.
Wash Pet Toys and Synthetic Collars
All those hard plastic and rubber chew toys will be bacteria-free after you give them a good rinse in the dishwasher. You can also toss in synthetic fiber collars and leashes for a wash, but avoid including any leather items in the mix.
Cook Salmon (Yes, Really!)
Believe it or not, there’s even a specific recipe for dishwasher salmon called, you guessed it, Dishwasher Salmon. Bob Blumer, host of The Food Network’s The Surreal Gourmet concocted this dish from scratch. Go ahead, give it a spin!
Clean Makeup Brushes and Hairbrushes
Set your dishwasher to a normal wash cycle mixed with 5-10ml of bleach and dish detergent for a hands-free way to clean off plastic hairbrushes, nail clippers and makeup brushes. Just be sure to remove all leftover hair products that might still be clinging to the brushes beforehand to avoid clogging your appliance.
Fill a mason jar with a variety of chopped veggies and add one cup of water before sealing shut. Place the jar on the top rack and set your dishwasher for a normal wash cycle. Your produce will be steamed and dinner-ready within minutes!
Keep Food Warm
If you’re cooking up a massive five-course meal for a slew of guests and your oven is already full, or not turned on, simply set your dishwasher to dry cycle with no water and keep your food on the top rack. It’ll stay warm until you’re ready to debut your feast.
Forget the Crock Pot: Simply seal your homemade lasagna inside a packet of foil and run your dishwasher on a normal cycle of dry heat. Voila! Dinner is served.
Wash Sports Equipment
Everything from shin guards and knee pads to mouth guards and shoulder pads (including baseball caps, so long as they don’t have cardboard brims) can be thoroughly cleaned in your dishwasher. Place smaller items on the top rack for protection and set your appliance to a lukewarm setting, skipping the dry cycle. Let the items air dry instead.
What’s that joke about avocados again? The one where you’re waiting for them to ripen … and waiting … and waiting – and then you blink and they’ve suddenly gone bad. Well, now you can go ahead and buy those bright green avocados at the grocery store before placing them on the top rack of your dishwasher. Set it to a normal cycle. Check back in 10 minutes and those avocados will be the perfect texture and consistency.
Rinse Your Keyboard
Lets just come out and say it: computer keyboards are downright filthy. They’re one of the prime collectors of dust and grime in any home or office building. When simple wipes just won’t cut it, it’s time to disconnect them and place them in your dishwasher. Avoid using soap or hot water and don’t select the heated drying cycle – simple let the keyboard air dry for up to three days after washing.