What is a Kitchen Brush?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The kitchen brush is a collective term for brushes of various sizes that are used for different tasks around the kitchen. Some kitchen brushes are associated with sanitary cleaning, while others are used in food preparation. Historically, the kitchen brush was composed of a wood handle and a selection of bristles made with stiff natural fibers. Today, the typical kitchen brush features a durable plastic handle and stiff bristles that are composed of nylon, polypropylene, plastic or brass. The handle may be short or long, depending on the intended purpose of the brush.

A kitchen brush may be useful in cleaning the interior of a refrigerator.
A kitchen brush may be useful in cleaning the interior of a refrigerator.

Cleaning brushes usually employ stiffer bristles, and may be used for cleaning appliances, such as the oven. These brushes are also helpful with cleaning the interior of the refrigerator, scrubbing out the sink, and the splash guard that is found on the wall behind many range tops. A good quality kitchen brush of this type is also ideal for scrubbing dirty kitchen floors. Along with appliances, this type of kitchen brush is often employed in the cleaning of bake ware such as pie tins, cookie sheets, and Dutch ovens. The cleaning brush also makes the transition to the backyard grill, where it can be used to clean stubborn stains on the grillwork.

A kitchen brush may be used to clean shrimp.
A kitchen brush may be used to clean shrimp.

Vegetable brushes are also a common type of kitchen brush. Generally, the bristles are softer than cleaning brushes, and are intended to thoroughly clean the exterior of fruits and vegetables before the items are used in food preparation. Some varieties of this type of kitchen brush are also suitable for cleaning shellfish or other types of seafood like large shrimp.

The kitchen brush can be found in supermarkets, discount retail stores that sell cleaning and kitchen equipment, and in kitchen shops. While the more economical versions of the kitchen brush today are usually composed of plastic, many specialty shops carry brushes that are manufactured with hard wood handles and natural fibers for the bristles.

Care should be taken to not use the same kitchen brush for cleaning food and cleaning around the kitchen. Also, keeping brushes of different sizes will also make it possible to thoroughly clean smaller fruits and vegetables, or get into the nooks and crannies of cookware when necessary.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I have to have a brush for washing dishes. That's my go-to utensil for scrubbing pots, pans and anything I need to really clean.

Dish brushes aren't very durable, unfortunately, and I'll find myself going through at least two a year, if not more. I wish I could find one that would do the job and not break down so quickly.

I don't care for the kind with the soap in the handle. Those get messy in a hurry. I want the kind that has a round or oval brush on the end and a plastic lip edge for getting baked on gunk off the dish.


My mom had this vegetable brush that was pretty stiff-bristled. We used to clean corn with it. It would take the silks right off the ear of corn, but without piercing the kernels. You could also get in the rows between the kernels and pick the silks out. Field corn silk is tenacious (as opposed to sweet corn, where the silks come out by the handful), and that brush took those silks right out. It was also good for scrubbing the excess dirt off potatoes and for brushing the dirt off squash before they were rinsed.

I'd love to have one just like it, but I haven't found one that's exactly the same. That brush lasted I don't know how long, but I know I was out of high school before my mom had to replace it.

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