Amazon Reviewers Swear This $10 Vegetable Brush Is the Secret to Safely Cleaning Your Cast-Iron Skillet

updated Mar 5, 2020
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Every so often, I want to hug the internet for giving me something I didn’t know I was looking for. Most recently, it was when my search for a vegetable brush led me to a surprising cleaning tool that resembles a prickly woodland creature. The Japanese Tawashi vegetable brush is designed to scrub fruits and vegetables without removing their nutritious and flavorful skin, but if you go by hundreds of Amazon reviewers, it also works remarkably well on cleaning cast-iron cookware. As someone who owns Lodge and Griswold pieces, I was intrigued. 

We all know how long it can take to season cast iron and how precious that patina can be once it’s developed, both from a flavor and non-stick standpoint. Many abrasive cleaning brushes made from fine metal bristles can remove this seasoning, and if you’re really aggressive when scrubbing cast iron, it can create small scratches on the surface that can rust and corrode. However, the Tawashi brush is made from tightly wound palm fibers that are sturdy and stiff enough to clean but gentle enough that they won’t strip away anything you want to keep on the pan.

Besides using the brush on cast-iron cookware and vegetables (obviously!), Amazon customers also noted that it’s great for cleaning things like wine glasses, delicate ceramic dishes and, as one reviewer put it, “a crusty stove top range.”

The brush is shaped to fit comfortably in your hand and has a concave center so you can scrub round or uneven items with ease. Its natural brushes are a great replacement for smelly sponges that trap moisture and bacteria, as well as plastic brushes that have a tendency to flatten over time.

“I was starting to feel really guilty about using plastic bristle brushes that are not recyclable. They get so scummy that you end up having to throw them away, and that’s a big hunk of plastic going into a landfill somewhere,” says one reviewer. “I can throw these away with a clear conscience because they’re made of organic material and therefore biodegradable.”

The set of three brushes comes with a little hanging hook, so you can conveniently leave them to dry after rinsing them clean. Thanks to their natural material, you can also give your scrub a thorough cleansing every few weeks — just dunk it in a mixture of boiling water and vinegar, and you’re done!

As one reviewer summed it up: “Don’t buy any more plastic scrubbers…these work better AND they are NOT plastic! It’s a no-brainer!”