How can I reuse or recycle washing up brushes?

dish-brushEven though we use them in addition to sponge and cloths, we seem to go through washing up brushes pretty quickly, usually because the bristles all flatten out rendering them somewhat ineffectual at reaching hard to reach bottoms of glasses etc.

We keep a couple around for “dirty” cleaning jobs, such as de-muddifying trainers, where the flattened bristles do enough but what can we do with the others?

And is there a super-invincible kind of brush that lasts longer, thus reducing our constant need to replace them?

(Photo by laeste)

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5 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle washing up brushes?”

  1. Alice says:

    Old toothbrushes last ages, if that helps. They’re great for cleaning shoes.

    To make washing up brushes last longer, try putting an elastic band around the bristles each time you finish using them.

    Store them like that and they’ll dry back into a good shape and not go all flat and useless.

  2. Maggie Hughes says:

    Old washing up brushes are great for dirty jobs like cleaning out the cat litter tray, and they are better than toilet brushes for actually getting around the rim. They’re also good for washing down rubber boots after being in the garden etc. Just don’t get them mixed up with the brush you now use for washing up.

  3. I have been using my Ikea washing-up brushes for years and they haven’t flattened out yet. I believe it is partly because we put them out to drip dry once we are done with the cleaning. Musn’t let them soak in soapy water. I do like the idea of using elastic bands to stop the bristles from flattening out, and of using old brushes for cleaning litter trays and toilets with.

    If you would prefer a biodegradable alternative to a long-lasting plastic brush option, perhaps you could try growing loofah gourds if you have a reasonably-sized garden. They just break down over time and you just have to harvest and dry out a new one from the garden. If you use biodegradable/natural detergent, then the remains of the loofah can be composted.
    Here is some info on its cultivation and use:

  4. Olia says:

    Apply unique texture to a wall, while painting.

  5. Uluska says:

    Try to keep them in salted water between uses or boil them in slated water here and there. That might strengthen the bristles.

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