Turn Your Dishwasher Into a Workhorse Plus More Great Reader tips

The dishwasher in my house is a workhorse. It does a great job of cleaning dishes of course, but also baseball caps, waste baskets, and de-crystallizing honey* (yes, you read that right). Now I can add cleaning refrigerator shelves to the list.

SPARKLING CLEAN SHELVES. When I clean my refrigerator I put all the shelves, including the door shelves, in the dishwasher. I run the short cycle, which saves time, and the shelves come out sparkling. Emma

DOG HAIR-REMOVAL GLOVES. My Labrador Retriever frequently goes places with me, traveling in the back of my car. Needless to say, lots of dog hair gets stuck on the carpet. I’ve tried everything to remove it including sticky roller tape and special sponges, but nothing has worked. Finally, I tried my gardening gloves. The palm of the glove has a rough, rubbery texture and they work beautifully. I put on the glove and run my hand palm down along the carpet. The hair piles up in my glove. Kathryn

GRIND THE BEANS IN A JAR. I buy coffee beans even though I don’t have a coffee grinder. I use a mason jar and my blender. I add the beans to the jar and screw it into the blender. Angela

SWIFFER CLEANING TWO-STEP. I cut up old towels into pieces that fit as a cleaning pad on my Swiffer. When mopping, I use a spray bottle filled with water and a tablespoon of Murphy’s Oil Soap, spraying small areas and mopping as I go. The floor dries very quickly, too. Jill

WRAP UP THE BREAKABLES. As a former Air Force wife and a quilter, I realized during one of our moves that quilting fabric would make for good packing material. I was going to move it anyway and if I used my own packing materials I wouldn’t have to purchase it from the moving company. I also used our towels, sheets, pillowcases, t-shirts, and nightgowns to pack our belongings. It cut down on our costs during our many moves, it didn’t harm the environment and the materials were still clean (although wrinkled) when I unpacked. I would suggest to those who want to cut costs from their move to look around their homes for soft things that can protect breakables. Yvonne

CARPET SQUARES CLEAR THE PATH. I keep carpet samples in the trunk of my car in case I get stuck in the snow (sand or mud, too). I simply place the carpet squares in front of the tires and drive right out! Joan

* That jar of honey was once delicious and beautiful, but now it looks gross because it has crystallized and turned almost solid. Don’t throw it out! It’s easy to turn crystallized, over-microwaved honey into tasty flowing goodness again. Your honey bear may be all dried up now, but a simple fix can save the day! Set the tightly closed jar in the top rack and run it through a dishwasher cycle, allowing it to return to room temperature in the dishwasher. This method works because the water spray provides slow, even heating and gentle agitation.


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  • Linda

    Forget that cute little bear shaped honey container! Once you start using natural, unprocessed raw honey, you will not want to go back to the commercial brands! I buy from a woman a town away here in TN, and the raw local honey is also good to help you develop an immunity to some of the allergens in your area. I have been using raw honey since the mid 1980’s when my sister-in-law suggested I try some. It is awesome!

    • Bookworm

      I agree! I had one of those cute bear containers, a plastic one, and was refilling it with raw honey. It got crystallized, so I put it in the microwave. The container got so misshapen it was unusable. Wish I had the dishwasher instructions at the time! Now I may have to buy another bear container to empty and refill.

  • Lynn S

    I was always told to never microwave honey to get it back to its natural deliciousness. I never questioned this and always use the water-in-a-pan stove top method. Because the microwave heats unevenly is probably why it is discouraged. I think though that if your dishwasher temp is too high, this would change the color of your honey and possibly destroy its beneficial properties. Some people use honey for their allergies and such. But as long as it doesn’t change the taste and you are enjoying it only for its wonderful flavor, then why not give it a try? Also, your dishwasher is a great way to clean a lot of potatoes that you may need for a large gathering where baked potatoes are being served. My MIL used this method when she was a cook at a campus sorority.

  • donnafreedman

    Some people poach whole salmon in the dishwasher. (I am not one of those people.)