What’s a Loofah?

Whether you use it to get a good lather or for just scrubbing your skin clean, most of us have a loofah. But it turns out that scrubbing tool may be harboring dangerous bacteria.

What’s a loofah  (Luffa aegyptiaca) is a fibrous gourd-like plant that was once used in the shower to scrub away dead skin cells. The flesh of the oblong plant is stripped out and dried after it ripens, leaving behind a rough network of xylem fibers that’s perfect for exfoliating. It’s also widely used in other household products, like cleaning sinks and tubs.

When it comes to skincare, people love a good loofah because it helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to dullness or flakiness. But it’s not all about scrubbing your skin; the abrasive texture of the sponge is great for cleaning and polishing surfaces, too. Those same nooks and crannies can make the perfect home for dangerous bacterial growth, however.

Beyond Massage: Exploring the Holistic Benefits of Wood Therapy

Studies have shown that sponges can collect and harbor dangerous E coli, Strep, and staph bacteria. And while natural loofahs—made from the gourd-like luffa plant or other materials such as mesh, plastic, or silk—don’t grow the same bacteria as synthetic sponges, they’re still a perfect place for them to thrive.

The best way to keep your sponge safe is to clean it regularly and swap it out often. When it’s time to switch it out, wring out all the moisture and let it dry completely before using it again.

Leave a Reply