1. Utility brush: A brush with a square or rectangular face that is 5 to 6 inches wide and a handle that is 5 to 6 inches long. Designed to scrub larger surfaces both indoors and out, this all-purpose brush can be used on floors and other hard surfaces, particularly tile walls in the bathroom.
2. Grout brush: A narrow row of stiff bristles on a 5- to 6-inch handle. Use it to scrub grout between ceramic, stone, brick, and other tiles, as well as for reaching grime in shower-door or window tracks.
3. Toothbrush: Old toothbrushes can be recycled for use in the bath, kitchen, and all around the house. Use them to reach otherwise-inaccessible spots, such as around corners, and to remove grime from around faucets, light switches, and cabinet hardware. There are some "toothbrushes" designed specifically for cleaning; the bristles are often stiffer than those in regular toothbrushes.
4. Toilet brush: A cylindrical brush on a 15-inch handle for scrubbing the inside of the toilet bowl. Avoid brushes with exposed metal wire, which can rust and scratch the porcelain. Some brushes come with a convenient storage cadddy.
5. Pot Scrubber Brush: Stiff bristles on a round block or an 8- to 10-inch handle (good for keeping hands out of greasy water). The compact face -- generally 2 to 3 inches across -- allows you to easily maneuver inside pots and pans. Do not use pot scrubbers (even soft ones!) on nonstick cookware, which scratches easily.
6. Dish brush: Stiff bristles on an 8- to 10-inch handle. The bristle head is angled so you can scrub food from plates while they sit in the sink. The handles of some models can be filled with dishwashing liquid, which is released as you apply pressure to the brush head. You can cut down on the amount of dishwashing liquid you use by diluting it with water before filling the handle.
7. Bottle and jar brush: Long-handled, narrow cylindrical brush for use in bottles, jars, teapot spouts, and vases. A soft cotton or lambs-wool tip will ensure the bottle brush is safe for the most delicate surfaces. Before attempting to clean particularly dirty bottles, soak them overnight with water and denture tablets.
8. Dryer vent brush: A cylindrical brush mounted on a 10-foot-long flexible rod. Use it dry to remove lint from your dryer vent (the hose at the back of the dryer that sends air outdoors). Clean the hose yearly to improve dryer efficiency and reduce the possibility of lint catching fire.
9. Refrigerator coil brush: A thin, cylindrical brush measuring about 25 inches long. Use it dry to gently remove dust and lint from refrigerator coils at least twice a year (more often if you have pets) in order to keep the refrigerator running at peak performance.
10. Deck brush: A stiff-bristled brush on a 10- to 12-inch-long rectangular block that has a threaded hole for a long handle. These are designed to scrub outdoor surfaces, such as decks, patios, and walkways.
11. Grill brush: Sturdy, wire-bristled brush on a 15- to 18-inch long handle for scraping and removing charred bits of food from the grill. Look for brushes with stainless steel bristles (as they won't rust) and a scraper attached to the end to remove stubborn particles of food.