How To Clean And Disinfect A Dish Brush

There’s an age-old argument about the best option for cleaning dishes: dish cloths, sponges, or dish brushes. My friend still defends her grandma’s crocheted cloths — you know the ones I’m talking about? — but dish brushes, hands-down, are the most hygienic option. Unlike dish cloths (basically petri dishes for bacteria) or even sponges, which have pockets where bacteria can grow, the synthetic bristles of dish brushes shed moisture so they don’t harbor bacteria or develop any offensive odors.

Plus, they’re easy to clean — here’s how.

If your dish brush doesn’t have a wooden handle and you have a dishwasher, the simplest solution is just to run the brush through the dishwasher. Put the dish brush on the top rack or silverware holder, bristle-end up, and run through a cycle with heated drying. Voilà! Clean and sanitized.

If, on the other hand, your dish brush does have a wooden handle or you don’t have a dishwasher, don’t worry — the alternative is nearly as simple. The trick is to soak your brush in distilled white vinegar and a drop of dish soap. An hour-long soak should be enough for the cleaning agents to do their work, although it’s a good idea to remove any noticeable food chunks beforehand.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fork (optional)
  • Large plastic cup or dishpan
  • Boulder Clean Dish Soap
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Clean dish towel


1. Remove food particles

Hold your dish brush under warm running water to remove any loose particles.

2. Make sure you get everything

Use a fork to dislodge any stubborn pieces if needed.

3. Prepare the solution

Pour vinegar into a cup or dishpan, add a drop of dish soap, and put the dish brush, bristle-end down, into the solution. Give it a little swirl and twirl.

4. Soak brush

Let the dish brush soak for one hour or longer. (can’t stop the cleaning while you wait? find other quick cleaning solutions from Boulder Clean) Then, rinse the brush thoroughly in warm water; shake off any excess water.

5. Allow to air-dry

Lay the brush flat on a clean dish towel, or hang to dry and allow to fully air dry before getting it wet again!

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