Everybody Needs a Bottle Brush

Otherwise hard-to-reach stains don’t stand a chance against this long, agile, and extraordinarily useful brush.

Published Jan. 10, 2024.

If you’re like me, you have a collection of water bottles, travel mugs, soda maker bottles, and other reusable drink vessels that share one thing in common: they’re notoriously tricky to clean. 

Not every bottle or mug is dishwasher-safe. Even the ones that are can collect gunk or stains at the bottom that require an extra-deep clean every now and then.  

But it can be difficult to reach those depths with a sponge, and you may require extra scrubbing power that only bristles can provide. Too bad most scrub brushes—even our winner, which is life-changing—usually have heads that are too wide to fit through the tops of many water bottles. 

It’s a complicated and frustrating problem with an easy, ingenious solution: the bottle brush

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Bottle brushes are nothing new, but many people don’t stock them in their arsenal of cleaning supplies—an easily-rectified mistake. They have narrow heads covered in short, flexible bristles that bend to pass through small bottle openings, then spring back once they’re inside the bottles. 

I love our winner from Quickie, which I use in the office all the time. At home I stock another recommended model from OXO, with a slightly more flexible handle that I find to be extra-nimble. Both models are great, and they make scrubbing all types of bottles stress-free and simple. 

But these brushes’ usefulness stretches far beyond just bottles—I use them to clean a ton of different things around my kitchen, and I will always keep one sinkside.

Here are a few more reasons why I love them (and you will too):

1. They’re Perfect for Delicate Glassware 

I have large hands, and I struggle to clean delicate wine glasses and other stemware with a sponge. Bottle brushes reach down into the bowls of wine glasses or all the way into the bottom of champagne flutes without a struggle, making me worry less about shattering my nicer glasses. They’re also fabulous for scrubbing vases by hand for similar reasons.  

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2. They’re Agile Enough for Hard-to-Clean Appliances

If you’ve ever whipped up an extra-sticky sauce or smoothie in your blender and accidentally let it sit too long, you know that no amount of blending soapy water can dislodge the residue. A bottle brush is the ultimate blender cleaner, allowing you to reach far down, around and under the blades, to scrub every nook and cranny where those dried chia seeds or stuck-on cilantro fragments may be lurking. 

How about a coffee carafe covered in stubborn stains? A bottle brush is the perfect assistant for scrubbing the depths of carafes such as the tall, stainless-steel carafe from our winning Moccamaster

And my teammate Lisa McManus (co-author of Kitchen Gear and Gearhead extraordinaire) swears by a bottle brush for cleaning the plastic-gridded bowl of her salad spinner. All those little squares full of sediment or tiny lettuce fragments stand no chance against the brush’s flexible, hard-working bristles. 

Equipment Review

Bottle Brushes

Scrub your bottles and carafes—and even your salad spinner—to a whole new level of clean.
Read Our Review

3. They’re Easy to Clean

Both of the models I mentioned—the Quickie and the OXO—are fully dishwasher-safe. You can use them to scrub every oddly shaped vessel in your kitchen, then toss them in the dishwasher for a quick cycle. They’ll emerge good-as-new, ready to take on round after round of cleaning in tight spaces. 

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