Do You Have to Clean Your Loofah?

A woman washes her shoulders using a plastic loofah.

Loofahs are popular shower tools used for exfoliating and effectively cleansing the skin. By now, you’re probably aware that you should be replacing your plastic loofah every few months (and if you didn’t know, well now you do!).

But what if we told you that loofahs require a little more upkeep than just replacing them every so often? As it turns out, you should also be cleaning your loofah weekly.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, loofah sponges are very porous in nature and have lots of “nooks and crannies.” As you scrub your body with your loofah, your dead skin cells get trapped in those nooks and crannies, which become a playground for bacteria and fungal organisms to flourish, leading to skin infections.

“Loofahs are interesting,” dermatologist Melissa Piliang told the Cleveland Clinic. “They’re used in a wet environment, and you hang them up in the shower, which is also a wet environment. They don’t ever totally dry out, so the loofah is a beautiful breeding ground for bacteria.”

If reading that gives you the chills, don’t worry. Washing your loofah is simple and can prevent bacteria and other organisms from growing in it. Dr. Piliang recommends soaking the loofah in a diluted bleach bath for five minutes and rinsing thoroughly after. You can also throw it in the dishwasher, right next to the kitchen sponges.

Haven’t washed your loofah in a minute? Next time you’ve got a bathroom deep clean planned go ahead and add your loofah to your to-clean list.

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