We talk about cleansing the skin, the liver and other parts of the body. Let’s not forget, however, that the tools we use to cleanse our bodies, needs cleaning too. At least until it’s time to discard them.
In a recent post, I shared tools that are used to exfoliate the skin. Though these tools are great for keeping the skin smooth and clean, because they hold on to moisture, they are also capable of holding onto unwanted bacteria and fungus.
The nooks and crannies of the cleaning tools make them perfect nesting ground for bacteria and fungus who thrive in moist wet places. So the key is to ensure that your tools are being cleaned on a regular basis.
Avoid reusing washcloths without cleansing them. I have several tools on rotation. So I use a wet brush, sisal cloth, hemp cloth, and sponge. The washcloths get tossed in the wash after every use and the sponge and brushes are washed with under hot water after every use and a dishwasher cleanse (in a light load) every two days. Also, avoid washing your face with washcloths.
Of course, like all cleansing tools, these need to be replaced periodically. Cotton washcloths are inexpensive. Buy a stack of them and change them out as regularly as you feel the need to. Some people wash their washcloths and keep them on rotation for several months. That’s an assessment you’ll have to make. Sisal and hemp cloths can be tossed out every six to eight weeks. Sponges, every 4 to 6 weeks and wet and dry brush should be replaced every 6 to 10 months.
Here are 4 ways you can keep the microbes from messing with your cleansing tools.
- Wash your sisal, hemp and cotton cloths in the machine on the sanitary cycle with a gentle soap. Sanitary cycle is usually very hot water.
- Put your sponge and brushes in the dishwasher if you feel comfortable. Place them on a light wash. You can wash them two to three times per week. If the dishwasher, is not your thing, wash the bristles with mild toxic-free soap in hot water and hang them on a hook so they can drain and dry. Now I’ve heard of people washing their dry brush twice per month. That doesn’t work for me. With all that dead skin sitting around in the brush. I prefer to wash it regularly. At $9, I don’t mind replacing it sooner. It’s up to you, however.
- In between cleanings, hang your brushes and sponge on a hook after using them in the shower. Avoid shoving them in a corner of the bathroom because they can become the breathing ground for microbes. Hang the dry brush on a hook outside of the shower.
- You can also place your accessories by a window so they can get some sun. No. The sun is not the ultimate disinfectant. It does, however, help with drying out, which creates a less favorable environment for bacteria and fungus.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.