A Real Simple editor shares her greatest kitchen discovery.
I live in a family of three stainless steel water bottle addicts. We carry them everywhere, even to bed. We feel virtuous for drinking plenty of water, and we don’t waste plastic from throwaway bottles. The only downside is how difficult the water bottles are to clean. They can’t go in the dishwasher and a regular sponge can’t get inside the long, slim necks.
Like most Real Simple staff members, I’m a complete neat freak and a self-proclaimed cleaning psycho. I’ve tried a variety of methods. I’ve purchased several different long-handled brushes and not been satisfied with any. I even tried a method that involved a handful of dried rice and dish soap. Needless to say, that didn’t work either.
Then I discovered these ingenious bean-shaped weighted sponges.
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Just add the two small sponges, a squirt of dish soap, and a tiny bit of water to the bottle, screw on the lid tightly, and then shake vigorously. After 30 seconds, the beans have scrubbed all the grime from the inside of the water bottle. The beans’ scrubby texture does a better job than a soft sponge could ever do. And the weights help the sponges clean around the entire bottom interior, even along the edges where bacteria and dirt always seem to hide.
I’ve even successfully used the beans in the glass bottles we use for homemade salad dressing (now those are hard to clean!). And if I still had an infant at home I’m sure these would be great for baby bottles, too.
This article originally appeared on Realsimple.com