What is a loofah sponge?
Loofah is a tropical and subtropical vines plant from the cucumber family. We use the ripened and dried loofah fruit to make the sponge because the fruit’s fibre is strong and not tightly formed, so it’s breathable and easy to dry.
How eco friendly is it?
The loofah sponge I bought this time: 8pcs Organic Loofah Sponge
The sponge is home compostable because all the material came from the actual fibre of the loofah fruit! It’s unbleached and obviously, it is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Unfortunately, the one I bought came in a plastic bag. Otherwise, it’s 100% natural and organic. Which is much better than using a sponge made from plastic, which will create more microplastic as we use it. I hope this company will start packaging their products with compostable packaging. If you can find a natural, organic and unbleached loofah in a biodegradable packaging, that’s the best!
How I use them
I use them as a normal cleaning sponge to wash the dishes, around the sinks and bathtub. The loofah sponge I bought arrived in a long shape, so I sliced it before use.
You need to soak the sponge in the water for about 5 minutes before using it, otherwise, it’ll be too hard. Once it’s soaked, the sponge gets softer, you can use it just as you would a normal sponge.
I enjoy using this sponge since it makes enough bubbles to wash the dishes have to be hand-washed and I don’t need to worry about microplastics. The cherry on top is that once it’s worn out, I can put it in my compost bin. Isn’t it great?
The sides of the sponge are soft enough not to damage your plates. And you can use the cut surface to scrub heavier dirt because it’s harder.
How long does it last?
Some people say you need to change it each week, or some or to get rid of it when it’s moulded or has a smell. However, this will depend on how often you use it and how it’s treated (washed and rinsed well, dried properly, etc.). As a general rule, it should last a bit less than a regular sponge. Mines last about two to three weeks on average because we only use them to clean dishes that have to be hand-washed.
Before using this natural loofah sponge, I was using a loofah sponge made specifically for dishwashing. It is also made of 100% loofah, sustainable and compostable. Another plus is that the sponge is coming in a recyclable cardboard packaging! So, a great eco-friendly alternative.
But I still prefer the natural one because its shape lets more air in, making it easier to dry, so harder for germs to grow. Also, there are fewer processes and materials involved in making the sponge too. The natural sponge gives a good grip and keeps the shape of the plant.
Just be careful…
Some articles I found online suggested using loofah sponges to wash your body. Indeed, loofahs exfoliate and cleanse skin because of the roughness of its texture. However, they can be a great place for bacteria to grow and can damage sensitive skins. See this healthline article for more information.
You can grow your own loofah
When I was an elementary school student in Japan, growing loofah and recording its growth process was one of the typical homework during the summer holiday. So I often see houses with loofahs in their garden. It has grown so much that it’s now used as a natural shed to block the direct sunlight from coming into their house.
Recently I read on some blogs and Instagram posts we can also grow loofah in the UK too!
I hope you could find this quick post on using a loofah sponge interesting and useful. I will do a follow-up post in another couple of months in case anything has changed (positive or negative!)
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