Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush

Sturdy palm-fiber bristles held in place with wire for a multitude of household uses, from scrubbing pots and cutting boards to cleaning off grills, and much more. Made in Japan. (more info)

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  • Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush - Kaufmann Mercantile1
  • Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush - Kaufmann Mercantile2
  • Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush - Kaufmann Mercantile3
  • Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush - Kaufmann Mercantile4
Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush - Kaufmann Mercantile

You can find one of these palm-fiber brushes in just about every Japanese home. The stiff yet flexible natural palm bristles resist deformation, even through the most rigorous use, and its strong construction makes it long lasting. Its round form fits comfortably in the hand. Natural lipids in the palm fiber help prevent mold and rot.

Use & Care

Wet before use for cleaning pots, including enameled tin or cast iron, Teflon-coasted, or stainless steel, utensils (including those made of wood), cutting boards and barbecue grills. Effective at removing grit or caked-on dirt or food even without detergent and can be used to scrape the peel off root vegetables. Can also be used dry to remove pet hair from carpet. Customize the softness of the bristles by buffing them with a pumice stone.

Can withstand temperatures up to 90°C. After use, clean and dry thoroughly.

Production & Design

The palm fibers come from Sri Lanka palm plantations. A single palm tree produces 100 coconuts each year. To prepare the palm fiber, the coconut is harvested, cut into several pieces, then soaked in water for four to six weeks. At that point, a machine mechanically separates the husk from the fiber. Once washed, the fiber becomes stronger and tougher and is used to make sponges, mats, and ropes.

Kamenoko Tawashi Co. produces hundreds of palm-fiber brushes each day, and each one is checked to ensure it meets the company's standards.

Shozaemon Nishio was always influenced by those closest to him. Since childhood, he had wanted to find a way to help his mother, a busy housewife. The first products that he experimented with were doormats made from palm fiber. He soon found that there were similar mats made elsewhere, but he hit on the idea of a unique product when he noticed one day that his wife was using a piece of the mat for household cleaning (at the turn of the 20th century, many people were still using tied rope to do their scrubbing). In 1907, at the age of 32, he founded the Kamenoko Tawashi Co. to make these palm-fiber brushes, which were sold for ¥3 each. The name of the company came from his son, who pointed out the resemblance of the brushes to the family's pet turtle: kamenoko means "young turtle" and fortuitously, the turtle is considered good luck in Japan.

Just as Kleenex has become the genericized trademark for tissues in the US, kamenoko has become synonymous with all such palm-fiber brushes in Japan.


80 mm x 140 mm x 50 mm
(3.1 inches x 5.5 inches x 2 inches)

Palm fiber
Metal wire

Made in 
  • USA
  • Free shipping in the USA for orders $150+
  • $8.95 flat-rate for orders $35 - $150.
  • $4.95 flat-rate for orders under $35.
  • $29 flat-rate 2nd day for all US orders.
  • 90 days on all unused items.
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  • NY & NC.
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