7 Loofah Alternatives For An Eco Friendly Scrub-A-Dub-Dub
When we think of a loofah, images of bright pink and purple sponges spring to mind.
What many don’t know is that a loofah is actually a plant!
Loofah or luffa (Luffa aegyptiaca) is a member of the gourd, squash, and pumpkin family and grows on a vine in tropical and subtropical regions.
The fibrous sponge part is found within the large cucumber-looking plant and has been used as a scrubber for centuries.
Non-natural loofahs, on the other hand, aren’t actually loofahs at all, but rather cheap plastic imitators.
While they are frilly, colorful, and the microphone for your personal shower concert, it’s no longer all fun and games when we think about the negatives.
Namely, the microplastics loofahs shed that make their way down our drains and into our oceans.
We personally don’t like cleaning with anything that makes our planet dirtier.
Why scrub using synthetic materials when there are sustainable alternatives that are just as effective and affordable (and won’t result in microplastic pollution)?
These are our shower-fresh faves:
Smile Boutiques makes us smile with their sustainable alternative loofah and Etee has a great eco friendly loofah alternative for the kitchen. EcoRoots doesn’t just prevent further ocean pollution, but helps clean up that which already exists.
Click here to see how we scrubbed away the plastic grime to find the brands on this list.
*This post contains affilate links
Etee’s Loofah Alternative
Etee has an alternative to plastic loofahs for both the kitchen and the bathroom.
Their Loofie Scrubbers combine the gentle abrasive power of the loofah plant with a spongy cellulose dishcloth. The 100% natural cellulose comes from wood and cotton.
Expect this to last three to five weeks before it can join your garden compost to decompose within 30 days.
Down to the cotton thread, this is one of the best non plastic loofahs for stains on dirty dishes.
If you’re after a plain ol’ natural loofah, they have that, too. It comes from a family-owned Guatemalan loofah farm and will last around three to four weeks until it can also be composted/buried.
To make showering super sustainable, we recommend their loofah soap pouch, available with or without the organic body wash bar. To really up your shower game, they have a lather & scrub set that features both a loofah and several bars of organic soap.
Etee takes all of our much-needed essentials and makes them plastic-free.
Right down to their zero waste dental floss, they’ve gotten rid of our least-favorite P-word to help anyone in their zero-waste journey.
They started out solving one plastic problem (saran wrap) by selling sustainable beeswax wraps, but now they’ve expanded their selection to include essentials for body care, oral care, kitchen needs, eco friendly gifts, and more.
Their plastic-free promise extends to their shipping because everything—cellulose tape included—is plastic-free.
Etee is also powered by renewable energy, transparent with their ingredients, and started by a kayaking drummer.
What more could you want in an eco friendly loofah brand?
2. BRUSH WITH BAMBOO
Brush with Bamboo’s Loofah Alternative
Their vetiver & agave bath scrub is, as the name would suggest, an all-natural bath loofah alternative.
Vetiver root is commonly used in Ayurveda (a holistic Indian approach to medicine) for its healing and regenerative properties. It’s antifungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory, and makes up the filling for this loofah alternative.
The outer exfoliating scrubber is made from 100% sisal fiber.
Combined, these create a sturdy scrubber that will last months (the vetiver even prevents mold) and can be composted at the end of its lifespan.
About Brush with Bamboo
Brush with Bamboo presented the world with the first plant-based toothbrush.
They’ve expanded their range since that original product (which they continue to perfect), but still have all the relevant credentials to back up their zero-waste claims.
Their products are vegan, cruelty-free, and USDA certified bio-based, and the company is Green America certified.
EcoRoots’ Loofah Alternative
EcoRoots’ natural loofah is exactly that—a sustainable and effective cleaning product that is plastic free, package-free, cruelty-free, zero waste, made from plant fibers, and 100% compostable and biodegradable.
It can be used as a heavy-duty dish sponge for about four to six weeks or longer in the bathroom for either skin exfoliation or cleaning.
Once you’re done with it, just put it in your backyard compost or bury it, and it will decompose within 30 days.
The Colorado-based brand combines affordability with sustainability to provide some of the eco friendly versions of most of our everyday essentials (like zero waste face moisturizer, zero waste lip balm, and more).
They ship plastic-free, and only use recyclable or compostable materials.
Not only do they create products that are protecting our planet, but they also donate a portion of every sale to Ocean Conservancy through their membership with 1% for the Planet!
4. SMILE BOUTIQUES
Smile Boutiques’ Loofah Alternative
Smile Boutiques knows how to put a smile on our face with their eco friendly loofah alternatives to plastic loofahs.
They’ve got a few options available for your sustainable scrubbing needs.
There’s a natural loofah sponge for the kitchen or bathroom. I
t’s made with natural loofah that is sustainable, compostable, and biodegradable (but will last for months). If you think loofahs can’t have some personal pizzazz, think again with these star, teddy bear, and fish shaped loofahs.
They also have loofah sponges designed specifically for the kitchen
If a loofah to the face sounds unnatural, Smile Boutiques may change your mind with their Konjac sponge antibacterial loofah alternative.
It comes from the Asian Konjac plant and can be used as a natural cleanser for your face to remove dirt and other impurities. It feels like a loofah, but is softer and gentler, and can also be composted at the end of use.
Depending on your zero waste skin care needs, choose between Konjac sponges infused with bamboo charcoal, lavender, rose clay, or green tea.
There’s also a sisal shower sponge or washcloth made from natural sisal (a plant in the agave family). Soft yet abrasive – use these for exfoliation and removal of ingrown hairs. It even minimizes the appearance of cellulite.
The sisal sponge can be used for four to six months before composting.
About Smile Boutiques
This Toronto-based Etsy shop provides all your sustainable living needs.
They have a large range of eco-friendly products made with quality materials which are clearly loved by many, based on thousands of positive reviews.
They ship all products with minimal packaging.
5. MARLEY’S MONSTERS
Marley’s Monsters’ Loofah Alternative
Marley’s Monsters has the best loofah alternative for washing your face.
Probably because they’re not actually loofahs at all, but rather something softer and more suitable for sensitive skin.
Instead of using a million cotton balls, try their organic cotton facial rounds.
These facial rounds come in a plethora of cute designs and are a reusable option for scrubbing off makeup, sunscreen, and the stress of the day. They’re machine washable and healthy on the skin.
The cotton flannel becomes more absorbent over time and will soon have you wondering how you managed without them.
They also have facial rounds made with 100% cotton, at a slightly lower cost than the organic cotton ones. For many reasons, however, we urge you to stick to scrubbing with the organic cotton version.
About Marley’s Monsters
Reusable cloths are essential for any zero-waste kit, and that’s what Marley’s Monsters is most well known for.
Their UNpaper Towels revolutionized how we think about wiping up in our zero waste kitchens, and don’t get us started on how they revolutionized eco-friendly toilet paper…
The women-owned, family-operated business has a brick-and-mortar shop in Oregon and has reached more than 40,000 customers on their original Etsy shop.
Beyond reusable clothes, they offer many other eco-friendly essentials, delivered to you via totally plastic-free shipping (and carbon offset shipping if ordered through Etsy).
They don’t stop there.
This BRING-certified business minimizes scrap waste and diverts any excess they do produce to local charities. They’re currently in the process of adding commercial composting to the mix.
Available: Etsy | Marley’s Monsters
6. BROOKLYN MADE NATURAL
Brooklyn Made Natural’s Loofah Alternative
When it comes to the most eco friendly body loofah, basic is better.
That’s exactly what you’ll get with the loofah sponges from Brooklyn Made Natural.
They’re made from 100% natural loofah and, like the rest on this list, are compostable at the end of their life.
Looking for a long lasting loofah alternative?
Brooklyn Made Natural even has tips on how to keep your loofah alternative feeling fresher for longer. Just soak in a diluted vinegar solution for 5 minutes and then rinse.
Alternatively, they can be placed in the dishwasher.
With proper care, they should stick around for several months.
About Brooklyn Made Natural
Brooklyn Made Natural was started by sisters Jennifer and Melinda.
Fed up with being unable to find natural products that were truly natural, they turned to their Brooklyn apartments (hence the name) to do a little eco-experimentation.
They make soap and other body care products from real, easy-to-understand ingredients like plant oils, herbs, clays, and essential oils. They source organic ingredients whenever possible (nearly 100% are) and never use synthetic fragrances, colors, or additives.
All of their products are palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and shipped plastic free.
7. PACKAGE FREE SHOP
Package Free Shop’s Loofah Alternative
Package Free Shop sells several plastic free loofah alternatives, including a natural Mayan loofah sponge by Green America certified business Clean Planetware.
They are zero waste, compostable, single-origin, unbleached, unprocessed, and raw.
Sourced from a Mayan family farm that’s located in the tropics of Guatemala, these loofahs are grown using traditional methods, free of pesticides and herbicides.
Once you’re done scrubbing up in the shower room or kitchen, the loofahs can be completely composted because they’re made with 100% plant fiber.
Just bury it in your garden or add to your backyard compost and it will decompose within 30 days.
The paper label can either be composted or recycled.
About Package Free Store
Not only is your loofah itself plastic-free, but with Package Free Store, it will also come directly to your door without plastic—everything is shipped in 100% recyclable paper-based materials (recycled paper tape, recycled envelopes, and recycled labels) and carbon offset.
Choose products of carefully selected ethical and sustainable sellers around the world, including at least 15% of Black-owned businesses, as part of their pledge to be more inclusive.
If you don’t believe that have high standards when it comes to low waste, consider the shop was founded by Trash is For Tossers’ Lauren Singer. This zero waste blog-ess was one of the key figures who formed the zero waste movement.
Package Free Store is a soon-to-be Certified B-Corp and gives back to various organizations.
Available: Package Free Store
WHY SWITCH TO AN ECO FRIENDLY LOOFAH?
Most of what we know as loofahs aren’t actually loofahs at all.
Rather, they’re plastic poofs made of petroleum-based nylon. Plastic loofahs—albeit popular—aren’t the best shower choice for us and our planet.
As we’ve discussed in a broader context, synthetic fibers are rather syn-ister for the planet. They clutter landfills for centuries and contribute to microplastic pollution of the world’s oceans and waterways.
We should be especially wary with any products (AKA poofs) that have a direct link to our drains, as that makes it all the easier for microplastics to escape into our ecosystem.
Then there’s the more obvious fake loofah pollution (po-loofah-tion?) of our landfills. Doctors recommend plastic loofahs be retired after 2 months to void harmful bacteria buildup.
That’s six plastic poofs per year we’re each condemning to landfills.
That may not seem like a lot from an individual standpoint, but when one considers the millions (if not billions) of people using them, well, *poof* the issue becomes a lot bigger.
Natural loofah alternatives are better from both perspectives. They don’t shed microplastics and, being biodegradable plant matter, can be fully composted in your very own home or apartment.
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST LOOFAH ALTERNATIVES
Exfoliation may mean removing dead cells from our skin, but it doesn’t have to simultaneously kill our planet.
We found far better ways to sustainably scrub-a-dub-dub by considering the following ethical beauty criteria:
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY LOOFAH ALTERNATIVES
Now you have all the tools for a sustainable scrub.
Just remember, even the most natural and organic of loofahs can breed bacteria, so clean your loofah regularly and correctly. Soaking for five minutes in a diluted water and vinegar solution every week will do the trick.
Then, store your loofah in a cool, dry place.
But even without proper maintenance, natural loofahs are still a better alternative to synthetic nylon bath-poufs.
And not only that, they’re far healthier for the Earth. Even a small change like switching to one of these sustainable loofah alternatives can end up having a big impact (just like most simple zero waste tips).
If you love sustainably lathering up, then we’d love to hear your own loofah alternative recommendations below.