When you are in the bath, you have several options available to you for creating a rich lather with your soap of choice. You can go with the traditional bare-hand method or try something a little fancier, such as a washcloth or loofah. If you have never purchased or used a specialty lather device, determining which one is best for your needs may seem a little confusing. However, the loofah and washcloth are best-suited for specific tasks and once you identify the strengths of each bathroom accessory, you’ll have a much easier time making a decision.
A washcloth does not do much for soap in the way of building a lather and isn’t very efficient for a full-body clean. Washcloths are excellent for cleaning your face though, as the fabric on a soft, clean cloth serves as a natural exfoliant and helps to remove dead skin, oil and dirt from your face. A washcloth combined with a gentle facial cleanser makes an excellent weapon against oily skin, but it’s worth noting that you’ll need a steady supply of washcloths to maximize the benefit.
A loofah is best-suited for cleaning large areas of skin, especially if you use a liquid-based soap. Loofahs are designed to maximize lather while at the same time providing as much scrubbing potential as possible, making them the perfect choice for cleaning your legs, arms, back and feet. Loofahs also exfoliate skin and you can find a number of different types of loofahs, each with a specific purpose. You can use a loofah on your face as well, though it may be best to use separate materials on your face and body.
The obvious downside to using a washcloth in the shower is the rate at which they need to be cleaned. Washcloths should be used only a few times before being tossed into the laundry, which means you will need to have at least two or three individual cloths for one week of showering. Using one cloth for a long period of time results in a dirty, oily cloth that is likely covered in bacteria and will eventually begin to mold. Washcloths are not a good option for anyone that is not willing to deal with their upkeep.
A loofah does not need to be washed as often as washcloths; you can run it through the laundry every couple of weeks. However, because a loofah spends more time in the shower and generally never dries out, loofahs are notorious for being hotbeds of bacteria growth. Loofahs are also less gentle on your skin, so if you have any sort of allergy or skin condition you may be better served with a soft washcloth or by simply using your hands. The best way to figure out which is best for you is likely trying one of each to see how it works.
References and ResourcesGo Ask Alice: Are Washcloths and Other Body Scrubbers Bacteria Factories?
Brainz.org: What Is a Loofah