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Keeping kitchen utensils clean

New to this Board (but not Chowhound) but have already learned a lot. Never knew you could clean sponges in the dishwasher and / or microwave. Sounds like a good idea; I'm tired of looking at a grayish sponge.

How about the scrub brush I use to clean gunk off cooking pots? It has plastic bristles and a plastic handle. Can this go in the dishwasher, upper-rack I assume?

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  1. Yes. Periodically we put everything that lives in the bowl next to the sink in the DW for cleaning. Sponge, plastic scrub brushes, drain plug, drain basket (double sink), etc. And the bowl itself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tcamp

      Great. You just helped me to make my life easier. :)

    2. Yes, even sink mats and drain racks.

      8 Replies
      1. re: treb

        Is it okay to put these on the lower rack of the dishwasher?

        1. re: uwsgrazer

          Absolutely. We do the rack, the board, and the utensil piece weekly Also, if you have pieces that protect stainless sinks, they fit in nicely in runs where the aforementioned are not being loaded.

          1. re: nikkihwood

            Wow. You mean those kind of grated pieces that go over a stainless sink? Mine is metal, but is covered with plastic (i.e., the cylindrical pieces of the rack are all wrapped in heavy plastic or something). Frankly, the plastic is coming apart in places, but do you mean you actually put that thing in the dishwasher too?

            Okay, one last silly question. Do you tend to wash all this "stuff" in its own run, or would you be just as willing to include it with your dishes, cutlery and things, space permitting?

            1. re: uwsgrazer

              Mine go in with the general population.

              1. re: tcamp

                Mine do too, Plus, I throw in the metal sink strainer once in a while for kicks.

              2. re: nikkihwood

                Me, too. Not as often, but definitely works!

                I also put in the sink strainer and drain plugs from the non-garbage disposal side of my double sink, and from the laundry sink. Dog food and water bowls, every so often pile in all the large utensils plus the crock on the counter they live in. Can opener blade part.

          2. Yes, but obv don't put the strainer/sink plug in the micro :-0

            When my kitchen sponge gets stained but is still useful, I spritz it with a bleach solution I keep in a spray bottle, let it sink in for a bit, then rinse it thoroughly and THEN micro it. Overkill, perhaps.

            I don't own a dishwasher, but I do soak my sink mat etc in a bleach solution too when it gets stained by beets, etc. Also spritz it with the solution for spot cleaning, etc.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pinehurst

              Bleach water was THE solution in my dishwasher-less Nashville kitchen, and it's still the sovereign remedy for some things (especially as my DW is too small for some of my drainers and boards). Just don't forget to wear good rubber gloves!

              1. re: pinehurst

                I used to soak my sink mat, but periodically I'd put it in with my towels in the laundry, especially if I was doing a large laundry run and went to the laundromat with the front loading machines. That also worked really well for shower curtains! Inventive little suckers, aren't we?

              2. I'm a firm believer in hot water and soap, and periodically, bleach. I clean my sink (and sponges and dishracks and anything else that doesn't go in the dishwasher) by filling them with water, adding a good glug of bleach, and letting sit for an hour. Makes the sink nice and white!

                1. I frequently put my scrub brushes in the dishwasher, including the brass one I use on my cast iron grill pan. If you are using heated dry, use the upper rack for the plastic. If you're air drying, you can probably include them in your utensil basket.

                  Also toothbrushes, it cleans off the accumulated toothpaste like a dream. Also nail brushes.

                  Sponges and rubber jar openers also clean well with towels in the washing machine.

                  1. I also adjust the upper rack in the dw so that I can stick my fume hood grease catchers into the dishwasher. And, once in awhile I'll stick my burner grids in if they're greasy and I don't feel like scrubbing them. Doesn't do a bad job.