Every time we enter a supermarket, a health and beauty store, or a department store, we are faced with dozens of cleaning accessories and tools – each designed to help us tackle different levels of dirt, grime, and bacteria. Whether you are drawn to certain products by cost, appearance, or sustainability, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of the different varieties on offer means not only understanding how effective they are at cleaning but also how well attuned they are to the eco-friendly demands of the modern home.
Loofahs are up there as one of the most popular natural solutions both for cleaning the home and for maintaining personal hygiene; with the dried loofah husk creating a naturally textured surface that presents users with the perfect tool for scrubbing.
Thanks to the way that the natural body of the loofah dries up, the overall effect is an effective exfoliator which creates the perfect soap lather on the body, during washing up and even when scrubbing at stubborn stains – though without proper care and attention, your loofah sponge can also become a hub of bacteria.
Before we get into caring for and ensuring proper maintenance of your loofah sponge, let’s first look a little closer at where loofah sponges come from and what makes them such a great eco friendly home swap.
The origin of the loofah sponge
As you can see from our range of loofah sponges, the main material finish of a loofah sponge is dry and crusty – with the naturally rough surface creating the perfect exfoliating tool. But what makes loofah sponges so sustainable?
Well, would you believe us if we told you that everything about the loofah sponge – from its shape to its textured surface finish – was entirely natural? Derived from the Luffa Gourd plant found in tropical and subtropical climates, loofah sponges are made by allowing the plant to flower into its long cucumber-shaped plant, and then harvesting and drying this flower out for up to six months. The dried flowers (in the industry, we call these the ‘gourds’) are then soaked and peeled, and all the seeds are removed. Once they’re dried out again, they can be sliced and used to form a variety of different shapes to replicate the array of sponge shapes and sizes that we see on the shelves today.
If you need any proof that loofah sponges are entirely natural and derived from sustainable sources, you need only to compare a range of loofah’s in a health and beauty or eco-friendly store – all the products will be completely unique. After all, there is no uniformity in nature; everything is displayed exactly as nature creates it.
You may be wondering how we can ensure that loofahs are made through cruelty free and sustainable methods if they have to be grown in tropical climates. Well, this is where organic luffa gourd farms come in, using the warm tropical environments of an indoor greenhouse to grow and harvest luffa plants for commercial use. Some people even choose to grow their own completely natural luffa plants for personal use, with organisations like the National Trust advocating eco-friendly home swaps by sharing growing tips and selling luffa seeds every Spring.
The Benefits of Loofah Sponges
If you’re browsing our selection of loofah sponges and wondering which ones are best for different uses around the home, we recommend considering out range of loofahs which come equipped with handles and hooks – allowing them to be stored safely and used effectively all over the body.
The leading benefit of loofah sponges in the bathroom is of course the naturally exfoliating property of the outer material; creating a good lather when covered with soap, which can be a great way of removing dead skin cells and keep you looking your best. As loofah sponges are completely natural, users do need to take care to ensure the texture is not too abrasive for their skin – as such, we recommend avoiding the use of loofah sponges on the face and very sensitive areas of the body.
This same exfoliating material also makes loofah sponges ideal for use in the kitchen as a dishwashing sponge, and also across the rest of the home as an effective cleaning tool for stubborn stains and even damp or mildew. Loofahs are a great alternative to standard dishwashing sponges and scrubbers, as they are completely plastic free and are made with zero waste. Buyers tend to report that loofah sponges are particularly beneficial on bathroom and kitchen tiles, and kitchen surfaces where they want to ensure a thorough and deep clean.
The Drawbacks of Loofah Sponges
This is where storage and maintenance comes into play – loofah sponges are highly effective at removing dead skin cells and lifting stains and bacteria from all manner of surfaces, but if they are not used regularly or properly cleaned after each use, they can become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria.
Now, you may consider yourself a regular loofah user – and for the sake of your skin, once or twice a week is probably more than enough. However, when it comes to the health and hygiene of your sponge, this is not often enough to completely kill off any bacteria that may collect on the surface, and so we recommend investing in one of our eco-friendly cleaning products to disinfect your loofah and ensure it is ready for safe use every time.
You can also help reduce the spread of bacteria by storing your loofah well away from water sources and additional moisture and avoiding use in sensitive areas like the face where bacteria can easily be spread around the body.
When it comes to making eco friendly household swaps, whether it’s a cleaning products for your home or for your body, it is important to ensure that what you are bringing into the home is not only effective but also safe to use. Provided you invest time in the proper maintenance and cleaning of your loofah sponge, the naturally grown product can be a worthwhile swap that saves you money and helps you to become more environmentally friendly.
For more information on our range of Loofah sponges, head to the cleaning page of our website.