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Bottle Brushes

Bottle Brushes

If you don’t own them, I would like to gently suggest you go out and buy some bottle brushes RIGHT   N O W.  I got mine at Lee Valley and use them all the time.  Really.  I do!

You are going to find that hard to believe after I explain this next little bit, but it’s nonetheless true.

So … I sat down, all ready to give you a comprehensive list of what you will use your bottle brushes for and came up … pretty much empty.

Mason jars.  That’s a given.  The reason I got them was to clean the bottom of my mason jars.  You know.  Where the dried up centipedes linger.  And the tomato sauce, and the leftover soup.

I know I use them for a million other things but …  what are they?  Couldn’t tell ya.  I’m at a loss.  I know I use them at least once a week.  I just can’t remember what for.

So, as it turns out I *can’t* give you a huge list of what you’ll use bottle brushes for.  But not because bottle brushes aren’t handy in a hundred different ways.  It’s because I’m brain dead for the moment.  Better this moment than whilst taking an exam I suppose.  Not that I take many exams lately.  Or perhaps I do and just can’t remember taking them.

This is turning into quite a nightmare this bottle brush post.

Suffice it to say, in terms of the tools you  have around the house I highly recommend bottle brushes.

You’ll use them to clean a million different things.

And once you do … if it isn’t too much trouble,  could you shoot me an email letting me know exactly what they are?





  1. Laura says:

    I use a big cheap bottle brush to scrub out the canister of my Shark canister vac.

  2. Liz says:

    The Art of Doing Stuff you say? And you can only come up with 1 use for bottle brushes, which you say we Must Have? Think you might want to update this one.

    • Karen says:

      Mmmm. No. Don’t think I will. ~ karen!

      • Betsy says:

        Apologies for being so so so late to your bottle brush party. See, I just crawled out from a dungeon where I’ve been forced to use bottles brushes… I dunno, 10? Maybe 25 times a day. Also I just discovered your blog so imma be busy for the next couple a years catching up. Already have read your thoughts on Lady Goo Dixie Cups. Can’t wait for more.

        Btw, am giddy that you didn’t update this blog.

      • Karen says:

        I’m gonna have to go back and re-read it 🤣 ~ karen!

  3. Vanessa says:

    I inherited a bunch of vintage (let’s face it they’re just old but “vintage” sounds so much nicer) bottles and have been trying to figure out how to clean them. I can’t believe I didn’t think of a bottle brush! It’s the little things that drive you crazy…

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Yup. Just used my bottle brushes today to clean out … bottles. :) Apparently denture cleaner thrown in them will help with bad stains, etc. ~ karen!

      • Vanessa says:

        Denture cleaner?!? That sounds interesting. Guess I’ll be picking some of that up too. Thanks! ;)

  4. akasusanjane says:

    I was cracking up when I read this! I was looking for the perfect picture of a skinny bottle brush to send to my BFF who is domestically challenged and alas! Google brought me to you! I told her she could use this to clean the inside of her kitchen drain to clean the gook out of it so there ya’ go! One more use for the bottle brush.

  5. Pam says:

    6 bazillion posts and I need to add one more. I USED to use a bottle scrubber to get the edges of my carpet and stairs, and vacuum filter to add some life to it. But I found a “rubba scrubba” and I use that now. It is a rubber scrubber (bet you couldn’t guess) and it is also good for getting the hair up, and lots of other things but I suffer the same brain deadness you suffer. Just Google “rubba scrubba” and you’ll find the site. If ya want. No pressure.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I am a poor college student who doesn’t have a lot of stuff, but these little guys are definitely going on my list. The past two days after reading this blog, I have been wondering why I don’t have any because I keep finding things that they would be so helpful for! Does anyone know where I can find some for cheap?

  7. kathryn says:

    absolutely the BEST thing for bottle/vase/jar-type items are magic balls (snigger) – they are MAGIC.

    and as for buying special small brushes for cleaning in small spaces – well durrrrr, what do you think ready-to-chuck-out toothbrushes are for???

    you crazy bunch. (teapot spout though – i’ll give you that one.)

    • Pam'a says:

      Good ole’ Lee Valley has these too. From what I can see, they’re just ball bearings, and the percussive movement of shaking them around the bottle is the “magic.” Which reminds me of an old waitress trick for getting glass coffee pots clean: Dump salt in and add ice. Then just swish and swish. Same principle. It works great for vases too, if you have small enough ice cubes. :)

  8. Valerie says:

    Teapot spout (but no detergent please!). Most people aren’t freaks like I am and don’t have separate teapots for black and green teas, so the stains could interfere with the flavours of different types of tea. Or if you have a glass teapot where you could actually see the stains from the outside.

    Personally, for non-see-through teapots, if you are only making one type of tea I don’t think stains on the inside matter. Just rinse it with boiling water.

  9. Erin says:

    besides the previously mentioned bottles, I use mine for vases, glasses/mugs (if I hand wash them for some odd reason) decorative objects d’art. I have a great seat of baby bottle bushes that the handles spins on it so they whirl around real fast and easy. my mom also has the same set and uses them on her fancy wine glasses because they are easy to use and grip. She loves them.

  10. Nancy says:

    If you use a Neti Pot or similar sinus irrigation system, the bottle brushes are good for cleaning those. Nobody wants to shoot mold up their sinuses. Well, I guess I should just speak for myself…I don’t want to shoot mold up my sinuses.

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – I bought my boyfriend a Neti Pot. He used it once, almost choked to death, threw it out of the bathroom and I haven’t seen it since. But maybe he could use the bottle brush to clean his sinuses. ~ karen

  11. Denise says:

    I don’t have one and feel out of the loop. So I must get one for what I don’t know. If I could find one for my heavy plastic straw that would be cool.

  12. Shauna says:

    I own bottle brushes because we have a child – thus cleaning…wait for it…bottles. As he’s gotten older, they are invaluable for sippy cups. For adult sippy cups too – you know getting in between those little crevice areas of your coffee mug lid that has trapped all sorts of coffee mess?

    There are many other things I use ours for, but alas, I too am coming up blank. Wait, is this disease of yours contagious? Perhaps I should take a break from reading your blog and go back to work!

  13. Kim says:

    Very amusing post! They also clean mud out of the treads of my daughter’s indoor shoes when she forgets they are “indoor” shoes and wears them outside for recess.

  14. Pam'a says:

    I’ve looked at those brushes dozens of times and haven’t bought them, because I’ve always wondered if they work that well. I.e., it seems like the tough-scrubbing bristles ought to be on the tip, right where they put the soft ones.

    Oddly, I ran across a post recently about making your OWN that I might try. You just cut off a piece of sponge to the size you want (Ooo–a SCRUBBY sponge!), and proceed to twist it in a loop of coat hanger. It has potential.

  15. Kate says:

    I can always count on you, Karen. My mother had bottle brushes like this when I was growing up and I have been looking for some for years. The only ones I could find were big and plastic and yucky. They didn’t clean well either.

    Lee Valley will be my very next port of call, internet-wise. Thanks to you, I am also the proud owner of the rasp/grater from Lee Valley, and no longer does my lemon curd contain knuckle skin gratings.

  16. Ellen says:

    Years ago I got a package of teeny tiny brushes for cleaning women’s electric razors (also Lee Valley)… they are fantastic for scrubbing small gnarly things….. Eat your heart out, Karen!

  17. Jenn says:

    Scrubbing the teapot spout.

    This is most successful if your pot does not have the built-in strainer at the join of the pot and spout.

  18. Eric says:

    Hummingbird feeders.

  19. Lynne says:

    I know I use mine for cleaning out the Turkey baster but can’t think of anything else aside from what has already been mentioned. Fabulous tool that I would be lost without!

  20. Nester says:

    had one in my hand yesterday, couldn’t think of what I would use it for so I didn’t buy it. drats.

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