When should your poufs go poof?

by Bella Rum

Image: 5-2-2010

We all know that bath sponges, loofahs and poufs are favorite playgrounds for some very unsavory bacteria and germs, but exactly what kind of damage can those germs do? How much time do we have before they reach critical mass and it’s time to toss our lovely loofahs and pretty poufs in the trash? Probably not as long as you think.

Rachael Ray asked Dr. Cameron Rokhsar these questions on our behalf… because…. well because Dr. Rokhsar wouldn’t give us a second glance even if we chased him down the street pelting him with our loofahs. He ran some tests on a shower pouf that had been hanging around about a year. Hold on to your seats.

“Lab results found that the pouf contained two different organisms: acinetobacter, which can cause wound infections, boils and conjunctivitis; and yeast, the most common form of which is Candida. Dr. Rokhsar explains that Candida can cause rashes around the mouth called perleche, as well as other various rashes and infections. He recommends replacing a pouf or loofah about every three weeks and sponges every six to eight weeks.”

THREE WEEKS? Wow! Mine is just getting broken in at the three week mark. Apartment Therapy makes a common sense suggestion. A wash cloth is probably the best and simplest solution because it can be washed after every use.

But many of us have become attached to our colorful poufs and relaxing sponges and sloughing loofahs. What to do?

Tossing them in a load of warm/hot laundry can help extend the life of your poufs to about three months. That’s a bit more reasonable. After all, you can find poufs for a dollar. I do wonder if they will hold up in the washer, though, or will they unravel? A commenter (Thanks, Linda.) suggested tossing them in one of those mesh lingerie bags.

I’ve also heard that putting your sponge in the microwave for a couple of minutes will kill enough of the bacteria to make it “safe to go back in the water,” but  don’t walk away and leave it unattended. You may return to find your microwave filled with smoke and your sponge shriveled and blackened from fire. I’m not saying that I’ve actually done this. No, I wouldn’t admit to that…

How long do you keep your poufs? I’m heading to the bathroom now. Eweee!

Source: Apartment Therapy