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viral debate

@causingascenepodcast1/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

For as long as there have been showers, there have been shower debates.

We’ve debated about how often to shower, what time of day to shower, which direction to stand in the shower and whether or not shower snacks are appropriate.

But today, the hot topic of shower conversation is this: is using a washcloth the superior way to get clean, or just completely gross? You better believe people have strong opinions.

Though of course people have had this debate before, it recently went mainstream again thanks to a viral soundbite from “Causing a Scene with Sarah and Natalie.” Though hosts Sara Gretzky and Natalie Buck typically discuss pop culture topics, personal hygiene got thrown into the mix when Gretzky asked Buck if she was for or against washcloths.

“Do you use a washcloth?” Gretzky asked. Buck replied with a passionately whispered “no,” to which Gretzky agreed, “Me either... That is disgusting.”

Buck went on to joke that using a washcloth to clean her body was a “UTI waiting to happen,” before Gretzky informed her that they were likely “in the minority” with this opinion.

She then asked her co host the all important question “what are you washing your butt with?” Unapologetically, Buck answered, “My hands” and declared she’d “burn” her washcloth after using it.

From there, the comments section was all a flutter. Many could not understand why Gretzky and Buck were pro-hands and anti-washcloth.

@causingascenepodcast1 Do you use a wash cloth? #causingascene #podcast #shower ♬ original sound - Causing A Scene

“Hands? That’s like using your finger to brush your teeth,” one person wrote.

Another retorted, “NOT using a washcloth is a UTI waiting to happen.”

But, as adamant as viewers seemed to be that washcloths are superior to hands, experts seem to think differently.

Both washcloths and loofahs are breeding grounds for bacteria since they are likely to never fully dry out in between washings, nor is someone likely to sterilize them often enough in between showers. If you are this diligent, kudos to you.

Of course, washcloths do beat out loofahs since you can more easily throw them into the washing machine after each use, but simply using your own hands (once they are washed, that is) will not only get the dirt off, but do it in a way that’s gentle for sensitive skin. So…sorry washcloth folks, but hands are technically the superior hygiene tool.

But what about exfoliation? you might ask. There are ways to get a good scrubbing without a washcloth, including cleansers with chemical exfoliants like salicylic or glycolic acid and dry brushing. Exfoliating mitts, which obviously still need to be dried and cleaned in between washes, are also a good option because they have a low carbon footprint,” according to Dr. Elizabeth Trattner in an interview with Oprah Daily.

The overall verdict seems to be that washcloths aren’t so detrimental to skin health that you should stop using one immediately. So if you’ve grown attached to your shower accoutrement, just be sure to dry it out, wash it regularly and maybe avoid using it for your face or private parts.

And still, even if expert opinion doesn’t change anyone’s mind, it’s funny to see the hills people are willing to die on when it comes to their shower routine.