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7 Loofah Alternatives

Loofahs are a great tool for cleaning the back, face, and the rest of the body thoroughly. It's good to have knowledge of the different types of loofah alternatives that are available on the market, including back scrubbers with handles, exfoliating gloves, and silicone brushes.

These are various loofa sponges on a bathroom counter.

Have you ever wondered about different ways to exfoliate and clean your body? I love shopping for new products and trying out new things, especially when it comes to the bath and beauty departments. Just over the last couple of years, I’ve tried several types of loofah alternatives to your average bath pouf.

They each have their own pros and cons, but there’s certainly something out there for everyone to use in their skincare routines. 

Table of Contents

1. Back Scrubbers

There are several great types of back scrubbers on the market. They may require some extra work, but such a product offers great exfoliation of the back and shoulder area.  

Back Scrubber (Fabric Made)

This is a close look at a fabric back scrubber with handles.

A back scrubber allows you to get maximum cleansing care. With a regular loofah, it’s just not possible to exfoliate your back on your own. You’d need to wait to get assistance and it doesn’t often provide you with that same amount of satisfaction. The downside is that it may become worn out a lot faster than other kinds of exfoliating products. 

Benefits 

  • Exfoliate to get smoother skin without hurting it. 
  • Clean a maximum area at one time than other kinds of scrubbers. 
  • Hang it up on the bathroom wall too dry. 
  • Fabric scrubbers are machine washable. 
  • It dries quickly, so there is extremely small risk of bacterial growth.  
  • This type is designed not to retain any moisture. 

Long Back Loofah Scrubber with Handle

A woman using a back scrubber with handle.

The back loofah scrubber with handle is unique in that it’s designed specifically to clean your back. The long handle makes it easier to reach all the various parts of your back. There are wooden varieties as well as those with a plastic handle.

The ones with plastic handles tend to last longer than those that have wooden handles. With these two types, it really comes down to aesthetics and if you prefer to avoid plastic items as much as possible. The downside is that it can be cumbersome and clumsy to use, especially on a regular basis. 

Benefits 

  • You can scrub your back easier, including greater ease cleansing the line of your backbone. 
  • This can be used with all varieties of body cleansers. 
  • Wash it with ease; this tends to dry quickly. 
  • It has a hole and string for hanging it up after you use it.

2. Exfoliating Accessories

This type of alternative to a loofah can be worn on your hands so you don’t have to worry about holding extra things and there are many benefits. 

Exfoliating Gloves

A woman using exfoliating gloves at the tub.

The exfoliating glove is an extremely low-maintenance tool that you can use to cleanse yourself in the bath or shower. That’s because you’re just wearing these gloves and scrubbing at your body. Many of them have fingers in them like other gloves, while there are some that don’t have any fingers to them at all.

Another word for this is an exfoliating mitt. You might want to give some different ones a try to see which you like best. The main issue with this is that there are so many types, you’re likely to get overwhelmed by your choices. 

Benefits 

  • This is amazing for exfoliation of every part of your body beside your back. 
  • The gloves are suitable for people of all skin types. 
  • You can use them with soap and other kinds of body cleanser. 
  • You can rewash them and continue to use them for a long while. Wring them to dry them off quickly after you’re done. 

3. Miscellaneous Loofah Alternatives

The following don’t fit into any categories, but they’re just as effective at exfoliation and cleansing. 

Bath Sponge

A woman using a bath sponge at the bathtub.

The loofah sponge offers a smooth, soft exfoliation that is ideal for use on a daily basis. It’s not only for exfoliation – it’s good for moisturizing and other skincare purposes. There are benefits you can get from this that aren’t possible (or the same) with a loofah. The downside of this is you might worry if it will dry properly and quickly enough. 

Benefits 

  • The loofah sponge has a smooth, soft texture. 
  • It offers more complete exfoliation compared to loofahs and similar tools. 
  • This can be used by people of all ages. 
  • It’s more gentle on your skin than other types of exfoliants that can be harsh, leaving behind rashes and other irritations. 

Silicone Brush

This is a close look at a woman using a facial silicon brush.

The silicone brush is an ideal tool with which to clean your body. It’s made out of food-grade silicone material in most cases. There are some that contain spike bristles, while others contain round bristles.

Different people like to use different types of brushes depending on their tastes. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Consider getting one that has a long handle to make cleansing your back easier.

There’s even an electric silicone scrubber, just make sure that it’s a water-resistant body scrubber. They do take some getting used to since the material isn’t typical for scrubbing products. 

Benefits 

  • This is ideal for all skin types. 
  • The spiky bristles that are on some of them help open pores and get to the ingrown hairs. 
  • This brush tends to last for a longer time. 
  • Some brushes are good to use on both your body and face. 
  • You can use it with various kinds of body wash and shower gel, along with regular soap. 
  • It’s slip-resistant since it has a handle and finger-grip. 
  • Washes with ease. 

Washcloths

This is a kid using a washcloth in the bathtub.

Washcloths don’t necessarily get you that smooth feel that you have with loofahs and their comparable alternatives. However, a washcloth typically is good for people who have sensitive skin. There are high-quality washcloth options that allow you to get that perfect lather to both soften your skin and wipe away dirt.

It’s best to place them in the washing machine after each time you use them since they aren’t anti-bacterial. For this reason, you’ll want to have multiple washcloths on hand. 

Benefits

  • Enjoy a more gentle cleaning experience. 
  • Great for those who have sensitive skin. 
  • They’re small and compact, making them ideal to take along when you travel. 
  • Wash them with ease and put them in the dryer or hang up to dry. 

Charcoal Loofah

This is a close look at various charcoal bath products on a basket.

Charcoal has been said to have many amazing properties for cleansing skin, mainly that it gets below the surface to bring out dirt and toxins. The downside is that it can produce allergic reactions in some people so if you don’t have experience with it, exercise caution before using such a sponge.

Benefits

  • It’s a natural product
  • You can find it in familiar designs that are easy to use, including a sponge or scrubber.
  • A bamboo charcoal infusion has additional properties for getting rid of toxins and exfoliating the skin.
  • It’s a product that’s becoming more popular so it is readily available in stores and online.

Traditional Loofah Pad and Loofah Alternatives FAQs

What is a loofah?

A loofah is actually a plant, though now there are many that are made of synthetic materials. It’s a member of the pumpkin, gourd, and squash family. It’s essentially a dried-out subtropical gourd.

This sea sponge can be obtained from the middle of the plant that looks just like a cucumber. They are popular accessories for use in the shower or bath with the purpose of cleansing and removing dead skin cells, dirt, and more.

What is the history of loofah?

Loofah sponges have been used historically as a shower or bath pouf. Many scientists believe that this plant originated in Africa or Asia. However, its first cultivation was in India. Carbon dating has shown that the Louffa gourd was brought to North American more than 9,000 years ago.

More interesting facts about loofah:

  • It’s said to take 100 to 180 days to mature.
  • Louffa is not tolerant of cold weather, so make sure if you’re in a cold climate that it’s before the first frost.
  • Natural loofah does not look like what you find in stores.
  • The gourd originally was used as a filter on ships before World War II. It has also been used for insulation and to stuff pillows.

What’s the issue with non-natural loofah?

Many people don’t like a non-natural loofah, since the microplastics shed from them go down the drain and eventually into the oceans. There are various alternatives, both natural and non-natural. The great thing about many synthetic sponges and other loofah-like products is that they are long-lasting and more choices than ever before are being designed that are good for our planet, such as an eco-friendly loofah alternative.

It’s a good idea to weigh the options carefully to determine which would be the best for your needs.

Who can use loofahs and their alternatives?

People of all ages, backgrounds, and skin types are able to use loofahs and their alternatives. The best part is that for only a few dollars (or a little more, depending), you can invest in quality skincare products for you and your family. Whether you’re looking for something to improve your skincare routine or to use for your regular cleaning regimen, it definitely is a top-notch product to have at home.

Where can I buy loofah alternatives?

You can purchase scrubbers, gloves, brushes, and more at many grocery stores, pharmacies, and bath and body specialty shops. It’s even possible now to find such items through online stores and platforms. Since there is a wide selection of loofah alternative items available in many places, you can shop around, see reviews on the products, and find the right prices for your budget.