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What to Use Instead of a Loofah

different colored washcloths face cloths loofah and bathsponge

You probably have a loofah in your shower. It might hang from a hook or sit on a soapy shelf. That spongy exfoliator has become so commonplace in your routine, but it also introduces some health hazards. Have you given any thought about what to use instead of a loofah? 

A traditional loofah poses many risks, much like the sponge at your kitchen sink. It’s not something at the front of our minds, but perhaps it should be. There are plenty of alternatives to using a loofah, but before we look into those, we must analyze the specific benefits and risks that come with using a loofah.

Pros

Although we’re looking for alternatives of what to use instead of a loofah, loofahs do have their benefits.

Exfoliation

The rough texture of a loofah, when combined with a cleanser, can clear the dead skin cells off your body. Our bodies naturally shed skin cells about once a month, but scrubbing with a loofah can do a more thorough job of it. This process unclogs pores, leaving you feeling cleaner and looking more radiant.

Improved Circulation

Using a loofah is akin to a massage, bringing along many of those benefits. A massage stimulates your muscles and encourages lymph fluid to metabolize waste more efficiently. Increases in blood circulation translate into lower blood pressure and optimized body function.

Improved Skin Elasticity

The act of scrubbing stimulates the production of collagen, a key protein responsible for glowing complexions and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Using a scrubber like a loofah can help slow the effects of aging by keeping your skin tight.

Cons

If you haven’t yet thought of what to use instead of a loofah, you probably will after reading about the dangers a loofah can pose.

Germs

A loofah typically lives in the shower, staying damp long after you’ve washed yourself off. This damp environment combined with poor air circulation turns the loofah into a breeding ground for bacteria — ironic, isn’t it? Plus, without cleaning the loofah itself, you’ll be transferring yesterday’s grime onto yourself today by using the same scrubber.

Infection

The process of exfoliation leaves skin more vulnerable, and some loofahs can be abrasive enough to break the skin, which invites the opportunity for that bacteria to make its way inside causing infection. At worst, you could expose yourself to Staphylococcus — also known as a staph infection. In some environments, dangerous particles can develop and ultimately be scrubbed into your skin. Those with more sensitive skin should be extra wary of the damaging effects a loofah can have on the body.

What to Use Instead of a Loofah

There is a range of alternative grooming products that offer the same benefits as a loofah while posing less of a health risk. The biggest risk factor with a loofah is in the design — the sponge-like shape is difficult to dry and clean regularly. These products solve that issue while still giving your skin a rejuvenating scrub, so you’ll no longer wonder what to use instead of a loofah.

Exfoliating Soap

There are bars of soap with exfoliating agents inside that eliminate the need for a loofah. Loofahs require monthly replacement on average, but by using a dissolving bar of soap, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of expiration dates. Home goods and lifestyle retailers, like Lush, offer a variety of exfoliating bars for prices comparable to a loofah.

Glove / Mitt

Exfoliating gloves and mitts are staples in salons for scrubbing dead skin off of feet. They can be just as useful in the shower to exfoliate your neck and shoulders. Gloves will vary in texture depending on the brand, so be cautious about using a rough mitt on your face or anywhere that the skin is thinner. EvridWear makes a dual-textured glove that is machine-washable, so it’s a great hygienic option.

Silicone Brush

For a fast-drying scrubber, check out a silicone brush! A non-traditional material like silicone works better for moist environments. It won’t lather as well as a loofah or cloth, but it’s more hygienic. The Silicone Exfoliating Brush by Cool-Essential dries quickly and actively repels the growth of bacteria. Besides exfoliating, the silicone bristles act as a massager, appropriate for your body, face, and scalp to further help with circulation and skin elasticity.

Loofah Pads

You may think loofah pads don’t belong when discussing what to use instead of a loofah, but there are benefits to purchasing smaller loofah scrubbers in a pack. A smaller pad means a smaller surface area to dry, plus, many are machine-washer friendly. Ave Deal sells loofah pads in packs of 8, encouraging you to replace them regularly in addition to proper drying and cleaning routines.

Salux Beauty Skin Wash Cloth

Japan has perfected and patented a lathering washcloth that can also exfoliate. The Salux brand Beauty Skin Wash Cloth promises to dry quickly and remain odor-free. The best part? They’re machine washable, giving you the most hygienic experience possible. Still, even with machine-washable scrubbers, it is important to respect the expiration date of your daily-use products. Changes in color or new odors are a good sign that your product should be replaced.

Bristle Body Brush

A bath brush is the most practical solution to scrub that hard-to-reach spot in the middle of your back. The bristles are also quicker to dry than an average loofah, so bacteria have less opportunity to grow. Brushes are versatile; they can also be part of your post-shower routine with moisturizing body oils. Keep your skin sensitivities in mind when selecting a brush. Selecting bristles that are too firm for you can still expose you to unnecessary risk by breaking the skin. Ineffable Care offers a gift set of brushes with varying firmness of their bristles to meet your individual needs.

Body Scrub

Japan has perfected and patented a lathering washcloth that can also exfoliate. The Salux brand Beauty Skin Wash Cloth promises to dry quickly and remain odor-free. The best part? They’re machine washable, giving you the most hygienic experience possible. Still, even with machine-washable scrubbers, it is important to respect the expiration date of your daily-use products. Changes in color or new odors are a good sign that your product should be replaced.

Essential Oils

If you prefer taking baths over showers, some of the above homemade exfoliants can be added with essential oils to the bath water for a spa treatment. Essential oils have therapeutic properties and can enhance the experience of using a scrub alone. Take caution with new essential oils, however. Some skin-types can react negatively to essential oils from allergies to the origin plant.

Sponge

A sponge presents many of the same bacteria risks that a loofah has, but the soft nature of a sponge can be a good alternative for those with sensitive skin. The soft material will cause fewer breaks in the skin, posing less risk of infection from the festering bacteria. Take care to clean and replace the sponge regularly, though. Spa Destinations sells a luxurious Natural Sea Sponge that is unabrasive and inexpensive. A natural sponge also minimizes exposure to harmful chemicals that can be found in synthetic plastics used in loofahs.

Body Scrub

You could cut out the middle-man altogether and incorporate the exfoliating properties in your choice of cleanser. A body scrub is a body wash with rough particles included to help slough the dead skin cells away. Micro-beads were banned from use in 2017, so most scrubs today incorporate natural ingredients to help exfoliate. One brand, Frank Body, makes a Shimmer Scrub that promises to leave you with a radiant glow as the sugar exfoliant particles dissolve. Scrubs at your local retailer can vary wildly in price depending on the brand and additional benefits they provide.

Alternatively, you can create your own body scrub using some common household items.

  • Salt is effective for feet, while sea salt works wonders on hands and cuticles
  • Sugar is a perfect scrub ingredient for the face; consider sugar over salt for recently shaved areas
  • Oats are appropriate for very sensitive skin types and work well as a gentle face or body scrub
  • Apples and apple cider vinegar work well as a chemical exfoliant
  • Coffee is an  effective scrub to battle stretch marks — caffeine stimulates blood flow and reduces the appearance of cellulite+
  • Splash milk in your palms and massage it on your face or add 2 to 4 cups to your bath to reap the benefits of lactic acid
  • Lemons and grapefruit work well as exfoliants, especially when used with milk
  • Baking soda works for all skin types; add it to your existing cleanser for exfoliation or mix it with honey to create a paste
  • Rice is gentle enough to use on both the face and body

Loofah

Yes, we’ve established that there are more hygienic options to use, but if you absolutely can’t bear to part with a loofah, there are still ways to make them safer to use.

  • Keep it dry when it’s not in use. This means storing it out of the shower or considering a storage option that allows it to air out. ToiletTree Products makes a bamboo shower caddy with slats that would allow a loofah to drip-dry.
  • Apply heat, ensuring that the materials used in your loofah can withstand heat. If so, you can toss it in the dryer or a clean microwave to help kill some bacteria. You could also boil it in some water for two minutes. Whichever method you choose, this should be a weekly chore.
  • A bleaching powder can be applied to most loofahs for an effective clean. This should be done once a week.
  • Don’t share. Families in the same household usually share a lot of the same germs, but using separate loofahs can help minimize the risk of infections.
  • Replace it regularly. A loofah should be switched out once a month. Beyond a month, there is a greater risk of bacteria forming and a high likelihood that the exfoliating properties will be diminished.

Loofah Benefits Outside the Shower

We shared the benefits of using a loofah or alternative scrub, but those benefits aren’t only available in the shower. There are ways to improve your well-being outside of your grooming routine.

Increase Blood Flow

  • Exercise: moving after a meal aids digestion. It’s recommended you move 3-5 minutes every hour you’re awake
  • Get a massage: massages are known to stimulate healing and localized blood flow
  • Alternate hot and cold temperatures in the shower, causing your blood vessels to expand and constrict
  • Drink water (preferably warm) as often as you feel thirsty and avoid caffeine and alcohol

Improve Skin Elasticity

  • Wear sunscreen: avoid premature aging by protecting your skin every time you’re outside
  • Eat healthily: make sure your diet is rich in omega-3 Fatty Acid and Vitamin A, B, C, and E
  • Sleep: skin repairs itself as you sleep, so get a good night’s rest to avoid puffy eyes

Conclusion

There are so many options to choose from in hygiene and grooming. Keep your habits and preferences in mind when you consider what to use instead of a loofah, or be mindful of the responsibilities that come with using a loofah. The shower is a place to relax, renew, and rejuvenate; don’t let the adverse effects of a loofah diminish that.

Featured Image via flickr

What Is A Turkish Bath?

towels provided on a bath house

A Turkish bath can be a daunting experience the first time around. While there’s definitely a bit of a culture shock to work through, that doesn’t mean it’s not an experience worth trying at least once. We’ll go through all the things you need to know preparing and going in, but let’s start with the most obvious question: what is a Turkish bath?

What Is a Turkish Bath?

A Turkish bath is a type of communal (but gender segregated) bathing that emphasizes relaxation as well as cleanliness. It can feature simple bathing, massages, aromatherapy, reflexology, or facials (or a mixture of many). The bathing portion can be done on your own with your own supplies or by an attendant with supplies they provide. You can expect to not only get a deep clean via an attendant but also to get a different experience in terms of relaxation depending on what other services you choose.While this may be a short answer for “what is a Turkish bath?” there is a lot more to this type of bathing experience than meets the eye. Things like bathing etiquette, customs and culture, and understanding the different service options will all make the experience more encompassing and less stressful or confusing; so let’s talk about them.

Will I Be Completely Bare?

This is a common question directly following “what is a Turkish bath?” so let’s get it out of the way now: no, you won’t be completely bare. You’ll be given a bath-wrap to cover private areas, and whether you choose to wear underwear below that is up to you. If you’re curious as to the norm, the men typically don’t wear anything underneath while the women will usually wear underwear but no bras. Again, it’s all up to your preference, so there’s no need to feel uncomfortable with whatever option you choose. You’ll typically get sandals to wear as well.

What Does a Turkish Bath Look Like?

Turkish bath house in Israel

Image: CC BY-SA 4.0, Benjamín Núñez González, via Wikimedia Commons

This may or may not be at the top of your list of questions following “what is a Turkish bath?” but it’s important to have a bit of a heads up in case it’s something completely different from what you’re used to. A Turkish bath follows a Roman communal bathing styles, with a focus on water instead of steam. These bath houses typically feature historical or awing architecture and are quite large.

You’ll be in a heated room first, and this is where you will typically spend most of your time. There may or may not be steam, but typically there are smaller bathing pools as well as bigger platforms where different services like massages can take place. While every Turkish bath can be different, you can expect the experience to be mainly communal.

​Which Bath House Should I Use?

door of a turkish bath house

Image Source: Pixabay.com

We would suggest, for your first Turkish bath especially, to go to a historical Turkish bath (or “hammam” as you’ll see them referred to as) or a Turkish bath within a hotel. Both of these will offer the experience you want without putting you in a situation you may not be prepared for.

To decide between the two, it really comes down to your priorities while experiencing a Turkish bath. Historical bath houses will typically offer amazing and unique architecture that shows off the history of the city and bath house itself, but it may or may not be a “luxury” type of setting.

Hotel bath houses, on the other hand, typically aim for the more luxurious setting and atmosphere. It may not be historically significant, accurate, or focused, but it will likely feel more like a spa if that’s what you’re going for.

In either case, going to a Turkish bath house will be a relaxing experience. Which bath house you choose ultimately depends on your own preference and priorities. Once you’ve chosen your venue, though, you’ll want to decide on what services you want from the bath house.

Choosing a Service

Once you’ve selected a bath house, picking a service or service package will be your next to-do item. There are three typical services that are offered:

Self-Service

Once you’ve selected a bath house, picking a service or service package will be your next to-do item. There are three typical services that are offered:

Traditional

This is likely what you’ll be expecting after reading the answer to “what is a Turkish bath?” and is a good option to start with. Typically, this option gets you a 15-minute massage and an attendant who washes you and guides you through the experience. Any other styles you opt into will be performed by the attendant, so think of the attendant like your bath house buddy as you go through the experience.

Unique Styles

Many bath houses will offer services unique to them, like aromatherapy, head massages, various facials, reflexology, and other services that you can do on you own or add to your traditional style package. Each bath house will be slightly different, so it’s best to check ahead of time if you’re looking for something specific. These services operate more like a spa than a bath house, but depending on how you use them you can still get the bath house experience.

​What to Expect

While this may vary a little between bath houses, we wanted to give you a general idea of what to expect when you go to a bath house (though typically the attendants do a good job of leading you through, so no need to be stressed about it).

​Arriving

Much like a spa, the first place you’ll go to is some type of locker room. Sometimes it’s an actual locker room for you to store your clothes in and change into the bath-wrap; other times there are individual cubicles. Either way, this is the first stop where you’ll undress and put on the bath-wrap and sandals.

Hot Room

​You’ll then go to the hot room (or “hararet”). Assuming you are not doing self-service, your attendant or masseur won’t follow you into this room immediately, instead letting you sit and relax to loosen up and sweat. This room is likely the closest thing to what you picture when you think “what is a Turkish bath?” or even “what is a bathhouse?” It typically has many basins and a platform that sits above the heating source. Oftentimes, marble is featured in this room and there is some great architecture to look at, so don’t feel bad about wandering a bit.

Massage and Bath

You’ll spend about 15 minutes here before the attendant will return. At this point you’ll move to the side of the platform and the attendant will soak and bathe you while giving you a massage. Part two of this washing is scrubbing, and this will take place in one of the basins. Many people have noted how well the attendants work at scrubbing you down. Dirt you didn’t know you had on you will come off in layers. It really is a very cleansing experience, but take the word “scrubbing” to heart; that dirt doesn’t just slide off.You’ll be washed one more time, and then the attendant will leave you. You’re welcome to stay in the hot room for as long as you like before making your way to the cold room, also called the intermediate or transitioning room. This room will have showers and toilets, with a dry bath-wrap and towel waiting for you there. You can stay here as long as you like as well before going back to your cubicle. Some bath houses will provide chairs or beds where you can take a nap or order drinks in the room with lockers or cubicles. You’ll then tip your attendant or masseur and leave.

​Overall, this can be as long or short of an experience as you want, but many people spend at the very least an hour at a Turkish bath. It’s not an in-and-out experience, and you shouldn’t feel rushed at any point. The hours of the bath house typically accommodate this type of leisure by opening around 6am and closing around midnight.

​Common Questions and Concerns

exhibit depicting Turkish bath

Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, Jean-David & Anne-Laure, via Flickr

As this is often a new experience for many people, we’ve compiled a list of the more common questions people have had beyond “what is a Turkish bath?” and we’ll address them here:

Will the Attendant or Masseur Be the Same Sex As Me?

​Yes. The sexes are segregated throughout the entire bath house experience. Different bath houses will do this segregation differently. Some just have separate sections and rooms for men and women, while others have different operating times for men and women. It’s always best to check beforehand which system your bath house uses in case it’s the latter.

What If I Have Sensitive Skin?

​While there may be some bath houses that offer different soap options to cater to this issue, typically they will only have standard soap so you’ll need to bring your own supplies if you need special skincare products.

How “Personal” Is the Bathing?

​Many people are worried about exactly how uncomfortable they’re going to feel to have someone bathing them. You do keep the bath-wrap on you at all times, with or without underwear underneath as per your preference, and you will bathe your private areas yourself. The showers are best utilized for this.

What Should I Bring?

​If you plan on wearing underwear underneath your bath-wrap, definitely bring a second (dry) pair for afterwards. Again, bring your own soap/tools if you’re doing self-service or if you have sensitive skin or allergies. You’ll also want to remove any make-up you have on beforehand; you’ll get drenched so it won’t last anyway. As when you go to the spa, it’s always good to drink water before and after your trip to the bath house.

How Does Tipping Work?

​Honestly, it’s different depending on the bath house. Tipping is required though, so plan on bringing money with you to do that. Plan on tipping between 10-20% of the full amount, though some bath houses will have a different percentage required.

​Famous Historical Bath Houses

bathouse in Budapest

Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, Omar A., via Flickr

While there are plenty of hotel bath houses to choose from, historical bath houses are fewer and farther between. If you’re having trouble finding or settling on a historical bath house, we wanted to give you some ideas.

Between historical or hotel bath houses, the historical route will definitely offer a more all-encompassing experience in terms of culture and history. They can look vastly different depending on where you go, both in terms of different countries and even different cities. It can feel like a new experience each time you set foot in another bath house because of these differences. Here’s a list of where to look for some of the more historical bath houses:

​Morocco

The oldest known Islamic hammam is in Morocco (Volubilis specifically), and while technically not a Turkish bath, it is very closely related and a great place to visit for lots of culture and a slightly different take on the experience due to the smaller rooms and more private atmosphere.

​Syria

There are about 18 hammams operating in Syria that are historical (i.e. built pre-1500’s) and definitely worth a visit for their cultural and historical significance.

​Turkey

Turkey, of course, has many historical bath houses to choose from as well that will offer cultural architecture with pieces of history built in. There are lots to choose from here, each offering their own historical take as well as tie-ins in terms or architecture, services, and soaps. A simple Google search or inquires at your hotel will lead you to these.

​Budapest

Budapest, Hungary has 4 Turkish baths that are all from the 16th century and definitely worth a look should Budapest be on your radar. It is the City of Spas after all, so there’s no excuse skipping out on this spa experience while you’re there.

​At the End of the Day…

a roof dome of a bath house

Image Source: Pixabay.com

At the end of the day, your experience with a Turkish bathhouse will be a unique one. Not only will you get to experience the culture and customs revolving around the bathhouse and its practices, you’ll also get really, really clean. So clean in fact, that we would recommend not going if you’re trying to keep your new tan. However, you’ll also have a relaxing, leisurely time in the process; so it’s definitely worth a try.

Featured Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, Andrew and Annemarie, via Flickr

How To Change A Shower Head

image source: pixabay

Your shower is a place you visit on a daily basis, so it’s important that it is both functional and comfortable. One of the best upgrades you can make to the shower is changing the shower head. That’s why we want to walk you through your options for doing so and teach you how to change a shower head.

blue shower head with water dripping

What Is a Shower Head?

The shower head is the place in the shower or bath rub area where the water sprays out from. The nozzle mounts directly to the water source on the shower wall or attaches to a hose. If your shower head has a hose, you have more flexibility. You can take it off the bracket on the wall and use it to distribute the water flow onto different areas of your body. There is no one-size-fits-all shower head. When you’re shopping for a new shower fixture, it’s important to consider your options. Understanding the different types of models available on the market today can help give you a better idea of what will and won’t work for you.

Before we cover how to change a shower head, let’s look at some different types that are available.

1. Fixed Shower Head.

The most common and traditional type of shower heads are the fixed wall-mounted ones. If you’re interested in learning how to change a shower head, chances are you’ll be dealing with a fixed shower head. These are easiest to install because they don’t need extra hardware. These shower heads are straightforward and don’t have a lot of bells and whistles. They usually offer decent water pressure. Some come with multiple functions and settings. With these, you can turn the nozzle for different spray patterns.

2. Ceiling Mounted

These shower heads are also known as “rain-drop shower heads,” as they resemble rain when turned on. They attach to the ceiling of your shower. They can be square, rectangular or round. Sometimes, they come in the form of an L-shaped panel. Though they are like fixed shower heads, they tend to be a lot bigger. Rain shower heads are typically directly above you in the shower.

3. Adjustable Shower Heads and Handsets.

These are the best option if you are looking into how to change a shower head to make it more flexible and custom. They are popular because of the many settings they come with. You can adjust the faucet to your preference. Some even have pulsating shower heads for massage purposes. Handsets attach to a hose, which can either connect to a fixed shower head or detachable bracket.

The shower head you choose will depend on what the reason is for you changing it is. For example, if you are looking to modernize the appearance of your bathroom, consider a ceiling-mounted fixture. If you are more concerned with water pressure, fixed-mounted designs might be more practical.

blue shower head with water dripping

Factors to Consider

woman in a shower

image source: pexels

There are some things to consider when choosing the right shower head. One thing you won’t have to worry about is whether the new shower head you pick out will fit. The reason for this is that, in the U.S., the National Pipe Thread is a standardized size of ½ inch. So, the elbow of the shower system will generally always be the same.

You also want to consider the type of spray settings you prefer or want in a new shower head. Do you like a wide spray or a more targeted one? Shower heads that feature multiple spray setting options are great for families. Perhaps not every person in your family enjoys the same level of water pressure or spray pattern. Different settings can be used for different people and for various purposes. Having the option to change the water settings as necessary is convenient.

When considering which shower head you want, keep in mind that the wider the shower head, the less pressure you’ll get. So while you may like the look of a large shower head, it’s important to consider that it will have a weaker pressure than smaller fixtures.

When considering which shower head you want, keep in mind that the wider the shower head, the less pressure you’ll get. So while you may like the look of a large shower head, it’s important to consider that it will have a weaker pressure than smaller fixtures. Make a list of everything you do and do not like about your current shower head. What do you wish you could improve? Making a list of your priorities and necessities can help make your search go much smoother. Talk to the specialists selling the fixtures to see if there are certain products they recommend based on your specific needs.

Another thing to consider is water pressure and energy efficiency, which often go hand in hand. The more water pressure your shower head has, the more energy it uses. If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your bathroom, look for shower heads that have a WaterSense label. EPA sponsors these labels and ensures that the fixtures don’t use over 2.0 GPM (gallons per minute). The standard, federally mandated flow rate of new shower heads is 2.5 GPM, meaning 2.5 gallons is the maximum amount of water that should flow from a shower head per minute.

Once you have decided on the type of shower head you want to install, make sure to read reviews on the items before purchasing it. This helps ensure you choose a quality fixture. But, the online reviews may also inform you of the experiences other customers had while installing it. They may be able to offer some specific directions and advice when it comes to changing that specific shower head.

blue shower head with water dripping

Is It Necessary to Change Your

Shower Head?

chrome shower head

image source: pexels

If you’re happy with your current shower head, you may find no need to change it. If you think it could be better, though, it’s easy to learn how to change a shower head. Many people don’t even realize that they may be overpaying on water bills due to a faulty shower head.

Shower heads don’t just influence your comfort in bathing. They also affect your home’s water usage. After toilets and washing machines, showers are typically the largest source of water usage in the home. Although they generally use less water than baths, there may be ways to improve the efficiency of water usage in your home and lower your utility bills.

Chances are that if you have never changed your shower head, it’s time for an upgrade. Here are some signs it’s time to learn how to change a shower head.

Low Water Pressure

If you wish you had a stronger flow of water or the current pressure is weak, changing out the shower head may just do the trick. Your showers can become a lot quicker if you have better water pressure. There’s a chance that your spray pattern quality isn’t as great as it once was because of the buildup of magnesium and calcium from hard water. If that’s the case, look for shower heads that can help soften water. By changing the fixture, you can alter how the water is distributed during the shower. You can adjust the spray pattern and strength.

Appealing Aesthetics

Maybe you’re just looking to update the appearance of your bathroom. One of the best ways to do that is to modernize the fixtures. When you learn how to change a shower head, you can make your shower look instantly more up to date without spending a fortune on a complete remodel. Today’s shower head options are abundant. You can find ones with a variety of spray settings, massage options, and water conservation features. You can also make it more luxurious. Make the most out of your shower time by making it as enjoyable as possible. Modern fixtures provide a variety of settings and features that you can use to turn an outdated and mundane shower into a spa-like experience. It’s great if you can find a shower head that works well, but even better if it looks good, too.

blue shower head with water dripping

Here Is How to Change

a Shower Head in

5 Easy Steps

Once you have your new shower head picked out, it’s time to learn how to change a shower head. To start, you are going to need a handful of materials, including pliers, a wrench, a towel, and Teflon tape. Depending on the type of fixture you are installing, you may also need an adapter kit.

1

Remove the Old Shower Head

Start by putting a towel down on the shower or tub area to prevent any damage to the surface of the shower area. The next step in the process is to remove the old shower head. Twist the fixture in a counter-clockwise direction to see whether you can remove it with just your hands. If it won’t budge, wrap a towel around the shower’s arm and hold it in place with pliers. With your other hand, use an adjustable wrench around the base of the shower head and twist counter-clockwise until you can loosen and remove it. You may also have to use paint thinner to break up old plumber’s putty.

2

Clean the Pipes

Once the old shower head is off, take a minute to clean out any excess gunk, rust, or buildup. Wipe the threads clean with a damp towel. Not only will this mean cleaner water during your shower, but could also significantly help improve the water pressure. Plus, the rest of the installation process will go a bit smoother.

3

Apply Teflon Tape

Now, it’s time for the Teflon tape. We apply this to the shower stem to help seal the shower head and prevent water leakage. You should apply the Teflon tape in the same direction that the new shower head will tighten. Make sure you firmly press the tape into the threads (or the linear grooves in the shower arm). Wrap the tape around two to three times.

4

Attaching the New Shower Head

The steps for this phase of the process depend on the shower head fixture you’ve chosen. If it’s a fixed-mount model, you will probably be able to screw it in by hand. Turn it clockwise until it feels secure. If it’s a handset model, you will twist it on clockwise before connecting the house to the mount. Check to see if there are any specific directions provided by the new shower head manufacturer. Be careful not to over-tighten.

5

Check for Leaks

Once you’ve followed these steps, it’s time to check for any leaks. Turn the faucet on and step back out of the way. Are there any streams coming from the sides or bottom of the stem? If you notice any leakage, it’s likely that the new shower head was not fastened tightly enough. It’s also possible you may need to remove the fixture to add more Teflon tape.

If the shower head you are learning how to change involves a combination of fixed-mount and hand-held fixtures, you will also need a diverter kit.

When you are learning how to change a shower head, it’s important to look up instructional videos and tutorials based on the specific type of fixture you are working with. By doing a bit of research and following this guide, this home improvement project can be a simple and quick process. It will go a lot smoother, though, if you gather the tools you need ahead of time and access any instructions provided by the manufacturer of the new shower head you are installing.

Of course, you could always hire a professional to ensure the installation process goes as smooth as possible. But, this is a bathroom renovation project that is relatively simple and attainable with just a few basic tools and some brief research.

blue shower head with water dripping

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for better water pressure, a variety of spray patterns, or just want to modernize the look of your bathroom, learning how to change a shower head can be beneficial. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to improve and upgrade both the appearance and functionality of your shower. Learning how to change the fixture yourself can instill a level of confidence and satisfaction you wouldn’t otherwise experience when hiring a professional to do the work for you.

Icons via Flaticon

Dove Shower Foam Review

Dove Shower Foam

Soap is necessary for your showering routine, but it’s essential to take into account your skin type, ingredients, and the desired scent. In this Dove Shower Foam review, we will look into all those things and more, including some product information on other shower foams. This comprehensive guide should help you choose the perfect soap for you. 

Comparison Table

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Dove Shower Foam Review: What Is Dove Shower Foam?

Dove Shower Foam is a mild and incredibly moisturizing body wash. This foaming body wash is perfect for those with sensitive skin, and those on a budget. Our reviewers were thrilled with their soft skin results after using Dove Shower Foam.

Product Specs

Dove is one of the most trusted brands in the beauty world. This shower foam offers gentle cleansing, deep moisturization for dry skin, and is sulfate-free. All Dove products are dermatologist tested and recommended. Their Sensitive Skin Body Wash is soap-free and hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. Dove body wash is creamy and luxurious, lathering generously. Their soap is meant to be used by men and women with all skin types and skin tones. The body wash comes in many scents, from light to intense. Dove products come in 18 different sizes, making it affordable to everyone. Dove is specially pH balanced, helping oily skin and dry skin both find the perfect, healthy balance. Because of its gentle cleansing ingredients, customers will see no allergic reactions.

Pricing

Everything on our list in this Dove Shower Foam review is budget-friendly and can be found at your local shopping centers. Prices range from $5 to $10.

How It Compares

Soaps are personal hygiene products that help clean, moisturize, purify, and protect your skin from bacteria and diseases. There are endless soaps and shower gels with different ingredients ranging from oils and herbs to fruits and vegetables.

You can find all kinds of different gels, bars of soaps, foams, and lotions. The most common and best for dry skin are the liquid and cream soaps that come in a handy bottle. These are the soaps we’ll be exploring in this Dove Shower Foam review.

Don’t let yourself get carried away by the scent alone. Many shower foams and gels smell wonderful, but they can be bad for your skin. Adding extra ingredients to make a soap smell nice can dry out your skin instead of heal and moisturize it.

Our team was eager to investigate other body washes for our Dove Shower Foam review, and they weren’t disappointed. They had some clear favorites. We’re going to break it down for you, one shower soap at a time.

Here are the other shower foams and gels we tried:

Dove Shower Foam

No products found.

  • Ingredients
  • Scent
  • Moisturizing
  • Packaging

Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Glycinate, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil or Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, DMDM Hydantoin, Stearic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Citric Acid, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. Dove cleansers leave all skin types soft, smooth, and feeling moisturized. It’s gentle enough for daily use in the shower, or on the face. This soap is soap-free, which is why it’s perfect for dry or sensitive skin. The soap hydrates and cleanses without dryness or irritation.

Dove offers these scents: Cucumber & Green Tea, Shea Butter with Warm Vanilla, Blue Fig & Orange Blossom, Coconut Milk & Jasmine, Pear & Aloe Vera, Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena, Sweet Cream & Peony.

The original scent of Dove Shower Foam is delightful and almost milky like a bar of soap. It’s light and fresh and not too strong. It’s a great choice for families or couples who want to share a unisex shower foam. In this Dove Shower Foam review, we give the scent five big stars because of the scent options. They have a smell that everyone can enjoy.

Dove Shower Foam contains NutriumMoisture, which is a blend of lipids. This blend was created as a natural way to give skin the moisture it craves. Instead of sitting on top of the skin like some heavy soaps and moisturizers, the NutriumMoisture completely absorbs into your skin. You’ll find no soapy residue after rinsing off, which can lead to dryness and irritation.

Our team was very picky in this Dove Shower Foam review because soap and beauty packaging is important. The Dove Shower Foam comes with a well-designed shape and a pump for ease of use in the shower. It’s tall and slim design makes it easy to find a spot on the edge of a bathtub or in a shower caddy. It’s made of durable hard plastic, and the classic Dove Brand logo is on the outside.

Caress Botanicals Shower Foam

No products found.

We’ve added Caress to our Dove Shower Foam review because it is also a well-known brand of soap. Caress Botanicals is paraben and sulfate-free. It promises an instant lather, leaving skin feeling smooth, clean, and refreshed.

  • Ingredients
  • Scent
  • Moisturizing
  • Packaging

Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl betaine (cleanse); polyethylene (exfoliate); glycerin, glycine soja oil, and Helianthus annuus seed oil (moisturize).

There are no parabens or sulfates in this body wash. These ingredients allow the soap to lather well, and quickly. It rinses off the skin nicely, and overall, it enhanced our shower experience.

While writing up this Dove Shower Foam review, we thought we had tried it all and smelled everything. However, our team was pleasantly surprised at the lovely scent of Caress Botanicals Shower Foam. It had a rich scent of vanilla, amber, and some other spices. It smells very feminine and floral. It is available in several other scents, all heavy, which is why we give the scent four stars. Many people prefer a lighter scent.

This shower foam is very lightweight and foamy. It left behind no residue and left skin feeling smooth and soft. We found this soap to be middle of the road for moisturizing. We wouldn’t recommend this Caress product for sensitive skin.

The packaging is beautiful and colorful. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump. It smells and looks feminine.

Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower and Bath Gel

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Our Dove Shower Foam review wouldn’t be complete without Neutrogena. They have long been a tried and true, customer-approved brand. The Rainbath Shower and Bath Gel is no exception. This bath gel is made in the USA and comes in a mega-size, so you won’t run out in the middle of taking your next shower.</p><p>&nbsp;This soap cleans, conditions, and softens the skin, and is best used with a poof or washcloth. This shower gel is Neutrogena’s top-selling products for both men and women. It’s a perfect choice for oily skin types because it was created to restore a healthy balance to the skin. Its cleansing properties aren’t harsh and leave the skin feeling clean and fresh.

  • Ingredients
  • Scent
  • Moisturizing
  • Packaging

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauramide DEA, Oleyl Betaine, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, BHT, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Red 40, Yellow 6. Neutrogena comes highly recommended by dermatologists because of its safe ingredients and their high ratings in customer satisfaction. These ingredients are great for those with dry skin or skin that is easily irritated.

We love the way Neutrogena products smell. They smell almost spicy and nutty with hints of herbs and spices. It also smells slightly fruity, so it’s a great unisex scent.

The Neutrogena was a little disappointing for moisturizing. It leaves the skin feeling soft but not as smooth as some others on our Dove Shower Foam review list.

The bottle is tall and fits great in the shower. It comes with a pump that can be purchased separately. The bottle is clear and made of high-quality plastic. It looks and feels expensive.

Alba Botanica Very Emollient French Lavender Bath & Shower Gel

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The Alba Botanica Bath and Shower Gel is the last soap we will look at on our Dove Shower Foam review. This shower gel is made with many terrific botanical extracts and is a calming and skin-soothing cleanser. This bath and shower gel is pH balanced, meaning it is perfect for oily or dry skin. It softens skin and is made of 100% organic and vegetarian ingredients.

  • Ingredients
  • Scent
  • Moisturizing
  • Packaging

Purified Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, vegetable glycerin, glyceryl stearate, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, certified organic Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender) flower, Althea Officinalis (marshmallow), Melissa Officinalis (lemon balm), rosa canina fruit, Calendula Officinalis flower and Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) flower extracts, citric acid, sodium chloride, ethyl hexyl glycerin, Phenoxyethanol. One thing we liked most about the Alba Botanica brand is that it is made of 100% vegetarian ingredients. It contains no harsh sulfates, no parabens, and no phthalates. It isn’t made by testing their products on animals, either. They are Leaping Bunny Certified, confirming that their brand is cruelty-free.

Our team adored the scents from Alba Botanica. Each bottle is filled with rich, energizing scents like honey mango, island citrus, sparkling mint, and midnight tuberose, which smells like lavender.

This shower gel is made from coconut oil, aloe leaf juice, chamomile, and lemon balm, all ingredients that leave skin looking and feeling soft and supple.

The Alba Botanic bottles are large, and they come with a nice pump for easy use in the shower. However, they were so big that it was difficult to get them to fit inside the shower in a convenient place. The packaging is made from high-quality, durable plastic, with colorful labels that match the corresponding scents.

Conclusion

We end our Dove Shower Foam review with some final thoughts. Dove is a soap known for its softness and creaminess. Its skin-friendly properties make it perfect for people with delicate skin. This shower foam guarantees better hydration than other soaps because of its potent moisturizing cream and its NutriumMoisture.

Forget the dryness. Dove Shower Foam is here to restore balance and moisture to your skin. It is approved for use by dermatologists, so you can use it every day. Your skin will not only be softer and smoother, but it will also look and feel healthier and more vibrant. In our evaluation of Dove Shower Foam based on its ingredients, scent, moisturizing ability, and price, we believe it deserves an overall score of five stars out of five.

How To Clean A Shower Head With Baking Soda

splashing water at the shower head

Nothing lasts forever, including appliances and the other household fixtures we rely on. With time, dishwashers might leave a film on your dishes or your washing machine might leave your clothes a little dingy. Your shower head might become blocked with minerals, reducing water pressure and making your daily shower less enjoyable. Luckily, there’s a way to fix that. Learning how to clean a shower head with baking soda is a great introduction to the benefits of baking soda for household cleaning.

What Is Baking Soda?

Getting Familiar With Baking Soda

We’re all familiar with baking soda as an ingredient in many recipes. Some of us might have an open box in our fridge for deodorization or maybe we’ve used it as toothpaste in a pinch. Everyone seems to have a box of baking soda in their kitchen, even if it’s not used daily. Baking soda is a great material to have around the house for many reasons; however, you’re probably not using it to its full potential!Baking soda is a natural substance that works as a gentle cleanser, ingredient, and deodorizer. Learning how to clean a shower head with baking soda is an easy process because baking soda is inexpensive to buy and easy to use.But where does baking soda come from? What, exactly, is this salty white powder and why does it have so many useful characteristics?

From Salt Pans to an Orange Box

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a type of salt. It’s derived from sodium carbonate, which is also called soda ash, which in turn is taken from a mineral called trona. Trona is found in alkaline regions and saltpans throughout the world. Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and California are just a few locations in the United States with the type of salt deposits that produce trona. Other locations include Kenya, Turkey, and Egypt.There’s no shortage of sodium carbonate in the world. Trona mining productions in the United States— especially in Wyoming— are going strong. After trona is mined, it’s taken to a plant for processing. There, the trona is broken apart and heated, which transforms it in into soda ash.The soda ash is then mixed with water and swirled in a centrifuge to remove impurities. Next, the soda ash is mixed with carbon dioxide to create baking soda. From there, it’s ready for packaging and sale.

The Baking Soda Controversy

baking soda in a box and bowl

Image by Evita Ochel from Pixabay

Baking soda is renowned as an all-natural, non-toxic cleaner. However, it has a downside. As mentioned above, most of the baking soda we find in grocery stores starts out as a mined mineral. All large mining operations will alter their local environment in some way.Even though mining does disrupt the environment, many people believe that having baking soda as a solution to the daily damage done by toxic household cleaning products makes up for it. If you’re concerned about the environmental effects of trona mining, conduct some research. Based on what you learn, decide whether replacing store-bought cleaners with a baking soda cleaning solution makes sense to you.

​Does Baking Soda Really Work as a Cleaner?

silver shower head with water splashing on it

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

The Classic Baking Soda and Vinegar Mix

The traditional baking soda and vinegar cleaner mix is 1/4 baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar. A quick Google search on cleaning with baking soda can leave you feeling a little skeptical. Is baking soda as great a cleaner as everyone claims? Generally, the answer is yes! Cleaning with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is one of few things in life that actually lives up to the hype.

How It Works

Before you start cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, think back to those elementary school volcano demonstrations: that’s right, things will get bubbly. Baking soda is a base, so it attracts protons. Vinegar is an acid; it rejects protons. When baking soda and vinegar are combined, a frenzy of moving protons creates the famous fizzy foam that breaks up messes. This includes hard water residue on shower heads, which we’ll get to in a minute when we go in depth on how to clean a shower head with baking soda.

​A Natural Cleaning Choice

Close up photo of shower head

Image by Claudia Peters from Pixabay

Many people prefer to clean with baking soda and vinegar because it’s nontoxic. If you wipe up the baking soda mixture thoroughly so that pets and children don’t get into it, you really have nothing to worry about. Unlike many store-bought cleansers, baking soda and vinegar don’t create harsh odors. (Some people strongly dislike the acid odor of vinegar, but it fades fast.) Best of all, the fizzing action of baking soda can be more effective than expensive store-bought cleaners.Besides learning how to clean a shower head with baking soda, make your life easier by learning how to use baking soda and vinegar to clean many other things. For example:

Clean Drains

You can clear a clogged drain using baking soda. To do this, pour baking soda down the drain, and then follow it with vinegar. Let the mixture sit and bubble in your drain for about ten minutes before rinsing with hot water.

Clean Dishwashers

Another great use for baking soda and vinegar is clearing out residue in your dishwasher. First, run your dishwasher with baking soda in the detergent compartment. When done, run it a second time with vinegar in the compartment. Not only will the interior of your dishwasher brighten up, but you’ll find that your dishwasher works more efficiently and your dishes come out cleaner.

Clean Washing Machines

Your washing machine could use some help, too. Run a load with water, no soap, and just some baking soda and vinegar to clean out hard water deposits.Now that we’ve talked about the many possibilities for cleaning with baking soda, let’s get into the details of how to clean a shower head with baking soda.

How to Clean a Shower Head With Baking Soda

Does It Need to Be Cleaned?

Think about your last shower: was the water pressure up to par? How about the spray? If you’re like most of us, your shower hasn’t worked at its full potential since you moved into your home or apartment.Now go and take a look at your shower head. Is there a white or gray build up around the holes? Does the shower head look grungy or tarnished? If so, it’s a good idea to figure out how to clean a shower head so you can enjoy the maximum benefits of your shower.The main reason many shower heads develop a white limescale build-up is because of “hard water.” Hard water is water with a high level of minerals in it. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Hard water can’t hurt you, and you can drink it and bathe in it without concern. The primary reason hard water can become an issue is the mineral build up.Learning how to clean a shower head will eliminate the problem of mineral residue clogging your shower head.

Time to Clean

Before starting to clean your shower head, check and be sure that no one in your household needs to take a shower for a little while. The shower head cleaning process requires that your shower head sit overnight in the cleaning mixture, so that will put your shower out of service until morning.The next step is figuring out whether your shower head can detach. The steps for how to clean your shower head differ depending on whether your shower head can be detached and removed from the bathroom.

Get Fizzy

Now it’s time to gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • ​Baking soda (of course)
  • ​White vinegar
  • ​Rubber gloves
  • ​Small mixing bowl
  • ​Measuring cup
  • ​Large heavy-duty Ziploc-type bag
  • ​Strong rubber band or zip ties
  • ​Dinner plate or shallow bowl
  • ​Old toothbrush

Now that you have your supplies together, it’s time to really practice how to clean a shower head with baking soda and get fizzy. You will create a baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution and insert or “hang” your shower head in the strong plastic bag.

Making Your Solution

First, put on your rubber gloves. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with one cup of vinegar in the mixing bowl and pour the solution into the plastic bag. The next steps depend on whether your shower head detaches.

Detachable Shower Heads

If your shower head detaches, bring your shower head to a table or kitchen counter. Insert the shower head into the bag with the baking soda solution. Adjust it so that the surface with the water holes and limescale buildup is completely covered by the baking soda and vinegar mix.Tighten a rubber band or zip tie around the neck of the shower head to keep it steady in the bag. Place the bagged shower head on a plate or shallow bowl (in case of leaks) and let the baking soda solution work overnight.

Undetachable Shower Heads

If you can’t remove your shower head from your shower, you must bring the cleaning operation to the bathroom and “hang” the bag inside the shower.Do your baking soda and vinegar mix in the bathroom sink. Fill the strong plastic bag with the solution, grab your rubber band or zip tie, and hold the bag up so that the shower head is immersed in the mix. (This will look similar to a horse with a feed bag: the “face” of the shower head is covered with the bag.)Fasten the bag by twisting a strong, thick rubber band around the top of the bag. You’ll leave the bag over the shower head overnight.

The Morning Reveal

After your shower head has soaked in the baking soda and vinegar mix overnight, you must do a few polishing touches before you fully enjoy your new shower experience:Put on a grubby t-shirt or something else that you’re not planning to wear outside of the house that day.Put on your rubber gloves, remove the shower head from the bag, and grab the old toothbrush.If you have a detachable shower head, bring it to the sink and rinse the remaining mixture and residue from the shower head.Using your toothbrush, get into the holes and scrub, adding a little more baking soda and vinegar at this step to help with the scrubbing action.Rinse your shower head and then hop in the shower! If you have a detached shower head, reattach it.Turn on the shower and let it run for a few minutes on hot to clear residue from the holes.At this point, your shower head should be clean. If for some reason you’re not satisfied, try repeating the process once more. 

​Conclusion

Shower head with water splashing on it

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

​Now that you know how to clean your shower head with baking soda, you’ll probably want to try using the baking soda and vinegar mix to clean appliances and other items around your home. Go for it! This non-toxic cleaning solution is an open secret when it comes to household cleaning. Feel free to spread the word!Knowing how to clean a shower head with baking soda is not going to transform your life. However, if your morning shower has a little bit more water pressure and more spray, you might find yourself with an extra spring in your step. A nice strong shower is just one of the little things that can brighten our days and make life feel a touch easier.

Featured Image: Image by 955169 from Pixabay