I Tried Putting Aluminum Foil in my Dishwasher & Here’s What Happened…

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See why people are putting aluminum foil in the dishwasher to make silverware sparkle thanks to TikTok

holding a ball of foil in front of dishwasher

Wanna get the most out of your dishwasher cycle?

I’m spilling the tea on how to maximize the use of your dishwasher for a deeper clean. Some of these home tips may be old news to you, but there’s one tip involving kitchen foil that may actually surprise you!

The dishwasher is one of my most used appliances since I am washing so many dishes in my work and personal life. I am always interested in learning helpful tips and hacks to implement!

Here are 5 helpful dishwasher tips for the best clean:

woman opening dishwasher

1. Use a ball of aluminum foil in the dishwasher to make dishes and silverware sparkle.

placing foil in the dishwasher

After seeing this tip trending on TikTok I had to try it for myself, and was honestly shocked at how well it worked! The next time you’re about to throw away a ball of foil, place it inside your dishwasher near the silverware and see what happens after washing your dishes like normal.

sparkling silverware after using foil in the dishwasher

Spoiler Alert: The foil makes your silverware so shiny as well as the glassware! According to Reader’s Digest, the reason lies behind the chemicals in the dishwasher detergent reacting with the foil creating an oxidation process.

I am honestly so impressed with this tip and tell everyone I know. HAHA!

2. You can wash other household items in the dishwasher besides dishes.

washing hats in the dishwasher

My son and husband wash their baseball hats in the dishwasher all the time because it won’t mess with the shape. Use a mesh bag to corral and wash plastic kid toys or dog toys. You can even clean your dryer vent, vacuum attachments, and sponges in the dishwasher.

Pro Tip: For the hats be sure to use dishwasher detergent that doesn’t have bleach or citric acid.

3. Clean the inside of your dishwasher using just white vinegar and baking soda!

cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

Have a yucky-smelling dishwasher? Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine, and sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the bottom of the machine. Run the washer on a HOT cycle without any dishes or detergent.

This will help get rid of any odors and grease inside your dishwasher.

cleaning a dishwasher filter

Also, did you know you’re supposed to clean out your dishwasher filter once a week? Turns out they can collect so much food and gunk. Just unscrew the filter, rinse and wash it with hot soapy water, and be sure to put it back in correctly.

4. Stack dishes so they face the center of the dishwasher instead of in the same direction.

stack dishes facing towards the center of the dishwasher

Here’s something that makes total sense and yet I never really thought of it before. Since the action happens at the bottom center of the machine, it makes sense to have your plates facing the center to have the best chance of getting clean.

Also, most sources say that rinsing dishes in the sink with water before loading is not needed. Simply scraping the larger food particles is enough and less wasteful. You’ll save on average 20 gallons of water per day. Are you team rinse or team scrape?

5. Utilize the small side panels on the top rack that fold down to hold wine glasses.

loading wine glasses in a dishwasher

Did everyone already know this but me?! LOL! 😂 I had no clue these little racks are to hold wine glasses securely so they don’t move around and give them more room. That is so genius! Also, the top rack on my dishwasher is easy to adjust up and down using the levers on the sides.

Check to see if yours has these features!

Here are the 14 best cleaning tips for keeping your house clean, even with kids! 

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 23

  1. Colorado Amy

    This is so helpful, Lina! I only knew one of these, to clean the filter. My dishwasher is only a year old and my glasses started having food residue inside them after being washed. They didn’t go in the dishwasher with food residue in them. I googled it and learned about cleaning the filter. That fixed the problem. I’m going to try your other tips too. Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good. Glad it was an easy fix. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kat

    Do you need to secure the aluminum foil? Or does it just bounce around the machine?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I just set it on my silverware or the shelf and it didn’t bounce 🙂

  3. nldaadmin

    Lina, you’re a genius! How could I go for all these years not knowing about that filter? Good grief! Giving a load a try this morning, complete with a freshly-cleaned filter. Thank you so much to you and all the H2S staff who make our lives so much richer by all your hard work! Have followed Hip2Save for years and years, and I’ll never stop! Blessings to you all!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good, I am glad you liked this post as I enjoyed wring it and trying tips. Thanks so much for sticking around with us through the years!

  4. Stella

    Wow Lina! You’re always coming up with useful tips and delicious recipes. Thank you so much.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks Stella for the sweet comment!

  5. egraves85

    Do you have a specific detergent you use when washing hats?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey there! I checked with Lina on this, and she’s had luck washing hats with the Finish Quantum
      Infinity Shine detergent
      . If you happen to use another detergent, just be sure it doesn’t have bleach or citric acid in the ingredients.

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you!

  6. CJ

    Team rinse here…I know I need to stop it but I can’t help myself!!! It causes me angst to here the water running so long when I’m rinsing but not half as much angst as putting a non rinsed plate in the dw!

  7. AnnA

    This is a great post. Thank you for the tips. I would love to see a post similar to this for washing machine and dryers. Thank you.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So glad you enjoyed this, Anna! I’ll be sure to pass along your request to the team! 🥰

  8. Sue

    Man I wish my filter was as easily accessible as yours. May I ask what brand you have? I have FL water and will need to replace my machine soon. Well water is a bear on it. Lemi Shine helps, a little, but I end up washing my stuff off before washing to avoid needing to clean the filter it’s so awkward and with a bad back it’s worse.

    • Lina

      I have a GE Monogram. It has a light inside which is nice.

  9. Sue

    Thank you for that. I will look into it. I noticed the light in the picture actually and wondered if it was a flash on the camera.

  10. Tracey

    Thanks for all the helpful tips; definitely going to try the foil tip! I’m team no rinse; I read once that the dishwasher detergent works best when the enzymes have food to attach to. Looked it up a while back as my DH wastes so much water rinsing and basically washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I only wipe off some if the are really messy and they always turn out fine. It’s still hard for him to change his ways…
    I’m going to have to figure out how to change the filter on mine; have never done that; a little afraid of what I’ll see haha!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Haha good luck! And yep I read that too about how the detergent works better without rinsing. Interesting stuff! Thanks Tracey!

  11. Lola

    These tips are great! Will try them all. Keep those tips coming! Thanks Lina

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay thanks Lola!!

  12. akkelli

    Any tips on breaking up hard water minerals in there?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      From what I read you can scrub the inside with vinegar and hot water and then even add the baking soda and scrub too. Hope that helps.

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