Do people actually use washclothes and "loofahs" in the shower?

  1. I used to use one of those... and then I got my cat, who's obsessed with eating plastic. He kept sneaking into the bathroom to chew it up, so I switched to washcloths.

  2. Puff user here too. I like the feel of a loofah but they just don't get the lather going as good as puff. I can squirt like a teaspoon of shower gel into a puff and it'll do my whole body.

  3. Same here (to both). Many good answers here but another thought is that washcloths also use less body wash. You pour some of the body wash in the wet washcloth and then scrub. I think I’d use up a lot more body wash by hand, and most of it would wash off of me before it even helped.

  4. Loofahs aka shower poufs foam up soap/shower gel much better so that you can wash yourself and also exfoliate elbows, knees and other areas. I don't get the same foaming from a washcloth, plus they get gross in the shower. You can rinse out a shower loofah easily and hang it up to dry.

  5. Exactly the same for me. If I don't have a good washcloth to wash at least my face, I get irritable and feel oily. I like using good quality soap too, so I'm not in the "washcloth makes up for bad soap" gang, either. I genuinely need a washcloth and good quality soap or I might as well not take a shower and live in filth. On the same veign, I have really thick hair that gets Hella oily, so I need shampoo that STRIPS oil, none of that "moisturizing" crap.

  6. I saw something on YouTube a while back about the volume of bacteria that make a nice home in sponges that inhabit showers , needless to say , that went straight in the bin ...

  7. A lot of plastic loofas can also go in the washing machine similar to a washcloth. I’ve gotten dirty enough camping or working with horses for a washcloth to be too soft to be helpful.

  8. There is bacteria everywhere (including on and inside your body), and the vast majority is harmless.

  9. Purely anecdotal but I used to get these horrible boils in my nether regions when I used a shower pouf. Once I switched to washcloths I haven't gotten a single boil. Never using those poufs again 🤮

  10. Chappelle Show did a 'trading spouses' thing and the lack of washcloth in the white home was one of the jokes.

  11. Holy shit dude when I went to boarding school all my roommates were white and I never saw anyone else’s washcloth in the bathroom. I had no idea how these dudes were cleaning themselves until I asked them lol. After they told me I tried it a few times but it just didn’t feel right.

  12. I’m a white guy that grew up in a predominantly white area. Never once used a washcloth. My first roommate in college was black and took it upon himself to reform me after he got over his initial shock and disgust that I just used my hands. I converted, we remain friends, and he still brings it up like it was the single greatest accomplishment in normalizing race relations since MLK.

  13. I noticed this growing up. All my black friends ALWAYS used a washcloth in the shower and me and none of my white friends ever did. I would see it in the bathrooms and finally I asked and it was surprising for everyone. Kinda like when I found out people wipe standing up. Just like whoa, people are different!

  14. I second this. So weird how it’s basically cultural. I don’t know a single white person that uses washcloths and don’t know a single black person that doesn’t.

  15. This is an on going joke in my life! I live in a mixed household. The ones with less melanin just shove the bar of soap up their ass. The others cant shower if theres no washcloths clean. We aren't from the South so it happens all across America.

  16. I’m from the north US and black and I use a loofah at home and my hands and shower gel when I’m at the gym. I feel clean both ways.

  17. I’m from New England and white. Always, always used a washcloth. I’ve only used my hands a few times and it was because my laundry situation was messed up lol. My mom also taught us if our skin wasn’t a little pink after a shower, we weren’t clean.

  18. Thank you for this because as a black woman…this post confused the hell outta me….I…thought everyone washes with a washcloth or loofah…otherwise how do you actually get clean?…

  19. Also black and from the south I’m curious of the people using hands and a bar of soap. Is their whole family using this bar?? I’ve always been taught to use a washcloth.

  20. There was an episode of “The Neighborhood” about this. A white family moves into a predominant black neighborhood and they have some plumbing issues. The white woman goes to use the neighbor’s shower and is offered a washcloth and she’s like “what is this for?” which led to a whole discussion on how white people (stereotype) use the soap directly on their body where as Black people use washcloths. I’m white and I generally use just the soap on my body unless I want to use extra body wash I’ll use a loofah. It’s a funny show with Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield (except the laugh track is kind of annoying).

  21. Came here to say this. I never even knew people didn’t use washcloths until I was an adult. Like why? 🤷🏿‍♀️

  22. I swear, I’m black and all the Black people I know use a damn washcloth. Ain’t none of us using the bar of soap solely and calling it a day. Then I talked to some white people on it and…learned some things

  23. Can a mod pin this up top? Every other comment is like “you’re filthy if you don’t exfoliate” or “you’re destroying your skin if you exfoliate daily”. There’s room for both at the clean kids table.

  24. I have dry skin and I am much less itchy after a spider incident caused me to stop using loofas. I also don't use soap on non dirty areas like my stomach. If I use soap in the non sweaty areas it strips the moisture off and gets tight and itchy.

  25. This! Dermatologists will tell you that unless you're physically dirty, you don't need to wash your entire body with soap/detergent daily (chemically speaking, most body washes and such are actually classified as detergent, not soap). They say you can use a soap-like product on just the pits, genitals, and backside and rinse with water everywhere else.

  26. I tend to use washcloths, USA guy here. Currently abroad though, so I’ve been using the bare hands method. While I haven’t minded washing this way, I find using a washcloth both more effective and efficient (generally use less soap)

  27. Great timing! I live in a VERY dry part of the US - like less than 10% humidity a lot of the time. I was at the dermatologist yesterday and she specifically recommended NOT using anything other than soap and skin to wash with - no loofah, pouf, washcloth, glove, anything that can exfoliate. It dries you out even more when you exfoliate. She said that's more of an occasional thing than an every time thing. She also said luke warm water, not too hot and not too cold, is the safest for skin in dry dry dry areas.

  28. I feel reassured. Lived in dry areas most of my life. Scrubbing w/loofahs left me feeling so dried out so I never used them.

  29. I switched to bar soap and hands a few years back and my skin is so much better! Loofahs harbor bacteria. Washing with bar soap directly also means fewer micro tears in the skin from over exfoliating.

  30. This is a debate where the “pro washcloth, everyone else is gross” side refuses to acknowledge science or doctor recommendations. They just want to say other people are dirty and disgusting.

  31. I’m very confused, I’m asking this as a black person, do y’all not put lotion after you get out? Almost every Black person moisturizes after getting out of the shower, I’ve only learned recently that not every white person does this.

  32. It has more to do with you type of skin than the climate. If you have dry skin and live in a dry climate then yeah, not a great idea to scrub often.

  33. I have DRY skin. Its sensitive as fuck. If I don't do anything that makes me dirty I don't scrub. My skin doesn't produce oil that well. If my armpits are shaved then I don't always even need soap to get rid of the smell on my armpits. If I scrub I need to moisturise my whole body twice and then my skin gets angry and rejects the excess moisture but just once and its still achingly dry.

  34. Okay this is why I was so confused by the phrasing of the question. I’m Latino and like a lot of the black folk in the thread are saying, we have tendency towards washcloths/loufas. But my dermatologist told me the same thing yours did, except mine was in relation to eczema. Like I’m clean asf, nice body and face washes, always moisturize head to toe, oil my face if I shave, etc. But like all the sudden I’m dirty bc I use my hands? Not to brag but I’m pretty confident my skin looks better than most washcloth/loufa users

  35. Idk, if I don't scrub my armpits with something exfoliating, deodorant and dead skin cells build up and they get "skunky" smell about them, no matter how much soap I use. As in I can wash with soap and water with my hands and then run a fingernail over my skin and a layer of old deodorant comes off. Like when I'm on vacation and don't have anything to scrub with I end up just running my fingernails over the skin until they come back clean. At home I have a scrubby brush that I only use for my armpits. Also I get a lot of ingrown hairs and exfoliating is the only way to get them out without digging at my skin with tweezers(do not recommend)

  36. The weirdest thing in this thread is all the people that claim to know the shower habits of everybody they know lol…. I’ve never had this discussion with another person and find it hard to believe it’s so common the know how everybody they know showers lol

  37. The only thing I know is that I've never been given a washcloth, I never provided a washcloth to a guest and nobody ever asked me for one.

  38. If you go to someone's house and use the bathroom, it's kinda obvious though. You either see a washcloth/loofah hanging in the shower or on the towel rod, or you don't.

  39. I’ve seen this topic come up a million times on the Internet and my (unscientific) conclusion is that it’s more common for light skinned people to just use their hands and soap, while darker skinned people are more likely to scrub with something like a washcloth in the shower. If you have darker skin, dead skin is going to be a lot more noticeable. If you have lighter skin, dead skin isn’t as noticeable so exfoliation isn’t as much a priority. That’s not 100% true for everyone, of course.

  40. I once read somewhere that if you shower daily, it's not really healthy to scrub your skin every day because your skin produces oils that are healthy for the skin just as your hair does (and it's not healthy to shampoo your hair daily either).

  41. Same here. Also from NL. I feel like washcloths (washandjes) are used mostly on and by children. But maybe that was at just my house.

  42. UK based, hands are the default method, but I have a scrubby thing I give myself a good going over once or twice a week with.

  43. Yep, if I use a washcloth every day my skin gets way too irritated and dry. A gentle wash with my hands is all I need most days. I use a washcloth once a week or so, or when I need to scrub dirt off.

  44. US, but same. If I use a scrubby thing every day then my skin gets over dry and kind of sore lol. Nobody has ever told me I'm dirty

  45. I exfoliate with an extra scritchy washcloth once a week, the rest of the time I just use my hands and lather that way. You're supposed to exfoliate, but not everyday or you strip all the good stuff off your skin and it gets really dry.

  46. For real! People here don't seem to understand that your moisture barrier gets destroyed when you're constantly exfoliating using mechanical means.

  47. It sounds harsh but I alternate between hands and loofah depending on my mood and if I use my hands I'm using my nails to scrub. I would never just rub soap on my body.

  48. UK - Always used a loofah. Mainly because I feel like you can get more shower gel, soap etc out of it as it doesn’t just wash out of your hands. Since I changed to using a loofah, I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of soap over the years

  49. I use my hands and bar soap. Then I use an in-shower scrub that also moisturizes. For 15+ years I used body wash and a loofah- sometimes a washcloth if a loofah wasn’t available. I don’t feel cleaner or dirtier. Both ways get you clean. My children are the dirtiest creatures on earth and they only use a bar of soap yet come out sparkling clean. There is no correct answer here. Also, too much exfoliation isn’t healthy for your skin. Your skin isn’t meant to be scrubbed daily. Honestly, you shouldn’t even be using “soap” on your skin. It’s too harsh. But I won’t get into that.

  50. Yeah I have eczema so I just use my hands and a gentle fragrance free liquid soap. If I did anything more intense I'd get raw sores on my skin

  51. They're supposed to be thrown away every 3-4 weeks, the soap within it would prevent any problematic bacterial growth until then.

  52. I just replace my loofah every few months because I use the natural kind that grows, but you can launder the plastic kind, just put it in a mesh bra bag. I use both the loofah and a washcloth.

  53. We had a family loofah growing up, which I felt was pretty nasty, so instead I would scrub myself with my bare hands/nails, plus soap and water.

  54. Speaking of families sharing hygiene tools. What's every ones thoughts on bar soap? I've been in situations where it's been implied that the bar of soap in the shower is communal.........this horrifies me. I get that, objectively, the surface of soap is constantly being renewed, and it's safe to use, but it still grosses me out. I'll have my own private bar of body soap thank you very much.

  55. I use a loofahs (UK) because I can put less body wash but get the same lather. The loofah will remove dead skin and dirt much easier than with the hand. You dont wipe your bum with you hand, you use toilet paper, something that's more abrasive and more guaranteed fo clean the area, loofahs are the same.

  56. Yes, same, i feel not clean enough if i dont use a loofah. I also tend to use the same one for wayyyyyy to long and have never had one mold or anything of the sort. Loofahs all the way

  57. You wash your hands with your hands though. Which is far more comparable than cleaning shit up.

  58. It's not even remotely similar, washing your ass is waaay more hygienic than just smearing some of your shit it into a tissue. If you got shit on your hand you wouldn't wipe it off, you would wash it off.. why is it any different with your ass?

  59. Ok but I don't use soap when I wipe my ass? The situations are not actually comparable. Using soap means that you can get clean without the need for intense friction. The only thing that the scrubby cloth does is exfoliate, which is is fine and all but not necessary to be clean.

  60. Instructions unclear, I’m now using a loofah for my ass and toilet paper in the shower. Everything is a mess.

  61. Pro Loofah Tip - to save some money during these inflationary times, use a bar of soap instead of the more expensive liquid soap most ppl use with loofahs. Just grind the bar into the loofah and add a little water and it works the same as the liquid soap.

  62. Welp, Turks and Thais would like to have a talk with you. They wash their butts with water and their hands/shower heads and use a cloth for drying. Toilet paper alone is extremely unhygienic. You walk around with sweaty shit between your cheeks. I really wish I had a toilet with a shower head. It's quite unusual in Switzerland.

  63. For shower I use Nemo Angle Grinder – 50M V2 with grade 40 sandpaper. On odd days I additionally scrub with fine grade 600 sandpaper.

  64. A black girl in middle school introduced me to washcloths. 20 years later, I still do. It’s the cleanest feeling and the lotion really gets in there.

  65. I’m an ironworker in the U.S. My hands are rough enough for washing dirt. Now that I’m retired, I use a scrubber because it helps with the dead skin and my hands have gotten softer.

  66. I use a scrubber/bath brush. 1.5 foot bamboo thing with bristles. My friends say I'm a horse. But i can reach everywhere and the scrubbing makes me feel clean.

  67. Fix my car. Go out int he woods and get exposed to poison ivy. Heavy construction work. Painting. Man I get really dirty sometimes.

  68. Hiking/backpacking/rock climbing/exercising at all in the desert. Full body sunscreen application builds up. Sweat salts build up on the skin plus dust is everywhere. It's 40C or more everyday for 3 months here lol. I just use my hands and a chemical exfoliant though

  69. Oklahoman here, the red clay here sticks to everything. I have to scrub and scrub and scrub. I'm also an archaeologist, so I get very dirty.

  70. Depends in which country and city, when I was living in Barcelona I could see the water come out dirty from washing my hands, when I moved to Zürich that stopped happening. And no offence to France but Paris is also filthy. And of course if you live in a farm or in a village at the Alps it will be much different.

  71. Idk about anybody else but if I don’t exfoliate with a washcloth or something when I shower (which is every other day or sometimes two) my towel will scrub off skin. And I’m not pressing hard. It could be because I lost a lot of weight and my skin is shrinking again (I’m not a doctor idk) but anyway it’s not dirt I’m scrubbing off It’s skin cells and oil

  72. It’s to remove dead skin and oils. Behind the ears, back of the neck, under arms, groin, back of the knees, between the toes.

  73. I’m Mexican-American and I scrub with a loofah and then use a washcloth for the sensitive bits. There’s a stereotype that white peoples can’t wash themselves. No one in my family would consider slapping soap on yourself and rinsing it off as getting clean. Unfortunately I have also smelled people who do this… they don’t smell very nice.

  74. So I used to think I was so efficient using just hand and bar. Have you ever had those moments when you get out of the show and rub hard wit the dry towel and the skin starts to pile, that is exfoliation. Now you can do this dry, keep scrubbing, or you can do this wet, using a loofa/washcloth/shower puff/scrub brush. See also Pumice Stone for feet

  75. I use a washcloth. I can't imagine showering without one, especially if I got dirty that day, like if I was working outside.

  76. I don't, and many people I know don't either, we just use hands. This is in Germany. Hands are plenty to get you clean unless you have some mud or similar on you that's especially hard to get off.

  77. Always used hand and a regular bar soap. Every else is just a commercial gimmick, you don’t need fancy gel or washclothes/loofahs etc.

  78. just as everyone else is saying, i feel 100% cleaner when i use a loofah or washcloth vs just sliding soap all over myself with my hands

  79. Ask any dermatologist they'll tell you that you don't even need to (unless you have physical dirt) wash your whole body with soap, because it causes unnecessary dryness. Loofahs are usually damaging to the skin as they are very rough, which can cause microtears in the skin and also they are a breeding ground for bacteria. You only need soap on the parts of your body where skin rubs agains skin (private area, feet, armpits).

  80. For anyone that likes a good exfoliation, you should try what I call an “owie towel”. I think they’re actually called Korean Spa Washcloths or something along those lines. They really get the dirt and dead skin off, make your body wash go farther, and because they’re shaped like a regular towel, you can scrub the daylights out of your own back. They’re like $10 for 4 of them online.

  81. If washing my hands using soap only is good enough then why do I need to use something extra when washing other body parts? I have dry skin so exfoliating and soaping my whole body is a no go for me except in rare circumstances.

  82. Dermatologists say that you don't need to use a loofah because they are "abrasive" and can cause micro-tears. Instead, you can use an exfoliating body wash - those with AHA/BHA in them.

  83. I grew up in a “hands only” house, but when I started working as a CNA and scrubbing people with washcloths, I decided to try it out. Now I’ll never go back!

  84. I can’t understand feeling clean by just rubbing my own soapy hands on myself — hands are too smooth to scrub with! I use a loofah and used to use a washcloth.

  85. I never really liked washcloths. I used to use loofahs, but I broke out in hives when I got the flu last winter, and now my skin is super sensitive. So hands are my best option.

  86. I got genuinely excited at the dollar store because they had those wash poofs you can stick a bar of soap inside. I am an old lady.

  87. Yes I use and prefer a loofah. Sure just a hand or rag will technically do but I feel cleaner when I'm covered in soap bubbles

  88. United States here (unfortunately) and I use a washcloth and my partner thinks I’m a psycho for not suing a loofa. I get a new washcloth after every shower and he uses his same loofa for months, so who’s the psycho? Hard to say I guess. But we both feel clean

  89. Honestly, I didn't used to use a cloth, just soap and water. My towel would smell after 2 days and need washed.

  90. Washcloth. A new one every day. Lather it up really good, wash the body, nethers last (ladies wash front first). I use body wash so I don't touch the cloth to a bar of soap. Don't share bathing items: bar soap, wash cloths, towels. Oh, and I use a different towel for my body than my face and hair. Wash those at least once a week.

  91. My wife uses a poof scrubber, but I don't. Just my hands. My skin feels kind of raw if I use a scrubber.

  92. Hands only. Don't listen to these snowflakes saying you need wash clothes or sponge. Your body is not like dirty plates, that is a false simile. Your skin is naturally oily and the accumulated dust, sweat, grime and dead skin cells will easily come off with a bit of soap and water. If you scrub you just risk you natural skin protection.

  93. I agree. Folks here scrubbing themselves like they just did a shift at the coal mine.. yet 99% of the time they didn't even do anything that day to even get remotely dirty.

  94. A combination of keratosis pilaris and mild psoriasis means a heavy buildup of flakey dead skin, particularly on the outside of my calves and arms. It takes a loofah to remove that skin and prevent ingrown hairs from causing infections. Recently started dry brushing and it's been effective. A chemical exfoliant lotion afterwards helps too, there's buildup INSIDE the follicle that otherwise can't get removed. If you tug on the hair slightly a little lump emerges that can be scraped off, it's weird.

  95. Weighed against these is soap use. I use way less soap using a rag or plastic loofa vs just hands.

  96. It probably depends on one's skin. If I don't use a sponge or washcloth I have that horrible grey stuff on my skin after a shower. I prefer the feeling of washing with something a bit abrasive too.

  97. I use shower gloves when I’m at home (US) and a soft silicone scrubber when I’m traveling or at the gym. My skin does better with regular, gentle exfoliation, and the gloves make it easy. I also use a low-lather shower oil that would be kind of strange without the gloves or the scrubber.

  98. I'm a woman from the USA, I used to use loofas, but felt they were too germy, so now I use washcloths. My husband uses soap and his hands.

  99. I use a wash cloth, gives me that extra bit of scrub to feel clean. But you bring up a good point that this might just be mental. My husband is a hands only washer and prefers the liquid body wash over bar soap but he blows through it much quicker than me.

  100. I use loofahs and got my partner to use them too. Didnt force him, he was just curious so I bought one and now he loves it. Just feels like your actually rubbing off deadskin and dirt/oils. Used to be with washclothea though. Habds just feel like your spreading soap on some parts on not actually cleaning...thats how I see it

  101. Im a guy and for most of my life I just put shower gell on my hands and washed up like that. Then my girlfriend introduced me to loofahs and ive never gone back. Not only does it exfoliate better but you only need a fraction of the soap i used to because it foams up real nice. I even named my loofah Rigno. Hehe. Get it? Like Lou Ferrigno the bodybuilder/incredible hulk.

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