Lurking in your Loofah

My spring cleaning preoccupation continues… Loofah? Scrub glove? The old fashioned wash cloth? What is your preferred accessory for your shower scrub? Is one a better choice than another?

We can talk about all the different options for cleansers and soaps later (look for some particulars in an upcoming Product Challenge post). Let’s just think about what you use to get your lather going. The easiest option? Hands. They are convenient, always available and don’t have the risks of bacteria buildup that some of the other options do (provided you clean your hands of course!). The down side is that they don’t provide an exfoliating properties, and some people just don’t’ “feel clean” without some sort of tool/brush.

Loofahs are probably the most popular, along with scrub mitts and bigger brushes. If your skin doesn’t mind the more vigorous texture, these are great. However, please be aware they are germ havens! Yuk. You need to wash your loofah or mitt once a week (Yes!) and that can be done in a dilute vinegar soak or by washing it in the dishwasher. You do not want to know what kind of bacteria can build up on these if you let them sit in your shower, damp, day after day without cleaning or replacing them. Wring them out after every use, and store them hanging or on a rack where air can circulate and they can dry out as much as possible. You could always get nostalgic for the old days, and go back to using a washcloth. Same rules apply for washing these once a week.

Here’s another hint I heard in a spa once: if you must try to exfoliate with a stiff brush, do it outside┬áthe shower, as a dry scrub. Careful on how stiff the bristles are with this, as it can obviously be painful if they are too firm. You can do it right after a shower or right before, and then apply moisturizer or a light oil afterwards. I was skeptical until I tried it, and it actually feels great and makes your skin feel really smooth too. Caution advised for my super-sensitive-skin friends.


  1. once a week! omg, i have been seriously lacking in my loofah upkeep.

    i wonder if i could microwave it for like 5 seconds to kill germs? i do that to my sponges.

    1. Author

      Good question! I haven’t tried it. They might melt? You can throw loofahs in the washing machine too, but it tends to unravel them.

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