Chilewich is a brand of chic, minimalist woven polypropylene floor mat that is a staple in design magazines. You’d think the material from which they’re made – woven polypropylene – would be available in off-brands, but we haven’t found any in our searches. (We did, however, find a number of seller’s on Ebay who sell seconds or discontinued styles; Chilewich mats aren’t cheap.) We’ve been thinking of possibly using a Chilewich floor mat for the kitchen whose painted plywood floors take a lot of wear and tear. So we ordered some samples from Chilewich’s site.
From having cooked seriously and sometimes wildly-with-a-number-of-cooks-at-once, we know about all the bits of food that can end up ground into the kitchen floor, from scraps of fat from trimmed meat to fruit peels. We worried that all this stuff would mash into the weave and make for more work than we want. So we decided to do a test to see if the Chilewich would really clean easily despite our abuse.
Into our sample card, we mashed some feta cheese and a prune…really mashed. Then we tried cleaning the card off. While there was some goo initially stuck in the weave, it came right out when we rubbed with a damp cloth. In dire cases, a tooth-brush would do fine.
Chilewich passed the test
UPDATE: several readers wrote in to say that they are having a very hard time getting olive oil spilled on Chilewich mats. We didn’t think of just pouring olive oil on it. Proceed with caution!
A while later in a restaurant, we saw some Chilewich placemats made of the same material, their edges frayed and tattered.
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