How to Clean Your Dish Scrubber

You use it to clean your dishes, but how often do you actually clean your dish scrubber brush?

dish scrubber and soapCKP1001/Shutterstock

You use it to clean your dishes, but how often do you actually clean your dish scrubber brush?

When not properly cared for, those tools we rely on for cleaning up in the kitchen can actually spread harmful bacteria. The trick is to clean your dish scrubber brush to make sure you’re getting the best clean possible. You can also make your own DIY scrubbie using this easy hack.

Brushes are the most hygienic choice for doing dishes, since they are easier to clean and have faster drying times than sponges, according to Angie’s List. And, many dish scrubbers can be thrown in the dishwasher.

“You can stand brushes up, or put them in a caddy where they are likely to dry out,” said Carolyn Forte, director of the home appliances and cleaning products lab at Good Housekeeping Institute. “The material is not as porous as a sponge is, and if something is stuck to the brush, you can see that and rinse it out.”

If yours isn’t dishwasher-safe, here’s how to clean your dish scrubber brush.

  1. Remove any food particles and debris after each use. When you’re done doing dishes, hold the bristles under hot running water until all food particles are gone. Shake off any excess water and hang the brush to dry.
  2. If there is any sticky or greasy residue on the brush, rub a drop or two of dish detergent into the bristles. Rinse under hot running water and hang to dry.
  3. Finally, be sure to sanitize your brush once a week. Angie’s List notes you can do this by soaking the bristles in white vinegar for a couple hours, then just rinse it with hot water. This will also help loosen up any stuck-on residue and built-up bacteria.

No dishwasher? These are our 10 favorite dish drying racks.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.