Do natural sponges hold bacteria?

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories about kitchen sponges holding more bacteria and germs than a toilet seat. But what about your favorite shower sponge? At Naroa, we create beautiful natural sponges from hand-harvested sea sponges, but even these sponges can hold onto bacteria.

In this article we’ll explain how bacteria gets into a sponge, how to clean a sponge so it is sanitary, and why natural sea sponges have less bacterial than synthetic and other natural sponge types.

Everything you need to know about sponges and bacteria

Sponges, whether they are made from natural materials or plastic, hold onto bacteria. The real question is, what can you do about it? 

First, let’s look at how bacteria lingers in a sponge. When you wash, bacteria from your body is cleansed off your skin. Where does it end up? On your sponge. Now, as sponges are naturally moist and dark in the center, kept warm in your bathroom, this is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.

Naturally, there are ways to kill bacteria. The study that observed more germs on a kitchen sponge than a toilet seat suggest boiling or microwaving the sponge to eradicate any bacteria lingering within. But that’s not a good idea for a sea sponge – hot temperatures and microwaves can damage it!

Thankfully, sea sponges have some unique antimicrobial properties. By naturally inhibiting the growth of mold and bacteria, they reduce the number of bacteria that can thrive. Furthermore, the unique channel-like structure of sponges allows water to flow evenly throughout the sponge, effectively creating a self-clean function.

On the other hand, when we look at cheap plastic sponges, the pockets of air inside the sponge do not connect together, so once dirt, grime and bacteria are inside, they cannot be easily removed even with cleaning. Of course, putting a plastic mesh shower sponge in the microwave or tumble dryer (another popular method for drying a sponge) risks melting the plastic too.

How to clean a natural sponge

Although putting your natural sea sponge in a microwave or pouring over boiling water is a very bad idea, there are still ways to clean it. At Naroa, we have a number of methods that we recommend to clean and disinfect a sponge. You can read about those in our article How Do You Sterilize and Clean a Natural Sponge?

When you periodically clean your natural sea sponge using your chosen method from our guide, the sponge will be clean, fresh, and ready to be used again. Meanwhile, with a plastic sponge, you will likely need to throw it in the trash and buy another after just a few weeks of use.

If you take care of your sea sponge and ensure that it is sterilized regularly, it will last at least 6 months or more. 

Clean and hypoallergenic skincare

All sponges hold bacteria, but only Naroa natural sponges can effectively deal with bacteria. Keeping your body fresh and clean means more than wiping away grime. A gentle yet effective cleanse can remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and reduce acne. If you are stressed or have very sensitive skin, we recommend our Soothe Sponge or Massage Sponge to help gently ease your body into relaxation.

Another great benefit of a natural sea sponge is that it is naturally hypoallergenic. If you have allergies or are just overly sensitive to abrasive sponges, chemical cleaners, or laundry detergent, then creating a natural skincare regime with a sea sponge can make a huge difference.

Explore Naroa sea sponges today to create a hypoallergenic skincare routine!

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