Illustration for article titled Why Your Kitchen Needs a BrushPhoto: Pongsatorn Singnoy (Shutterstock)

I hate crumbs. Worse than spills or even sticky spots: Crumbs sprinkle, stick and hide in crevices and behind microwaves, where they can evade a damp tea towel or paper towel. But fortunately they are defeated with an old or cheap brush.

Illustration for article titled Why Your Kitchen Needs a Brush

Look at a paintbrush, now a broom, and you’ll see why this works. A brush is very similar in shape to a broom. Handle, bristles – it’s all there! Unlike your broom, however, a brush small enough to hold in your hand and sweep crumbs and pieces from the top of your counters, behind your microwave, between grout, and from the bottom of the cabinet under your sink. (Can you imagine if you tried to do these things with a full-size broom? You’d look like an idiot!)

And yes, I know they make small hand brooms, but most of these are still too big and clunky for the detailed cleaning I like to do on my equipment. I have to get in there, in the dark, where evil (crumbs) lurks. Speaking of gadgets, there is a second paint application tool you might want to buy at your hardware store. This little brother:

Illustration for article titled Why Your Kitchen Needs a BrushPhoto: Wavebreaker Media (Shutterstock)

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This little thing is great for cleaning sticky nooks and crannies, but it’s essential if you have an instant pot. I like to use mine to get into the lip of my pressure cooker where dirt and grease can build up, but it can be used to clean any small, neglected area in your kitchen – you can use it dry to soak up small pools of oil and runny, or make it damp with water or cleaner and scrub.

Obviously, none of these things have to be expensive, but you don’t want your brush to be cheap enough to shed bristles all over the place. So shop with the slightest eye. Scattering bristles between the crumbs would ruin the whole point.