Dishwashers are one of modern life's great conveniences. What's not to love about avoiding washing dishes by hand?
But some people take things a little too far in their quest for convenience, chucking unusual items in the dishwasher with gay abandon. Crazy or clever? It's hard to say.
Here are the top five most surprising items that you can put through your dishwasher. Whether or not you actually should is a very different matter.
1. Combs and hairbrushes
As long as they don't have wooden handles, you can pop your combs and hair brushes into your dishwasher to sanitise them. Probably a good idea after you've dealt with an infestation of head lice. (Shudder.)
If you're a parent of young children, your home will invariably be full of Lego. It'll also be full of childhood germs and bugs – and so will said Lego.
"You can disinfect the Lego by throwing it into a laundry bag and popping it on the top shelf of your dishwasher when you're doing a load," says Ash, CHOICE's resident dishwasher expert and parent of a Lego-obsessed four-year-old.
You can do this with any kind of plastic toys – just not the squeaky kind, as they'll just fill up with water and then get mouldy.
3. Computer keyboard and mouse
In some strange corners of the internet, you'll find sites suggesting that you can put your keyboard in the dishwasher to clean it. We did a quick poll of our IT team and they were all horrified at the thought.
Having said that, there are special keyboards and computer mice that are specifically designed to go in the dishwasher – they're completely sealed and are IP68 rated, which means they won't allow water or dust inside. They're most commonly used in medical settings or anywhere that hygiene is imperative. You can also buy 'washable' keyboards, but they're generally not dishwasher-safe.
"To clean a keyboard normally, you'd take off all the keys and use a brush or vacuum to get all the crumbs and dust out," says CHOICE test coordinator Elias. "But if you have a special sealed keyboard you can just chuck it in the dishwasher to clean it."
"But if your keyboard isn't IP68 rated or the manufacturer doesn't specifically state that it's dishwasher-proof, then all bets are off."
So, there you have it: we don't recommend that you put your keyboard through a cycle, unless you have one that's specifically dishwasher-proof.
But there are other places you can stash your electronics.
"I have put my laptop in the freezer before," says Bec, CHOICE's IT manager.
"It was a really hot day at work and my computer overheated, so I put it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool it down."
Ash, our dishwasher guru, whipped up a two-course meal in the CHOICE whitegoods lab and was pleasantly surprised with the result.
5. Toilet seat
This one definitely falls under the 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' category. As in, sure, you can wash your toilet seat in the dishwasher, but should you?
This YouTuber not only washed his toilet seat in the dishwasher — he then ate his lunch off the freshly-washed toilet seat. Something tells us his friends frequently decline his dinner party invitations.
While we definitely don't recommend cleaning your toilet seat in the dishwasher, if you absolutely must then you'll want to load it correctly to make sure it gets clean.