From Ready Nutrition:

If you have a dishwasher and kids, chances are you don’t take that bad boy for granted. We do at least one load of dishes at our house every day, sometimes as many as three. I love that washing dishes in an efficient dishwasher is much more eco-friendly than hand washing, and green detergents like this and this mean I can have sparkling dishes without worrying about synthetic fragrances, phthalates, dyes, and chlorine bleach coming into my household. You can also make your own dish detergent using these ingredients.

But what you may not be aware of are the many things that aren’t dishes that you can wash in your dishwasher. Having kids means dealing with sticky messes and germy fingers—it’s great to be able to throw these things into the dishwasher and forget about them while they are sterilizing. Here’s a list of non-traditional things you can clean in your washer to get the most out of your appliance:

Legos or other hard plastic toys: we have a zillion Lego pieces and they are constantly getting dropped on the floor, sneezed on, or worse. Put Legos or other hard plastic toys on the top rack of the dishwasher in a delicates laundry bag. Nail clippers/tweezers: I don’t even want to know what that black stuff is under our kids’ fingernails, but I’m certain it contaminates our nail clippers every time we use them. Tweezers come in handy to pull out splinters or the odd small toy lodged in a child’s nose (I wish I was kidding!). This means both of these tools are pretty gross, so I try to remember to throw them into the utensil basket whenever there’s room. Hair brushes/combs: Placing brushes/combs on the top rack keeps them clean and also potentially prevents the spread of lice. My kids aren’t always the greatest at washing the soap out of their hair and this also ensures that buildup doesn’t coat the bristles. Hair ties: Same idea as #3. I also run barrettes and sweat bands through the dishwasher. Toothbrushes: pediatricians recommend replacing tooth brushes every two months, but if the bristles are still in good shape, you can simply throw toothbrushes in with the silverware. Light switch covers: I hope I’m not the only one with grimy black handprints on my light switch covers. This one doesn’t need to be done that often, but every three months or so I do a deep clean and take off all covers and even some particularly dirty door pulls/hardware get a bath too. Mouth guards: If your kids play sports that require mouth guards, you definitely want to be sterilizing those after every use to prevent the spread of illness. Instead of scouring them by hand, toss them onto the top shelf. Keys: This one doesn’t seem to be kid related, but anybody with a teething baby has probably had to fish their car or house keys out of their child’s mouth. Metal keys, key ring and all, can be thrown…

Continue Reading