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Aug 21, 2006 10:11 PM

how to clean brushes

I've got several brushes that i use to put olive oil or bbq sauce or any number os liquids onto foodstuffs, and they're all dirty and feel like they've been dirty for years. the oil just doesn't come out. Is there any way to really clean these things? (I don't have a dishwasher)

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  1. Throw them out and get the new silicone brushes that was clean and are heat resistant. You can get one in the grocery store for as little as $5+ with a plastic handle. I also have oone from Sue La Table with a long stainless handle better for the grill. They wash clean and new each time and better yet, no hair fibers on your food.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      fair enough - sounds worth it! thanks

      1. re: mr mouther

        I'll add that you might want to look for a silicon brush that feels a bit stiff. I got one that was really flimsy and it just doesn't feel like I get as much control as with a traditional brush. They make so many brands of silicon brushes now; test out a few and you'll see what I mean about some feeling too soft.

      2. re: Candy

        Definitely! I can't believe how long it took them to come out with those! Of course, I love them for the fact that they can go in the dishwasher!

        1. re: Candy

          Silicone brushes are great. I've always kept a separate and sacrosanct round pastry brush for brushing excess flour from rolled pastry, etc., and will continue to use that, but for brushing on oil and preserves, basting, etc., the silicone brushes are the way to go. I love they go in the dishwasher, but you can wash them out very easily by hand.

          I found a great mail-order deal, 3 for $9.99 at

          The set comes with brushes with handles 7", 8", and 14" long, so the longer one is defintely long enough for the oven or grill. The shortest brush is about 1 1/2" wide, and the others around 2" wide. I wouldn't say the bristles are flimsy, but they're definitely floppy compared to a regular pastry brush. In terms of getting what you pay for, the handles seem solidly made, as do the heads, but the heads do pull off, so I'll probably cement them in place with an appropriate adhesive before using them for a stiff glaze. I was ordering other things (lots of deals for simple implements if you can weed them out at this site), so I figured, why not, but, as Candy says, you can buy these inexpensively at home goods stores, or find fancier ones at SLT or W-S.

        2. One trick for the old style pastry brush is to dip the brush into water (so the bristles soak up the water) and then dip into your oil, sauce, etc. It makes it much easier to clean up at the end.