The New Dalton-Ruhlman Bamboo Scrubber/Photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman

This one was all Mac.  Mac Dalton who, at a New Years All Day Eat and Drink party at our house, arrived early and shoveled the walk, dry-humped guests at random (“Cut it out, Mac” was the typical response), helped me cook and feed thirty people laughing the entire time, dropped trou to show us his favorite Christmas gift (Scooby Doo boxers), and single handedly did every dish and glass in the house at the end of the night (and at parties like that you use every single glass available). That’s Mac.

He did one other thing that day. He said, “Hey, Michael. I gotta show you what I do. I make things. I can make anything, what do you want to make?”

I picked up the offset spoon, one I bent myself pictured in this site’s banner which I use for basting, and said, “I want to make this. You can’t buy these.”

Mac said, “I can do that.”

And so we began.  We started producing cooking tools, high-quality flat-edged wood spoons, The Badass Perforated (aka Egg) spoon (more in stock by the end of the week), awesome reuseable All-Strain cloths, for straining stock, making greek-style yogurt, or even cheese.  Wash, dry, use again–no more money on cheesecloth. (All available on my page at OpenSky.)

One day Mac showed me a falling apart bamboo wok scrubber. He loved it, but couldn’t find another. I said, “Yeah, so what. Those things are flimsy and fall apart, and don’t work—I don’t know why anyone would buy one.”

“I want to make one,” he said. We found some at William’s Sonoma, but they were likewise really flimsy.

I said, “OK, let’s make one that really works.”

And so we did. A big sturdy mother. It scrapes off baked-on cheese, baked-on egg, scalded milk. Best of all, your sponge doesn’t get all gunked up. The bamboo scrubber washes clean. This is meaningful when you’re cleaning up flour. Mix flour and water and you get gluten, a gummy substance that gives us great bread but is not water soluble, so ruins sponges. Gluten does not stick to a bamboo scrubber. Watch this video, made by son James (thanks James!).

Oh yeah, and those cast iron pans and woks that you don’t want to use soap on—this scrubber is what you want.

This thing will even clean your grill.

Thanks, Mac.  But seriously, you can just tell us about the underwear next time.  I promise we’ll believe you.

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© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.



28 Wonderful responses to “The Birth of a Product—Bamboo Scrubber”

  • Julie T

    Nice… I just bought it, I’ve been looking for something just like this to clean my cast iron skillet which I use all the time. THANKS!!!!

  • Chuck shaw

    They are great for cleaning seasoned woks and skillets. If I’m in Chinatown I pick one up, but like a lot of product in C-town they are flimsy.

  • Wilma de Soto

    I just bought one too. Should one soak it water before using it on a hot grill? Won’t it burn?

    • ruhlman

      It’s not really on there long enough, won’t burn. It will get black from the grease, so I soak it in water with dish soap after using on grill. Would be best to have one just for the grill, and one for the kitchen!

    • Mac

      No need to soak…a quick wask in HOT water never hurts on any purchased product….enjoy!

  • Harry Marks

    The Dalton-Ruhlman Bamboo Scrubber? What a crock!

    On sale for $24 when it’s available on the web and in any Asian grocery for $3. Your credibility just went down the toilet Mr Ruhlman.

    • ruhlman

      Dude, didn’t you read the post? If you want one of those crappy flimsy wok scrubbers then go for it. A scrubber like this doesn’t exist anywhere that we’ve been able to find. It’s really solid and effective. I’ll look forward hearing comments from the people who’ve bought one.

      • JerBear50

        Ha! Read the post? You’ve been blogging for far too long to still be making assumptions like that.

    • Mac

      Hey Harry… got one the same quality? I want to see…I have had my original unit for 30 years…I actually got it from my mom who is gone now…held together by ducktape….yea duck….and I have traveled across asia….looking for a Maker of this Bamboo product for YEARS….and this is made…by a farmer in Hunan China….no big business…..and it is a great unit…….what else can I say….you can get silly bands at CVS.

  • Linda A

    I’d love to order your products, but Open Sky doesn’t ship to Canada. Such a shame…

    • ruhlman

      i know they’re working on it. and soon, I’ll be able to ship my stuff to canada

      • wendinlondon

        I’m an american in london and I’d love to buy your products here! Any likelihood you’ll be expanding sales to the UK?

  • Brett

    How is your faucet turning on and off in that video? Just an unseen hand or something fancier?

  • Joe

    Product looks great.

    Odd question – is your faucet operated with an electronic eye or a foot pedal? Or maybe a Jedi mind trick?

  • ruhlman

    I’ve got foot peddles that turn the hot and cold water one. one of my favorite kitchen features. love it. when i’ve got chicken all over my hands or my hands are full, i don’t need to reach for the faucet.

    • Joe

      As a recovering drummer I’m looking forward to integrating some foot pedals into my kitchen prep/clean up…weekend project time. Thanks Michael!

  • twoshoes

    okay. wow. this is intriguing to me since I build bamboo fly rods and have tons of scrap bamboo. I guess this means that of course I don’t want to buy one I want to make one (some?).

  • Natalie Sztern

    I actually think this looks like a fantastic tool to have. I have one for my wok but I like that this is a shorter tool and the wood pieces are much tighter together so that you can get an actually good grip and therefore grind to get those pots shiny.

  • Maureen

    Argh.. I wish OpenSky said up front that there are no shipments outside of the US before spending the time to join.

    However, this bamboo pot scrubber looks fantastic!

  • stephen

    OK Ruhlman…I’m not trying to be a dick…I’m sure you get enough of that crap from Bourdain, but if you have such a beautiful patina on your cast iron skillet, why would eggs even begin to think about sticking to it…? Also, what type of cast iron skillets do you use…I’m partial to Lodge and I have a few Wagner skillets that belonged to my Great Grandmother.

  • Snow

    That’s nice… but what I could really use is kitchen sink foot pedal kit!

  • Rob Heyden

    oooh… I want one. It’s hard enough finding them, let alone getting them to last… BTW Michael- just watched the Vegas episode of No Resv- great to actually see and hear you! (after reading your great stuff for years…;) Laughed my tuchis off.

  • John

    A little .99 cent plastic dough scraper will do all this as well and take up less space 🙂


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