What Do You Put in Your Dishwasher?

I took my son to the orthodontist recently, and while I was waiting, I picked up a copy of Real Simple Magazine. It’s a lovely magazine, but I could never implement even half of the suggestions they give in just one issue in my lifetime. I read a very enlightening article entitled, “Surprising Uses for Your Dishwasher.” I’d already heard about using it to clean baseball caps, which I did once, but honestly, my dishwasher is nearly always half full of dishes I would have to remove. It’s not that we’re lazy about emptying our dishwasher so much as we see the efficiency in skipping the step where the clean dishes are put back in the cabinets. It’s kind of like making your bed every morning – why bother when you’re just going to use it again that night?

I found some of the suggested uses for the dishwasher rather alarming. Garden tools? Fan grates? Light fixture covers? Eeewww. And clearly they’ve never smelled my son’s hockey bag or they would never suggest putting shin guards and knee pads in there. I guess the dishwasher is self-cleaning, and the high heat should kill everything, but I still can’t bring myself to put any of those things in there (even if it didn’t require me to empty it first).

The section on what shouldn’t go into the dishwasher was very helpful, but the most surprising piece of information I gleaned from the article was that you can actually poach salmon in your dishwasher (apparently while you’re washing the dishes if this picture is any indication). But why would you? Imagine the smell.

It’s time to fess up. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever put in your dishwasher?

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22 Responses to What Do You Put in Your Dishwasher?

  1. LOL…funny post! I have to say that I can’t truthfully answer this because I’ve never had a dishwasher. Even when we built our house I didn’t have one put in because I wanted the cupboard space. After growing up doing dishes by hand, it’s not a big deal and I’ve never missed what I didn’t have 🙂

    Poached salmon….ewwwww! lol

    • Ally says:

      I guess I’ve been spoiled by always having a dishwasher. I grew up in a half-finished house my father was building himself, but one of the first things that went into the unfinished house was a dishwasher. My mom grew up as the only girl with four younger brothers and had to wash all the dishes, so she insisted on a dishwasher (before flooring, walls, etc.).

  2. Terry Spear says:

    Fridge drawers and shelves. They clean up pretty well!

  3. Jean Murray says:

    Hi Ally.

    Followed you over from FFP. I had to a laugh when I saw your post. Yes, I’ve slipped a few unorthodox items into my dishwasher. I don’t do that anymore after my son’s toys melted and he cried for days afterward.

    Jean Murray

  4. Hi, Ally. I can’t think of anything odd I’ve put in my dishwasher, aside from vases. I’m not sure I’d poach salmon in it either, not with dirty dishes in it for sure.
    Thanks for the information, though. Very interesting.

    • Ally says:

      You are not alone. There seem to be a lot of us who aren’t adventurous when it comes to loading the dishwasher. I wonder if the fishy smell would ever come off the plastic surfaces in the dishwasher (not that I needed another reason not to poach salmon in there).

  5. Cara says:

    We share the same thoughts in our home, where we see the efficiency in skipping the step of putting the clean dishes back in the cabinets, lol. Its much easier to just grab a clean dish from the dishwasher! I cant think of anything unique that I have ever washed in my dishwasher. I guess that makes me boring. 🙂

    • Ally says:

      We must be kindred spirits! I don’t think it makes you boring, just practical. You’d have to empty the dishwasher to fit one of those unique things in there.

  6. Angelyn says:

    Never put anything strange in the dishwasher. Was always horrified by my great-aunt’s experience with using Palmolive liquid dishwashing soap instead of machine detergent in her dishwasher. Uh, oh.

  7. Deb says:

    I once put a pair of Crocs through on the suggestion of a friend. Didn’t clean them one bit…and I ended up having even more dishes to do since I couldn’t bring myself to wash them at the same time as anything else.

    • Ally says:

      That’s one of the problems. It seems wasteful to run the dishwasher when it’s not full. Crocks were mentioned in the article as something that isn’t dishwasher safe (maybe that’s why they didn’t come clean!).

  8. MonaKarel says:

    Haven’t used the dishwasher for a couple of years now, it just seemed more efficient to wash by hand and I got out of the habit. Not even sure if it would work at this point, it’s not a new model. I used to put dog bowls in for a really good cleaning. Now I’m debating if I’d rather replace it with something more energy and water efficient (living in the high plains we’re aware of every drop of water used) or put something else in that spot. Like a wine cooler

  9. Ella Quinn says:

    I’m feeling very boring. Even when I had a dishwasher, I didn’t put anything strange in it.

    • Ally says:

      If that qualifies you as boring, then you’re in good company because there are a lot of us. If I lived where you do, I wouldn’t mind not having a dishwasher.

  10. Calisa Rhose says:

    I’ve never done it, but my friend a computer tech used to service computers and he’d run keyboards through the dishwasher to clean and disinfect- do NOT heat dry those.

    I wash my dish sponges in it weekly though.

    • Ally says:

      The aricle mentioned keyboards, but I’m too much of a chicken to try it (plus I do most of my work on a laptop, and I’m pretty sure it’s not dishwasher safe).

  11. Hilarious, but eeewww, hockey gear? I just can’t do it. I’m a pretty standard dishes only gal. I don’t think I’ve ever put anything outrageous. Vases is about the most different item.

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