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Surprising things you can clean and cook in your dishwasher

Having a dishwasher is one of life’s luxuries, but did you know that it can do so much more than clean dirty dishes? From washing shoes to cooking salmon, the machine can be a handy help for all sorts of things. Below, blogger Jill Nystul of One Good Thing by Jillee shares some of the most genius dishwasher hacks to date:

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Surprising things you can do with your dishwasher (including cook food!)

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Surprising things you can do with your dishwasher (including cook food!)

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1. Wash your flip flops.

With summer in full swing, you’ve probably already dirtied up a pair of flip flops at the beach. Throw them in the dishwasher with a little baking soda and they’ll come out squeaky clean. “I’ve washed countless flip flops in the dishwasher,” Nystul told TODAY Home, adding that you can also put your baseball caps in there too. There’s even a cap shaper you can use to help keep its shape.

RELATED: Dishwasher dilemma: Are you loading it all wrong?

2. Clean tools and filters.

If your small gardening or household tools have plastic handles, you can toss those in the dishwasher too. Nystul just advises to wash them separately if there are any chemicals on them. “I’ve also started cleaning all my filters in it too, like the one above your stove that we all tend to forget about,” she said. “Even your dryer filter needs washing once in awhile because fabric softener from clothes can build up on it making it less efficient. Dirty light covers are another thing where I let the dishwasher do all the work!”

3. Keep food warm.

Need to keep food warm before guests arrive but don’t have a fancy warming oven? Nystul says you can use your dishwasher. Simply put it on “HEAT/DRY CYCLE, NO WATER” and you’ve got yourself a makeshift one.

4. Catch messes.

“You can open the dishwasher door, and spray cooking spray onto to pans to avoid getting it all over the floor,” Nystul suggested. “Or measure out messy powdered ingredients.” The beauty of doing it in the dishwasher is that it’s an easy cleanup.

RELATED: The 3 things to keep in mind when loading a dishwasher

5. Cook salmon.

For a steamed salmon, wrap the marinated fish in foil and run it through an entire cycle, including dry (no soap, obviously). Nystul says she’s done this before and can confirm it works. “Do I prefer it on the grill?” she asked. “Of course! But in a pinch — like the dead of winter — it works, and the fish actually turns out moist and flaky.”

6. Plastic toys and silk flowers. You'd never think of placing these items in the dishwasher, but why not? They need to get cleaned, too. Just place small toys in the cutlery basket and lay flowers flat on the top rack.

For more tips and tricks, check out Nystul’s blog post, “10 Things Everyone With a Dishwasher Should Know.”

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Here's how to properly load a dishwasher and more household hacks

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Here's how to properly load a dishwasher and more household hacks

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