7 Eco-Friendly Loofah Alternatives You Can Scrub Sustainably With
What image springs to mind when you think of a reusable loofah?
Bright pink and purple poofs, maybe?
You probably don’t think of a plant, but that’s actually what it is.
Loofah (Luffa aegyptiaca) is a member of the gourd family that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. Its fibrous inner sponge has been used for centuries as a sustainable body scrubber and more.
So when we talk about eco-friendly loofah alternatives, we’re actually talking about the real deal—not those cheap plastic imitators.
Why scrub using synthetic materials when there are sustainable alternatives to loofahs that are just as effective and affordable (and won’t result in microplastic pollution)?
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Our Shower Fresh Favorite Plastic Loofah Alternatives
The sustainable alternative loofahs from ZWS Essentials are tough enough to be used on grime while being gentle enough for the face.
EcoRoots‘ natural loofah doesn’t just prevent further ocean microplastic pollution, but helps clean up that which already exists.
If you’re still wondering why you should consider an eco-friendly alternative to shower poufs and how we found this list of them, jump down to the bottom, or watch our quick video explainer below.
The Full List Of Loofah Alternatives
- EcoRoots | Visit Store
- ZWS Essentials | Visit Store
- Brush with Bamboo | Visit Store
- etee | Visit Store
- Smile Boutiques | Visit Store
- Brooklyn Made Natural | Visit Store
- Zefiro | Visit Store
EcoRoots’ Compostable Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $4
It can be used as a heavy-duty dish sponge for about four to six weeks or longer in the bathroom for either dead skin exfoliation or removal of ingrown hairs.
Once you’re done with it, just put it in your backyard compost or bury it, and it will decompose within 30 days.
Not only does EcoRoots have one of the best loofah alternatives, but the shop itself is also one of our favorite alternatives to Amazon!
The Colorado-based brand combines affordability with sustainability to provide some of the eco-friendly versions (AKA made of natural materials) of most of our everyday essentials for the home and entire body.
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.
2. ZWS Essentials
ZWS Essentials’ Eco-Friendly Loofahs
Price Range: $1–$22
ZWS Essentials offer non-plastic loofah sponges made from sustainably-harvested natural loofahs.
Soft enough to not scratch the non-stick coatings on your eco-friendly cookware, but tough enough to clean tubs and grout, it’s suitable for all your cleaning needs.
If you specifically want to know what to use in the shower instead of a loofah, check out their exfoliating Loofah Facial Disc.
Smaller and more flexible than their standard eco loofah, it’s ideal if you want to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and promote blood circulation.
Both body and kitchen loofahs are available in singles or packs and are fully home compostable in 30 days along with the paper label that serves as its only packaging.
About ZWS Essentials
ZWS Essentials is the in-house line of products by ZeroWasteStore, obviously one of our favorite zero waste online stores.
Between this line and the products available from other sustainable brands, their selection is huge, from cleaning and personal care products to zero waste baby and pet care.
Everything is plastic-free, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, mostly vegan, and shipped carbon-neutral.
ZWS is also a member of 1% for the Planet.
If you find yourself visiting zero waste stores in LA, check them out in person.
3. Brush With Bamboo
Brush with Bamboo’s Biodegradable Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $20
Their Heirloom Mayan Loofah Scrubbers are made of natural loofahs sourced from a single Mayan family farm in Guatemala that uses traditional, original farming methods.
These chemical and plastic-free loofah sponges are sturdy enough to last months and are compostable at end-of-life.
It comes shipped in recycled and recyclable packaging.
About Brush with Bamboo
Brush with Bamboo presented the world with the first zero waste toothbrush.
They’ve expanded their range since that original product, 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.
etee’s Natural Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $4–$20
etee has an alternative to plastic loofahs for both the kitchen and the bathroom.
It comes from a family-owned Guatemalan farm and will last around three to four weeks until it can also be composted/buried.
For something a little more handy to use around the house, the 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.
etee takes all of our much-needed essentials and makes them plastic-free.
From floss to refillable cleaning products, 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 beeswax wraps, but have expanded their selection to include essentials for the kitchen, body care, and oral care.
Their plastic-free promise extends to their shipping because everything—cellulose tape included—is plastic-free.
etee is also powered by renewable energy and transparent with their ingredients (which are always non-toxic and cruelty-free).
5. Smile Boutiques
Smile Boutiques’ Reusable Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $4–$11
Smile Boutiques knows how to put a smile on our face with their eco-friendly loofah alternatives to plastic loofahs.
It’s made with natural loofah that is sustainable, compostable, and biodegradable.
If you think a natural shower puff alternative can’t have some personal pizzazz, think again. Theirs not only come in flat scour pads and puffed designs, but in various shapes—stars-shaped sustainable shower loofah anyone?
If you have sensitive skin and are wondering what to use instead of a loofah for your face, check out their softer and antibacterial Konjac sponge.
Made from the Asian Konjac plant and can be used for gentle exfoliation face to remove dirt and other impurities. Depending on your zero waste skin care needs, choose between those infused with bamboo charcoal, lavender, rose clay, or green tea.
They’re compostable, too, and the fun colors mean you won’t even notice that you’re using an eco-friendly alternative to your old shower puff.
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.
6. Brooklyn Made Natural
Brooklyn Made Natural’s Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $2.50–$10
When it comes to the most eco-friendly body scrubber, basic is better.
That’s exactly what you’ll get with the 100% natural and compostable loofahs from Brooklyn Made Natural.
Looking for something long-lasting and antibacterial?
These are washable alternatives to loofahs should last several months, and can be placed in the dishwasher or soaked in diluted vinegar to periodically disinfect.
Other Brooklyn Made alternatives to a shower loofah include soap saver bags and those are half loofah, half cellulose. This natural sisal shower sponge can be used as a body brush or cleaning sponge.
Each one of these options are plastic-free and zero waste.
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 mostly organic ingredients, and never use synthetic fragrances, colors, or additives.
All of their products are palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and shipped plastic free.
Zefiro’s Environmentally-Friendly Loofah Alternative
Price Range: $3.50–$7.50
The convenient hang cord makes proper storage easy, so you can prevent bacteria buildup.
Or pair their more puffed option with your favorite body wash and have a sustainably soothing shower.
Both options are 100% natural loofahs that are compostable (down to the cotton thread). They’re responsibly made in China.
Brushes and scrubbers are Zefiro’s specialty, whether we’re talking about a brush for your pots and pans or an FSC-certified eco-friendly hair brushes.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, Zefiro is committed to donating 1% of total annual sales to support environmental causes around the world.
They use plastic-free, recycled, and recyclable packaging.
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Why Switch To An Eco-Friendly Loofah Replacement?
What is the best thing to wash your body with?
Well, we can tell you what it’s not: microplastic-shedding, phthalate-filled plastic (specifically nylon).
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.
Synthetic fibers in general are rather syn-ister for the planet, but 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 non-natural loofahs be retired after two months to avoid harmful bacteria buildup—meaning 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.
Other dermatologists recommend we stop using them period due to the bacteria growth they can spread around the body.
What do dermatologists recommend instead of a loofah?
A silicone exfoliating brush, organic cotton washcloth, or loofah made of natural fibers are three options.
Natural, biodegradable shower poofs should still be retired periodically to prevent pathogen buildup, but since they can be tossed into an indoor compost bin and turned into food for your apartment garden, it’s actually beneficial to do so!
Still, they’re a much better alternative to loofahs made of plastic—which will harm even more marine life with microplastic pollution.
How We Found The Best Loofah Alternatives
Exfoliation may mean removing dead skin cells, but it doesn’t have to simultaneously kill our planet.
We found far better shower pouf alternatives to sustainably scrub-a-dub-dub by considering the following ethical beauty criteria:
- Natural & non-toxic ingredients
- Vegan (or ethically-sourced animal products): Unlike sea sponges, loofah plants aren’t considered animals, making all loofahs vegan.
- Cruelty-free: An easy one for this category, thankfully
- Palm oil free: Another criterion automatically satisfied with eco loofahs.
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies
- Thoughtful packaging: Ideally zero waste (meaning it’s compostable, naked, or reusable) but packaging should be recyclable, at the very least.
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 loofahs can breed bacteria, so clean your loofah regularly. 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 and pay attention to its age so you know when to properly retire it.
Even without proper maintenance, natural loofahs are still a better alternative to synthetic nylon bath-poufs, for you and the planet.
Following the simple zero waste tip of switching to one of these sustainable loofah alternatives can end up having a big impact.
If you love sustainably lathering up, ensure others can do the same by passing this article along—and encouraging them to stop calling those pesky plastic poof “loofahs” while you’re at it!