Monday, 3 November 2008 | Tags: , , , ,

The broom performs a basic function and has been sweeping the floors of caves, castles, and our homes for centuries. We give brooms some extra consideration to find out if one in particular sweeps cleaner than another.

The Basics

  • Light household-use brooms are lightweight with natural or synthetic softer fibres.

  • Heavier duty outdoor use brooms are typically made from coarse natural fibres. Most are push broom style.

  • Synthetic bristles are often easier to use, especially indoors, and also work better in wet conditions than natural bristles. They are also easier to clean.

  • Stiffer straw bristles definitely work better for picking up larger particles, especially outside.

  • A broom that is angled – not straight across the bottom – gets into corners and underneath things much easier.

  • The type of handle can make a difference: solid wood can be heavy but the weight helps give momentum to the sweeping.

  • Standard handle length is between 54 and 60 inches. Try it out first to see what’s comfortable for you.


Other Considerations

  • To make the broom last longer, wrap an elastic band around the bristles and store it upside down.

  • Use a vacuum every once in a while to clean off dirt and dust particles.

  • Clean a dirty corn broom in hot soapy water (don’t let it soak), then let it air dry.


We invited some professional curlers to help us see how well these swept away our day-to-day dirt:

  • Traditional Asian Rice Broom (natural fibres): $5.99
  • Rubbermaid (synthetic angled bristles): $6.99
  • Quickie Corn Broom (all-natural straw bristles): $11.97
  • Swiffer dry/wet mop combo (synthetic): $12.99
  • OXO Good Grips (synthetic): $34.99

Sweep Test

  • The Swiffer didn’t pick up enough debris. We didn’t like the fact that there was so much waste to throw out after each use either.

  • The OXO broom had a substantial handle and good, balanced weight.

  • The traditional straw corn broom had a good wide base and a comfortable weight balance.


We went with the traditional straw corn broom for its effectiveness and ease-of-use.


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