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What is a Whisk Broom?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A whisk broom is a type of short handled broom which is very useful for some household applications. Whisk brooms of sturdy and durable construction are available in almost any hardware store, and come in a variety of materials from plastic to traditional broom corn. While a whisk broom is not a vitally needed household tool, many people find them useful for small cleaning projects and dusting.

A whisk broom differs from a traditional broom because of its handle length. Most whisk brooms have either a small knob or a very short handle to grip. For this reason, a whisk broom is not practical for large sweeping projects, but it is ideal for sweeping a pile into a dust pan or reaching into small corners in which a normal broom cannot maneuver. Some people also use a whisk broom as a duster, or to brush down clothing.

A standard whisk broom is made from broom corn which is tightly sewn into the fan like shape associated with regular brooms. The top of the broom corn is knotted and bound in string to create a handle for the user. Plastic is also used to make whisk brooms, although it does not stand up as well in the long term as regular broom corn. Some companies also make whisk brooms from palm, sorghum, grass, and other plant materials.

In addition to dusting furniture, a whisk broom can also be used to remove soil from clothing. Several companies manufacture whisk brooms for this express purpose, and they are very useful for removing dirt, mud, pollen, and other substances from jackets and dry clean only clothing. In addition, a whisk broom for clothing helps to smooth the grain of the fabric and even out the overall appearance of the clothes.

A whisk broom can be kept in the kitchen for small cleanup projects, as well. Rather than taking out a full sized broom in a crowded kitchen or dining room to sweep up broken glass or spilled food, a whisk broom can be discretely and easily used to eliminate minor messes. A whisk broom can also be kept by the door to remove street soil from the shoes of people entering the home.

When selecting a whisk broom to purchase, look for one that is very sturdy, and preferably double sewn. Poorly made brooms will tend to shed as they are used, often creating more of a mess than there was originally. You can also pull on the broom corn in the store to see how loose it is, and make sure that there are no loose threads or pieces which might come apart as the broom is used.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Jan 21, 2015

@bluedolphin-- I'm thinking of getting a small one too. I want one of those small dust pan and brush/broom sets. I actually vacuum my house so I don't need a broom for general cleaning. I want a small sized one just for the pet bathroom.

My cat loves to make a mess around her litter box. Sometimes, she digs and digs and digs in there and litter is flying everywhere. I think that a small dust pan and brush will be good to quickly clean up the litter. There is no way I can pull out the vacuum every time for that.

By bluedolphin — On Jan 20, 2015

@bear78-- I have a plastic one and I'm happy with it. I actually would like to use a more natural option but I've never seen corn fiber whisk brooms come in a mini size. I needed a mini sized one to use in the car and I could only find a plastic one. But I do like it. It works just fine.

By bear78 — On Jan 20, 2015

When I was a child, we made use of whisk brooms all the time around the house and yard. All whisk brooms at that time were made of corn fiber. In fact, my grandmother used to make them herself with fiber from our own corn fields. These brooms worked really well to pick up and gather dirt and dust. We used them in the house and also to clean up the yard.

Now, it's difficult to find corn fiber brooms. Most whisk brooms are made of plastic. I don't like plastic brooms at all. They hold on to dirt and are difficult to clean. They also don't look as nice and they're not environmentally friendly.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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