Old wooden dish brushes

By Helen Thompson

Wooden brushes with natural fiber bristles are the zero waste alternative to the billions of plastic dish brushes that end up in landfills ever year. Unlike their plastic counterparts, they are made from wood and natural fibers so they eventually biodegrade.

Wood dish brushes last as long as plastic ones (and they look gorgeous on the sink).

Over time, you may notice that your wooden brushes and tools develop a patina and perhaps even a crack or two in the woodgrain. Oxidation may appear in the way of dark spots. These natural signs of aging are caused by exposure to water over time.

While we like to think that a patina gives a beautiful old brush a certain character, there are some things that you can do to slow the aging process.

Treat your brush

Most Helen Milan brushes arrive to you already treated. Every few weeks your brush can be re-treated with a wood oil or wax to seal it.

Keep it dry between uses

Do not leave your brush in standing water between uses. Stand the brush on its bristles when resting to encourage the water to move away from the bristles.

Clean your brush the right way

Wood has natural antibacterial properties and doesn’t need to be treated with harsh chemicals to clean it. In fact, chemicals like bleach will interfere with its antibacterial ‘balance’. Do not put your wood brush in the microwave, as this will cause them to dry out.

To clean and disinfect your wood dish brush, add a little liquid soap to a cup of vinegar and soak your brush in the liquid for about an hour. Then rinse with hot water and lay (bristles down) to dry.

Remember that signs of age are natural. We don’t use plastic because it doesn’t biodegrade. We choose wood and natural fibre because it does.