Biodegradable Brushes

For Kinsfolk Shop.

By Kim Callaghan

How do you wash your dishes? You might be using some kind of plastic-based cloth, sponge, scrubber or scouring pad. If you’d like to go plastic-free and reduce your household waste, natural fibre brushes are a great way to go. With plant based bristles and handles made of wood, all the brushes we sell are biodegradable. They’re durable and high quality. The majority of the brushes in our line up are made by Redecker, a German company that has been making brushes since 1935, and we also stock Sayula.

So, what do we carry?

Pot Brush

Made with an untreated beechwood grip and union fibre bristles, this brush is for scrubbing. Scrub away with its stiff bristles to get your pans and casserole dishes sparkling. Use it on anything that needs a stiffer scrub than the dish brush is meant for.

Vegetable brush

With an untreated beechwood grip and Tampico and union fibre bristles, use this brush to clean all kinds of vegetables. The stiffer union fibre side is great for gently scrubbing the dirt off root veggies like potatoes. The Tampico side can be used for a gentler clean on softer veggies.

Dish brush

This brush has an untreated beechwood handle, metal brush head holder and Tampico head. It’s great for scrubbing dishes, pots and pans. When finished, hang to drip dry using the metal hook on the handle. The head can be replaced when it’s worn out, and the entire head and brush can be disassembled to compost the brush and handle and recycle the metal.

Root brush

This brush is handmade by Sayula at a Mexican cooperative. The compostable brush fibres are made from zacaton root and are perfect for scouring pots and scrubbing root vegetables. Unlike plastic, the bristles will not melt on hot pots and pans.

Nail brush

 This is the brush to have when you get your nails dirty. This double-sided brush has Tampico bristles to gently scrub under and around your nails, getting them nice and clean. It’s biodegradable with an untreated maple handle. 

Toilet brush

You might actually enjoy cleaning the toilet with this toilet brush. With an untreated beechwood handle and Tampico bristles, it’s a great replacement for the standard plastic toilet brush. The stiff fibres will give your toilet a good scrub and the whole brush can be composted when it needs replacement. 

Brush Fibre Materials

Tampico Fibre

Tampico is one of the best scrubbing fibres out there, with natural water retention properties that are better for cleaning than its plastic substitutes. Tampico fibre comes from Agave plants grown in semi-desert regions of Mexico.

Union Fibre

Union fibre bristles contain a mixture of Tampico fibre and Palmyra fibre, which comes from the leaf ribs of the Palmyra palm. This stiff fibre is water-resistant and mixing the two fibres creates a great cleaning combination.

Zacaton root fibre

The zacaton plant is also grown in Mexico. Its finely corrugated roots are extremely tough and used for very hard and stiff scouring brushes.

Caring for Your Brushes

When you’re done using a brush, rinse it and let the bristles dry between uses. Hang the bristles downwards to lengthen the brush’s life. To disinfect and sanitize the bristles, soak them in distilled white vinegar for about an hour, keeping the handle out of the vinegar. After soaking, rinse with warm water and hang to dry.

Avoid leaving your brush submerged for long periods, as it can dry out the handle and bristles. To prevent the untreated wood from drying out and cracking, oil the handle with olive oil or food-safe mineral oil. To do this, simply rub oil on the wood portion of the brush, and let it soak in overnight.

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