In Praise of the Kitchen Scrub Brush

I grew up using sponges in the kitchen. I used sponges for everything: wiping countertops, washing dishes, cleaning the floor. I only started to use a scrub brush very recently, and now I know I can never go back. When it comes to cleaning a kitchen, a scrub brush is a powerful tool!

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A scrub brush is more powerful than a sponge or a dishcloth when it comes to certain really gritty cleaning jobs in the kitchen, like washing the floor or the countertops. I discovered this when I was all but despairing of getting my ancient, textured laminate countertops really clean. They have this wrinkly texture that clings to dirt and stains. It's very unpleasant to clean!

Until I started using a scrub brush, that is. A scrub brush, along with hot water and a little dish soap to cut grease, takes almost anything right off and gets in all the cracks and crannies of my countertop. It's never looked so clean! Instead of spreading dirt around, like a sponge is apt to do, the brush lifts it up so I can wipe it away.

I have been using the brush on the countertops, and another on the floor, where it gets dirt out of the cracks of my wooden floor really well. I find that using a brush lets me use less soap and less chemicals too, since the scrubbing action is all in the brush (and the wrist!) and not in the harsh chemicals. I also feel that using a brush is easier on my hands and wrists, since it gives more leverage.

One other element of my newfound scrub brush love is the brush I've been using — this High and Dry brush from Full Circle. (See my review of their full line here. The more I've used this stuff the more I've liked it!) It's a little more ergonomically shaped, and pleasant to hold. The bamboo handle is pretty, and it's designed to stand up so the bristles dry completely

Do you use a scrub brush in the kitchen? What do you use it for? It's such an old-fashioned tool, but classic design is often the best!

• Find it: High and Dry Scrub Brush, $7.95 at Gardener's Supply Company

Related: How Do You Clean Your Kitchen Floor?

(Images: Faith Durand)