Plenty of people love their loofah for the shower. But you may not realize just what a mess your loofah can be. They're full of nooks and crannies and very porous. This adds up to one thing - loofahs are a prime place for bacteria to grow. In fact, you may not realize it, but you should be cleaning your loofah weekly. If you have no idea how, then don't worry. We've checked with dermatologists for the top recommendations on how to keep your loofah clean.
There are several easy ways to clean your loofah. Most involve rinsing the loofah and then soaking in a cleaning solution. Next, rinse the loofah off, wring out, and air dry.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
If you can't be bothered with hand washing, then you can also try:
- The washing machine, with detergent and warm water.
- The top rack of the dishwasher.
- Two minutes in the microwave.
It's important to keep your loofah clean with one of these methods. Otherwise, a dirty loofah can spread bacteria, yeast, or fungal infections. Keep reading to learn more about each way to clean. We'll also cover how to reduce bacteria growth in between washes. And, we'll let you know when it's time for a new loofah.
How To Disinfect A Loofah With Bleach
Bleach is an obvious way to disinfect. You can clean both a synthetic or natural loofah with bleach. And the process is pretty simple.
- First, rinse all the soap off the loofah.
- Then, fill a gallon bucket of cool water. Add 3/4-cup of bleach for a synthetic loofah, or 1/4-cup for a loofah made of natural materials.
- Soak the loofah for a few minutes (at least five), submerging it thoroughly.
- Rinse it thoroughly, wring the loofah out, and hang it to air dry.
How Can I Clean My Loofah Without Bleaching?
For another recipe that's a bit gentler than bleach, try hydrogen peroxide. You can mix one part peroxide to two parts warm water. Let your loofah soak for at least 10 minutes. Then rinse, and hang to air dry.
How To Clean A Loofah With Vinegar?
You might already know that vinegar is a safe way to disinfect lots of hard-to-clean items, like toothbrushes and sponges. Naturally, that might make you wonder, would it work on a loofah? Yes, vinegar is another acceptable method for cleaning your loofah.
- Just like bleach or hydrogen peroxide, the first step is to rinse any extra soap off the loofah.
- Then, make a mix that is half vinegar, half hot water.
- Submerge the loofah and let it soak for a few minutes.
- Finally, rinse and hang to air dry like always.
Can You Put A Mesh Loofah In The Washing Machine?
Yes, you can wash a mesh loofah in the washing machine. Add it to a regular load of clothes, with warm water and your normal detergent. Just be sure to avoid the dryer. It's best to air dry your loofah. The heat of the dryer will destroy it, especially a synthetic loofah.
How Do You Disinfect A Loofah In The Microwave?
A synthetic loofah can be microwaved for two minutes, in order to kill germs. Be sure to monitor the process, so you can act quickly if there's a problem. And be careful removing a hot loofah when you're done - let it cool first.
Can You Put A Mesh Loofah In The Dishwasher?
A convenient way to clean your loofah isn't actually the washing machine like you might expect. Surprise - it's the dishwasher! Put the loofah on the top rack for a better way to clean. As always, let it air dry when you're done.
How To Take Care Of Your Loofah
Taking a few precautions with your loofah will help reduce just how much bacteria it can breed. While you'll still need to clean it weekly, here are a few hints to cut back on the gross stuff that grows between washes.
- Use them gently. Don't scrub too vigorously, or you might open up the skin. This creates a prime situation for any germs on the loofah to break through and give you a nasty infection.
- Don't use a loofah right after shaving. Even a small nick from a razor can let bacteria in.
- Replace your loofah regularly. A synthetic loofah can last about two months. A natural loofah should be changed after three or four weeks.
- Discard your loofah early if you notice a musty smell or signs of mildew.
- After use, rinse it well. Then squeeze or shake off any extra water.
- In between uses, be sure to hang it so that it can air dry thoroughly.
Should I Ditch The Loofah?
The thought of all this nasty stuff growing on your loofah might make you wonder if it wouldn't be easier to skip it altogether. If so, you're not alone. Plenty of dermatologists actually recommend that you use a washcloth instead.
There aren't all the little holes and nooks in a washcloth, making it less likely to trap gunk. They're flat and easy to dry. Plus, it's easy enough to pop them in the hamper after each use and get a clean one. And you don't have to give up your shower gel. See "How To Use Shower Gel (With And Without A Loofah)" for tips.
If a washcloth just isn't luxurious enough, consider these alternatives:
Salux Nylon Beauty Skin Cloth
These nylon clothes are similar to a washcloth. But the special texture makes them a better exfoliant. They also work up a lather better than a typical washcloth and dry quickly between uses. The material is similar to a nylon loofah if you took it out of the "ball" shape and turned it into an easy-to-dry square.
Silicone Shower Brush
Made of silicone, this is naturally resistant to bacteria growth. Plus, it's easy to keep dry between washes. It works on even very sensitive skin. And it cleans, exfoliates, promotes circulation, and even feels a bit like a massage.
Loofahs can be great for the shower, but they can also create perfect conditions to grow a lot of bacteria. To keep your loofah sanitary, be sure to rinse it after every use and let it dry well.
And be sure to clean it every week - you can soak it in a solution of bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar. You can also put it in the microwave, top rack of the dishwasher, or in the washing machine. Dirty loofahs can spread all kinds of gross bacteria, and yeast or fungal infections, among other things. So be sure to keep your loofah dry and clean! Or, for a more sanitary shower choice, maybe just stick with a classic washcloth.
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