Basting brushes, also known as pastry brushes, are widely used to coat food with egg wash, butter, oil, sauces, and glazes.
You need to clean them thoroughly, as food residue may accumulate in-between the bristles. Depending on the material of the bristles, you may need to clean your basting brushes differently.
So how to clean a basting brush? You should clean the basting brush under running warm water, using a few drops of dish soap. If needed, you can soak the brush in warm water for a few minutes to get rid of the food residue stuck on the bristles. Silicone basting brushes, for the most part, can be washed in the dishwasher too.
In this article, we provide step-by-step instructions for hand-washing basting brushes with natural and silicone bristles. You will also learn how to wash nylon-bristle brushes to prevent them from shedding.
How to Clean a Natural Bristle Basting Brush?
Natural-bristle basting brushes are relatively harder to get clean.
Nonetheless, many people prefer natural-bristle basting brushes over silicone ones, as they have finer bristles and are perfect for delicate tasks and coating even the hardest-to-reach areas of food.
Natural-bristle brushes need more care when it comes to cleaning.
Here’s how to clean a basting brush with natural bristles:
- The first and most important step for cleaning a natural-bristle basting brush is doing it right after using it. Otherwise, the food will harden and stick to the bristles.
- Hold the brush under running warm water.
- Add a few drops of dish soap on the bristles and rub it gently into them.
- Rinse the brush under running water. Do this until the water runs clear.
- Check to see if there is food residue in-between the bristles. If so, clean it with soap one more time.
- Ideally, your next step should be sanitizing your natural-bristle basting brush. To do this, soak the bristles in a bleach solution. For a solution that will effectively sterilize your brush, mix two cups of water with half a capful of bleach.
- After soaking the bristles in the bleach solution, rinse the brush under a stream of water.
- Dab the bristles on a kitchen towel to get rid of the excess water and leave the brush out to let it air dry. Put the brush away only when it is fully dry.
Tip: If you couldn’t clean your brush in the midst of the cooking process and the glaze or the sauce has already dried and stuck to the bristles, soak the brush in warm water.
It will soften the food or oil stuck on the bristles and make cleaning the brush quick and easy.
How to Clean a Silicone Basting Brush?
Silicone basting brushes are dishwasher-safe unless the handle of the brush is made of a material that can’t go into the dishwasher.
It is usually the wooden-handled brushes that you should never wash in the dishwasher. Doing this will eventually cause the wooden handle to splinter and break.
Silicone basting brushes are easier to clean than brushes with natural or nylon bristles even when you are cleaning them by hand.
Here’s how to hand-wash a basting brush with silicone bristles:
- Fill a jar with boiling water and soak the brush. As basting brushes are usually used for spreading greasy mixtures, soaking the brush in hot water for a minute or two will help to break down the grease and ease the cleaning process. If your brush isn’t greasy, you can skip this step.
- Take the brush out and add a few drops of dish soap to the bristles.
- Rub to get the soap in-between the silicone bristles.
- Rinse the brush under running hot water. Make sure you get all the soap out of the bristles.
- Repeat the process if there is still food residue stuck on the bristles.
- Let the brush air dry on a kitchen towel or dish drainer and put it away only when it has fully dried.
How to Clean a Basting Brush with Nylon Bristles?
It is recommended to hand-wash basting brushes with nylon bristles. Similar to natural-bristle brushes, these brushes are prone to shedding too.
But when washing them by hand, you need to make sure that you don’t leave any food particles in-between the bristles.
Wash nylon-bristle brushes following the steps for cleaning basting brushes with natural bristles.
Sanitize nylon-bristle pastry brushes in a bleach solution to get rid of any bacteria that may accumulate in-between the bristles as a result of food debris.
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