Last Updated: April 24, 2021

Fridge shelves aren’t exactly the nicest things to immerse into a warm, soapy water and scrub by hand, especially those shelves at the middle of the cabinet having more vertical bars that any state prison does.

But cleaning a refrigerator shelf doesn’t have to be the cause for anyone’s misery, since the dishwasher, adjacent the oven and not far away, quietly screams to have them over for a hot reviving bath.

If you got that correctly, it means that your refrigerator shelves are completely safe to put inside a dishwasher for cleaning.

And this method is a lot more convenient than the traditional cleaning method which employs elbow grease to get rid of grime and gunk that may have deposited on the fridge shelves.

The only caution with this method is of course tied with the hot water spritz of the various components slid into the dishwasher.

If you have any component, either electronic or material, that can be sensitive to changes in temperature embedded onto/into your refrigerator shelves, (almost all electronic components wouldn’t fare well under a hot water bath would they?), it’s better to err on the side of caution and leave the shelves out for physical scrubbing.

For these shelves, opt for prudence, they’re not exactly the cheapest items you’ll buy on a refrigerator, so safeguarding them is way better than having to enjoy a weeny boost in convenience.

With that in mind, this means that super thin plastic shelves or bins if you like, fridge shelves made out of glass or weak plastic (usually those non-transparent ones) and those embedded with electronic components such as LED’s, are a total no for putting inside the dishwasher, whereas all other types of fridge shelves and including plastic bins should be completely safe for dishwashing.

The best option

While most fridge shelves other than the two categories mentioned above should be safe to put in the dishwasher for cleaning, it’s still best practice to consult the owner’s manual for your refrigerator to learn more about the status of various components inside a dishwasher.

Mind you, not all manuals are going to have a dedicated portion talking about that, and in any case that happens to be so with your fridge, we can give you some 80% guarantee that if your fridge shelve falls under the “put in the dishwasher” categories mentioned above, then there’s really nothing to worry about. They’ll come out completely fine.

How do you clean refrigerator shelves in the dishwasher?

Cleaning fridge shelves in a dishwasher is pretty simple, just follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure the fridge shelf is compatible with a dishwasher. For that, use a manual or our guide above.
  2. Bring the dish washer to room temperature to prevent any shock induced cracking or breaking due to rapid fluctionatios in temperature. To do that, keep the shelves on the counter until they turn pretty much as warm as you palms.
  3. Arrange them to fit in the dishwasher, on the top rack.
  4. Wash on normal cycle.
  5. Allow the shelves to cool completely before retuning back into the fridge.

And that’s it, a properly cleaned fridge shelve using the dishwasher. One thing I must draw your attention to is the fact that the dish washer hates anything that contains grease in it, because it has the potential to clog it. If for some reason, your shelves have grease prints all over them, wash them manually and avoid placing them in dishwasher.

Best way to clean glass refrigerator shelves?

Since glass fridge shelves aren’t dishwasher safe, because high heat can the tempered glass cause them shatter into minute piece which isn’t good for any one holding them, what is then the best way to go about cleaning them?

It’s simple, take off the items on the, bring them to room temperature, then use a soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water (more on the colder side than on the hotter side), mixed with a mild liquid dish detergent to wash them.

Then, rinse them off with warm water and then dry thoroughly. This should do the trick. If you have stubborn grime and gunk spattered all over the glass to begin with, you want to consider soaking them in cold water for 30 minutes first, then proceed with cleaning with lukewarm water.

What other refrigerator items are dish washer safe?

The following fridge components are safe to put inside a dishwasher

  1. Thick plastic bins
  2. Other types of bins.

Avoid placing thin plastic bins into a dishwasher, the hot water spray can melt it during the cleaning cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are GE refrigerator shelves dishwasher safe?

General Electric refrigerator shelves are mostly made out of tempered glass, so these are automatically not safe to put in the dishwasher. Additionally, General Electric often make a point of duty to always slap their manuals with the “do not put any plastic parts of the refrigerator inside a dishwasher” caution, and they could well have tangible reasons to back up such warning, even though they never state why in their manuals.

Can you put plastic fridge shelves in dishwasher?

Plastic fridge shelves are perfectly safe to put in the dishwasher.

Are Samsung fridge shelves dishwasher safe?

Most modern Samsung fridge shelves for the middle cabinet are made out of tempered glass, its best to not put them inside the dishwasher otherwise you risk shattering them into pieces due to the application of high heat inside the dishwasher. The shelves at the sides (other places too) made out of transparent plastic are also safe to put in the dish washer, so long they are thick.

Are LG refrigerator shelves dishwasher safe?

Yes, LG refrigerator shelves and bins made out of plastic are safe to put in the dishwasher. Additionally, all the shelves in a mini LG fridge are perfectly safe to put in the refrigerator since they are made out of plastic.

Are whirlpool refrigerator shelves dish washer safe?

Whirlpool side refrigerator shelves made out of plastic are safe to put in the dishwasher.

Final Verdict

As stated above, fridge shelves are perfectly safe to put inside a dishwasher for cleaning purposes, but only when there aren’t containing any electronic components or have glass embedded into them, because these are prone to failing under the high heat environment of a dishwasher.

When washing fridge shelves, ensure to being them to room temperature first, place them at the top rack in the dishwasher, and avoid using cleaners with harsh chemicals that can wear off the plastic coatings on plastic coated shelves.

The bin of a refrigerator is also safe to pop inside a dish washer, but make sure that it isn’t made of thin plastic otherwise it could melt inside the dishwasher.