Clean or Dirty Dishwasher Sign ~ Free Printable!

The following is a guest post with a clean or dirty dishwasher sign printable from regular contributor, Rachel.

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 (affiliate link) 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!



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!

  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced.  A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you.  As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*



Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Kitchen, Printables, Rachel


7 Responses to Clean or Dirty Dishwasher Sign ~ Free Printable!

  1. 1
    corinne says

    I love this printable. My clean/dirty tag is just a simple post it note, which says “clean” and is attached to the front of the d/w with tape when the d/w cycle is done. I’ve had to replace that post-it note several times over the years because it got tattered. I like your idea very much. Thanks for sharing your funny post.

  2. 2
    Haley says

    I did the same thing but used a large magnet that had a dental office info on it. I just used a fun printed duck tape to cover it. I then used my label maker added a clean label then turned it 180 and added the not clean label. We love it! The counters are cleaner now too.

  3. 3
    Erica Lauck says

    So, I have a stainless steel dishwasher and the clean/dirty magnets would not stick to it. Any other suggestions to get your tag on my dishwasher without a magnet? Thanks, Erica.

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes Erica, my girlfriend did this so I know it works…use the 3M picture hanging strips, won’t wreck the surface. You can probably find them at Walmart or Target. Works awesome!

  4. 4
    Gina says

    Gosh, I wish the printable were still here. Can anyone tell me where to find it?

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      All fixed for you Gina, thanks for letting me know it wasn’t working for you.


  5. 5
    leila says

    i have a idea. how about making one that tells “put away” maybe someone besides mom might get the idea & do it.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.