this thing's incredible

This Five-Inch Electric Brush Destroyed the Mold and Grime in My Rental

Photo: Rachael Griffiths

My flat in London has plenty of lovely qualities, from a big bay window to my huge bedroom closet. But the windowless bathroom is small and slightly moldy, visibly worn down by years of successive tenants. London’s rental market is in such a state of crisis that this less-than-ideal bathroom was at least better than apartments I’d viewed in which toilets and beds sat in one room. In my new place, hours of scrubbing with bleach and a toothbrush barely made a difference to the black mold, rings of limescale, and stubborn hard-water stains. I was cleaning the bathroom, sure, but it never looked clean. Then I came across the Sonic Scrubber online.

It looked like an electric toothbrush when people on CleanTok used it to blast through bathroom grime. Reading the comments, I discovered it was actually a small electric brush with four detachable nylon heads. Two are small and round, one is small and tapered, and the last one is larger. The round heads are great for taps, sinks, shower trays. They fan out in a way that makes them really thorough, and I use them the most.

The tapered head has a really thin edge, which is great for scrubbing tight spaces like in between tiles. The larger head is my least used but is still great for bigger tasks like a fridge clear-out or lifting stubborn splatters on the kitchen backsplash. Overall, the scrubber reminded me of the brush attachment that Strategist editor Maxine Builder slotted into her power drill to turn it into a whirring cleaning device. But you can get into narrower spaces with the Sonic Scrubber — and it doesn’t require any power tools.

All I needed was an arsenal of cleaning products. Black-mold spray along the bottom of the shower doors and around the rim of the basin eliminated mold when paired with the one of the small and round brush heads. What would normally take about an hour of manual scrubbing was blitzed by the brush in around ten minutes. Bleach and the same small, bristly brush head destroyed the yellowing base around our sink’s tap. Over the next week, I experimented with using the scrubber’s round brush heads on my washing-machine tray and around my hobs, then freshened up the grout between tiles with the tapered head.

The main downside is that, in between each job, I’d have to replace the AA batteries to keep the motor going. To save money, I’d recommend switching to rechargeable batteries, as I now have. After a cleaning session, I bleach and scrub the brush heads themselves. Although they’re still going strong after two months, I imagine I’ll have to buy some replacement heads when the bristles start to fray — as you would with an electric toothbrush.

I now clean my bathroom with my Sonic Scrubber once a week, and it looks cleaner than when I moved in. Knowing London landlords, that means they’ll probably add an extra $100 onto the monthly rent for the next tenant. But at least I have a separate bathroom.

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