When you jump in your shower for a nice relaxing soak, what do you usually grab to clean yourself up with? Most likely your loofah! Your trusty loofah is the easiest, most relaxing way to sud-up…but how clean is the thing that’s cleaning you?

As it turns out, probably not as clean as you would hope.

Your loofah is a breeding ground for bacteria, and has the potential to harbor pathogens like staphylococcus, stenotrophomonas maltophila, and group B streptococcus. While these sound like big, fancy words you can just brush off, each one has a less-than-fun consequence.

Staphylococcus causes acne, stenotrophomonas maltophila can result in respiratory infections, and group B streptococcus can cause pneumonia, bone and joint infections.

Doesn’t sound great, right?

Stack of colored loofahs.Deposit Photos

So are these nasty bacteria already lingering on your loofah? If not, how does your loofah get so darn…gross. Ironically enough, we’re the ones who make our loofahs so bacteria-infested.

These bacteria are already on your body or have been picked up by somewhere you’ve been. When we shower, we rub off what we’ve collected onto our loofah, leaving us clean but our loofahs dirty. While this is unlikely to give you a life threatening infections, it could infect others if you share your loofah or something else that’s touched it, like your soap.

How do you know if it’s your loofah’s infected? It will start to smell of grow mold. When you notice this, you can do two things: toss it or clean it!

It might seem difficult to clean something that’s typically supposed to do the cleaning, but there is a way to get it done! And it’s not as tricky as you may be imagining.

Sudding up with a soapy loofah.Deposit Photos

The best method for cleaning your loofah is submerging it in a mixture that’s one part bleach and nine parts water for about ten minutes. When time is up, remove the loofah and let it air dry completely.

Too time consuming for ya? There’s always option A, tossing the loofah away.

If you do choose to dispose of your dirty loofah, opt for soap next time! With a bar of soap it’s much easier to keep bacteria off; all you have to do with soap is give it a good rinse with regular old water. If you’re adverse to using bleach or you’d like to avoid as much bacteria as possible, this is a much more sufficient option.

What do you think of this health information or this cleaning method? Do you clean your loofah regularly or is this all news to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and then get cleaning.