Why You Should Lose that Loofah
By Sara Butler
You know those shower poufs that probably grace the shower of most of the people you know? Well, they’re convenient for sure, and they produce a heck of a lather, but have you ever stopped to really think about how hygienic those poufs really are? It turns out they’re not the healthiest thing to keep in your shower. Here’s why you may want to consider ditching that loofah for good.
A Bacterial Sanctuary
The Journal of Clinical Microbiology has published a study on these shower scrubbers that reveal they are, well, kinda gross. They are a haven for bacteria – a lot of different kinds of bacteria, actually.
When you scrub your skin in the shower with these poufs, the dead skin cells that slough off get caught in the netting of the pouf. When you combine this with warm water and storing it in moist conditions in your bathroom, then bacteria are going to set up shop.
What’s Lurking in Your Loofah?
If you’ve made it this far, then get ready to read some more sobering news. That stuff that’s living in your loofah? It’s serious stuff.
If you have a wound on your skin such as a cut or a nick from shaving, the bacteria living on your loofah can take hold. This includes an organism called Acinetobacter, which causes conjunctivitis and boils. The other beast is yeast, the most common type of which is called candida. Candida causes rashes and infections all over your body.
How to Stay Germ-Free in the Shower
If you need to scrub in your tub to feel clean, then you should follow a few of these recommendations:
- Use natural substances – If you want to keep a loofah around, then use one made from a natural substance rather than a synthetic one. Natural sponges are a great alternative.
- Shake it off – When you’re done using your loofah you should shake it out and let it dry completely between usages.
- Store it outside the shower – You should not leave your loofah to dry in the shower because it won’t. Instead find a cool, dry place without moisture to hang it up so it can dry completely.
- Clean it – On a regular basis, you should give it a good soak in a bleach solution. This will kill the germs you probably want to keep off your skin.
- Replace it – Every three to four weeks you should treat yourself to a new loofah!