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Push Your Dishwasher to its Full Potential

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Push Your Dishwasher to its Full Potential

If you are fortunate to have a dishwasher, you should be using it to its full potential. Aside from glasses, plates, and silverware, you can use your dishwasher to clean many household items and even footwear. Use your dishwasher to spend less time cleaning and more time living.



Believe it or not, you can wash sneakers in your dishwasher. No, you should absolutely not wash your shoes with your plates, as that’s extremely disgusting. However, as long as you turn off the “heated dry” function, you can wash as many sneakers as you can fit in your dishwasher. Prior to lining the dishwasher with all your shoes, check to make sure there aren’t any spots of the shoe that will snag or damage, or even damage your dishwasher. If your shoes have any removable parts, such as straps, it would be ideal to take these off and clean these by hand in your kitchen or utility sink. Use the hole you put your foot through to situate the shoe on the rungs of the dishwasher’s bottom rack. In other words, the tread on the sole of the shoe should be facing up. Whatever dish soap you use will be fine, your sneakers won’t deteriorate from it if your hands don’t. Make sure you don’t need to wear the shoes your cleaning soon, as they will have to air-dry overnight. If you look at the forecast and see a hot, dry day ahead, perhaps wash your shoes in the morning and leave them outside to evaporate during the day. Otherwise, you can use a hairdryer on a low setting to keep from melting the adhesive holding the seams together. Let your shoes air-dry overnight. You can also wash flip flops and sandals on the top rack in the dishwasher.


All Keys Except Your Car Fob

Keys, like door handles, are high-touch surfaces that we tend to mindlessly set down on germy countertops, desks, and public tables. Like your phone, your keys are crawling in bacteria and you most likely aren’t cleaning them as often as you should, if you clean them at all. Luckily, keys can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. With your shoes on the dishwasher’s bottom rack, you can place your keys in the silverware holder, add in some dish soap, and your keys will be shining again.


Pet Toys

Dogs and cats love their toys, and dogs especially like to prance around with them hanging out of their mouth. How many times have you reached for your pet’s toy and it was covered in drool? Most likely a lot! Do yourself a favor and give their toys a cleaning. The only toys and pet supplies that can’t be cleaned in your dishwasher are materials made of leather. Unlike everything else mentioned this far, it is critical you do not use any dish soap or detergent as the chemicals can be toxic to your pet due to the nature of toys being chewed on and held in their mouth for long periods of time. A good replacement for dish soap a small amount of vinegar to a clean your pet’s toys safely.


Beauty Brushes

Your makeup brushes get dirty faster than you might think. Applying makeup with a dirty brush can lead to increased acne and breakouts. If you routinely wash them, they will not only function better but you will be able to use them longer as well. Just like your keys, makeup brushes can be placed in the dishwasher’s silverware holder for easy cleaning. They will be washed just fine on your washer’s standard cycle. Again, you will want to turn the “heated dry” setting off so you don’t melt the plastic handles. You will want to be around for the wash cycle, as you will want to get your brushes bone dry as soon as the cycle is completed.


Small Outdoor Tools

Digging around in the dirt will definitely make a mess out of your tools. Let your dishwasher do the dirty work of cleaning your gardening and hand tools. Like your makeup brushes, you will need to turn off the “heated dry” setting as all plastic components will melt. To prevent rust forming on your tools, use an old towel or rack to dry them as soon as the washer’s cycle is finished.


Kid’s Toys

Kid’s toys take quite the beating, whether they get thrown around, dragged across the ground, or like your pet, placed in your kid’s mouth. To keep your kid healthy, it would be wise to use a disinfectant wipe on their toys from time to time. A wipe won’t fix everything, though. To fully sanitize your kid’s toys, throw them in the dishwasher. Toys with many small pieces, like Legos, will need to be placed in a mesh bag, so they don’t get lost in the cycle. As most kid’s toys are made of plastic, be mindful to turn the “heated dry” setting off to keep from ruining them.



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The Marling Apartments rests on the edge of Downtown Madison, WI, and offers a superb location near the State Capitol, within walking distance of Willy Street, Schenk-Atwood, and Marquette neighborhoods.

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