Surprisingly, there are plenty of other uses for dishwasher tablets beyond cleaning dirty dishes. But perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that dishwasher tablets are designed to tackle hard water and remove stains and food residue. (Not to mention the way they make the inside of your dishwasher sparkle — it’s no substitute for actually cleaning your dishwasher, but still!)
And although I’ve shared about using dish soap in the dishwasher, things you should know about your dishwasher and a printable list of dishwasher do’s and don’ts, as well as identified 19 things you can clean in your dishwasher, I haven’t focused much on dishwasher tablets specifically. But that’s about to change!
Regular readers of this blog will know how much I enjoy sharing unusual uses for ordinary household items, so it only makes sense that I would be curious about alternative ways to use dishwasher tablets. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the list below!
Note: These are uses for dishwasher detergent tablets, not pods. Tablets are made from powdered detergent, while pods or pacs are partly or entirely liquid. Liquid pods can be finicky (see the top dishwasher pod mistake for more on that), and they aren’t well-suited for the tips listed below.
8 Surprising Things You Can Clean With A Dishwasher Tablet
1. Get Grime Off Your Oven Door
Cleaning your oven door with a dishwasher tablet is a snap, and all you need to do it is a dishwasher tablet, warm water, and a few cleaning cloths. (Oh, and be sure to wear gloves when handling dishwasher tablets — that goes for all the tips in this post!)
Drop a dishwasher tablet in the warm water for a moment or two to soften the edges, then use it to scrub the stains on the inside of your oven door, including the glass. As the tablet starts to crumble, use the crumbly bits to get into the corners. Once you’re satisfied, use a wet cloth to wipe away the detergent residue and the loosened grime. (You can use the remainder of the tab to spot clean the inside of the oven, too.)
2. Get Pyrex Sparkling Clean
I love my Pyrex baking dishes, but I don’t love the brown spots and stains they acquire that I can’t seem to get off of them. Luckily, I learned you can clean Pyrex with hot water and a dishwashing tablet, and in much the same way as cleaning your oven door!
If your Pyrex pans are in really bad shape, try soaking them in very hot water with either a crumbled tablet or powdered dish detergent. Let them soak for several hours, then scrub with another tablet and the stains should come right off!
3. Scrub Your Sink With A Detergent Tablet
Got a mess in your kitchen sink? Don your rubber gloves and attack the grease and grime with a sponge and a dishwasher tab. Just wet the sink, then rub a tablet on the sides and bottom of the sink to remove soap scum, hard water stains, and other messes. Rinse and dry the sink, and it will look good as new!
(While you could theoretically use a dishwasher tablet to clean a shower as well, that would be mighty tedious! There are easier ways to clean a shower, so save the tablets for spot cleaning and smaller jobs!)
4. Clean Up Burned Pots And Pans
Even the most competent cooks among us have accidentally scorched a pan once or twice, and we all know how tough those stains can be! Instead of spending hours scrubbing and scraping the mess, use a dishwasher tab and boiling water to clean burned pots and pans overnight!
Drop half a tablet in the pot, add some water, and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the pot or pan sit overnight, and in the morning, the loosened gunk should be easy to clean up.
5. Scrub Away Coffee Stains
Removing coffee and tea stains from the inside of cups and mugs is easy with a dishwasher tablet, and you don’t have to worry about scratching the surface of the ceramic. Gently rub a damp dishwasher tablet on the inside of the mug until the stains disappear.
6. Clean Trash Cans Effortlessly
Wondering how to clean a stinky trash can? Drop a dish tablet or two into the trash can, then fill it with hot water and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Afterward, carefully dump out the water, then rinse and dry completely before adding a clean trash bag.
7. Make Toilet Bowls Sparkle
For many homemakers, cleaning the toilet is the cleaning task they dread most of all. To make that chore a whole lot easier, pop a dishwasher tablet in the toilet and let it dissolve while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Once the tab has dissolved, give it a quick scrub with your toilet brush to leave your toilet sparkling clean.
8. Clean Your Outdoor Furniture
Between pollen, bird poop, and general dirt and debris, outdoor furniture can get grimy in a hurry! Before your next backyard hangout, grab a dishwasher tablet and use it to clean up your outdoor furniture. Use it like a scouring pad to get your outdoor furniture clean and ready for company!
BONUS: Can Dishwasher Tablets Clear Your Drains?
Since dishwasher tablets are designed to break down grease, a common culprit when it comes to clogged drains, you may wonder whether you could use them to unclog drains. While I think you’d be better off using something like Dawn dish soap to prevent clogs from forming, a dishwasher tablet and some boiling water might help clear an existing clog. (I haven’t had the chance to try it — if you decide to give it a try, be sure to let me know how it goes!)
Who knew dishwasher tablets were so versatile? :-) I wouldn’t be surprised if these useful cleaning tips inspired you to whip up a batch of homemade dishwasher tablets, which are simple to make using homemade dishwashing detergent powder).
What other dishwasher tablet tips would you add to this list?