If you own a dishwasher, you probably fill it with your dirty dishes and run it once a day—rarely giving it a second thought. However, this handy machine can do so much more for you than simply clean your dinner plates and silverware. There’s a whole host of other things your dishwasher can clean for you.

Sponges and dishcloths

That’s right. You probably have a sponge or cloth that you use on countertops, cookware and other items that don’t go in the dishwasher. Rather than spread germs around your kitchen, place these cleaning tools in the dishwasher just before you run it. Your scrub brushes can go in, as well. They’ll come out clean and fresh-smelling!

Toothbrushes and toothbrush holders

Drop your toothbrush? Not to worry, place it in the silverware basket to wash away any germs you’ve picked up from the sink or floor. While you’re at it, put your toothbrush holder into the dishwasher once a week or so to rid it of dried toothpaste gunk.

Plastic Toys

This is especially handy if you have babies or toddlers who tend to “mouth” their toys. Teethers, bath toys, nearly any plastic toy that doesn’t use batteries can go through a dishwasher cycle. They’ll come out as clean and sanitary as your spoons and bowls.

Personal Grooming Tools

Your combs, tweezers, nail clippers, loofahs and fingernail brush can all benefit from the hot spray and sanitizing detergent of your dishwasher. Most hairbrushes are not well suited to the heat and harsh detergents, so it may be better to give the hairbrush a short soak in warm water with a few drops of your favorite shampoo.

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