If you're not sure if a dirty item likes it hot, place it on the top rack, start the dishwasher, and check mid-cycle. Of course, let the steam clear before sticking your face in the cavity to check.
Here are 25 super-dirty things that your dishwasher will clean and shine.
Shoes: If you can wear the shoes in rain – rubber boots, flip-flops, pool shoes -- you can pop them into the dishwasher for a good scrubbing. Make sure to remove liners and orthopedic inserts.
Baseball Hats: Hats keep their shape when you place them on the top rack for cleaning and deodorizing. Put a small cup of white vinegar on the bottom rack for extra deodorizing power.
Hairbrushes and Combs: Remove hair and place plastic combs and brushes in the cutlery tray and wash. Don't put products with wood handles in the dishwasher: Wood doesn't like hot water scrubbings.
Toys: Metal and plastic toys will sparkle after going through a dishwasher cycle. Place in the cutlery tray or a mesh bag, first.
Vent Covers and Grilles: When they become filthy with dust and grime, place metal covers and grilles on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Grooves will shine.
Cup Holders: When they become encrusted with spilled coffee and soda, pop cup holders into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.
Computer Keyboards: Proceed at your own risk, because placing computer keyboards in the dishwasher sounds risky to us. But some tech geeks swear it works. Test with an old keyboard you can do without.
Kitchen Brushes: After slopping sauce on ribs, clean and sanitize basting brushes in the dishwasher.
Scrub Brushes: Let your dishwasher scrub your scrub and bottle brushes.
Hub Caps: To make them really shine, place in dishwasher along with a cup of white vinegar. If you want to clean lug nuts, too, place them in a mesh bag first.
Window Screens: Clean screens will let more sun shine through to warm your home in winter and cut energy costs. If they fit, pop them in the dishwasher.
Light Fixture Covers; Place glass and plastic fixture covers in the dishwasher on the gentle cycle. Dead bugs, grime and dust will disappear.
Switch Plates and Outlet Covers: Dust typically covers the backsides of switch plates and outlet covers, which doesn't help allergy sufferers. Unscrew and place plates and covers in the dishwasher, which will clean and sanitize them.
Stove Knobs: Pop off and place in dishwasher, which quickly will remove grease and grime.
Potatoes and Root Vegetables: When you harvest potatoes, beets and turnips from your garden, place them in the top rack and run through a short dishwasher cycle without soap. To cook same veggies, wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and wash again.
Refrigerator Shelves and Drawers: Save time cleaning the fridge by placing glass and plastic shelves and drawers in the dishwasher. Say goodbye to sticky messes.
Cabinet Hardware: Your spring cleaning should include thoroughly cleaning cabinet pulls and knobs. If you're dirt obsessed, place them in a mesh bag or in the cutlery tray, and send through the wash cycle.
Soap and Toothbrush Holders: Gather all holders, and let your dishwasher scrub off caked on toothpaste and dish detergent.
Faux Flowers: They look even more faux when covered with dust. Place plastic flowers on the dishwasher's top rack, and press the short cycle button.
Plastic Broom Heads and Brushes: Remove clumps of hair and dust that could clog the drain, then run through the dishwasher.
Desk Accessories: Pen and pencil cups, sticky note holders, and in-out trays get dirty and dusty. Clean plastic accessories in the dishwasher.
Makeup Brushes: Regularly sanitize these brushes that touch your eyes and face. Place them in the cutlery tray, and let the dishwasher blast away dried makeup and dust.
Trash Can Lids: If they fit, place those gross-smelling lids in the dishwasher. They'll look and smell better after going through a complete cycle.
Garden Tools: Garden tools can spread fungal infections from plant to plant. To sanitize, clean weeders, shears and trowels in the dishwasher. Rinse off soil, first.
Sporting Equipment: Place plastic shin guards, balls and helmets in the dishwasher for cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing.