How often do you think about brooms? I just bought a new one which got me to thinking. Which is better synthetic or natural? Natural brooms are made from a type of grain called broomcorn or Sorghum vulgare. These flat bristled brooms in use today were apparently invented by the Shakers in the 19th century. Before that, brooms were more round, made with courser material and were less effective. However, the popularity of these so called corn brooms have decreased dramatically in recent years and much of the broom corn crop is now used to make more decorative items such as wreaths and baskets. Although much of this broomcorn is grown in Kentucky, apparently a majority now is grown in Mexico. I’ve found that these brooms come in different qualities with some having very few bristles and so sweeping in inefficient. I look for the more dense brooms. Some other natural fiber brooms including yucca.
Synthetic brooms are becoming much more popular. They are made from nylon or polypropylene and are often chemically treated to allow them to attract more dirt. I didn’t realize that till now but I’ve found that dirt indeed does stick to these brooms and doesn’t come off. I never liked them because it seems like I am putting a lot of dirt away in the closet when I put the broom away.
My guess would be that the natural brooms are more ecological than the synthetic brooms. And I make it a point to support farming whenever I can, so I’ll stick to cornbrooms.
Which do you prefer?