Best Bottle Brushes

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
274 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bottle brushes

Last Updated November 2019

Do you struggle trying to clean out bottles? As convenient as they are for children and adults, it becomes tiresome struggling with sponges to clean bottles thoroughly. That’s why every home needs at least one bottle brush in the kitchen cleaning arsenal.

Bottle brushes are designed with bristled heads that dive into the farthest corners of a bottle. They’re capable of reaching stuck-on formula and residue that is otherwise impossible to get with a sponge. Bottle brushes can cut the effort and cleaning time in half, or more, especially those that are designed with specific bottle shapes in mind. In fact, bottle brushes aren’t limited to cleaning baby bottles; depending on their design, these brushes can clean reusable straws, wine glasses, sports bottles, and decanters.

Take the elbow grease out of cleaning bottles by using a bottle brush. We’ve assembled this buying guide that explains the different styles and materials to help you keep all your bottles squeaky clean. We’ve even included some of our favorites.

If your bottle brush set doesn’t come with a nipple brush, it’s a good idea to buy one. Bottle nipples have nooks and crannies that retain leftover formula, and these nifty accessories help keep them squeaky clean.

Key considerations

Uses

Baby bottles: Many people think bottle brushes are only for baby bottles, but with so many other reusable bottles in the world, these brushes have become essential kitchen cleaning accessories.

Sports bottles: These get used almost as often as baby bottles, and every fitness guru can attest to the perks of cleaning one with a bottle brush, especially if it’s not a dishwasher-safe bottle. As many sports bottles include a reusable straw, there are also pipe cleaner-inspired brushes that can clean what otherwise seems to be an impossible space.

Glassware: Bottle brushes for glassware like wine glasses and champagne flutes are also popular. These styles feature softer brush heads to avoid scratching the glass.

Wine bottles: If you’re an arts and crafts guru, you’ll appreciate a long bottle brush that can clean out wine bottles for upcycling projects.

Other: Some bottle brushes have different uses altogether, and are targeted for cleaning aquariums, hummingbird feeders, and small home appliances.

Quantity

When it comes to buying bottle brushes, you’ll find them sold either individually or in sets.

One: Most individual brushes are for dedicated baby bottle cleaning or general kitchen use. They come in the same two or three shapes and are versatile enough to clean a modest assortment of bottles.

Sets: Sometimes a single brush can’t clean everything you need it to, which is why a bottle brush set is a smart investment. Some sets come with multiples of the same brush style; others feature a collection of different shapes and sizes. If you purchase a set, you’ll notice that some brushes get more use than others, so you may find yourself spending more in the long run to replace those individually.

EXPERT TIP

Bottle brushes make great baby gifts to parents who request bottle or nursing accessories on their registries. You can purchase multiple brushes, so they always have a spare on hand.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

Bottle brushes have two main parts: the brush and the handle.

Brush: The bristles on the brush are made of nylon, silicone, or polyester. Stiff nylon bristles are the most common, though they have a reputation for being very abrasive and scratching some surfaces. They get the job done, but nylon bristles could damage your bottle with prolonged use. Silicone bristles are generally soft, flexible nubs that are ideal for cleaning sports bottles and delicate glassware. These tend to last longer than nylon or polyester bristles, though it’s important to keep them clean and sanitized. Polyester brushes are less common. Instead of bristles, these are essentially a scrubber on a stick. They’re a bit more expensive, but they offer impressive cleaning power and won’t scratch surfaces.

Handle: The handle has to be flexible enough to manipulate around inside a bottle, so it’s generally made of plastic, silicone, or wire. Some bottle brush handles have a special grip made from similar materials, but many handles have no grip at all.

Styles

Not all bottle brushes are created equal, which is a good thing, since that means there’s a brush to fit nearly every bottle. These popular brush styles also come in a variety of lengths, bristle widths and lengths, and materials to accommodate different bottles.

Regular: These brushes are four to six inches long and are ideal for cleaning out baby bottles and sports bottles. The brush heads tend to be wide to optimize cleaning time by lifting residue with a few firm swirls.

Mini: These are smaller, narrower versions of the regular bottle brush. They’re geared toward smaller baby bottles, particularly ones with tapered openings. Mini bottle brushes have shorter bristles for use inside a smaller bottle.

Straw: Essentially big pipe cleaners, these bottle brushes are used to clean out reusable plastic straws that come with sports bottles and children's sippy cups. They’re long enough to fit down a straw and flexible enough to move around inside it for a thorough cleaning. Straw brushes are somewhat abrasive, so avoid using them on other surfaces.

Nipple: This type of brush is usually found at the opposite end of a baby bottle brush, though there are some individual ones available. Some have bristles, others have a molded tip, but both clean out the hard-to-reach areas of bottle nipples.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re using a bottle brush to clean delicate wine glasses, make sure you have a firm grip on the stem or the bowl. Water and soap suds can make the glass slip out of your hands easily.


Staff  | BestReviews

Bottle brush prices

Bottle brushes cost between $2 and $15, depending on the quality and quantity.

Inexpensive: For budget-friendly bottle brushes, you can expect to spend $2 to $6 on a single quality brush or a set of two or three straw brushes.

Mid-range: For bottle brush sets, you can expect to spend between $7 and $11. These sets include three to six brush styles and sometimes come with additional cleaning accessories.

Expensive: If you’re willing to shell out closer to $15, you can expect brushes of superior quality. Certain sets have as many as a dozen pieces, though there are some sets limited to only a couple brushes. Regardless, brushes at this price point have noticeably better quality, and are well suited for heavy use.

EXPERT TIP

In addition to cleaning and rinsing your bottle brush after use, always remember to wash the handle thoroughly as well.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Let brushes air-dry. Bottle brushes should dry thoroughly before you put them away, so they don’t attract mold or become a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Pack a bottle brush in your diaper bag. Have a backup bottle brush in your diaper bag to clean out any bottles that get dirty while you’re away from home.
  • Buy more than one brush at a time. Because bottle brushes require replacement on a regular basis, purchase more than one at a time so you always have a fresh one.
  • Purchase a bottle brush for your soda maker. If you have a home soda-making machine, a bottle brush is ideal for cleaning out your reusable soda bottles.

Other products we considered

We like the simplicity and affordability of the Philips Avent Baby Bottle Brush. One side of the brush has high-density bristles that effectively scrub the inside of baby bottles. It even has a reputation for dislodging day-old, caked-on formula. At the opposite end is a molded tip specifically designed for cleaning bottle nipples. This dishwasher-safe brush is easy to keep clean and disinfected for each use. It’s available in six colors, and considering its budget-friendly price, you could certainly pick up more than one.

We’re impressed by the four-piece Dish Scrubbie Long Bottle Brush Cleaner Set, which includes a bottle brush, dish brush, and two straw brushes. Made with the same material as traditional sponge scrubbers, these brushes are known for effective cleaning. The flexible handles are easy to hold and provide a comfortable grip. These scrubber brushes are 100% non-scratching and safe to use on china, glassware, cast iron, and even aquariums.

When your bottle brush begins shedding bristles, it’s time to replace it. Even if the brush looks like it’s fully intact, losing bristles could provide a less effective cleaning, not to mention expose metal or plastic parts that may scratch surfaces.

FAQ

Q. Do I really need bottle brushes if my baby bottles are dishwasher safe?
A.
Yes, because they help dislodge any leftover formula that becomes more difficult to remove if it’s caked on. In fact, it’s a good idea to rinse out baby bottles and go through them with a light bottle brush scrubbing if you wait a couple days to fill up the machine before you run it. It’s also good to have bottle scrubbers on hand when you travel, because you won’t be able to thoroughly wash bottles in hotel rooms without one, especially with no access to a dishwasher.  


Q. How do I clean a bottle brush, and when do I call it quits and replace it?
A.
To clean bottle brushes, immerse them in a sink with hot water and liquid dish detergent. Let them soak for about half an hour before rinsing them thoroughly. To sanitize them, pour hydrogen peroxide over the bristles and let them sit for approximately 15 minutes before rinsing. As far as replacement goes, it’s recommended that you toss bottle brushes every six to eight weeks, or sooner if they begin to look worn out. 


Q. Can I use regular baby bottle brushes to clean the inside of aluminum sports water bottles?
A.
Yes, provided it’s a non-scratching brush. With that said, “non-scratching” usually refers to the bristles and not the rest of the brush. Choose a brush that doesn’t have sharp pieces or exposed wire to avoid scratching the inside of the aluminum water bottle. As for the exterior of the bottle, opt for a soft sponge instead of a brush to help keep logos and paint intact.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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