We have all heard how unsanitary and potentially dangerous using and reusing sponges can be, because of how they harbor bacteria and spread germs from place to place, but what about mesh shower puffs?
Mesh shower puffs were all the rage when they first entered the bath and body market, and you still see them being sold everywhere, especially as accessories in bath kits. Though they are an excellent bathing tool, how safe is it to repeatedly use them and when is a good time to throw them away?
What Are Shower Puffs Made Of?
Mesh shower puffs are made of a synthetic nylon material that you can actually purchase yourself from an arts and crafts store. They are fairly inexpensive and simple to make; in fact, the internet is full of tutorials on how you can save money by making your own. The amazing thing is how well they are able to create lather with only a small amount of soap or shower gel.
Mesh shower puffs differ from traditional bath sponges or loofahs, in that they are cheaper and flimsier, but actually slightly more sanitary because of the material they are made from. The mesh material is less likely to hold on to bacteria and easier to clean.
How Do You Clean Them?
The shower puffs should be cleaned after each use to get rid of any dirt, bacteria and germs picked up from the body or lingering in the bathroom. Otherwise, you will transfer the bacteria back to your body the next time you wash. To clean the puffs, simply allow them to soak for a short while in a solution of detergent and/or bleach.
Washing them with an antibacterial soap or other solution will also work just as well. Then rinse thoroughly and hang up to dry. Make sure they are hanging in a clean, dry and well-ventilated area where bacteria cannot thrive.
How Long Is Too Long to Keep Using Them?
If you’ve ever used a mesh shower puff, you have probably experienced firsthand the fact that they just aren’t very durable. Within a week of using one daily, the netting starts to come apart, which can be quite frustrating. The good thing is that at least they don’t cost you a lot of money to buy in the first place.
Dermatologists recommend disposing of mesh shower puffs after no more than eight weeks – if they last that long. That’s double the time you should generally keep other bath sponges and loofahs. Again, it all comes down to the material. Regular loofahs come from natural sources and therefore are more prone to retaining bacteria – not to mention the fact that loofahs are full of pores and hidden crevices where bacteria love to hide.
If you keep mesh shower puffs beyond the suggested time, you could develop rashes, acne, or other skin irritations. So enjoy lathering up with your mesh shower puffs, but keep these things in mind for a germ-free, luxurious bath experience.