Dish brushes should be replaced now and then. But don't throw the whole item away, just pull the metal stem from the handle and replace the head! And compost the head. Our dish heads are perfect to withstand oils in foods and clean up so well, but as with most everything, they too age. Made in Germany from tampico fiber (lighter bristles) and beech wood. And Black softer bristle head is made of horse hair. Choose your preference. Please remember that this is a natural wood and when exposed to water or humidity it will age. We like to give our kitchen tools sunbaths on a regular basis which naturally helps kill all the yucky stuff and dry out extra well.