3 Awesome and Unexpected Dishwasher Hacks

LifeHacks The List
By: Kristina Guerrero | Jessica Robertson Posted: 7:19 PM, Nov 15, 2017

It's one of the most important appliances in the home, but we bet you didn't know just how versatile it really is. Kristina Guerrero is taking us into the kitchen for some unexpected and awesome dishwasher hacks.

1.  Plastic Infant/Toddler Toys

Plastic infant and toddler toys get really gross; they're in your child's mouth, on the floor, even the dog can get ahold of them – Disinfect them in the dishwasher! If you're sensitive about chemicals, substitute detergent for white vinegar. Also, turn off your "heat dry" mode so you don't melt or breakdown any delicate plastics.

2.  Cabinet Fixtures

A lot of hands touch those cabinet fixtures; disinfect them in the dishwasher. Remove them from your cabinets and place them in a lingerie bag to keep them from flying around the dishwasher. Place the bag in the bottom of the rack.

3.  Ball Caps & Shoes

You can't toss things like ball caps and shoes in the washing machine; your cap will lose its shape and shoes could hurt the machine drum. Yes you guessed it – put them in the dishwasher! Use a cap washer, like the Ballcap Buddy, to maintain your cap's shape. Place it on the top rack and get an even clean. Place shoes in the bottom rack between slats to hold them in place.

Cook This –  Need 3 16-ounce/Pint mason jars with tops

Cumin Shrimp


1 16-ounce bag frozen jumbo shrimp (uncooked)

1 clove Garlic, sliced thin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

White Wine (of choice), enough to cover the shrimp

Paprika Cauliflower


1/2 head cauliflower

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

Apple Compote


1 Honeycrisp or Jona Gold Apple, cubed & tossed in lemon juice

1/4 cup red currants

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 pat of butter

Ice cream of choice (optional)

Directions For All Recipes:

1. Place all ingredients in their respective jars, secure cap, and shake.

2. Place all jars to top rack of dishwasher

3. Add to almost-full load of dishes so as to not waste water

4. Use detergent as usual (seal of jar is tight enough to keep chemicals out), but feel free to use white vinegar in place of detergent if desired.

5. Run cycle on high heat, but turn off "dry heat" mode. Foods will be fully cooked when cycle is through.

6. Remove jars when they are cool enough to touch, but still hot.

7. Plate shrimp and cauliflower. Top ice cream with apple compote or eat on its own.


Maintain this – None of these hacks are possible without a healthy dishwasher. Try these maintenance hacks for a longer lasting and more efficient dishwasher!


White vinegar

2-cups measuring cup

Picture-hanging wire


1.) Just like your coffee pot, your dishwasher needs descaling once a month. In an empty washer, place 2 cups of white vinegar in the top rack and run a cycle on high heat. The vinegar will mix with the water and descale the inside of the washer.

2.) Sometimes water holes in the arms of the dishwasher get clogged. Use picture-hanging wire to poke out any food particles or mineral deposits so water can properly circulate.

3.) If you have any baked-on food particles left on after your vinegar rinse, use an old toothbrush to gently scrape them off!


WEB BONUS: The Proper Way to Load Your Dishwasher

Would you ever use your dishwasher to make food? Join the conversation!