The dishwasher is the pride and joy of anyone who's lucky enough to have one. And everyone who doesn't resents it each and every time they're faced with a sink full of dirty dishes. But if you're part of the "dishwasher-in" crowd, you'd better be sure you're treating this appliance right. There are a number of things you cannot put in the dishwasher, and then there are a couple of unexpected items that you can.

If you're just putting dishes, cups and silverware in your dishwasher, you aren't getting the most out of this kitchen appliance. The dishwasher can help out with so much more than just kitchen items. It can help clean clothes, shine up the car and can even help prep dinner.

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  • Keyboard

    Keyboards get dirty fast. And if you've ever had the bad luck of spilling coffee on yours, you know how difficult it is to clean up. While some people would just whip a keyboard down with a damp cloth, <a href="" target="_hplink">others swear by the efficacy</a> of putting it through the dishwasher. You can give it a try if you're desperate, but we won't guarantee that your keyboard will work after a rinse cycle.

  • Plastic Toys

    Plastic toys are handled by kids all day, which means they're full of germs and start to fade fast. But a quick load in the dishwasher, storing them in the cutlery closure, gets them squeaky clean and looking like new.

  • Baseball Caps

    Baseball caps get pretty sweaty -- really fast. Especially during the hot days of summer. Not only do they start to look gross, but they smell bad too. You can't throw them in the washing machine because they'll get all bent out of shape. But you can clean them in the top rack of the dishwasher without any risk of damage.

  • Shoes

    It might seem pretty gross to clean your shoes in the same place you wash your dishes, but what can we say, it works really well. Just make sure the heat-dry setting is turned off because it can ruin any rubber on your shoes. And if you run an empty cycle after you cleaned shoes, that should get rid of any possible shoe to plate cross over.

  • Sports Gear

    Just like baseball caps get sweaty, so do shin guards and knee pads. And every so often, they need a deep clean. The dishwasher gets them cleaned up just like new. Just remember to keep them on the top rack.

  • Car Parts

    Need a little help when washing your car? You can put those hubcaps, cup holders and change holders in the dishwasher and it'll get rid of all the grim without having to scrub a bit.

  • AC Vents

    Cleaning in between each grate of an AC vent is a tedious and daunting task; but it's one that has to be done. Rather than spending hours meticulously getting each grate, throw the vent in the dishwasher. At the end of the cycle, they'll look brand new.

  • Window Screens

    Window screens are one of the toughest items in your house to keep clean. They are, after all, on the exterior of the house. You can wipe them down, but the best way to get them looking dirt-free is the dishwasher -- so long as you can fit them in.

  • Bathroom Accessories

    After the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house to keep clean. And it is also one of the first rooms to get dirty. Look at the soap dish and toothbrush holder, those accessories become caked up with toothpaste and soap. But if you put them through a cycle and they'll get cleaned right up.

  • Plastic Brushes, Combs And Hair Accessories

    If your plastic hair accessories are filthy, you can clean them in the dishwasher. Be sure to remove all hair from these items before being put in the dishwasher. If not, you could clog up the dishwasher's drain and damage it.

  • Oven Knobs

    Between the dirt from your hands and the possible food splatters from the stovetop, oven knobs get dirty really fast. And they can be a pain to clean. But knobs come out spic and span after passing through the dishwasher, in the cutlery compartment.

  • Potatoes

    We know putting potatoes in the dishwasher sounds weird. But these vegetables are full of little crevices that trap dirt, and the dishwasher is really good at unlocking trapped dirt. While you can spend the time scrubbing potatoes if you want, it's really not necessary if you have a dishwasher. Just don't add any soap.

  • Refrigerator Shelves

    Cleaning out the refrigerator is one of the least enjoyable kitchen chores. But it's also one area of the kitchen that has a lot of potential for mess. Spilled left-over containers and sticky syrups can make the shelves filthy. No need to worry about it though, just throw them in the dishwasher.

  • Ceramic Cabinet Knobs

    You touch cabinet knobs everyday, whether you've washed your hands or not. And every once and a while, these need a deep clean. Luckily, they're safe to put in the dishwasher, in the cutlery compartment.

  • Plastic Dustpan And A Handheld Broom

    So long as they're made out of plastic, your dustpan and a handheld broom will be safely cleaned and disinfected in the dishwasher.

  • Kitchen Brushes

    For those really tough dishes, the kitchen brush comes to the rescue. Which means that this brush has seen some serious dirt. Get it germ-free in the dishwasher.

  • Salmon

    Yep. That's right. You can cook salmon in your dishwasher. We're not saying that it'll taste amazing. We're not saying that it won't have a unpleasant affect on your dishwasher. We're not saying that it isn't completely and totally disgusting. We're just saying that it can be done. And if you're intrigued, the <a href="" target="_hplink">instructions can be found here</a>.

  • WATCH: How To Green Your Dishwasher