When Should Your Shower Sponges Be Discarded?

Did you know your bathroom sponges, loofahs and poufs can be a serious breeding ground for some nasty bacteria and germs? It seems silly since we soap them up and rinse them clean, but we recently learned they should be tossed out far before you see any wear and tear. We were shocked at how short their lifespan really is!

This morning we caught a few minutes of Rachael Ray's morning show (unintentionally) where she was talking with a doctor who had tested beauty products of all sorts from assorted women. We already knew our makeup had a short shelf life, but what we didn't know is that our beloved shower pouf should be tossed long... long before our mascara ever is.

Rachael was seeking advice from Dr. Cameron Rokhsar who ran some tests on a shower pouf that was right at a year old. Here were the lab results and Dr. Rokhsar's suggestions:

Lab results found that the pouf contained two different organisms: acinetobacter, which can cause wound infections, boils and conjunctivitis; and yeast, the most common form of which is Candida. Dr. Rokhsar explains that Candida can cause rashes around the mouth called perleche, as well as other various rashes and infections. He recommends replacing a pouf or loofah about every three weeks and sponges every six to eight weeks.

Every 3 weeks! Now that just seems far too wasteful to consider, so if using a wash cloth is out of the question (which can always be washed and sanitized after each use), try tossing your bath scrubbers into your next load of warm/hot laundry. It will help keep things clean a little longer and should allow you to go for a full 3 months before tossing yours in the trash. Please don't try this on a "sanitary" wash load as they usually reach temperatures of 170 degrees or more and we don't want your fluffy poufs turning into shriveled balls of plastic.

How often do you get rid of your bathing accessories? Is it something you even think about until they start to show wear and tear? Share your thoughts on this short time frame below!

(via: Rachael Ray)
(Image: Bath & Unwind and Too Hectic)

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