Cleaning pastry brushes

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Michael in FtW

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Fort Worth, TX
I like using natural bristle (hair) pastry brushes better than the nylon bristle brushes (which I think are a little stiff). My problem is that when I use them with olive oil, shortning, or butter ... they don't really come clean. I think I have them clean with lots of soap and hot water - but when they dry they are greasy and stiff.

Anyone else have this problem? Anyone have a solution?
 

Audeo

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I prefer natural bristles also. What I use is actually a "redirected" brush meant for oil painting, found in the craft store.

I had the same gumming problem until I started cleaning them in a solution of lemon juice and dishwashing liquid. Pour lemon juice into a tumbler, add a few drops of soap, swish it around with the brush, let it soak a few minutes, remove for a brisk finger shampooing, rinse and voila!

Keeps the bristles from discoloring, too.
 

scott123

Senior Cook
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Feb 22, 2004
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USA,NewJersey
I can't really say I understand the effect of acid (lemon juice) on natural bristles, but I think soaking is a good idea.

Don't be afraid to really mash the soapy bristles into the sink to get them clean. It's the only way to get the the inner bristles done and keep it from getting stiff.

Also, repetitive washings help. Just think about your shampoo instructions. Lather, rinse, repeat. This is hair we're talking about :)

My dollar store has 2 natural bristle pastry brushes for a dollar. When I get them that cheap I don't sweat the cleaning aspect that much.
 

bege

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Sep 5, 2004
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Northern Florida
I have a 1 inch brush, which I find indispensable. I have had it so long that I don't know what it is made of. I can still read ECKO on the handle and "made in taiwan" stamped in the metal. The bristles are not white and never have been. I massage soap into the bristles, if I hand wash it. I also put it in my dishwasher. Either way, it works for me. Just don't try to take it from me, or I'll bite your hand. ;)
 

Ekim

Senior Cook
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Jan 15, 2005
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
I saw some sort of weird food basting brush at a store not long ago. It wasn't nylon, though. I think it had the "as seen on TV" logo on it.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Aug 26, 2004
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I too prefer natural bristles. I ether dip them in hot water, thoroughly massage in Dawn Dish-washing liquid, then scub under fresh, hot, running water, or put them bristle-side-down in the dishwasher. They don't capture water and sediment is removed better.

As for the lemon juice, I believe the acid helps lossen the cuticle scales that hair is made of. This allows for easier and more thorough cleaning. Hot water does the same thing. Cold water causes those same scales to tighten, helping to resist dirt and oils. The acid also helps remove the oils. That's why vinigar used to be used for hair washing.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Timeloyd

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Carbondale, Ill. U.S.A. Earth / ZZ 9 Plural Z A
I got my pastry brush so long ago that I don't remember where just that it was an unused Paint Brush about 1 inch across. Probably what Ecko brrush was.
I wash it in the small pan I cook my butter in after it is clean and soaked awhile in Antibacterial Dawn Dish liquid to cut the greese and scrub real good. If I see and food where I cvan't get at it I use a paper clip I strretched out one section of to get at it. It is also good for digging nuts out of their shells.
After awhile the bristles got puffy looking and so I used it until I decided to get a new one. Don't know why they all puffed up together but it was the best pastry brush I ever had.
 

mrsag

Assistant Cook
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Apr 26, 2006
Messages
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I too love my natural bristle brushes.I just immeadiatly after using soak in susdsy hot water and change the water a few time then rinse really good.
 

jkath

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Sep 2, 2004
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Southern California
Last year I posted that I use Hair Tint brushes. I used to have a ton of new ones in a box (from my working days) and one day I couldn't find my basting brush, and a great idea was born! They're only as thick as a regular comb, and about 2-1/2-3" wide, and very easy to manipulate. Bristles aren't very stiff, but enough to get the job done. Best part is, at a Beauty Supply, you can get one really really cheap, and they are dishwasher safe.
 

BreezyCooking

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Culpeper, VA
I've had the same pastry brushes for over a dozen years at least. I keep 2 for pastry work & 2 for basic cooking (like basting meats, etc., etc.).

Regardless, I place them in short glass of water & dishwashing liquid overnight after use, then the next day I rinse them & wash them again, working more dishwashing liquid into the base & rinsing thoroughly.

I'll also admit that the one I use to baste raw meat/seafood/poultry I've put into the dishwasher - brush side up - & it's still going strong.
 

Andy M.

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I bought a pair of cheapo silicone brushes. They work well and clean up easily in the dishwasher.
 

Corey123

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Dec 17, 2005
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East Boston, MA.
I want a couple of those myself.n I heard that they're good and hold up very well.

Be careful of some of the ones with natural bristles though, easpecially the cheap ones! The bristles tend to come loose and could get into your sauces and food!!


~Corey123.
 
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RPCookin

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Apr 20, 2005
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Logan County, Colorado
I love my silicone brush... plan to get another (larger) one soon. :chef: Cleanup is a snap, either by hand or in the dishwasher. No place for any residue to linger... :)

The only thing I use my old natural (a cheapo 1" paint brush from Home Depot) one for any more is to oil the grate on my Weber... :rolleyes:
 

SparklesP

Assistant Cook
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Jan 6, 2013
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Location
Sydney
I like using the natural bristle pastry brushes too.

I have found that by adding baking soda in with the washing detergent it helps de-grease the bristles.

Hope this helps
 
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luvs

Master Chef
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
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9,671
Location
da 'burgh
using strong dishsoap & several rinsings (suds on the individual bristles)- i'll soak my brushes for hours before they get washed in sudsy h2o.
 
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