How often you should clean your dish brush — and the right way to do it

When it comes to dish cleaning tools, kitchen brushes earn top marks.

The long handle keeps hands out of hot water and the bristles shed moisture so they harbor fewer bacteria than sponges and dishcloths. But just because they’re more hygienic doesn’t mean these dish scrubbers don’t need to be cleaned regularly.


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According to green cleaning expert Leslie Reichert, cleaning those dish brushes is easy as 1-2-3.

  1. After every use, remove food particles that lodge in bristles by holding the brush under running water until all particles are gone. Shake off excess water and hang the brush on a hook to dry. This reduce the sources of bacteria build-up, food debris and moisture.
  2. At the end of each day, remove greasy, sticky residue by rubbing a few drops of dishwashing detergent onto the bristles and the handle. Rinse under hot, running water. Hang to dry. Some people prefer to run dish brushes through the dishwasher every day. That works, too, as long as the brush is dishwasher safe and you’ve removed the obvious food particles from the bristles. Place the brush — bristle-end up — in the silverware holder.
  3. In addition to daily washing, dish brushes that are used every day should be sanitized once a week. Do this by soaking the bristle portion of the brush in distilled white vinegar for a couple hours. Rinse, shake off excess water and hang to dry.

This is also a good cleaning regimen for produce brushes, says Reichert.

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