10 Eco-Friendly Loofah Alternatives That Are Better Than Plastic
Plastic shower loofahs may look bright and cheerful, but they’re hiding some really gross secrets. In order to protect your health and the environment, it’s important to make the switch to the best loofah alternatives.
Of course, there are so many eco-friendly loofah alternatives available. How do you know which one will best suit your skincare needs?
This list of the top loofah alternatives looks at all of your options so you can pick out the one that’s safer for your skin and better for the environment.
What Is a Loofah?
When you talk about about a loofah, you might picture one of those poofy balls people use in the shower. But did you know a real loofah is actually a plant?
The loofah (or luffa) is part of the gourd family and grows on vines. When they grow, they tend to look like long cucumbers.
Not only are these dried gourds great as a natural back scrubber, but you can also use them as an alternative to sponges for cleaning your dishes!
Why Are Eco-Friendly Loofah Alternatives Better for the Environment?
Non-natural loofahs are made from plastic and other synthetic materials, and they cause a lot of problems. First, petroleum-derived plastics are an environmental nightmare.
Since you can’t recycle plastic loofahs, they end up sitting in landfills or finding their way into our waterways where they sit for hundreds of years.
Whether they’re sitting in the landfill, floating in an ocean, or being used in the shower, plastic loofahs can release microfibers. These microfibers can then pollute our local water sources — harming us and aquatic wildlife.
To make matters worse, plastic loofahs are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can cause skin infections. Experts recommend replacing them every few months to prevent spreading bacteria all over your body every time you wash.
Of course, not only is this amount of waste terrible for the environment, but it’s also hard on your wallet.
Top Picks for the Best Loofah Alternatives
Now that you know why that plastic loofah hanging in your shower is so bad, you’re likely ready to make the switch to something more natural. Fortunately, you have plenty of choices available.
From body gloves and washcloths to brushes and sponges, you’ll find everything you need for an eco-friendly shower on this list of the best loofah alternatives.
1. Sisal Washcloth
This sisal washcloth is what I personally use in the shower every morning, and I love it. It’s made from natural sisal plant fibers and provides a gentle exfoliation.
One side is slightly more coarse than the other. The more bristly side is ideal for parts of the body that need a good scrub, like arms, legs, and the back. The softer side is good for more sensitive areas, like the face.
It comes with a convenient loop so it can easily hang up in the shower to dry.
The vegan and cruelty-free cloth will last up to 3 years before you need to replace it. Fortunately, since the sisal washcloth is entirely plant-based, it’s 100% compostable when it reaches the end of its useful life.
Even better, since it comes from one of the best zero waste online shops, it ships right to your door without any plastic waste, so you can feel confident that your purchase isn’t hurting the environment.
Related: Simple Ways to Create a Zero Waste Bathroom
2. Sisal Body Glove
If you like the idea of the sisal washcloth, here’s another great loofah alternative to consider: this sisal body glove. Like the washcloth, the body glove is made with natural sisal plant fibers.
To use it, simply slide the glove over your hand, add your favorite body wash, and rub the glove over your skin to clean it and give it a light exfoliation.
The glove also includes a convenient loop so you can easily hang it in your shower and let it dry after you use it.
The main difference between the washcloth and the body glove is that the washcloth has a different texture on each side, while the glove has the same texture on both sides. However, the body glove is still ideal for cleaning both your face and body.
Related: Blast Away Soap Scum With This DIY 2 Ingredient Shower Cleaner
3. Natural Loofah
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly loofah alternative, why not go with a natural loofah? These natural loofahs come from a family-owned farm in Guatemala.
The dried loofahs will arrive flat. Simply soak them in water to help them regain their shape.
After that, you can use the entire loofah to clean your body, or you can cut off slices. You can even use the slices to make your own homemade loofah soaps.
These natural loofahs are also great for cleaning around the house. I actually keep a small slice under the bathroom sink so I can give it a quick scrub when our zero waste charcoal toothpaste starts to leave behind a little stain.
Once your loofah begins to wear out from cleaning your body, simply use it to clean your house and put a fresh one in your shower.
Plus, if you have the right climate, you can even grow your own loofahs!
Related: Pamper Your Skin With the Best Eco-Friendly Face Wash
When it comes to choosing a great loofah alternative, don’t overlook a washcloth. One big advantage of using a washcloth is that you can easily toss it in the washing machine to make sure it stays clean.
When you’re choosing a washcloth, be sure you select one made with organic cotton. Cotton is one of the most resource-intensive crops we grow.
Conventional cotton-growing methods require a lot of water and pesticides. Not only is this absolutely terrible for the environment, but it’s also awful for the health of the farmers.
These washcloths are made with GOTS certified organic cotton. They’re also certified as Made in Green by Oeko-Tex and certified carbon neutral by ClimatePartner.
They have double-stitched edges to make them extra durable, so they last an exceptionally long time. They also have a thicker, luxurious weight that feels great against the skin.
Related: The Best Reusable Cotton Rounds for Zero Waste Beauty
5. Sisal Body Brush
If you like using a loofah for exfoliation, make the switch to this sisal body brush. This is one of the most effective, natural ways to exfoliate your skin. A sisal body brush can smooth, soften, and even your skin tone.
To use this body brush, start at your feet and work your way up your body. Use wide, circular, clockwise motions to brush along your skin. Be sure to use light, gentle strokes on sensitive skin, such as your chest and abdomen.
You can use it wet or dry to unclog pores, stimulate circulation, and buff away dead skin cells. Regular body brushing can help improve the appearance of cellulite, prevent ingrown hairs, promote blood circulation, and encourage lymphatic flow to detoxify and eliminate toxins from the body.
The brush is extremely exfoliating, so you don’t want to use it on your face. It’s also not good for anyone who has problems with eczema, psoriasis, or very sensitive skin.
After each use, rinse the sisal body brush and use the attached string to hang it to dry. Store it in a clean, dry place.
Related: The Best Natural Sustainable Hand Soap for Naturally Clean Hands
6. Beechwood Bath Brush
This beechwood bath brush is an incredibly versatile eco-friendly bathroom accessory. It features a long, curved, removable handle you can use to clean hard-to-reach places, like your back.
You can also take off the wooden handle and use the cotton handle to hold the brush as you clean your arms, legs, and chest. You can use it to massage, brush, and wash your skin.
The brush is handmade in Germany using eco-friendly materials like sustainably harvested beechwood and horsehair/tampico fiber bristles.
It’s available at EarthHero, which means it ships to you in plastic-free, recyclable, and made from recycled content packaging. If you decide to try this brush, be sure to use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to enjoy 10% off your order!
Related: The Best Sustainable Toilet Cleaners for a Sparkling Shine
7. Agave Soap Saver Bag
We use this agave soap saver bag to extend the life of our soap and shampoo bars. When the bars get too small to handle, we simply toss them in the bag so we can use every last bit.
Of course, these bags also make an excellent loofah alternative. Simply rub the bag over your bar of soap or squirt your body wash onto it to get a nice, sudsy lather.
After you finish using it, hang it up so it can properly dry. Keeping it dry will help extend its life.
When it reaches the end of its useful life, you can simply toss the bag into your compost pile.
You can sanitize the bag by washing it in the washing machine, boiling it in water, or dipping it in vinegar.
Related: Make Your Electric Toothbrush More Eco-Friendly With a Bamboo Replacement Head
8. Agave Cleansing Cloth
Agave is a great sustainable alternative to loofah. It’s a renewable, wild-grown plant that’s naturally anti-microbial and mold resistant.
You can use this agave cleansing cloth with your favorite body wash to gently clean and exfoliate your face and body. This natural cloth increases circulation and helps you maintain soft, smooth skin.
For best results before you use it for the first time, place the cleansing cloth in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. This will help open the fibers to create a soft cloth you can use for bathing or cleaning.
The cloths are handmade in small batches by a women’s fair trade co-op in Mexico. They don’t contain any synthetic ingredients, artificial dyes, chemical additives, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, or petroleum.
Related: Soothe Your Skin With the Best Zero Waste Lotion Bars
9. Natural Sea Sponge
If you’re looking for something that has a similar shape to those plastic shower loofahs, this natural sea sponge is the perfect option. Sea sponges have a soft texture that’s much better for your skin than rough plastic.
These sponges are sustainably harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas. Instead of pulling the entire sponge out, they’re harvested by divers who trim away pieces.
Since sponges are able to regenerate, leaving a bit of sponge at the base ensures it will grow back.
Not only can you use the unbleached sea sponge in the shower, but you can also use it for cleaning surfaces around your house. At the end of their life, they’re compostable and break down safely and naturally.
To help the sponge last as long as possible, rinse it after each use, wring it out, and let it dry properly between uses.
Related: Your Nose Will Love These Eco-Friendly Tree-Free Tissues
10. Loofah Scrubbers
These loofah scrubbers are another way you can use 100% natural loofah in your shower.
Each one has two pieces of loofah sewn together for extra durability. They include a convenient cotton loop that makes it easy to hang them up to dry between uses.
They arrive dry and flat. Once you add water, they’ll expand and be ready for cleaning. In addition to using them in the shower, you can also use them to scrub dishes or for cleaning around the house.
Since they’re completely plastic-free, they’re fully compostable and biodegradable at the end of their useful life.
Related: Get an Incredibly Smooth Shave With These Top Eco-Friendly Shave Soap Bars
How We Picked the Best Loofah Alternatives
Getting clean shouldn’t dirty up our planet. In order to make this list of the best loofah alternatives, these options had to fit the following criteria:
- Natural and organic ingredients: The most important standard to make this list is that the loofah alternative must be made with natural, organic ingredients instead of synthetic or plastic materials.
- Vegan or ethically-sourced: If not vegan, the loofah alternatives on this list must have ethically-sourced animals products.
- Cruelty-free: We believe an eco-friendly world is also one that protects the animals we share it with. That’s why these loofah alternatives must be cruelty-free.
- Eco-conscious packaging: Ideally, these eco-friendly loofahs are zero waste. At the least, they must be recyclable.
Best Loofah Alternatives for a More Natural Clean
Plastic loofahs are bad for your skin and terrible for the environment. Fortunately, there’s a much better option.
These top loofah alternatives use natural materials to help you have an eco-friendly shower. Make the switch today and pamper yourself with something that’s good for you and the planet.
More Helpful Eco-Friendly Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best loofah alternatives? Looking for additional tips that can help you live an eco-friendly life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- The Best Eco-Friendly Conditioner Bars for Super Soft Hair
- Protect Your Skin With the Best Natural Makeup Products
- Amazing Natural Mouthwash for a Sustainable Smile
- The Top Eco-Friendly Period Products You Need to Know About