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10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dishwasher Could Do

Odds are, you haven’t been taking advantage of this appliance’s full potential. These dishwasher hacks will totally blow your mind.

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Salmon and dishwasherShutterstock (2)

Bake salmon fillets

Dishwashers are good for more than just cleaning your cookware; these kitchen appliances can whip up a tasty meal, too. Just for starters, wrap salmon (seasoned to your liking) in a foil packet, place it on the top rack, and run a normal cycle (without soap) for a hassle-free dinner. While it might not be the most efficient way to cook a meal—and it can reportedly make your dishwasher smell funky—it can’t hurt to put this fun trick to the test.

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Fruit and veggiesShutterstock (2)

Rinse fruits and veggies

If you still hand-wash each individual fruit or vegetable from your weekly farmers’ market haul, you’re wasting your time. Throw them all in your dishwasher and run a cold (soap-free) rinse cycle, and you’ll never need to turn on your sink. Bonus tip: To protect delicate produce, such as tomatoes and peaches, place them on the top rack. Heavier produce like potatoes and cantaloupes can go on the bottom.

Here are the dishwasher problems you should never ignore.

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Keep food warm

Keeping cooked food warm can be tricky when you’re hosting the extended family for a holiday meal and the oven’s already full. For a makeshift chafing dish, set the dishwasher to dry cycle with no water and leave the dish on the top rack. Your meal will stay nice and toasty until you’re ready to serve.

Find out more genius ways to hack your kitchen appliances.

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Avocados and dishwasherShutterstock (2)

Ripen avocados

Need to ripen an avocado fast? Your dishwasher is here to help. Just throw the fruit on the top rack for one normal cycle; according to a restaurant employee, something about the heat and/or humidity can soften up these rock-hard fruits.

Here are 40 more kitchen hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Steamed veggies and dishwasherShutterstock (2)

Steam veggies

Did your stove decide to take some unexpected time off? Save the day by placing chopped vegetables—Brit+Co recommends green beans or asparagus—into a Mason jar with one cup of water and seal it shut. Then, leave the jar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle. You will have delicious, perfectly steamed veggies on your plate in minutes. Bon appétit!

Discover 20+ more simple home hacks to save money.

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Make-up brushes and dishwasherShutterstock (2)

Sanitize makeup brushes

All the scouring and scrubbing in the world won’t make that gunk in your makeup brushes go away. Instead, try placing them in your dishwasher’s silverware basket and running a normal cycle. You can do the same thing for nail clippers, hairbrushes and combs, too.

Find out more everyday items you don’t wash nearly enough.

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DishwasherShutterstock (2)

Reuse the racks as storage

Ahh, another dishwasher bites the dust. But before you toss it out, you can actually reuse almost all of its parts. The top rack, for example, can double as creative storage for craft supplies or gardening tools. Just turn the rack on its side and hang it on a wall in your craft room or garage.

You’ll find more creative storage ideas on these binge-worthy home organizing shows.

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Silverware and dishwasherShutterstock (2)

Organize utensils and writing supplies

Speaking of salvaging broken dishwashers, that old silverware caddy can also have a second life as a place to stash pencils, markers, crayons, or other craft supplies.

Find out how dishwasher tablets can help clean your oven.

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Dry your hand-washed dishes

Hand-washing dishes is time-consuming enough without drying them all, too. Let that huge stack of delicate bowls and plates air dry in the empty dishwasher (with the door cracked open), or run the dry cycle if you’re in a hurry.

These spring cleaning tips will make this year’s routine a total breeze.

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Create under-the-bed storage

Not everything inside your old, broken dishwasher belongs in the junkyard. Turn the wheeled bottom rack into extra storage underneath your bed; it can roll back and forth for easy access to your stuff.

Next, check out 30 more home organizing hacks to declutter every room.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest