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Everyone knows that a loofah is a critical shower accessory. But what some don't know is that loofahs don't last forever. Even if a loofah looks fine, there comes a point when replacing it is best (and most sanitary). But just how long should you keep a loofah? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.
The shelf life of a loofah depends on the type of loofah (natural vs. artificial), how frequently it is used, and how well it is maintained. But in general, natural loofahs should be replaced every month, and artificial loofahs should be replaced every 3 months. If you notice mold growth on your loofah, you should replace it immediately.
If you still have some lingering questions about the shelf life of loofahs, don't worry. In this guide, we'll discuss the topic in greater detail. We'll also compare loofahs to washcloths, discuss the best way to sanitize a loofah, and much more. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Loofah Shelf Life
As mentioned, the shelf life of a loofah depends on a few factors. We'll discuss these factors in detail below.
Type Of Loofah
Natural loofahs are generally denser and somewhat fragile, so they tend to get soiled (and effectively ruined) much quicker than their artificial counterparts. Artificial loofahs are made of a synthetic material that simply makes them more durable.
What's more, the pattern on artificial loofahs is generally more open, making it easy to purge the loofah of dead skin and other debris that, if not removed, would quickly soil it.
Frequency Of Use
How frequently a loofah is used is another important factor that affects its usable life. Naturally, a loofah that gets used several times each day won't last as long as one that only gets used once each day. So, depending on the frequency of use, a loofah might have a shorter or longer shelf life than the average shelf life mentioned earlier.
Another important factor that affects how long a loofah will last is how well it is maintained. A loofah that is purged and cleaned regularly will have a longer shelf life than one that is neglected. Regular, thorough maintenance will go a long way toward extending the shelf life of both natural and artificial loofahs.
Do Loofahs Get Moldy?
Since loofahs are practically always in a hot, humid environment, they can get moldy quite easily. Mold thrives in moist environments, so the shower is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Since loofahs (especially natural ones) retain a lot of water long after your shower, they can easily become a welcoming home for mold.
How To Keep A Loofah From Getting Moldy
If you're grossed out by the idea of a moldy loofah, take a deep breath. The good news is that keeping a loofah from getting moldy is easy. Simply follow these steps to keep your loofah free of mold:
- First, be sure to thoroughly rinse the loofah and wring it out after each use. Since moisture is necessary for mold to grow, it's critical to remove as much water from the loofah as possible to prevent mold growth.
- Then, set the loofah in a dry area. Depending on how humid your bathroom gets, it might be a good idea to store it in a totally different room, preferably in an area with direct sunlight. This will allow the loofah to completely dry between uses, which will eliminate the possibility of mold growth.
Is It Better To Use A Loofah Or Washcloth?
In reality, one isn't "better" than the other, as they both serve different purposes. In fact, it's best to use both a loofah and a washcloth for the ideal shower regimen. Loofahs are generally better suited for overall bodily exfoliation, whereas washcloths are better suited for facial cleansing.
Loofahs do an exceptional job exfoliating the body. Whether you opt for a natural or artificial loofah, the porous, abrasive surface will make quick work of the dead skin, dirt, and debris on your skin. But since the face is much more sensitive than the skin on the rest of the body, an abrasive loofah isn't ideal for facial cleansing.
That's where washcloths come in. Washcloths have some exfoliating capability, but they are generally more gentle than loofahs, making them the best option for facial cleansing. What's more, it's easier to vary the pressure with a washcloth, so you can easily tailor your cleaning routine to suit your skin's sensitivity.
How Do You Sanitize A Loofah?
Since loofahs exfoliate the skin, they naturally get clogged with dead skin, dirt, and other nasty debris. To stay sanitary, it's a good idea to regularly purge your loofah. We recommended thoroughly cleaning your loofah at least once a week. Below are several different methods you can use to clean your loofah:
- Soak the loofah in a solution of diluted bleach for 15 minutes.
- Place the loofah in the top rack of the dishwasher, and run it with your next load.
- Completely soak the loofah, and place it in the microwave for two to three minutes.
- Wash the loofah in the washing machine with your next load.
- Place the loofah in a bright sunlit area for several hours.
What Can You Do With Old Loofahs?
When it comes time to replace your loofah, you don't necessarily have to throw it in the garbage. Below are some of the ways you can repurpose your old loofahs to keep them from going to waste (or at least dispose of them responsibly):
- Use your old loofahs as makeshift cleaning brushes. Due to their abrasive texturing, loofahs do a great job removing pesky debris from all kinds of surfaces.
- If a natural loofah needs replacing, put it in the compost bin.
- Use old loofahs as funky paintbrushes to apply unique paint textures.
- If an artificial loofah needs replacing, recycle it instead of throwing it in the trash.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand the factors that affect how long a loofah lasts along with the best practices for extending the shelf life of your loofah. If you follow the tips outlined in this guide, you'll always have a nice and clean loofah to scrub with!
Before you go, be sure to check out these other guides that might be of interest: