A washing-up brush is a kitchen tool used for washing up dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, etc.
It consists of very stiff bristles on a head, attached to a long handle. The bristles can be animal, plant fibre or nylon; the handles, plastic or wood.
Some models allow you to replace the brush head. Others, when the brush head is worn out, you have to throw the whole thing out and get a new one.
Some modern plastic ones allow you to put detergent in the handles; a push of a button releases some of the soap down into the bristles to make foam for scrubbing.
For Kosher households, you can get special sets of three washing-up brushes, each marked for dairy, meat or parve.
You can get electric (aka battery operated) ones. You press a button and the head spins itself, doing the scrubbing for you.
Geographic usage areas
The use of a washing-up brush is very common in Europe and in the UK.
In North America, it is really only used in French-speaking areas such as in Quebec and in Acadian areas.
Elsewhere in North America, the overall regional preference seems to be more to use a dishcloth instead.
Specialized washing-up brushes known as “pot brushes” have very short handles, so you can lean into them with the palm of your hand.
The force of your weight helps with the scrubbing.
Some have dish detergent dispensers built into the handles.
Put a washing-up brush through the dishwasher regularly to sanitize it (for electric ones, only put the head through, obviously.) Or, let the brush head soak in a mild bleach solution regularly.
It is best to think of a washing-up brush as a periodic purchase, rather than a “once in a life-time” purchase. The bristles will just simply get worn down over time. They are inexpensive anyway. (For electric ones, do a change of brush head.)
Ones with wooden handles and natural bristles can still be purchased for those wishing to reduce their use of plastics going into waste.