A loofah's scrubbing power makes it a shower essential, but scrubbing a rough new loofah over your sensitive skin can hurt. Most organic loofahs, or luffas, are made from a fibrous, cucumber-like plant that hardens when it's harvested properly. You can temporarily soften a loofah before using it, but this tough gourd cannot be permanently softened without causing damage. Allow your scrubber time to dry between uses, and you need to clean it occasionally to kill germs.
Place the loofah in sink full of cool or lukewarm water 10 to 20 minutes before your shower. Do not soak the loofah in hot water, because it may cause the sponge to break.
Squeeze the water from the loofah and bring it into the bath or shower with you. Hang the loofah from the shower head to keep it soft while you lather up. If your loofah has no string or hook, place it in an out-of-the-way corner of the shower.
Test the loofah to see if it's softened, and use it whenever you're ready.
Apply a squirt of soap or shower gel to the loofah and clean it thoroughly at the end of your shower. Place the loofah in a spot where it will dry without inviting mold.
Kill germs by soaking the loofah in a bleach-water solution every few weeks.
Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.