10 Clever Ways to Hack Your Kitchen Appliances

Each kitchen appliance has a designated purpose, whether it’s toasting bread, making coffee, heating up food, or mixing ingredients. But clever homeowners can think outside the box and use their appliances to accomplish a multitude of unexpected tasks. Did you know, for example, that you can clean hardware in your Crock-Pot and wash throw pillows in your dishwasher? Check out these 10 genius ways to hack your appliances.

  1. Wash Throw Pillows in the Dishwasher

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    How to Wash Throw Pillows in the Dishwasher

    Tossing throw pillows into the washing machine leads to mangled stuffing and damaged fabric. Instead, load the pillows (without their cases) into the top rack of the dishwasher. Run them through a cycle—use borax instead of dishwasher detergent to avoid suds—and skip the heated dry option. Hang them up to dry afterwards. 


    Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher

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  2. Warm Plates in the Toaster Oven

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    Warm Plates in the Toaster Oven

    When you put hot food on a cold plate, your meal's temperature dips a notch. Nobody likes tepid dinners, so warm your plates on the lowest setting of your toaster oven for five minutes before loading them up.


    Related: How To: Clean Any Appliance

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  3. Make Fresh Breadcrumbs in the Coffee Grinder

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    Make Bread Crumbs in Coffee Grinder

    Need breadcrumbs on the fly? You can whip some up in a flash with an ordinary coffee grinder and a fresh loaf of bread. It’s nearly as easy as pouring breadcrumbs from a can—and much tastier to boot!


    Related: 10 Things a Coffee Maker Can Do—Besides Brew Coffee

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  4. Clean Hardware in the Crock-Pot

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    How to Clean Hardware in the Crock-Pot

    After years of use, hardware becomes covered in caked-on paint and grime. Eliminate the mess with none other than your trusty Crock-Pot. Simply place the pieces of hardware in the appliance, cover them with water, and set your slow cooker to “low” overnight. When you open up the Crock-Pot in the morning, the paint will slide right off your hardware—score!


    Related: 11 Totally Unexpected Uses for a Crock-Pot

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  5. Dehydrate Food in the Oven

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    How to Dehydrate Food in the Oven

    Dried fruits and meats taste incredible, but commercial food dehydrators can cost a pretty penny. As a budget-friendly alternative, make your own dehydrator by stacking several cooling racks on top of each other, separated by balls of aluminum foil in each corner. Place the stacked racks in the bottom of your oven (you'll probably need to remove the oven racks) and set the temperature to 200 degrees. In four to six hours, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly dried fruit, vegetables, and jerky!


    Related: 10 Weirdly Awesome New Uses for Old Appliances

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  6. Roast Coffee Beans in the Air Popper

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    How to Roast Coffee Beans in Air Popper

    Attention coffee lovers! You can roast your own beans in an ordinary air popper (preferably an older model, which will reach a higher temperature). You’ll need to set up a container to catch the chaff as the beans crack, and a strainer or colander for cooling the finished product. Enjoying custom-roasted coffee at home has never been easier!


    Related: 9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances

    Instructables via BradMartinson

  7. Cook a Meal with a Keurig

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    Cook Food with Keurig

    Any processed food that requires boiling water can be made with a Keurig, whether you’re whipping up instant oatmeal or a cup of noodle soup. Just run a cycle without a K-Cup and let the water flow directly into the food. It's much faster than boiling water, and it’s a lifesaver for homeowners without microwaves.


    Related: 10 Things You Didn't Know Your Microwave Can Do

    Instructables via Tom Hargrave

  8. Freeze Gum Off Your Shoe

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    How to Get Gum Off Of Shoes

    Stepped in gum? Try sticking your shoe in the freezer for a couple of hours. When you remove it, the gum will chip off the sole much more easily. 


    Related: 10 Unexpected Things to Put in Your Freezer—And Why

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  9. Shred Meat in Your Stand Mixer

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    How to Shred Meat in Your Stand Mixer

    Homeowners can quickly shred chicken, pork, or beef in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. The mixer makes quick work of a job you may always have done with two forks!


    Related: 11 Home Hacks You Can Do with a Bag of Groceries

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  10. Craft with Your Electric Knife

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    Uses for Electric Knife

    Your electric knife can do more than carve the Thanksgiving turkey. Rely on the appliance to cut floral foam for flower arrangements, or use it to shape polyurethane foam for dining chairs you’re reupholstering.


    Related: 12 Kitchen Gadgets People Always Regret Buying

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  11. Think Outside the Box

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    Think Outside the Box

    Don't let anything be a uni-tasker in your home—not even your appliances!

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  12. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!