Did you know you can toss many household items in your dishwasher for easy, safe cleaning. Here are a few that surprised me:
Baseball caps-can get bent in the washing machine but hold their shape in the dishwasher, especially inside a contraption like the Ball Cap Washer ($5, amazon.com). Don’t wash them with dishes; food can get trapped in the cloth.
Potatoes can get nice and clean in the top rack with a rinse-only cycle (no detergent). Sound crazy? It makes mashed potatoes for 20 a lot quicker.
Hairbrushes and combs made of plastic can take a spin, but not wood or natural boar-bristle brushes. Be sure to remove all the hair first to protect the drain.
Action figures and other small toys can ride in a mesh lingerie bag on the top rack (but don’t wash Barbie or she’ll have a horrible hair day).
Shin guards, knee pads, and mouth guards―toss them all into the top rack.
Here are a few more than I’m skeptical about – I mean, who takes the switch plates off he wall to clean them. And I’ve never cleaned my garden tools because they usually disappear before they ever get dirty. My friend Olivia suggested I spray paint them a bright yellow or orange in order to spot them hiding in the garden. Good suggestion.
Fan grilles, switch plates, and vent covers are okay if they’re plastic, aluminum, or steel. Enameled, painted, or plated should stay out.
Garden tools may have come in contact with pesticides or animals, so don’t mix them with a load of dishes. (And don’t wash those with wood handles.)
Light-fixture covers are fine in the top rack, as long as they’re not antique, enameled, or painted.