Clean or Dirty Dishwasher Sign ~ Free Printable!

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.

Well, you’ll either love this or laugh at this, but I have to share in hopes that it will help at least one reader out there like me!

Several years ago I was overwhelmed with just about everything unexpected that comes along with being a new mom. My husband did a great job helping when he could around the house, which included loading and unloading the dishwasher. With two of us doing the dishes at random, we were never completely certain if the dishwasher contents were clean or dirty. Yes, we did the “sniff” test or the “lift-each-cup-and-look-for-food-stains” test, but that wasn’t always a sure bet.

Then, the dreaded & disgusting thing happened, of all people, to me… the post-pregnancy, hormonal, germaphobic, new mom! I ate my lunch using dirty silverware and a dirty dish, assuming they were clean. And, since we had company over the night before, there was no telling who’s dirty dishes I re-used.

Clean or Dirty Dishwasher Sign & FREE Printable

I was pretty grossed-out to say the least. My husband did such a good job pre-rinsing the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher that I thought they had been washed (I may have been a bit sleep deprived in those days too). They were probably fairly clean, so I can’t complain about his rinsing technique. However, I was determined to prevent that misunderstanding from ever happening again!

Clean or dirty dishes printable for the dishwasher machine!

So, I made my own little clean/dirty sign for the dishwasher and we’ve been using it ever since. Like I said, I did this several years ago and my little DIY dishwasher tag was looking a bit tattered lately. The picture below is the original one I made, in all its ripped and taped-up glory.

Nothing fancy needed and yet this printable has lasted over a year!

I decided it was time to make a fresh new one and offer you the free printable today.

Simple printable that keeps us from eating off dirty dishes by accident.

Yes, there are clean/dirty dishwasher signs or magnets for purchase, but sometimes I don’t want to spend money on an organizer when I can make it myself. You know, a penny saved… :)

My tag is designed to be printed so that “clean” is written on one side and “dirty” is on the other. Since most of us don’t have a double sided printer; you’ll have to print only the first page, flip it over, put it back into the printer feed, and then print the second page on the other side. If you load the paper in the same direction, you should end up with a dirty/clean sign that can be flipped back and forth.

Such a simple concept, so easy, and yet so helpful!

After printing, just cut it out and punch a hole somewhere between the middle and the top (but not too high or it will tear easily!).

Punch a hole in this printble sign to identify clean verus dirty dishes in the dishwasher - so easy!

I suggest using card stock paper for durability and perhaps even laminating after you cut it out to add waterproof protection and additional durability. I used card stock but skipped the laminating. Instead, I sealed it with packaging tape on both sides.

Faux laminating done with packagine tape.

I went over it two different directions with the packaging tape and then cut the excess (like what you see below) off the edges.

How I faux laminated my clean or dirty sign for the dishwasher.

To hang it on the dishwasher, I found a strong magnet that has a SMALL and FLAT hook protruding out (example shown below). The larger the hook, the more likely to catch on clothing or cause other trouble. (Magnets are sold at places like Walmart, Target, office supply stores, or like THIS ONE HERE online.)

Powerful magnet that holds the clean or dirty printable for the dishwasher.

This is one of my easiest DIY organizing projects but really saves my sanity in regards to germs. It’s not the worst thing in the world to eat off thoroughly rinsed dishes, but I’m happy to say it hasn’t happened again since we’ve implemented this tag on our dishwasher. Sometimes the simplest of organizing tools are the biggest game-changers in a busy household.

Such a simple solution to the question of whether or not the dishwasher has cleean dishes in it!

Leave it to a post-pregnancy, hormonal, germaphobic mind to brainstorm a solution. :) Click the link below for your own printable dishwasher sign. Happy weekend, friends!

Clean or Dirty Dishwasher Sign Printable


In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Kitchen, Printables, Rachel

Friday Favorites: Help Your Daily Routine Go Better, How to Tackle Kids Clutter + more!

my favorite organizing links for the week of Oct 24/14

Hi!  Is everyone happy it’s Friday?  I am although I don’t know why considering the most exciting thing I have to look forward to is Amazing Race tonight, ha!  But honestly that’s just the way I love it.  I love weekends without agendas and running around.  I like relaxing with the kids, hanging out with my hubby, going for walks, playing games and just taking time to breathe.  Of course there are always some organizing projects thrown in there because that’s relaxing for me too :)

I hope you find time to do a little organizing as well.  Hopefully these links below will help inspire you and give you some ideas.  Enjoy!

Oh and I wanted to mention that this past Wednesday I took pictures of my entire day and posted them as the day went along on Instagram.  I am a visual girl and Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms right now.  It’s so fun!  If you are interested, come see how I spent my Wednesday :)  Look at this sweet picture I shared of my little Bella girl.

Bella Girl

Favorite Organizing Links for this Week:

Find Your Organizational Comfort Zone

Staying Organized & Finding Your Organizational Comfort Zone ~ @ Simplify 101

The Importance of Slowing Down So You Don’t Miss This Moment ~ @ House of Rose


Top 10 Questions You Should Ask When Organizing ~ @ Clutter Interrupted

Clutter is Postponed Decisions ~ @ Balancing Bedlam & Beauty

One Simple Question to Help Your Daily Routine Go Better ~ @ An Inviting Home

How to Tackle Kids Clutter

How to Tackle Kids Clutter ~ @ Carrie This Home

Free Fall Gratitude Printable ~ @ Crafting Chicks

Have a fantastic and organized weekend everyone!!!


Filed under: Friday Favorites

Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

chocolate chip walnut banana bread mm

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Melanie at Melanie Makes. Let’s not beat around the bush, shall we?  I’m just going to come right out and say it. Friends, this is the most amazing banana bread.  Ever.  EVER.  A bit ooey, a bit gooey, and absolutely bedazzled with chocolate chips and walnuts. […]

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Melanie, Recipes

Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 20/14

mpm chalkboard

Hey friends, happy Menu Plan Monday day!!!  Welcome to a brand new week where we plan our menus to help our week be a lot less stressed!  Think of it as simply selecting 5 recipes to cook sometime throughout the week, you don’t even have to assign them to specific days if you don’t want […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

Getting Organized Magazine Discount Code!

Getting Organized Magazine Fall Cover

Hey there!  I’ve gotten a number of emails in the past month or so asking me if there is an organizing magazine out there that I would recommend.  I’ve had a subscription to Getting Organized Magazine since they first published nearly 3 years ago and absolutely love it.  When I went back through my blog […]

Filed under: Link Love

Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 13/14


Hello and a Happy Thanksgiving day today to my Canadian friends.  We celebrated yesterday and today we have the day off to relax and just enjoy the day.  And if I have my way we will NOT be playing another 4 hour game of Monopoly like we did yesterday.  Brutal!  My attention span is short […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

Homeschool Organization at the Kitchen Table

Homeschooling at the kitchen table can be organized

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home. It’s about time for another edition of homeschool organization. Laura and I decided to add this topic about once a month based on the feedback received last time but also taking into consideration those who don’t need this type of information. […]

Filed under: Containerizing, Guest Bloggers, Kid Stuff, Paper Organization, Rachel, School Stuff