Dusting By Dishwasher

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Written by joemichaels70

Dusting by Dishwasher: Using Appliances to Clean Vehicles and Playsets

The quick story on the idea of using a dishwasher to clean vehicles rests squarely on the shoulders of one man: Zombieguide. (apologies to anyone else who's been doing it -- ZG's the guy who's been testifying the loudest!)



What's more, Zombieguide's official instructions are:

  • 1. Remove Removable Parts
  • 2. Wash in the Dishwasher
  • 3. Don't use soap in the washer either. Let the steam do the work.
  • 4. Profit.... wait... that's the underpants gnomes... Nothing to see here. Move along.

Now, to be fair, there are a couple of additional rules, like:

  • 1. TURN OFF "HEATED DRY" if you have it
  • 2. Try it out on a vehicle or playset that's 'expendable' if you have any doubts.

The test run

So I did it on an expendable vehicle. And it worked. Real well. So I used it on my favorite vehicles from the 1980's. My vintage, personal, still-have-since-childhood favorite vehicles. Here's what happened next...

I opened the Rubbermaid container with the vehicles, and I immediately smelled the farm I grew up on, and witnessed some good ol' American topsoil:

I loaded up our dishwasher (there was much mocking in our house...), used the Normal Wash setting, and made sure to turn off the heated dry option...

And about 65 minutes later, here's what came out:

And if that's not enough proof, look at how nice they look put back together:

TTBP Playset

So, I was pretty happy with what was going on... so I tried something a little more elaborate:

And I was happy with those results, too:

Boy, that looks nice all put back together... feels like the first time...

Something with electronics, like a MOBAT

So, I thought: What the hey! Let's wash the whole works!!

But, then I was hit with a dilemma: The beloved MOBAT with it's electronics... I mean it looked like crap!

So, I thought to myself, 'Self, why not just wash the top?' ... So I took it apart!

And got the next load ready... Including a Tonka popup camper (with paper labels...came through ok!)

Oops, avoid this mistake

And loaded up the washer again... and made my first big mistake...

WARNING: Do not put a Dragonfly in the bottom rack upside down! Apparently, being close to the heating element is too much for the Canopy plastic! It wasn't even attached when I took it out -- it had warped, came loose, and was resting very close to the heating element when I took the load out.

Anybody have a decent, unwarped Dragonfly Canopy for sale? Please?

But the MOBAT?

Final Analysis?

Pros: Easy way to clean a lot of nasty parts quickly

Cons: Can warp Dragonfly Canopies, and another thing I discovered: If the stickers on the parts are lifted, or loose, or can become loose, there is a 'whitening' of the adhesive of the stickers - I've had success cleaning this up where the adhesive has 'leaked' outside the sticker (or the sticker shrank) -- but I haven't figured out a way of taking the 'white' out of the adhesive under the sticker. But for me, it wasn't a deal breaker - I would rather have some brighter/whiter stickers than an inch of ick on my vehicles!

And it certainly wouldn't matter if you were going to be removing the stickers, either for a custom, or to apply replacement decals!

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