If you’re like most women out there, you hop in the shower once a day to suds up and rinse off for a fresh and clean feel. Those of you who enjoy a luxurious lather are most likely using a shower puff, or loofah, to get your body wash to the perfect consistency before scrubbing. It’s the job of the shower puff to get you clean, but when’s the last time you considered the cleanliness of your shower puff?
Naturally, shower puffs make phenomenal breeding grounds for bacteria—we hate to be the one to break this to you! Just like the sponge in your kitchen sink, a loofah used with soap to wash away dirt and grime, and then left in a damp environment until its next use. Even though they’re being used with effective cleansers and are left to air dry, they never totally dry out, making them ideal for bacterial and fungal growth. Making matters worse, they can lead to all kinds of skin complications and even transmit viral disease. Yikes!
The good news is there are a few things you can do to prevent bacteria and fungi from building up in your favorite shower accessory. Although, before we get into the steps that you can take to prevent a massive germ build up, we want to mention that—in addition to taking preventive care—it’s in your best interest to replace your shower puff every four weeks or so.
Give It a Post-Wash Rinse
After getting their soapy scrub in for the day, many people simply hang up their shower puff and rinse themselves off. Granted, the common idea to hang up a loofah isn’t that bad of an option (could you imagine how icky they would get if the typical protocol was to place them on the shower shelf!), but there is a better way to go about drying it. Before you even get to the drying aspect, before you would even go to hang it up, give the shower puff a thorough rinse under clean water. By doing this you can rid the loofah of any left-over body wash as well as the dead skin cells it picked up while exfoliating your body. Once the water runs clear through the loofah, grasp it in your hands and give it a good shake, this will help purge the water that’s stuck in the inner areas of the sponge.
Reduce Moisture and Promote Airflow
It’s okay to hang the shower sponge up in the shower while you’re showering, however, once you’ve gotten out of the shower your puff should, too. It’s best to hang your wet loofah up outside of the shower where there is a dry air flow (opposed to the lingering humid air the resides in the shower). If you’ve nowhere else to hang it, it’s a good idea to leave the bathroom fan running, the door open, or crack a window for a few hours post-shower.
Give It a Weakly Clean
Aside from soaking in the suds of your body cleanser, it’s important to disinfect your shower puff at least once a week. There a few different ways to go about cleaning your loofah which ultimately come down to preference. One option of doing so involves bleach; simply fill up a bowl with bleach, let it sit for five minutes, then be sure to rinse it completely. Another, more natural, option involves vinegar; this method suggests that you swish the shower puff around in solution made of one part water and one part vinegar, for a few minutes every other day or so, to keep it clean and fresh.