What is a Loofah Scrubber?
When we talk about natural loofah scrubbers, we’re not talking about those fluffy, neon, plastic-based nightmares of the past. We’re talking about something much better for the environment. And better for us, too.
Natural loofahs allow us to ditch the everyday items that are holding us back in our sustainability journeys. They are the perfect products to replace regular loofahs, exfoliating gloves, and plastic sponges. They’re versatile and sturdy, making them a must-need product for your home.
Why Should You Make the Switch?
Most people who switch to natural loofahs are doing so to escape from plastic-based sponges and scrubbers. If it’s not something that you’ve thought a lot about before, you’re not alone. Most are surprised to learn how bad traditional sponges and scrubbers are for the environment.
But there’s only one stat we need to change their minds. According to many different sources, a year’s worth of plastic sponges can last up to 52,000 years in a landfill. Those horrid little things are neither recyclable nor compostable.
Thankfully, we do not need them anymore. Natural loofahs are here to stay. And they do the job much better, anyway.
How Are They Made?
Unlike traditional loofahs and sponges, natural loofah scrubbers are plant-based. Made with incredibly sustainable and eco-friendly plant fibers, these scrubbers are the cousins of the also-versatile cucumber.
The word loofah is not just a funny name for those colorful fluff balls we grew up with. Loofah, or luffa, is also the name of a plant. Natural loofahs are made with luffa fibers or fibers from a tropical plant in the gourd family.
While this plant is considered native to tropical and subtropical climates, it can also be imported or grown domestically. After they bloom, their flowers grow into long plants resembling giant zucchinis or cucumbers.
The process of turning these fibers into the loofahs that we all know and love is a very interesting one! Here are the basic steps, as far as we could find:
- Luffa gourds are collected and dried, which can take up to six months.
- Once dry, the gourds are soaked in water to make them easier to manipulate.
- The gourds are then peeled, and the seeds get removed.
- The gourds get left out to dry again.
- Once they are completely dry again, they can be cut, sliced, or otherwise shaped and appropriately sized.
And voila! Now we have our natural loofah sponge or loofah scrubber, made with just one simple and plant-based ingredient, and never touched by anything even resembling a chemical, synthetic, or filler.
What Do Loofah Scrubbers Do?
Now that we know how they’re made, let’s talk about what they do. Loofahs, depending on where you use them, can do quite a few different things. You can use them to scrub, scour, clean, massage, or exfoliate. Their texture makes them ideal in many situations.
Like sponges, they absorb liquids when they make contact with them and release them when squeezed. But unlike sponges, they’re highly effective at scrubbing tough spots, massaging, and exfoliating. And they’re easier to clean, too.
Where Can You Use Them?
The two best places to use these natural scrubbers are in the kitchen and bathroom, including the shower. But they’re also pretty versatile tools, so you can get creative and use them elsewhere, too. Use them to clean in other rooms, as needed. They can be useful when cleaning items like window blinds, ceiling fans, and coffee tables.
Unique Uses for Natural Loofahs
One of the best things about natural products is that they have many uses. Natural loofahs make excellent cleaning products, but the list doesn’t end there. While these uses may be less common, here are a few other interesting (and some surprising) ways you can use loofahs:
- As natural and decorative stem holders tucked into plant pots or flower vases.
- As textured paintbrushes for a fun and funky painting, project, or accent wall.
- As a gentle and natural back scratcher (pass it to your significant other or attach a flat handle or yardstick to your loofah to extend your reach.)
- As a buffer to keep the soap bar in your soap dish dry (use a serrated knife to cut a round of luffa off the rest.)
- As a scrubber for pesky muddy shoe treads and other stubborn dirt spots.
- As a high-end, sustainable, DIY soap bar ingredient (small slices of luffa sponge inside a bar of soap will make it look nicer and add exfoliating qualities.)
- As an outdoor cleaning aid for scrubbing things like siding, gutters, car wheels, car and barbecue grills, and plant pots.
- As a scrubbed for root vegetables, like potatoes.
We love the idea of using loofah rounds in a homemade bar of soap. Just be sure to use other natural ingredients to keep it sustainable. If you’re going to try your hand at eco-friendly soap bars to use at home, keep in mind that they make great gifts, too!
You can even grow a luffa plant to attract pollinating bees to your garden. When the plant is ready to be picked, you can eat the seeds and cut up the rest to throw in your stir fry! But since the kitchen and bathroom are where most of our cleaning takes place, and where we tend to use loofahs the most, let’s focus there.
Cleaning Your Kitchen with a Loofah Sponge
Traditional sponges are some of the worst cleaning products out there for the environment. But thankfully, you can use a loofah sponge in the kitchen to wash the dishes, the same way you’d use a traditional sponge.
Then, use it to wipe down the counters, stove, refrigerator shelves, island, or table, rinsing the loofah between uses, as needed. You can also use it to gently wipe down cabinet doors, clean out the splatter inside of your microwave, or scrub splattered food off the floor.
The loofah is an ideal natural scrubber for a few reasons. The sponge-like quality makes it absorbent enough to use with warm water and cleaning liquids. The rough, textured surface efficiently handles stubborn stains and spots. And it lasts far longer than regular sponges.
Use the loofah sponge with our zero-waste dish soap for a cleaning process you can truly be proud of. Both products are obviously better for the environment than their traditional counterparts. But did you know that eco-friendly products are often better for us, too?
They’re typically gentler on our skin because they’re made with healthier ingredients. Traditional cleaning products are often packed with heavy chemicals and fillers that none of us should be breathing in, let alone rubbing on our skin.
These chemicals and fillers are often linked to skin irritations, like rashes and excessive dryness. But eco-friendly soaps, cleaning products, and loofahs are made better than that. When we do better for the environment, we often do better for ourselves, too. It’s a win-win.
Benefits of Using Natural Loofahs in the Bathroom
The same way they help get things fresh and clean in the kitchen, shower loofahs or loofah body scrubbers can help get our bodies squeaky clean. We recommend keeping at least two in the house and separating them to avoid cross-contamination.
Anything we use regularly to clean can get pretty germy, whether we’re cleaning the sink or our skin. In addition to cleaning them and allowing them to properly dry between uses, it’s important to keep them separate when they have separate uses. But we’ll talk more about this later.
For now, let’s get back to the bathroom benefits. Shower loofahs aren’t just for applying soap or body wash. They can also be used to gently exfoliate, washing away that pesky layer of dry, dead skin that always accumulates after some time.
With a lighter touch, shower loofahs are also great for massage, helping you feel soothed and relaxed while also promoting better circulation. No more rough patches or dry spots when you switch to our loofah body scrubber!
And here’s where it would help to have a third loofah in the house. Loofah scrubbers and eco-friendly cleaning soaps or solutions are the perfect pair for scrubbing the sink, tub, and other spots in the bathroom.
What to Look for in a Loofah
When you’re looking for a natural loofah, there are a few things to keep in mind. Not all loofahs are created equally. Three of the primary components you’ll want to pay attention to are material, texture, and packaging.
Natural loofahs aren’t made with a bunch of different materials. And they don’t contain any plastics, either. That’s the first thing you should check. Loofahs are only sustainable when they’re made of luffa instead of plastic.
And that applies to the packaging, too. Shipping a natural loofah in plastic-heavy packaging wouldn’t make much sense. That’s why we always ship plastic-free, no matter the product inside. Our packaging is made up of cardboard and other recyclable and compostable materials.
Lastly, the texture is important. Now, we know what you’re thinking; it can be hard to gauge the texture without holding the product in your hands first. But all it really takes is a look at the pictures. There should be gaps in the loofah; these give it the texture and shape you need.
How Do You Clean Loofah Scrubbers?
It’s funny to think about cleaning things that we use to clean. The best way to do this is not always obvious, but that’s probably because we often overthink it. For example, most people don’t know that you can throw your loofah right in the washer!
We recommend using our zero-waste laundry detergent when you get to this step. Whether you’re washing your loofah or a load of laundry, these eco-friendly laundry strips will help you ditch those heavy, planet-polluting jugs and use something natural, small, and mighty instead. Each sheet = 2 loads! Each package is enough for 64 loads! Make the switch now to zero-waste laundry detergent sheets and save 20% when you shop the bundle duo! Learn more about our laundry detergent sheets here.
The hot setting on your washer will have your natural loofah clean and fresh again in no time. Cleaning it this way also makes it easy to extend the life of your new versatile cleaning product. Just remember not to put it in the dryer when it’s done. Always hang your loofah to dry instead.
You can also wash it with hot water and soap before hanging it up or leaving it out in the sun to dry. In addition to washing them every week, squeezing them out and letting them air dry between uses can prolong the life of your natural loofahs.
How Often Should They Be Replaced?
The timeframe before a loofah needs to be replaced can vary a bit depending on what you use it for. If you’re using it as a loofah sponge to clean dishes and areas in the kitchen, you may want to change it out every four to six weeks.
If you’re using it as a loofah body scrubber in the shower, it’s more likely that you’ll want to replace it in three to four weeks. But again, in any situation, it all depends on how you use it, how often you use it, how well you clean it, and how well it dries between uses.
Use your best judgment to find a timeline that works for you and your home. If you notice any mold or funky smells on or around your loofah, toss it and start fresh. And by toss it, we mean compost it so that it can degrade naturally and beautifully.
This leads us to our next topic: proper disposal of your worn-out natural loofahs. Don’t worry, like everything else about this incredible product, this part is really simple, too.
How to Get Rid of Old Loofahs
We love items that are compostable because we know that this means they’ll never end up in a landfill or ocean. Some plastic-based products last hundreds of years before they’ll decompose. But not our products.
When your loofah has reached the end of its life, just bury it in your garden or tear it up and throw it on your compost pile. Our natural loofah will decompose within 30 days, unlike plastic-based sponges that can’t be composted or recycled.
Other EcoRoots Products You Can Use in Your Kitchen or Bathroom
Our natural loofah scrubber is plastic-free, package-free, cruelty-free, and zero-waste. And since it’s made from plant fibers, it’s 100% compostable and biodegradable. It’s an excellent addition to your cleaning, scrubbing, and exfoliating arsenal!
But the fun doesn’t end there. We sell dozens of home and kitchen and bath and beauty products that you can feel good about. They range from simple switches, like bamboo toothbrushes, ethical gifts, to ones that many of us never even thought about until recently, like biodegradable deodorant sticks.
We even offer handy and convenient eco-friendly kits filled with discounted products! Currently, we have a build-your-own bundle on shampoo and conditioner bars, a shaving kit, a cleaning kit, and a dental kit to make your transition to a sustainable living easy.
They make it easy to get everything you need in one neat, plastic-free package and at an incredible price. These are the perfect product packages to help you get started at home, or to buy as a gift for a friend, loved one, or coworker.
After all, the eco-friendly movement is always improved when we share it with others! That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help our customers, old and new, learn and grow. And we can help you, too. If you’re ready to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there’s no better place to start than right here.