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Surprising Uses For Your Dishwasher

September 20th, 2011 Bed and Bath

As evidenced by its name, dishwashers are great at washing dishes, but did you know a variety of other items unrelated to the kitchen are also safe to place inside? This household appliance is gentler than a regular wash and dry cycle and can clean just as well. Make sure not to include any dirty dishes with non-dining items - as food particles can get stuck in them. Here are a few ideas of things you can clean in the dishwasher, inspired by Real Simple magazine and AOL's DIY Life.

1. Shoes. As long as they can handle getting wet, canvas shoes, jelly shoes, Crocs and rubber boots can go in the dishwasher and come out squeaky clean. Remove the liners first and be sure to turn off the heat dry option.

2. Baseball hats. Since these can get bent out of shape in a washing machine, it's easier to put them on the top rack of the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. After all, they can get a bit grimy from so much wear.

3. Your children's toys. Anything made out of plastic should be dishwasher safe, but don't put any dolls with hair in there, as their locks could get ruined.

4. Tools with metal or plastic handles can shine like new after a washing. Dry them off afterward to prevent rusting.

5. Hairbrushes. Those things can get dirty after repeated use, but as long as it's made out of plastic and you remove all the hair first, they're good to go in the dishwasher.

6. Sports equipment like mouth guards, shin guards and knee pads can be rid of their foul odors in the top rack.

7. Potatoes. If you're making a ton of mashed potatoes, it may be quicker to rinse them in a cycle that doesn't use detergent.

You'll find it's pretty satisfying to toss in a load of items you don't have to clean by hand anymore!