棕櫚の束子 Shuro no Tawashi Scourer (a scrubbing brush made of a hemp palm tree)

京都散歩 Kyoto

Japanese / English
This article is written in English and Japanese alternately.

棕櫚の束子を求めて Looking for Tawashi Scourer



I had an opportunity of my biz short trip to Kyoto after a long time.

On the way of taking a walk at the trip, I dropped in at a shop specializing in cleaning tools at the foot of Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge west, which I am interested in for some time.

It is a long-established shop in business for 200 years of history.

京都三条大橋の西のたもとにある昔ながらのお店です。 An old-style store at the foot of Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge West.





In the shop, there are various shaped scourers, brooms, mats, and large/small brushes displayed. All items are handcrafted by skilled workers, and made of natural materials.

I bought two hemp-palm scourers.

A hemp palm belongs to Aceraceae trees, with no branch, has the trunk covered by fibriform pile. All the items the shop sells are made by a hemp palm.

They are excellent in both water and corrosion resistance, so (they are) really effective in daily-use tools for cooking, cleaning, and other housework.




You can choose even something as simple as scourers in the store with some sizes, colors and shapes in order for your purpose.

I bought two types of scourers after thinking. A small one is right size for my hand, and another one has cute shape like twisted donuts.

“The small scourer is fit for washing vegetables because it’s made of soft material.” The shop owner madam told me. I decided this one was for washing root vegetables.

試してみる Try using small one


As soon as I got home, I washed sweet potatoes and white potatoes. The scourer cleanly removed soil on the surface of potatoes without scratch.

野菜がみるみるピカピカになっていく。 Vegetables get sparkling quickly.



  • 使った後は、毎回、お水かお湯で束子に付いた汚れやカスを洗い流す。
  • 汚れがひどければ、洗剤を少し使っても大丈夫。(普段は使わない)
  • 洗ったら、水を良く切って風通しの良い場所に干して乾かす。

I think I use another one for washing cutting boards and kitchenware like a strainer. Soft fibers of the scourer reach narrow gap and small dip of their surface, and sweep up stains and dregs.

Because it’s the first time to use a hemp-palm scourer for me, at the payment I asked her how to care it after daily use.

  • Wash stains and dregs out using hot water or water every time after use
  • Available to use a little kitchen detergent if heavy soil (not usually)
  • Drain and hang it to dry after washing


“Those above are the secret of long-lasting to use,” she said. According to the advice I’ll take care of them for a long time.

★ Shop location

Words & phrases

the bark of a hemp-palm tree棕櫚の木の皮
a scourer束子(タワシ、たわし)
Aceraceae treesヤシ科の木