Dishwasher Dos and Dont’s: Everyday Items You Never Knew You Could Clean


You’d think the clue was in the name, but the dishwasher is selling itself short! Although this humble kitchen appliance is designed primarily for cleaning dishes, its capabilities go way beyond ordinary plates and glasses. You may be completely unaware of the universal items that can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher, but we’re here to show you how to use the dishwasher in incredibly game-changing ways! Read on to discover what can go in the dishwasher, as well as the many innovative ways you can maximise its potential today...

1. What can you put in the dishwasher?
2. So which pots and pans go in the dishwasher?
3. Can silicone go in the dishwasher?
4. Can you put plastic in the dishwasher?
5. What else can you put in the dishwasher?
6. Can you really clean shoes in the dishwasher?!
7. But do dishwashers sterilise? And, if so, how?
8. What can be sterilised in a dishwasher?
9. But wait, this is a revelation! What can’t you put in the dishwasher?!


What can you put in the dishwasher?

In addition to plates, cups and cutlery, the dishwasher can clean many other unexpected items around your home! From pots and pans to baby dummies, kitchen hoods and even sports shoes(yes, you heard us!), let your dishwasher take the lead in handling your washing needs.


So which pots and pans go in the dishwasher?

Contrary to popular belief, many kinds of pots and pans can be popped into the dishwasher. Cookware with non-stick coating and those with heat-resistant handles are a yay, in addition to stain less steel dishes, anodised aluminium cookware, glass casserole dishes and those with porcelain and ceramic coatings! But before you press the ‘Start’ button, make sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain the safety of your cookware.


Can silicone go in the dishwasher?


Silicone kitchen utensils are generally dishwasher safe. Items such as spatulas, ladles, silicone moulds and silicone baking mats are all ready to go. However, you should always check for any wooden or non-silicone parts of the items that may mean giving the dishwasher a miss.


Can you put plastic in the dishwasher?

Disposable plastics should not be put in the dishwasher as the high heat can cause harmful chemicals to leach out. If the plastic bottle or container is marked as reusable, then as a general rule, it should be safe to go in the dishwasher, but make sure you always place these on the top rack to keep them away from the heating component of the dishwasher, and avoid using deep clean or sanitising cycles.


What else can you put in the dishwasher?

To give your baby products a deep clean, feel free to pop them in the dishwasher (making sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first). Kitchen accessories should also be dishwasher safe: canister lids, drawer organisers, refrigerator shelves, and hood parts are all similarly suitable for this purpose, though remember to remove any loose or fragile parts before loading them in.


Can you really clean shoes in the dishwasher?!

As unorthodox as it may sound, it is indeed possible to give your soiled sports shoes or boots a much-needed refresh in your dishwasher! This trusty kitchen appliance offers a convenient cleaning method and will save you from having to put blood, sweat and tears into the conventional manual scrubbing. Begin by removing any loose insoles and laces. Place the shoes on the top rack, opt for a gentle cycle to safeguard the shoes’ integrity and skip the heated drying option to prevent any potential damage. This approach can effectively eliminate odours and grime, all the while saving you time and revitalising your favourite sports shoes!


But do dishwashers sterilise? And, if so, how?

While dishwashers are not designed for medical-grade sterilisation, they are effective at providing a thorough cleaning that will significantly reduce the presence of bacteria and germs on various household items. A dishwasher uses a combination of high water temperature, detergent and the mechanical action of the water jet to achieve high levels of cleanliness and sanitation. If you want to sanitise your dishes beyond what a regular cycle is capable of, you may want to consider using the dishwasher’s sanitising feature (if this setting is available on yours), which increases the water temperature during the final rinse. Additionally, for certain items such as tea towels, sponges and baby bottles, you can use the dishwasher in conjunction with high-temperature washing to improve the sanitisation process.

What can be sterilised in a dishwasher?


For some household items, ensuring proper sterilisation is crucial for keeping your living environment clean and your family healthy.

Kitchen cloths and sponges

Household materials such as kitchen cloths and sponges could do with a deep clean every now and then. Place your tea towels, dish sponges and scrubbing brushes on the top rack of your dishwasher. Use the hottest setting without detergent to give them a much-needed intensive clean.

Children’s toys

Plastic and rubber toys (without batteries and electronic components) can also be cleaned and disinfected in the dishwasher by placing them on the top rack! Just make sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines to double check whether these items are dishwasher safe.




You’d never think it, but your shoes might well be dishwasher safe! Plastic and rubber shoes, as well as flip flops and some types of boots can all be loaded. Remember to remove the insoles and laces, and attach the shoes to the top rack. If you’ve been wondering what you can clean with dishwasher tablets, then shoes are one option! Make sure to run a gentle cycle and use mild dishwasher detergent. And if you’re hesitant about washing your plates afterwards, try running an empty cycle between loads.


Pet bowls and toys


Pet bowls and non-electric toys are also dishwasher safe! Just make sure items are secured and don’t have any loose parts that may impede the cleaning process before you go ahead. If you’re reluctant to load your dishwasher with plates afterwards, run an empty cycle in between for peace of mind.


But wait, this is a revelation! What can’t you put in the dishwasher?!


Before you load everything you own in there, hold your horses! If you’ve been wondering what not to put in the dishwasher, there are some items that could get damaged due to high temperatures, corrosive detergents and high water pressures. For example, cast iron cookware, wooden cookware, sharp knives, Chinese porcelain and hand-painted cookware, aluminium cookware, insulated travel mugs and thermoses, copper cookware, electronics and household appliances, knives with wooden handles and plastics that are not marked as dishwasher safe should all be washed by hand instead in order to keep them in good condition.