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Magical Machine: Cooking and Cleaning with a Dishwasher

My rice cooker is the most beloved appliance that I own. Don’t get me wrong—I know my way around the kitchen, but I lack a certain sensibility when it comes to boiling rice, and it always ends up either underdone or burnt.

Now, the dishwasher is giving that magical pot a run for its money. You see, before I get my basmati going in the rice cooker, I can toss some salmon fillets in the dishwasher and have dinner prepared after scarcely lifting a finger. Bob “Surreal Gourmet” Blumer told Salon that he serves up dishwasher-poached salmon to unknowing guests all the time. His recipe involves little more than seasoning individual fillets, wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and running them through a full wash cycle. Eco-conscious cooks even can toss the fish in with the dirty dishes and detergent, as long as they wrap the fillets airtight.

If you’d like a side of mashed potatoes with that poached salmon, the appliance can wash up the spuds for you as well, according to Real Simple’s list of non-dish items you can clean in the dishwasher. Unless you want dishwasher-baked potatoes, you should run them in the rinse-only cycle. Cabinet knobs, rain boots, plastic flip flips, hairbrushes, and some gardening tools also made it onto the impressive dishwasher-safe list.

But notoriously bacteria-ridden computer keyboards, which are rumored to be dishwasher-safe, should probably stay on the counter, as NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce explains. Tech renegades have reported no dishwasher damage if they take the keyboard out before the heat cycle kicks in or remove the internal hardware and just sending the plastic casing through. Not surprisingly, however, computer manufacturers advise manual cleaning to be on the safe side.

Originally published on HowStuffWorks