I run items such as small plastic storage baskets or bins, refrigerator door bins, cutlery trays and ceramic crocks used to hold cooking utensils through the dishwasher.
<p> The key to running most plastic items and ceramic crocks through the dishwasher (thus not having to wash them by hand) is to time how long you have them in the wash cycle, then get them out to rinse and dry. The damage occurs when they are in contact with the detergent too long or allowed to run through the heated dry cycle.
Most of these items are not encrusted with food bits so they require less cleaning time. What I do is load the dishwasher with these types of items allowing them to go through the first pre-wash or short wash cycle and then approximately 5 to 6 minutes of the longer wash cycle. (Set a timer or you might inadvertently forget them.) When that time is up, I take these items out of the dishwasher, rinse well, and put into a drainer while I load the remainder of the dishes that have had foodstuffs on them (pre-rinse if you want) and let the full dishwasher cycles finish. I then dry the items in the drainer and they are replaced long before the dishwasher is finished with the remainder of the dishes.
By ronsan from southwest MO