Thanksgiving Tip: Wash your potatoes in the dishwasher!

From The Happy Housewife:

If you have 20 pounds of potatoes to wash for your Thanksgiving meal throw them in the top shelf of the dishwasher. Set on the quick rinse cycle and let your dishwasher clean the potatoes. Not something I would do every day, but definitely a space and time saver during the holidays.

Thanks to Habits for a Happy Home for the post link and picture!

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  1. becca says

    I would be worried about leftover soap residue…but I am a bit cautious about these things! Anyone have thoughts on if it is really safe?

    • Susan says

      @becca, My only thought is there would be less soap residue on the potatoes running the dishwasher without soap, as there would be left on the dishes running them with soap.

      • Wendi Sisson says

        @Susan, good answer! I had the same concern, but if I feel ok eating on the dishes washed with soap, I would be ok eating the potatoes washed without soap!

        • says

          @Wendi Sisson, also note that dishwasher detergent isn’t really soap. The main “poisonous” thing about these detergents is that they’re strongly alkaline, but the residues aren’t harmful.

      • becca says

        I know you would not add soap, or rinse aide, I just assume there is some soap residue in the dish washer from previous cycles, as there is in other appliances (laundery, ect.).

        Thanks for the comments everyone! Still don’t know if I am brave enough to try it, but we shall see. :)

        • meggan says

          @becca, i agree, i think think there may be too much residue in the empty dishwasher. except the comment that we eat off the dishes makes me think about it. :)

      • becca says

        I know you would not add soap, or rinse aide, I just assume there is soap residue in the dish washer from previous cycles, as there is in other appliances such as your washing machine.

        Thanks for the comments everyone! Still do not know if I am brave enough to try it but it is a good thought!

        • Sandy says

          @becca, Okay, here’s a stupid question. Does the rinse-aid come out when you are doing just a rinse cycle? Because I wouldn’t want rinse-aid on my potatoes either. I honestly don’t know if it does or not – I would think it wouldn’t because there’s no soap to rinse off if you’re doing a rinse-only cycle. But I’m cautious too and just wondered!

  2. says

    I really did follow Happy Housewife’s tip and did it last year. We have a family of seven plus Grandma and Grandpa over for Thanksgiving. Worked like a charm – just on rinse. Love easy.

    Thanks for featuring the Thanksgiving Tips I’m Thankful For link :)

  3. Martain Ferguson says

    Reminds me of a tip I saw for drying large amounts of lettuce, if doing a large salad. Place the lettuce in a clean pillow case, which has been turned inside out, to help avoid the lint which gets left in the inside corners of the case. Tie the end of the case, place it in the clothes dryer, and turn on the spin cycle.

  4. Rochelle says

    I’ve washed my carrots (fresh out of the garden) in the dishwasher before! So easy to freeze right after they have been washed!

  5. Kerry says

    I love the picture. Looks like something I would try and my husband would end up having a fit cause I would break something or clog something. I am really good at breaking appliances using them for things they are not meant to be used for. 😀

    • Jim says


      I sure hope so. My one-year-old son has a bunch of allergies, so sweet potatoes are a major staple in his diet. Every few weeks, I cook up a bunch of them, mash them, freeze them in ice trays, and then store them in a ziploc (to make for easy serving sizes).

      This will take a small chunk of time out of the process…and anything helps 😀

    • christy says

      Ditto on the crockpot! When potatoes are really cheap we have “Baked Potato Mondays” at the office. We line the bottoms of 2 crockpots with foil then fill ’em with potatoes (washed & pricked) Turn on High at 8am, they are ready by Noon. Then get all your fixin’s on sale with coupons (sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon bits, etc.) and you have yourself an inexpensive and super-easy lunch.

  6. Anon says

    you can wash your greens in the washing machine – just use cold water & don’t let it cycle through the whole cycle! :)

  7. Heather says

    A little off-topic, but here’s a frugal tip for baked potatoes: DON’T wrap them in foil! They taste much better without foil!! But do use russets, which have the thicker skins and are better for baking.
    Also saves you time and money not to wrap them. All you have to do is prick them a few times with a fork to prevent exploding.

      • Jessica says

        Use Kosher salt on the outside of them to get the crisp outer skin that you see at restaurants. It also flavors the potato wonderfully.

    • Kristine says


      If you think the foil is leaving a taste try parchment paper. I coat my taters with oil and sprinkle with salt. It really does make a big difference.

      • Heather says

        @Kristine, No, I didn’t mean that I can taste the foil; just that the foil affects the texture of the finished potato. I think they must need to breathe while baking!
        And it just drives me crazy to think of all the foil wasted wrapping pototoes.

  8. says

    When I want to cook only a few potatoes, I use a microwave potatoe bag. It is fast and works great. The dishwasher idea is a hoot. I will try the crockpot idea also.

  9. Charity says

    Hmmm, what if *you* are the dishwasher? Hmm…contemplating trying the washing machine on the rinse cycle. 😉

      • Charity says

        @Kristine, Someone actually tried it?? Gracious! I don’t think I would do it especially since I don’t have a need to wash a ton of potatoes, but it would be funny to see the look on my husband’s face as I’m scooping potatoes out of the washing machine 😉

        • Mary says

          My mon always used the washing machine to wash pickles prior to canning-it worked great! No problems with the machine after either.

  10. Angie says

    If you are tight on time/space for Thanksgiving you could also wash them a few days before your gathering. They last just fine.

  11. Deidra says

    But wait, is this article saying that if you just throw them in the sink and spray them – that’s not getting the dirt off? It’s a great idea, but I’m just thinking about the time it’ll take to do the rinse cycle in the dishwasher.

  12. Kelly says

    I’m not a big fan of this…I don’t use dishwasher detergent with chlorine or phosphates, but those can be really bad for you over time and I would think porous potatoes would absorb the chemical residue from inside the dishwasher. I’m all for saving time any day, but I’m voting no on this one ; )

  13. Melissa N says

    Don’t you still have to peel them all (for mashed potatoes)? How much time is that really saving? I usually have to rinse my potatoes after I peel them anyway.

    • Nancy says

      @Melissa N,

      I just leave the skin on my potatoes, even when I’m going to mash them. My kids don’t care, even my picky ones. A little sour cream, milk, butter, garlic salt and pepper is what I add…just because that’s the way we like them.

  14. Sharon says

    I would be concerned about detergent residue, especially with a porous food like potato and in light of a recent NT Times article about how many of us use way too much detergent, which leaves considerable residue in the dishwasher.

  15. Anna Down Under says

    I tried that once with carrots and had dirt and grit in my dishwasher for quite some time afterward, it was really hard to get out. I wouldn’t try it again.

  16. Ronda says

    Not such a good idea if you are watching your energy bill! Time and sink space maybe. Good thought, but check your DW to see if it’s a “quick rinse” (under 3 minutes) with Energy Star first!

  17. Fee says

    Hmm, well this would maybe work okay if it was done in one of the latest dishwashers that use the all-in-one tabs. However, if your machine has a rinse-aid dispenser, or a salt reservoir, it would be best to ensure these are both completely empty!

  18. Yasmin Ela says

    yea , I know of a business that does this and we will not eat their potatoes when we order , it’s not safe with all the chemicals they use in their dishwasher .

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