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Stuff You Shouldn't Put In The Dishwasher

Updated on June 12, 2012
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

Yes, You Should Put Dishes In The Dishwasher

Stuff you can put in the dishwasher!
Stuff you can put in the dishwasher! | Source

Just Don't Do It

Recently, a person geniunely asked me if she could wash clothes in the dishwasher. Ummm... no. Don't get me wrong, I understand the appeal. I have a dishwasher in my apartment, but if I need to do laundry, I have to shuffle everything down to the laundry room and use community washers and dryers. I have to pay to wash my laundry and then pay to dry my laundry. Imagine how great that would be to wash my clothes for free in the dishwasher? Life would be so grand! Yet, I know it is not a good idea. So no, do not put clothes in the dishwasher.

While I was on the subject, I started to think of all of the many things you might want to wash, but you still should not put in the dishwasher. Of course, some items you would just like to dry in the dishwasher, but no, you can't do that either. I decided to put some thought in this matter, and I decided to kindly create a list of many items you just simply can't put in the dishwasher. Please keep in mind, there are probably many other items you don't want to put in the dishwasher, but I think this will give you some clear examples to get you started.

All Bad Ideas For The Dishwasher:

Potted plants are a bad idea.
Potted plants are a bad idea. | Source
Stuffed animals and live animals (for that matter, dead animals) should all stay out of the dishwasher.
Stuffed animals and live animals (for that matter, dead animals) should all stay out of the dishwasher. | Source
Don't hang your bathing suit to dry in the dishwasher.
Don't hang your bathing suit to dry in the dishwasher. | Source

A Handy List Of Items That Don't Belong In The Dishwasher:

Animals - This includes your pets, the strays you find on the street (no matter how dirty they are!), or even stuffed animals.

Plants - Sure, they might need to be watered, but simply adding a cup of water to the pot will probably do the trick.

Electrical Items - Your laptop might be getting sticky from eating Doritos while typing all the time, but that does not mean it can go in the dishwasher.

Clothes - Yes, I already covered this, but you might think you can dry your clothes in the dishwasher, too. Just don't do it.

Candles - Sometimes you just want to experiment with a new way to put out candles, but don't bother with the dishwasher technique. Blowing out the candle is always a good idea.

Cups and Plates You Really Like That Say, "Not Dishwasher Safe" on the Bottom - Personally, I don't even know why these items exist, but yet, they do. I usually just check in the store now and if it isn't dishwasher safe, I don't even buy it.

Books - Yep, those pesky books sure get dusty, but they are not going to make it out of the dishwasher experience looking the same. Keep them out of the rain, too, while we are on the subject.

Sheets and Towels - No, there are no exceptions to the "no laundry in the dishwasher" rule. You should not even put towels specific to the kitchen in there.

Shoes - No, just no.

Picture Frames - Sure, Grandma and Grandpa's picture is getting a little dusty in that frame, but hey, they didn't even know how to swim. All that water is going to be like being at the beach during a hurricane. What a bad idea!

Jewelry - It is true, sometimes you need to clean those gold chains or rings, but the dishwasher is not the place for it.

A Person - Even if your three year old thinks it would be fun to jump in the dishwasher, you are an adult and you can't let it happen. Yes, this is still a terrible idea even if she just played in the sandbox and you don't want her tracking sand all over the house.

Tricycle - Just thought I would throw that one in there. Personally, I would like to see someone try it.

A Snowman - Once again, a bad idea, but I would still like to see it.

Dish Liquid Not Intended for the Dishwasher - Unless you want to turn your kitchen into a sudsy adventure, never put regular dish liquid in the dishwasher.

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle


Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Haha... my ex-boyfriend did the same thing and flooded his kitchen. It was pretty funny. I did not have any idea how to use a dishwasher when I first got one. My friend and I ended up asking for advice from a random shopper at Target in the dish liquid aisle. She probably thought we were crazy!

  • profile image

    Chewy Mommy 

    8 years ago

    In my early twenties I learned not to put liquid dish soap in a dishwasher the hard way. I will say my floors were sparkling clean afterward though.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am happy you enjoyed the hub. Yes, get Mr. Turtle out of the dishwasher right now! :-) Thanks for your comment!

  • Sharkye11 profile image

    Jayme Kinsey 

    8 years ago from Oklahoma

    So that is why my snowman didn't survive. I looked at his bottom, but he didn't say "Not Dishwasher Safe". Well, you learn something new everyday, I guess!

    Great hub! Enjoyed the laugh. Now I have to go take my turtle out of the dishwasher. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Stephanie Henkel - I hope no one washes their stuffed animals in the dishwasher. Poor little guys! I could see it happening though. Thanks for sharing my hub!

    Nell Rose - Wow, that is so scary! My cousin used to have a cat that liked to jump into the microwave as soon as the door opened. One time, she simply opened the door to stir something and then close the door to continue cooking, and the cat jumped in. Of course, she stopped the cat from cooking within seconds and the cat was fine, but shesh! What a close one! Thanks for sharing your story. Crazy cats!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    8 years ago from England

    Hi, lol! I love this, and the photos were great! this reminded me of the time I worked in a pub, I was just sitting down for a nice cup of tea when my friend came running down the stairs in a state of sheer panic! I asked her what was wrong and she said, The cats in the washing machine and its going round! seriously! we ran upstairs in about 2 seconds flat and I quickly turned the machine off, she forgot too in her panic, and luckily the cat was taken out none the worse for wear! evidently she was cleaning upstairs and just turned it on without looking inside it, saw the cat, panicked and nearly had a heart attack! after checking the cat was okay, it was only for about 2 minutes and the water had only just gone in, we did laugh as the cat looked lovely and clean! it was a long haired persian cat so it came up nice! lol! It was funny but obviously very dangerous and I think our laughter was just pure relief of adrenaline rushing up those darn stairs!

  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 

    8 years ago from USA

    Amazingly, some people might actually put some of these things in the dishwasher! I can imagine a few of those cute little stuffed animals being washed along with the flatware... Funny hub, voted up across the board and shared. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Alecia Murphy - I am surprised to hear how many people do try to put clothing in the dishwasher... and some people even claim it works! I, however, am not even going to try it. I just want clean plates and glasses! Thanks for the comment!

    fpherj48 - I am glad I could help you out. Just in time before something bad happened! Whew! I do have a hub on the proper use of the microwave, but I think I actually too a serious approach with that one. It is a very old hub. :-) Thanks for the vote up!

  • fpherj48 profile image


    8 years ago from Carson City

    Excellent. Thank heavens for your wise advice. I may have put some of these things in my dishwasher....Phew! your hub is just in time.. Will you please do a similar hub on what not to put in the microwave? I'm learning so much from you, jeannie..........UP+++

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 

    8 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    This should be required reading for people who don't know anything about appliances. Why would you even think about putting clothes in a dishwasher? The name has been pretty self explanatory.

    However, I do know some people think all pots and pans belong in there too simply because they involve food. Funny and awesome as usual!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Hahaha... maybe not the paper plates, but I do wonder if I could get away with plastic utensils sometimes. However, I refuse to get to that point in my life, so I won't even try. ;-) Thanks for the comment!

  • Daisy Mariposa profile image

    Daisy Mariposa 

    8 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


    Thanks for publishing this extremely useful, informative, funny article. What about paper plates and plastic spoons, forks, and knives? Would you recommend washing those in the dishwasher?

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I hope most people would not think to do anything of this either, but I did read an article recently about all the things you can put in dishwashers. Stuff like baseball caps, flip flops, and other items I would not dare put in there were listed. Eww! Thanks for the vote up and for the comment!

  • adjkp25 profile image


    9 years ago from Idaho

    I pride myself on being a somewhat decent man around the house when it comes to dishes and laundry so I believe I wouldn't think about putting any of these items in the dishwasher. On the other hand I can think of quite a few guys I know that might just give a couple of these a try.

    Voted up and useful/funny.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Though I only washed dishes in my dishwasher but didn't know what earth-shattering ideas people get regarding dishwashers.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Movie Master - Thanks so much! I am happy you enjoyed my hub.

    2patricias - You know, I keep hearing baseball caps are an exception to the rule. I am going to have to rethink that one. As far as flip flops go, that scares me just a bit. Good luck with that one! :-) Thanks for tweeting my hub!

    Thanks for the comments!

  • 2patricias profile image


    9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    Having tweeted, I've had a reply from my (supposedly) grown up son, who says you can put flip flops in the dishwasher.

    No wonder my dishes smell funny.....

  • 2patricias profile image


    9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    This made me laugh - especially your photos.

    I agree with MOST of the list, apart from "clothes" . Okay, you cannot/ should not wash most articles of clothing in the dishwasher, but I have cleaned up a baseball hat by putting it on the upper rack. (It was in pretty bad shape, and would have got thrown out. Came out much better looking - honestly.)

    I'm tweeting this one.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    9 years ago from United Kingdom

    I so love your hubs Jeannie!

    Very funny and entertaining and brilliant photos!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you so much! I am glad you liked the photos. Sometimes seeing a photo really helps educate the public on what they shouldn't do. ;-)

  • Redberry Sky profile image

    Redberry Sky 

    9 years ago

    Funniest Hub I've ever seen, and I LOVE your photos of what not to put in a dishwasher. Useful, too, of course. (nods, wisely). Right, I've spotted your Hub on how to open a door, so I'm off to learn something else from you. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much for the votes! If you can figure out how to get a boat in the dishwasher, by all means, put it in there. But please take photos. Wow... questions about the washing machine and the microwave, too? Looks like another hub might have to come out of all this...

  • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

    Greensleeves Hubs 

    9 years ago from Essex, UK

    Boats like water. Can we clean an inflatable boat in a dishwasher?

    Sorry to criticise, but this article just isn't very helpful Jeannie. It tells us what NOT to put in the dishwasher, but just what ARE we supposed to do with these things? If we can't put animals in a dishwasher, can we put them in a washing machine (with a gentle wash program of course?) And can we dry clothes in a microwave oven? OK, it's maybe not big enough to be practical for shirts, coats, and wedding dresses, but maybe a pair of socks?

    We need answers to these questions!!!! Can you supply them??? Voted up in appropriate and inappropriate categories. Alun.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    handymanbill - It took me a while to cross over, too. Now I can't imagine doing dishes by hand. Thanks for the comment!

    randomcreative - Some people think of some scary stuff. When I google searched "can I put clothes in dishwasher?" I found there are a lot of people contemplating doing just that. Thanks for dropping by my hub!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    9 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Great job as always! It's scary to think of all the people out there contemplating putting their clothes (or worse) in the dishwasher.

  • handymanbill profile image


    9 years ago from Greensburg Pennsylvania

    Got me laughing. Great hub. Still doing mine by hand though. Never put one in Yet.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    chrissieklinger - I am happy to hear you have a new dishwasher. They are so great! Thanks for the comment.

    Esmeowl12 - You are kidding! I would have never thought baseball caps could work in the dishwasher. Thanks for sharing!

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A Johnson 

    9 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Hilarious! I must say, though, that we have washed my husband's baseball caps in the dishwasher for years. There is even a "mold" to put the cap on to help keep its shape while washing on the top shelf.

  • chrissieklinger profile image


    9 years ago from Pennsylvania

    After 7 yrs. without a dishwasher, I just recently installed one...I will be sure to not put these items in it!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you! I guess I am thinking outside the dishwasher. :-) But yeah, people do have some different ideas about things they should be doing with household appliances.

  • jpcmc profile image

    JP Carlos 

    9 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

    Animals in the dishwasher! People can be very creative. I don't know if it's lack of common sense or just plain ignorance but hey, YOu have to give credit for thinking out of the box. lol

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    The dishwasher simply makes everything better. I remember being my parents' dishwasher for many years. When I look back, so many arguments and hurt feelings could have been spared if only we had a dishwasher when I was younger.

    You are so right! I am going to add that to the list. I know disasters occur when regular dish liquid goes in the dishwasher. Thanks for sharing!

  • Austinstar profile image


    9 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    We actually lived for ten years out on the ranch without a dishwasher. Bob, of course, had to do the dishes by hand. I think finally giving in and getting him one may have saved our marriage :-)

    BTW - Bob learned that he MUST use soap clearly marked for dishwashers and not the same Dawn in a bottle that he used to wash dishes by hand. So Dawn detergent is another thing you can't put in the dishwasher.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    rahul0324 - No! Don't put the book in there! At least, I hope it isn't a good book. :-) Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Victoria Lynn - Thanks so much for the votes. I am glad you liked the photos. I wanted to add more stuff in the dishwasher, but it was starting to gross me out. :-)

    emilybee - I used to never use my dishwasher, but I gave in one day and my life improved greatly because of it. I would not even think to live in a place without a dishwasher now. Thanks for the comment!

  • rahul0324 profile image

    Jessee R 

    9 years ago from Gurgaon, India

    Now.. I have indulged in throwing a book in out of rage.. lol

    Sometimes funny things can happen


  • emilybee profile image


    9 years ago

    Haha this hub I know will help a lot of people. I'm like you and don't buy things that can't go in the dishwasher, it is so much easier that way. God love the dishwasher. Oh I hear ya wouldn't it be nice to not lug the clothes way down to the bottom floor of our apartments to do laundry? Great hub!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    9 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I love this hub. How enjoyable! And useful, too, of course! Love the photos. Many votes. Great job!


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