Tawashi: make your own reusable long-lasting sponges

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Have you everything ready for a spot of spring cleaning, but you just can’t put your hand on a blasted sponge? Instead of going out and buying a pack of four in your local supermarket, why not make your own! All you need is to sacrifice a pair of socks, old tights, leggings or a t-shirt. And what’s more, tawashis are even more hygienic than regular sponges. Here is a simple tutorial to help you make your own Japanese long-lasting sponge. Say goodbye to nests of bacteria!

Screenshot: Pinterest

What you will need:

  • A small plank of wood
  • 20 large flat-head nails (which will serve as a home made loom)
  • An old clean pair of tights, socks or leggings.


1/ Trace a 14 cm sided square out in pencil on the plank of wood.

2/ Hammer in a nail 3 cm from each corner, and then hammer the other nails along the edges of the square, each 2 cms apart. Your loom is ready!

3/ Cut out 10 bands of your chosen material, each 3 cm wide. Cut width-ways across the socks/tights/leggings so that the strips each form a loop, like an elastic band.

4/ Thread a row of 5 of your strips going vertically along the loom.

5/ Next add another row of 5 going horizontally across it, weaving each band alternatively over and under the vertical row, looping the ends over the nails.

6/ To finish off, you need to thread it off the loom: take the last loop from one corner of the square, and thread it over the loop beside it, threading the next loop over the one beside that, and so on until there is only one loop left. You leave this loop free and use it to hang it near your sink.

Screenshot: Pinterest

Here is a video tutorial:

And there you go, you are now the proud owner of a washable, eco-friendly and low cost sponge, that you can easily hang for faster drying! As the tawashi allows air to easily pass through it, bacteria will not nest in it. A sponge with nothing but advantages!

Cover photo:

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