In what must come as a blow to shower-pouf aficionados worldwide, the seemingly harmless mesh sponges are actually RUINING YOUR LIFE!!!
Ok, that might sound a little dramatic. But they are certainly doing more harm than good. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology almost 25 years ago(!!!), shower poufs are a breeding ground for nasty bacteria that literally multiply within mere hours.
What essentially happens is: your dead skin cells get trapped in the mesh netting of your pouf as you cleanse yourself. Then, since you generally keep the loofah in a warm and moist shower, all sorts of yeast, mold, and bacteria—which need moisture to spread—spring from your gross dead skin cells and begin to breed and spread like some sort of gnarly alien life form.
Every time you hop in the shower and rub that same shower pouf on your body, you are rubbing this harmful bacteria all over yourself and basically spreading yesterday’s grime on today’s fresh bod. If, for example, you use it on freshly shaved skin, or accidentally swipe some bacteria into an open paper cut, you could end up with a serious staph infection or difficult-to-combat skin issues.
If you have a super tight relationship with your loofah that the rest of us will simply never understand, there are certain things you can do to try to keep it as fresh as possible. According to dermatologist Jessica Krant, via The Huffington Post , you can let it dry COMPLETELY by taking it out of the bathroom entirely.
“It’s ideal to allow the shower area to have enough airflow to completely dry out between uses,” says Krant. “Leave a window open, shower doors cracked open and consider keeping the wet loofah outside of the shower for more airflow. If you want to be extra cautious, soap up the loofah and rinse it out on its own after washing yourself and before letting it hang to dry.”
You can also microwave it or bleach it, though what you should probably do is just throw it in the trash and use your hands and body wash like the rest of us.