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Instead of using a regular kitchen sponge, try using a loofah or bath scrub to wash your dishes. They dry much faster than a kitchen sponge and provide more lather. I assume the quicker drying time helps prevent bacterial buildup, as mine have never felt slimy like a kitchen sponge. Loofah's may also be microwaved while wet for approximately 2 minutes to kill germs. Please do not microwave the plastic scrubs! I've tried cloths, etc., but in my opinion nothing beats a loofah.
By Ivy from Rancho Plaos Verdes
I cut a slice from my new luffa sponge to use under my soaps to keep them dry and firm in my soap dishes.
Rather then using antiquated steel wool pads that rust and stick your fingers, I cut a slice of a new luffa sponge to use for a pot scrubber! It works great and doesn't shred apart! Luffa is also anti bacterial. A simple solution!
I have never been satisfied with the various nylon soap pockets used for showering. So, a while back, I began to cut a three inch chunk off of a loofa, and then cut out the center part to leave just the outside ring of fiber. I do this using a serrated bread knife to really saw through the loofa, as it's pretty tough. Then, I water up the loofa a bit and massage it until it's somewhat pliant. Finally, I shove a bar of soap inside the center and, voila, I've got a loofa soap pocket.
The loofas really hold the suds well! These pockets usually survive two or three bars of soap before I have to toss it out, but as you can get two to three of these holders out of one loofa you buy, one loofa can last you up to a year or more! And if you wait for a 99c or $1.00 store somewhere to carry cheap loofas, you're talking really cheap!
It's good to keep them propped up well and have a chance to dry out a bit so they don't get moldy or anything yucky like that.
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How do you soften an old hard luffa sponge?
Loofas are vegetable matter that is dry and hard when wet. Your old and hard loofa may need to retire anyway as they retain bacteria after a few weeks use and then need to be replaced.