The dishwasher is the pride and joy of anyone who's lucky enough to have one. (And anyone who doesn't have one resents it each and every time they're faced with a sink full of dirty dishes.) 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 -- be warned. But then there are a couple of unexpected items that you CAN put through a cycle for a deep clean.
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 clean clothes, shine up the car and can even help prep dinner.
Put these items in your dishwasher and make your life easier.
ShoesFlickr: Sydney Lorichon
Plastic ToysFlickr: Horia Varlan
Refrigerator ShelvesFlickr: The She-Creature
Baseball CapsFlickr: bobcat rock
Sports GearFlickr: r3v || cls
Car PartsFlickr: MinivanNinja
AC VentsFlickr: smlp.co.uk
Kitchen BrushesFlickr: plasticrevolver
Window ScreensFlickr: Strupey
Bathroom AccessoriesFlickr: Smabs Sputzer
Plastic Brushes, Combs And Hair AccessoriesFlickr: weegeebored
Oven KnobsFlickr: rebolyte
Plastic Dustpan And A Handheld BroomFlickr: OnTask
Ceramic Cabinet KnobsFlickr: ewen and donabel
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Good Kitchen Knives
Knives are more fragile than you might think. The agitation of the dishwasher's cycle makes the blade dull. It can also get all kinds of dings and scratches from hitting other objects.
Any Cast Iron
DON'T DO IT! Those who are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/cast-iron-skillet-care-tips_n_4102093.html" target="_blank">believers in the cast iron skillet</a> know how much work goes into getting one well-seasoned. Putting a cast iron through the dishwasher will strip all that seasoning right off -- and it can also cause the iron to rust.
Wooden Spoons And Spatulas
Before putting anything made from wood in the dishwasher, check the manufacturer's instructions. Wooden items can easily warp, crack, come apart or lose their finish with the high temperatures of the dishwasher.
Crystal And Hand-Painted Glass
Are you insane? Of course crystal shouldn't go in the dishwasher. That's just like throwing your beautiful glasses on the floor. Crystal and hand-blown glass are sensitive to heat so they run the risk of cracking in the dishwasher. But that's not the only risk. Detergents can chip at them, causing them to lose their shine. It's bad news all around guys.
We're guessing that if you have gold-colored flatware you bought it because of its beautiful gold color. Unfortunately for you, that means you've got to hand wash them. Throw them in the dishwasher and watch them fade.
Non-Stick Pots And Pans
Many Teflon pots and pans loss their "non stick" quality when washed in the dishwasher. It's better to err on the side of caution and wash these by hand.
They're just not strong enough to handle a dishwasher's rough and tough cycle. Most of them are attached by adhesives that can loosen when washed in a dishwasher.
It's not what happens to these guys, but the damage they can do to everything else -- like leaving black marks -- while banging about the dishwasher.
Disposable Soft Plastics
According to the Whirlpool site, plastics are dishwasher safe -- though you should check with the manufacturer's recommendations first -- but disposable plastics are not. So those yogurt containers that you double as Tupperware, best to wash those by hand. (And plastics that can withstand the heat of the dishwasher should only be loaded on the top rack.)
Cans And Bottles
If you want to rinse cans and bottles to recycle or reuse, you're better off washing them by hand. Labels attached with glue can loosen and clog the spray arms or pump and affect dishwasher performance.
The dishwasher LOVES to eat away at gold coloring. Keep these dishes out of there!