Certain scrubbers can be the perfect breeding ground of bacteria, a new study has revealed.
A recent research suggests that loofahs carry bacteria, so much so that using one could defeat the very purpose of the shower and can even lead to infections.
The research has found that the natural scrubbers made from a tropical species of cucumber fibre, make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
It also highlighted that loofahs can transmit potentially pathogenic species of bacterial flora to the skin that under the right circumstances may even cause an infection.
When you lather up to exfoliate by scrubbing away dead skin cells, they get caught in the nooks and folds of the sponge.
The humid, damp, and relatively undisturbed environment of the shower allows the bacteria to multiply before your next rinse. The bacteria feeds on the organic matter trapped in the loofah, and every time it does not dry properly the bacterial colony continues to bloom.
Unfortunately, applying antibacterial wash to the loofah and rinsing it out after each use doesn't even count if it is not regularly disinfected.
Most dermatologists agree that using loofahs and shower sponges are not great for the skin.
Dermatologist Michele Green said that continuing to use a contaminated loofah will only make things worse. "You spread the bacteria that you washed off your body the last time," Green confirmed.
"The loofah is spreading yesterday's dirt back on your body," said expert J Mathhew Knight. Adding that mold and yeast can also infect the plastic mesh sponge or natural loofah.
To keep showers clean, dermatologists recommend replacing the bath loofah and mesh pouf every three weeks, especially if it turns a different colour or develops an odour.
To keep your damp sponge from festering in the mould palace try drying it outside of the shower, where there is good air circulation.
To disinfect your bath scrubber properly microwave natural loofahs and sponges for 20 seconds or soak them in a solution of five percent bleach.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Olivia/Flickr/Creative Commons