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7 Things You Never Thought To Clean In The Dishwasher

...Give 'em a whirl!

Ahh, the dishwasher. We know it as one of the kitchen's biggest time-saving luxuries.

But what you may not know is that the dishwasher cleans much more than just dirty plates and spoons. You can actually use this sudsy powerhouse to quick-wash all sorts of household goods, from pet toys to plastic hairbrushes.

We rounded up 7 of the most surprising finds you can clean in a dishwasher, according to Carolyn E. Forté, director of home appliances and cleaning products at the the Good Housekeeping Institute. Her favorites include:

Plastic shower poofs
Lee lian Chong via Getty Images
Dish brushes and scrub brushes
Daniel Grill via Getty Images
Sponges
Emrah Turudu via Getty Images
Plastic hairbrushes (Clean out the hair first!)
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
Pet toys
Zoonar RF via Getty Images
Pet bowls
Yuriy Chaban via Getty Images
Empty glazed flowerpots and planters
Prasit photo via Getty Images

Most of these items require just a single quick-wash cycle in your dishwasher to become more squeaky clean than if you washed them by hand. Be sure to check items like pet bowls first, of course, to make sure they're labeled "dishwasher safe."

That being said, not every item should be run though a dishwasher. Check out the slideshow below for a list of items to avoid:

Don't Put These Things In The Dishwasher

You can find more spring cleaning tips like these in the April issue of Good Housekeeping.