Save time with 9 easy dishwasher hacks

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Cleaning legos, organizing it efficiently, getting the most out of it...all the ways you can use a dishwasher to save time.
1. Load it properly
How to load a dishwasher properly has started many a household battle. Begin by pre-rinsing dishes if they won't be washed right away. Never stack items, and make sure you secure your plastics. You should also angle your dishes so that the dirty sides face the jets.
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2. Bag up the little things
You don't want things bouncing around your dishwasher during the wash cycle. It isn't good for your dishes or your dishwasher. The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests using an inexpensive mesh laundry bag to hold small items keeps them from bouncing around. You can use a plastic clothes pin to secure it to the rack, if necessary.
3. Scrub your potatoes
Washing potatoes always seems to take forever -- especially if you have lots to wash. Heavenly Homemakers has hit upon a genius idea. Just load your potatoes in the dishwasher for a quick rinse! You can wash a lot of potatoes in very little time and without making a mess. Plus, you don't have to worry if you've done a good job or not.
4. Wash the unexpected
There are plenty of things that are time consuming to clean. Ever had a child spill juice in a box of legos? It takes forever to clean them, unless you clean the unexpected in your dishwasher. Ball caps, toys, rain boots, hair brushes -- your options are almost endless. Just don't stick these items in the same cycle with your dishes! Check out these 15 things you can wash in the dishwasher you wish you'd known about.
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5. Make your own dish tabs
Dish tabs make starting the dishwasher an easy chore. You don't have to measure anything, simply place a tab in the appropriate location. However, they can be a bit expensive. Mom4Real has the perfect homemade dish tab recipe. This easy DIY project requires only three ingredients: dish soap, baking soda and citric acid.
6. Achieve a sparking shine
Jet Dry and other rinse aids help prevent hard water deposits and spots on your glassware and other dishes. One of the key ingredients is vinegar. Why not save a bit of money and create your own homemade dishwasher rinse aid. The recipe from Odds and Evans is incredibly simple: vinegar and orange essential oil.
7. Keep it clean
It's crazy that appliances designed to clean actually need cleaning. Having clean dishes actually depends on keeping your dishwasher clean. A clean dishwasher will work more efficiently, clean better and last longer. It is amazing what vinegar and baking soda can accomplish. For the toughest jobs, a bit of bleach will do the trick. One Good Thing by Jillee gives you her easy tips here.
8. Craft a clean/dirty tag
Sometimes it can be hard to remember if the dishes are clean or dirty. Save time by creating this handy clean/dirty dishwasher tag. The easy-to-follow tutorial features a free printable for this craft. Just print, color, cut out and Mod Podge for a cute dishwasher reminder.
9. Cook dinner
Sound incredible -- that's because it is. You can actually use your dishwasher to cook dinner. The heat is perfect for steaming fish, vegetables and other dishes. Check out how at NPR's The Salt. The secret to perfect salmon in the dishwasher? Don't add soap.
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Now you've learned how to really use your dishwasher to it's fullest potential! From clean toys to a fully cooked meal, your dishwasher is more versatile than you ever imagined! Share these interesting ideas with your friends and family on Facebook!
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