I knew I was going to have a love-hate relationship with the Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber the moment it arrived at my house. The small, battery-powered tool claims that it “cuts through grime, grease, dried-on food, and sticky messes,” and is “perfect" for washing dishes, pots and pans, countertops, stovetops, and many other surfaces and appliances in your kitchen.
The cleaning device seems like a great way to work smarter, not harder around the house when it comes to cleaning a number of surfaces, because its rotating scrubbing motion in theory reduces elbow grease output (that’s an official metric). After cleaning with the Black & Decker Grimebuster for several weeks, I take issue with its claim that it’s ideal for washing dishes but, for reasons that are barely mentioned on the packaging, but it's still a valuable cleaning tool to have on hand—here's why.
What is the Black & Decker Grimebuster?
The Grimebuster is an automatic handheld cleaning tool with a scrub brush head attachment that runs on four AA batteries (not included). It comes with two attachments, one is a multi-purpose sponge with a scrubby surface, and the other is a nylon-bristle round brush. There’s an on-off button on the back (though I found it hard to press hard enough to turn it off using one hand).
As a cleaning tool you’ll be using almost exclusively in wet environments, it’s also fully submersible in water. For the sake of my testing, I used the sponge attachment on my dishes, pots, and pans, and the scrub brush on all other surfaces (kitchen counters, bathroom and tile). I figured that in real life, I wouldn’t be washing my bathroom with the same attachment I use to wash my forks, so why start now?
What we like about the Black & Decker Grimebuster
The automatic scrubber makes for easy cleaning
The Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber is the answer to my cleaning prayers. I have spent a lot of time in the cleaning aisle buying all sorts of tools that will help me clean grout, shower tiles, and caulk without any luck. Right off the bat, I loved the force behind the automatic scrubbing power of the Black & Decker Grimebuster. Other tools I’ve tried, like the OXO Good Grips Grout Brush, aren’t battery-powered and require too much elbow grease from me to get the job done. With the Grimebuster, just turn it on, hold it for support, and move it around the area you want to clean.
You won’t break a sweat cleaning with the power scrubber because of the powerful rotating head with a removable bristle brush. The spinning action helps to clean deep in the nooks and crannies of my bathroom.
One review on the product’s website praised the tool for being a great cleaning aid for those with arthritis or weakened hand strength, so while it may not be ideal for washing every type of dish you own, some people will find it to be a tremendous help with daily cleaning.
It’s a time-saving cleaning tool
The Black & Decker Grimbuster Powered Scrubber impressively removed what must’ve been a decade’s worth of built-up soap scum in my shower seconds. We’ve been trying for over a year now, since moving in, to try and scrape the gunk off the walls without any luck. Between my husband and me, we spent so much time and muscle power trying to remove it, we were convinced it was stuck for good.
Tools like the OXO Good Grips Grout Brush offer an effective clean, but you have to invest at least two hours of time into scrubbing with a tool like this. Especially if you’ve got a lot of built-up gunk like I did. The Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber has just the right amount of power to effectively scrub away the soap scum—and those nasty pink mineral stains in the shower—in a shorter amount of time than other bristle-based cleaning tools I’ve tried.
If cleaning muffin tins is my biggest kitchen nightmare (apologies to Gordon Ramsay), then scrubbing grout is its bathroom equivalent, and the Grimebuster makes light work of it, with excellent results. Is there anything more satisfying than rinsing your tub and shower after a good scrub and seeing just how much dirt is washed down the drain? I think not.
It can be used on multiple surfaces
The Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber is a kitchen master cleaning tool, too. It does a beautiful job cleaning kitchen sinks and glass-top stoves, too, leaving my flat surfaces sparkly-clean after just a short scrub. It also did an excellent job washing my plates, silverware, and anything with a flat or smooth surface, like mixing bowls and baking sheets.
The main caveat with all of this is the tool’s large shape, which I discuss more in the section below. It won’t fit into tighter spaces, like cups and coffee mugs, and can’t fully clean every inch of my shower’s faucet handle. For tight spaces you’re going to need a smaller brush or sponge.
What we don’t like about the Black & Decker Grimebuster
The power scrubber is large in size
Overall, the device is large in size, which makes it hard to clean certain dishes and cups, as well as small spaces like behind faucets.
The sponge itself has a diameter just under 3 inches wide, and when attached to the handle, it proved not to be ideal for washing most of the dirty items in my sink because it was just too big. The handle is too big to fit inside any of my glasses. It also wouldn’t fit inside the carafe of my 12-cup coffee maker. The handle is about five inches long and two inches wide but despite those measurements, there’s almost no angle at which it would fit in any opening under gfive inches. Bummer.
If you’re looking for a magic product that will make washing all your dishes a breeze, this is not it. Both my husband I found the tool to be heavy though (it weighs in at 12 ounces, including batteries, as opposed to a household sponge which is less than 1 oz.) and as it rotated, it felt a lot like using an orbit sander which can pull away from you and cause you to lose your grip if you’re not careful.
It doesn’t clean muffin tins as well as I hoped
One photo on the product’s packaging stood out to me, and that was a picture of the tool cleaning a muffin tin. The one kitchen task that fills me with more dread than any other is cleaning the muffin tin. I had to try it out for myself.
I made a batch of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix and smeared some extra batter on and around the tin to see how well it could scrub. While the sponge fit perfectly in the muffin cups, the scrubbing power wasn’t strong enough to get the muffin tin fully clean. The shape of the tool is also too wide to clean between the cups on the pan’s underside. As you can see, most of the caked-on batter came off, but it's not completely clean like I hoped it would be.
Should you buy it?
Yes, the scrubber brush puts out lots of power for fast and easy cleaning
After testing the Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber around the house, I can comfortably recommend it to take over some of the bigger tasks like cleaning large, flat surfaces in the bathroom, and I would go so far as to say it would likely be a huge time saver. I hesitate to call cleaning “fun” but the scrubber made the chores I typically loathe, like scrubbing the bathtub, more enjoyable. The satisfaction of seeing the gunk and grime fall by the wayside after just a few passes with the Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber makes this a valuable cleaning tool to add to your arsenal, even if it's only so-so at cleaning muffin tins.
The automatic power scrubber tool is also a great option for anyone that may have difficulty performing tasks that involve repetitive motions or have arthritis. While it fell short as a dishwashing tool, the Black & Decker Grimebuster Powered Scrubber might be the only way I’ll clean my bathroom from now on.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.