Your household appliances work hard to cook, clean, and preserve your food. Here are a few not-so obvious ways to use your appliances that will save you time and money.

Let’s take a look at some #ApplianceHacks that will help you get the most out of your household appliances.

Use your microwave to disinfect your kitchen sponge

I’m not trying to be rude, but your kitchen sponge is disgusting! A kitchen sponge is breeding grounds for nasty bacteria, which is why it smells so bad if you forget to squeeze it out every time you use it. When you start to notice that your sponge smells a bit funky, use this trick to disinfect and extend its use:

Get the sponge nice and wet, and then place it in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes. Use gloves when you take it out or let it cool first, because it will be boiling hot! You’ve just killed 99% of the bacteria in your sponge!

As an extra bonus, the steam will have softened up any gunk inside your microwave, so you can now wipe it off easily. You just disinfected your kitchen sponge and made your microwave spotless, and you didn’t have to scrub a single thing! Need new sponges? Pick-up a 21 pack for only $18 on Amazon.

Use lingerie bags to clean plastic toys

Mesh lingerie bags are great for taking proper care of your undergarments, but did you know that they are good for more than just keeping your hose from tangling in the wash? They’re fantastic at holding kid toys in the washer without making a terrible mess! (This is especially useful after a play date during flu season!)

Fill up a lingerie bag with Legos, bouncy balls, action figures, and pretty much any other plastic toy that doesn’t have electronics inside and run it through the wash. Make sure the toys are safe to be washed, though; if you try to put a video game controller in the washing machine and it comes out ruined, that’s on you.

Lingerie Bags

Use the oven vent on your stove to keep food warm

Depending on the model of your oven and stovetop, you may have a vent that can be used to keep food warm. On some models, one of the rear burners is also a vent for the oven.

When the oven is on, place a pot or plate on the vented burner to keep food warm without while you wait.

More uses for your microwave

Your microwave isn’t just good for heating up food and sterilizing your kitchen sponge. You can also make new crayons out of old crayon bits – just heat them up in a microwave safe bowl, pour the melted wax in a greased muffin tin or silicone crayon mold, and freeze for about half an hour.

Or speed up fabric dye by microwaving the fabric – dye, bowl, and all – until it boils. Watch out for spills, though, because that stuff stains.

When it comes to your home appliances, there’s usually more you can do than meets the eye. Sign-up for our newsletter for more appliance tips and tricks.