I Finally Bought the $8 Cast Iron Brush Kitchn Editors and Readers Love — and I Only Wish I’d Gotten One Sooner

updated May 17, 2021
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Cleaning a cast iron skillet with a brush in the sink
Credit: Joe Lingeman

For many years, I have been using steel wool scrubbers to keep my cast iron cookware in top shape. But fellow Kitchn editors, readers, and thousands of Amazon reviewers all swear by the legendary Tenacious C Cast Iron Brush as hands-down the most perfect tool that makes scrubbing their pans easier. With such rave reviews backing this $8 cleaning brush, I finally added one to my Amazon cart three months ago. Dear reader, steel wool scrubbers have nothing on the mighty Tenacious C!

One of my biggest pet peeves about using steel wool scrubbers was just how gross the whole experience felt, almost like the palm of my hand was constantly touching the surface of my dirty pan. (And heaven forbid if the scrubber was still speckled with bits of food and grime from its last use — yuck!) In contrast, the Tenacious C has a beautiful, long bamboo handle that creates just the kind of long-distance relationship I appreciate between my hands and grimy pans. I have also come to learn that it’s a lot easier (and gentler on my skin!) to scrape off stubborn bits of food using a handled brush than something you hold in the palm of your hand.

I also 100 percent agree with Kitchn contributor Danielle, who called out the little chisel tip at the top that is super handy for helping to pry off the really cooked-on stuff. It’s probably my most favorite feature, and I heavily rely on it since my husband uses our cast iron skillet everyone morning to whip up eggs but skimps out on adding any fat, which results in a very messy pan.

And my love for the Tenacious C doesn’t end here. I would also like to give a special shout-out to the ultra-stiff nylon bristles that are gentle enough on my lovingly seasoned pans but still tackle stuck-on food like a total champ. Danielle, as well several Amazon reviewers, noted that the bristles bend over time, and now that I’m at the three-month mark, I have to agree that’s true. But the brush still has plenty of in-tact bristles that will get the job done before it’s eventually time for me to get a new one. And when that time comes, my old brush will go in the recycle bin since Full Circle is a certified B Corp brand that produces cleaning tools made with renewable and recyclable materials.

As you can probably guess, I am now firmly a member of the Tenacious C Cast Iron fan club. After years of dealing with nasty, smelly, and kinda gross-looking wool scrubbers, it’s truly been a game-changing addition to my cleaning routine. My only regret? I wish I had bought one sooner!