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A tawashi (たわし or 束子, lit., a bundle) is a scrubbing brush for wet cleaning,[1] of a style that is popular in Japan.[2]Traditionally, tawashis were made from the hemp palm.[3][4] In Japan, sponges used for rubbing and washing are now treated as forms of tawashi. A metallic tawashi (金属たわし, kinzoku tawashi) is made of metal; steel, stainless steel, and brass are frequent choices. They may be used in removing scorching and rust.


Several synthetic polymers are frequently seen:

  • A polyurethane sponge is sometimes called sponge tawashi (スポンジたわし, suponji tawashi).
  • Nylon sponges, sometimes called nylon tawashi (ナイロンたわし, nairon tawashi), are suitable for washing tough stains, but should not be used on delicate items.
  • An acrylic tawashi (アクリルたわし, akuriru tawashi) is made of acrylic, typically knitted or crocheted.
  • A luffa sponge, or luffa tawashi (ヘチマたわし, hechima tawashi), is used as a body scrub.
  • In recent times,[vague] some tawashis are crocheted from cotton yarn, producing the eco-friendly tawashi (エコたわし, eko tawashi), which is scratch-free, and used for dishes and small cleaning jobs. (The prefix eco- (エコ) indicates that it creates less pollution because[vague] it can be used without soap or detergents.[5])

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sheets, Cassie. "3 reasons you should buy these Japanese scrub brushes". missoulian.com. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  2. ^ Stinchecum, Amanda Mayer (April 5, 1987). "Shopper's World: Kyoto's Handmade Brushes". New York Times. p. A6.
  3. ^ Oda, Shuko (June 19, 2018). "Tawashi Brush: I'd Be Lost Without My...". Financial Times. p. 57.
  4. ^ Writer, JENNIFER KOPF | Staff. "Kitchen Essential: tawashi brush". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  5. ^ Ogawa, N. (September 9, 2009). "Magically Clean Eco Tawashi". Make. 9: 114.