10 Completely Useful Uses For Your Useless Dishwasher

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If you have never had the misfortune of owning a completely useless dishwasher, consider yourself lucky. For those of us that have, we know the desperation that comes with opening the door to find unclean dishes, food heat baked onto glassware, and peanut butter residue still on the butter knife.

The moment of hesitation, while you decide whether you can run it again or if you’re better off doing them all over by hand. The tiny prayer that gets sent up as you start the cycle over hoping this time it works.

No one likes to admit that their dishwasher is dying or even worse, they chose to save money over quality when making the purchase. Instead, we will run it again and again, use it less and less and then one day, it’s fully transformed into its new life in the form of dirty dish storage, or a really expensive dish drying rack. 

different ways to use dishwasher

Here are some of our favorite funny and even brilliant ways you can still get some use out of that useless dishwasher. 

10 Completely Useful Uses For Your Useless Dishwasher

  1. Dirty Dish Storage
    I’m notoriously bad about doing dishes. It’s by far my least favorite household chore and sometimes I find myself putting it off as long as necessary. However, I also hate a cluttered counter. The solution? Stuffing those dirty dishes in the old dishwasher. This is especially helpful when you have last minute guests as it also happens to be great for hiding dirty laundry and that mountain of paperwork you never quite find the time to file away.
  2. Drying Rack
    My mother, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She can’t stand a dirty dish in the sink but neither does she like to use the dishwasher. In her case, she insists that ALL dishwashers do a horrible job and has never even given hers a chance! Instead she washes the dishes by hand and uses her dishwasher as a very expensive drying rack. 
  3. Disinfect Kids Toys
    Most kids toys can be sanitized by tossing them on the top rack of the dishwasher with some non-toxic dish soap. Even if your old clunker can no longer wash the dishes to a brilliant shine, the hot water and steam will sanitize kids toys like nobody’s business. I throw in building blocks, pretend play dishes and food, even matchbox cars. As long as it isn’t wooden or electronic, chances are I’ve tossed it in the dishwasher. 
  4. Another Clothes Washer
    Well maybe not your jeans and t-shirts, but an old dishwasher makes a great place to those accessories that tend to never get washed because you can’t quite figure out how. Wash baseball caps on the top rack without the risk of losing their shape. While your at it, most shoes can be thrown in there too. Fabric purse? Toss it in. Diaper bag? Yep, that too. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve even washed some fabric Coach bags successfully this way!
  5. Tupperware Organizer
    In all my trips to various megastores, I have yet to find an effective reusable plastic container organizer. Those lids just end up doing what they please, including up and walking away. The bottom rack makes great storage for the bottoms, while the upper rack perfectly organizes the lids.
  6. Knick Knacks and Figurines
    I’ve never met anyone who enjoyed dusting their figurines. Place them on the top rack, press start and walk away. 
  7. Pet Toys and Dishes
    Most pet toys can be tossed right into the dishwasher. It gets them clean and disinfected.
  8. Potato Storage
    Potatoes love dark storage. Throw them on the top rack and use it as a storage bin. 
  9. Clean Your Cleaning Supplies
    Redundant? Yes, but a really great way to get more life out of your dish sponges or cleaning brushes.
  10. Clean Your Range
    Gas grilles and burner caps always find a way to get pretty disgusting pretty quickly. Next time you’re giving your kitchen a scrub down, try tossing these in the dishwasher to get the grease and grime off with as little effort from you as possible.

Eventually, there will come the day when you bite the bullet and decide you need to purchase a new dishwasher. Something sleek and shiny. Something that actually cleans any dirty dish you can throw at it without pre-rinsing. Something that actually saves you time and maybe even gets you fighting over who gets to load the dishwasher.

OK, maybe thats going a little too far, but who knows. Something like the new Stainless Steel Samsung StormWash Dishwasher from Best Buy. A whisper quiet beauty with a whopping three racks and enough space to handle 15 place settings.

You know you’ve reached adulthood when you stare in wonder at a dedicated silverware rack. Or get excited about a dishwasher with touch controls and an AutoDoor Release™ where the door automatically pops open at the end of a cycle to circulate air and accelerate drying time.

And the best part? I can still use it to hide my paperwork or clean my sneakers.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

2 thoughts on “10 Completely Useful Uses For Your Useless Dishwasher”

  1. The Samsung dishwasher you mention is definitely fabulous. I had an earlier model, but with same flexible rack spaces and superior cleaning power. Just one caveat. Make sure when you install it that you follow instructions for placing the drainage lines. Ours weren’t installed properly and although it washes like a champ, a little more than a year later mine was clogged and water can’t drain. Ruled out anything mechanical or electronic from the actual machine. Its just from drain lines that slipped due to poor positioning. To fix it, we have to completely uninstall and reinstall the dishwasher beneath the counter — this time using installation instructions. I still love this Samsung and wish I knew more about basic plumbing lines, so I don’t have to wait for my DIY partner and his pal to redo initial sloppy work.

  2. Some of the suggestions are funny. Using a useless dishwasher to hide paperwork? Haha. Seriously though, I have not thought of using the dishwasher to clean knick knacks, baseball caps and sneakers.


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