Introduction: Travel Pouf

Hotels are great. They have specialists to make your bed for you, bacon for breakfast, and free slippers. What they don't have, however, is sufficiently lathering shower gel. Time and time again when I visit a hotel and opt to use the in room soaps, I am shocked by the absolute lack of potency in the liquid bath soap.
The natural cure to this is to use a loofah or pouf. Here lies the catch-22, though. If you're concerned enough about space to not bring your own soap, or just don't want to have to worry about it, you're definitely not going to be able to fit or remember the fully blown, full sized shower accessory that hotel soap necessitates.
In my fight against this problem, I could only come to one logical solution: a smaller pouf. Spurred by the Unusual Uses Bathroom Contest, I developed such a product. Made from all bathroom materials, the Travel Pouf provides dirty travelers with the lather they need and expect at a hotel.
Some might argue that hotels deliberately provide you with a smaller cloth intended for washing, but for many, like myself, the washcloth just doesn't have the same handling and lather-control as a good pouf.

This mini-pouf is also is wonderful as a facial exfoliator. Some of the exfoliation tools sold in stores are super abrasive, and the normal poufs are rather large to use on your face. Try it!

Step 1: Tools & Materials

  • 10 Inch square piece of mesh (Can be obtained from old, full sized pouf)
  • 2 feet of dental floss
  • De-greaser of choice (Optional)
  • Scissors or Knife
  • Measuring tape

Step 2: Preparing the Mesh

If you're already starting with a blank piece of mesh, skip this step.

Take your old pouf and peel back the layers until you find a string in the middle. This holds the whole thing together; cut it. You'll get a small piece of string and a very long piece of tubular mesh.
In order to get an accurate cut for the mesh, measure your length of mesh when it's pulled tightly from both ends. Use a ruler and cut about a foot of the mesh off from the end. This will equate to about an 8 to 10 inch square of unstretched mesh.
This is a good opportunity to clean the mesh. If your pouf is old, it'll be pretty oily. Normal soap doesn't seem to fix it, so try using some detergent or rubbing alcohol on it. Wash your hands, and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Putting It Together

Take your tube of mesh and open it into a ring. double-over this ring like you would a rubber band or hair tie. You want to increase the mesh concentration.
Get out your floss, and pull around a foot of it out. Without cutting the piece, close the lid of the container to make it easier to work with. Tie the end of the floss through the hole and around the mesh ring securely. Keep a long loose end of the knot.
Spread the ring again, holding it on the outside of the fingers in a "C" shape. Start wrapping the floss around the center of the ring snugly. When you're finished wrapping it, cut the floss with about 3 inches to spare, and tie the ends of the floss together. Don't worry about the knots being perfect, the waxy nature of the floss secures it pretty well by itself.

Step 4: Using It!

Spread apart the mesh in order to make it pouf-ier. You may find that the Travel Pouf isn't as fun or comfortable as your normal sized pouf, but it does the job of acting as an intermediary suds proxy better than a hand would.
Especially at the size made here, the pouf does not really maintain any of the mesh's abrasive properties, it's purpose is mostly to promote lather and dispersion of suds. Since the hotel soap is usually so watery, it's nice to be able to pour the soap right onto the pouf and waste less.
One technique I've developed is to put a finger through one of the mesh loops. It then functions as just an extension of your hand. It might be best to add a string loop for this purpose, but I chose to keep it simple.

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