Angie's List is now Angi. Learn more
Interested in a House Cleaning job?
Begin your search for pros in your area
Search for pros

5-Minute DIY Project: A Clean/Dirty Dishwasher Magnet

Updated December 17, 2019

You'll never have to second-guess your dishwasher again.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Few things are more annoying than standing in front of your dishwasher with a dirty plate, wondering whether the current load is clean or dirty. Is that soap scum or leftover birthday cake residue? Hard to tell!

End the dishwasher confusion once and for all by making a “Clean/Dirty” magnet. As an added bonus, the “Clean” half of your new magnet can serve as a gentle reminder for your kids to put the dishes away.

You'll need: magnet, washi tape, Sharpie, white mailing label (optional), scissors (optional)

How to:

1. Check your fridge for cheap magnets. Chances are, you have a couple of magnets on your fridge that you didn't buy (or ask for). We like to call these “junk mail magnets.” These will be the magnets you're going to repurpose for your dishwasher! (We used an old pizza delivery magnet and another from a towing company.)

2. Peel off any paper attached to the flat magnet. If the magnet is cheap, the paper advertisement should peel off pretty easily. If not, stick a white mailing label overtop of it.

3. Cover the face of the magnet with colorful washi tape. You can find washi tape just about anywhere, but we went with a few of our favorite colors from the Etsy shop Willow and Washi. Use two different patterns, lining up the two different strips of tape so that they run parallel to each other. This is optional, but we also trimmed the ends of the magnet unevenly to give it the appearance that the “tape” had been torn.  

4. Grab a Sharpie and label one half of tape “Clean.” Flip the magnet upside down (so that the word “clean” is also upside down) and label the other side “Dirty.” Another fun option is to label one strip “Unload Me” and the other “I'm Empty.” 

5. Place the magnet on the front of your dishwasher! Put the “Dirty” side face up when the dishes are dirty, and flip the magnet upside down when they're clean!

Related: Appliance Guide

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.