Loofah sponges are actually the dried innards of a type of gourd that comes from a plant in the cucumber family, and they are often used as exfoliating body scrubbers to remove dead skin in the shower. If you love the healthy glow you get from your loofah, don't forget to take it out of the shower and disinfect it once a week -- fortunately, there are a number of ways to do so. Neglecting your loofah could result in your skin becoming irritated or infected from the bacteria that builds up when you leave your loofah in a warm, damp environment.
Add 1/4 cup of liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of hot water in a clean sink or bucket. Allow the loofah to soak in the solution for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with running water.
Wash your loofah with your dishes by placing the loofah on the top rack of the dishwasher. You can also wash it in the washing machine with your white clothes. Use hot water for either method and add bleach when doing laundry for extra disinfecting power.
Place your thoroughly wet loofah in the microwave and microwave on high for one to three minutes. You'll know it's done when the loofah starts to steam.
Dry your loofah in the bright sun after washing for extra freshening power.
Rinse your loofah thoroughly after every shower. Keep a bottle of white vinegar in the shower and pour it over the loofah once every few days. Rinse the vinegar from the loofah and store it outside the shower so it has time to dry thoroughly between uses.
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- Replace your loofah or other body scrubber once a month.
- Never put a dry loofah in the microwave.
S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.