Heavy-Duty Handled Scrub Brushes
How we tested
It takes a serious cleaning tool to tackle seriously dirty pots and pans. No scrub brush can scour like our favorite chain mail cleaner, the 4-inch square CM Scrubber by KnappMade ($19.95), but the metal is awfully tough on hands and requires that you keep them dunked in the hot water. For a tool that puts a premium on comfort, a handled brush is a better option. We gathered six heavy-duty models (priced from $5 to $7.99) made of plastic or wood with natural or synthetic bristles. After scraping away stuck-on scrambled eggs from cast-iron skillets, glazed salmon residue from the ridges of grill pans, and a burned-on mixture of tomato paste, mustard, and molasses from casserole dishes, we concluded that long, soft bristles are poor scrubbers. Some scrubbers also trapped food and odors as well as stained or bent after just a few uses. The shorter, stiff bristles of our winning model worked much better, making quick work of even the toughest jobs. Its scraping ridge at the top took care of crusty burned-on bits, and the thick nonslip handle provided a sure, comfy grip (though we wish it were a bit longer). A bonus: It rinsed completely clean even without a trip through the dishwasher (though it is dishwasher-safe). We still like the chain mail scrubber, but it’s nice to have an option that’s not as hard on our hands.