⟨ Misc ⟩

Natural cleaning products

Tawashi from Kamenoko

Words / Ron Lam




Regardless of the huge variety of cleaning products that are handy to use, I always keep at home my scrubbing brushes. The palm brush is stiffer and is used to clean my steel wok; the sisal hemp brush is softer and is for wiping mud off from root vegetables like gobo. Both brushes are products from Kamenoko.

Literally translated as ‘bundle’, Tawashi is the Japanese word for scrubbing brush. To produce it, first you need to carefully align bunches of plant fibre, and tie them tightly together with a think metallic string — Such process probably gave the brush its Japanese name. Kamenoko was founded in Meiji 40 (1907). Urban legend has it saying that Nishio Shozaemon, the founder, originally planned to invent carpet with the texture of brush. However, he wouldn’t be able to have it patented as similar product already existed in England way earlier. One day, his wife rolled up a thin strip of brush from the carpet material and used it to clean the windows. Shozaemon was suddenly inspired by this alternative use of his brush. He then used different raw material to create brushes of different uses, for example cleaning and showering.

Kamenoko only uses all natural material in their production; Even if small particles of the tools are accidently dropped to the food, users can rest assured for the products’ high level of safety. Dishes can be easily cleaned with this high-quality brush with hot water. Moreover, by reducing the use of detergent, we’re actually helping to protect our natural environment too.