Five Minute DIY Bottle Brush

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Introduction: Five Minute DIY Bottle Brush

 I like to re-use bottles from things I buy and often buy bottles specifically because they can be re-used rather than thrown away. Though, those bottles are often not designed to be re-used and are therefore not the easiest to clean. 

For some reason bottle brushes are always disappearing from our kitchen. After one too many times needing one and not having it as well as not having time or inclination to run to the store for a new one, I decided to see if I cold just make one. 

This is how I have been making them since. They do rust if you don't let the dry properly but being as they are made from small piece of kitchen sponge and a wire coat hanger in about five minutes, I don't mind just making a new one. 


Step 1: Materials and Tools

 You will need 

A kitchen sponge
A wire hanger, the complete loop kind. The ones with cardboard bottoms don't work as well

Scissors 
A screwdriver or maybe just a large nail 
Pliers. I used my Leatherman tool for this one


Step 2: Cut Your Sponge

This is about as simple as it gets. 

Just  cut a piece of sponge that is small enough to squeeze through the top of whatever bottle you are washing. 

If it's too big you can cut it down later. 

Step 3: Pull the Hanger Into a Long Loop

 Remove the paper from your hanger if it has any.

With the hanging hook at one end simply pull the hanger into a long loop. The hanging hook will be the handle end and provide a handy way to hang your brush for drying and out of the way storage. 

Step 4: Twist in the Sponge

 Place the cut sponge in the end of the loop opposite the hanging hook. 

Put your screwdriver or nail or whatever through the loop with it. 

Now simply hold the wire with your pliers and turn the screwdriver to twist and tighten the loop. Make sure you turn it in the same direction the hanging hook end is wound in or you'll untwist the that end as you wind in the sponge. 

just tighten it until the sponge is securely held in place. 

You may also want to use the pliers to "crimp" or bend the end loop a little tighter. 

That's it! Instant bottle brush with things you have in your house or apartment. 


Step 5: Try It Out

Once it's finished give it a go. 

If it's too big to fit in the bottle you are cleaning simply cut it down with your scissors. 

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    39 Comments

    wow wonderful tip

     A little more advanced but, to avoid rust. You could buy stainless steel rod sock from Lowes, or Home Depot and use that instead. Im not sure if all wherehouse stores like that carry it, but you can buy it for really cheep at any metal depot or metal yard.

    Point is, it will never rust.

    2 replies

    But I don't have a Home Depot in my closet.

    Or store it in the freezer ...
    Most chemical reactions are 50% slower for each 10deg drop in temperature .. Reverse applies for raising temps: go up by 10: rate doubles.
    So, when your 30deg goes to 20, rate is 1/2
    From 20 to 10, it's 1/4the of orig. rate.
    To zero, it's 1/8th.

    One might expect a wire that rusts in 2 days to then require 16 days , if i may use a gross example.

    It'd make a simple experiment: construct two of your devices: treat each the same except then put one in the freezer ... and let us know!


    What a great idea! I love it so much I am putting it on pinterest.

    Very clever.  I was just craving a designer bottle brush the other night.
    Now what I need is one of those wick things that you put inside carafes and thin-necked bottles to help dry them out!  Go! Make!

    2 replies

    For wicking water out coffee filter rolled up or even paper towels which is what we use in cruets at church.

    check at your local hair salon or beauty supply-they have cotton roping that is encased in a mesh like tube. It is typically used when giving perms to catch the solution that runs off of the perm rods. It works very well but is not re-usable. A case of it at sallys is $2.50 for 40 ft.


    "Look, Ma, no sponge, no wire!"

    Okay, here's an essential method to add to your repertoire: for cleaning inside bottles, coffee pots, flower vases, thermos's and hard to get at insides of things:

    Ice cubes (or chunked to size) and powdered cleanser (like Comet)

    "Swirled not shaken" Swirl vigorously in circular motion so ice and abrasive cleanser slide evenly around the curved interior (don't shake, as rock hard ice could break glass...)

    This is far better scrubbing than you can get with a brush.

    Do I win anything, here?

    2 replies

    You win my awe. :)

    And to acerene - you could freeze the water inside the container, and melt it back to the size you require.

    This is good if the container's opening is large enough to fit ice cube through. Then, instead of comet (bad - chemicals - bad), use lemon juice and salt. Old restaurant trick for cleaning coffee pots. ... If you have a tiny jar, ice cubes will not fit, ergo, the need for a bottle brush/sponge. :)

    Good lord! This took me AGES (until the end of the 'ible, with the full shot of the straightened wire hanger)!) to work out WHAT IT ACTUALLY WAS! (even after seeing it in the first photo!) This is because of the very open-to-interpretation title: "bottle brush". What could that be?? When you use the word "brush", I think of a brush. Such as the ones used in painting, whether in art or in decorating.
    So what could this be... a brush made WITH a bottle? Made FROM a bottle? But how would that even work...
    I thought maybe you were going to fill the bottle with paint, then block its neck with the sponge and use it (upside down) like a brush with a reservoir! That's what a "bottle brush" says to me.

    Is this actually what these cleaners are called in the shops?
    I can't believe they would be named something so imprecise. Aren't they called narrow neck bottle cleaners or something more descriptive??

    2 replies

    lol Yes, believe it or not , they are, in fact, called bottle brushes.

    it's a brush that cleans bottles.... describes it pretty well in my book.

    Sound like a great idea! I plan on trying it with a sponge that has a scrubby side to it to get those stuck on spots.

    1 reply

    Great 'able!! Now if I can come up with a wire hanger... :-)

    I have soaked glass with a little ammonia added. If I use it in a sink full of dishwater, I may add a cap or two of ammonia.(Do not mix with bleach!). I use Joy and Ivory dish liquid for my dishes, so I don't know if other dish liquids react with this. I have also read to add peroxide, to remove green ick from water bottles that you can't get into to clean. I have added bleach to dishwater also, to help sanitize, just a capful or two per sink full. Use rubber gloves to protect your skin and rinse in hot water, (faster evaporation from your glass and again, sanitizing).

    Just to let you know, regarding the rust issue. Rust is inert and you can eat a pound of it and the only thing that happens is that you poop a pound of rust. Some people still think that using a rusty utensil is harmful but it absolutely is NOT! Rusty nails are dangerous if stepped on ONLY because of the bacteria that usually accompanies dirt, nothing to do with the rust itself.