If you’re a regular user of a loofah or shower pouf, this story may prompt you to throw it out right away. Perhaps you’ve already wondered if popular shower accessories like these might be alive with all sorts of nasty germs. Scientists have confirmed that you were right to wonder. According to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, mesh sponges and loofahs are pretty much a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. They’re typically left in the shower after they’re used. It’s a warm, damp environment in a room that’s already filled with all sorts of germs. The netting, holes, and folds in loofahs and poufs do all-too-good a job trapping dead skin cells, bacteria, mold, yeast, and general grime. Yeast and mold really seem to love poufs, by the way. Dermatologist Dr. Sherry Ingraham says of the shower area, “It’s like a giant petri dish so you really need to be aware of what’s in there and keeping it clean and tossing things on a regular basis.”
Rubbing germs, mold, and the like all over yourself is gross enough, but it can also cause acne, folliculitis and other skin infections. You can reduce the risks by replacing things like loofahs and shower poufs regularly, generally after about three weeks. If you let them air-dry thoroughly after each shower, you can get away with using them a little longer. You’ll also want to keep an eye on things like razors and shampoo bottles.
You’ll learn more from the video we’ve posted below. The local television news health reporter’s piece may gross you out a little, but it’s information you’ll be glad to have.
Once you’re done purging your shower area, take a minute to share your thoughts in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share, because really, do you want your friends covered in nasty germs?