I stumbled across a discussion on social media the other day regarding a topic I had never given much thought to.

A friend of mine posed this question: I wonder why (in commercials) they hardly show people using wash cloths while taking a shower or a bath? Do any of y’all really not use wash cloths?

When I was a kid we used a washcloth (also called a washrag) when we showered. But I just assumed people stopped using washcloths years ago when they invented the bath sponge — that ball of layered, textured spongy material on a little rope.

But apparently there are some die-hard washcloth proponents out there who simply cannot abide using anything else.

I read the comments on my friend’s post and I’ll share some of them with you. But it appears that people are in three camps:

1. People who use washcloths and harshly judge others who do not.

2. People who use loofahs, sponges or bath poofs.

3. People who use only a bare bar of soap.

For the record, let me set up my shower routine for y’all. First of all, I want the water to be a scalding 138 degrees. I want steam to be billowing out of the shower even before I step in. Then I will lather up a bath sponge and scrub my skin until I have scraped off the entire top layer, revealing a brand new layer of baby skin. That makes me feel like I’m clean.

Here’s why I don’t like to use a washcloth. To me, it feels like a washcloth just wipes your skin. It doesn’t scrub it.

However, there are lots of people who disagree with me and won’t even consider using anything other than a washcloth. Here are a few of the responses on my friend’s post ...

♦ I know people that don’t even have them (washcloths) in their house.

♦ I can’t do it. I gotta have me a good wash cloth and a good lather! I go through soap so fast.

♦ We use wash cloths. That is nasty not to have one. And I have two. One for my face, one for my body.

♦ I have to have a wash cloth. My hubby uses just the soap. He says it’s a military thing for him. But I wash the soap before I use it to make it clean.

♦ You must exfoliate (said in my best Austrian accent) — no, but really though! I use a wash cloth.

♦ I use a puff on a stick to wash. However I’m weird about drying off. I buy GOOD TP! I use some to dry my nether regions because I don’t want to wipe my face on what dried my butt.

♦ Am I the only one who likes exfoliating bar soap? I’m definitely getting that impression.

♦ I use the net thing for my body and a washcloth for my face.

♦ I use wash cloths. Always have ... always will

♦ I use a wash cloth. Not using one is disgusting. I guess those scrunchy net things are okay, but they harbor bacteria and need to be replaced often.

I have a couple questions for the people who use washcloths. How often do you throw them in the wash? After each use? Or do you shower a couple times then wash them? Or are they always clean because you’re essentially “washing” them every time you shower?

And I also have a question for the people who only use a bar of soap. Do you feel completely clean without using something textured to scrub your skin?

So then I wanted to know where some well-known locals stood on the issue. I sent out text messages to a few folks asking about their showering routines. Understandably, some were confused and mistrustful. A couple people were reluctant to allow me to use their names. So I just sort of described them.

Jay Shell, Rome City Brewing Co. — I use a washcloth and THEN use just the bar to be extra clean. If that’s even possible.

Randy Davis, media mogul — Just a bar of soap and my hands.

John Bailey, Rome News-Tribune — A washcloth because it allows you to evenly spread the soap.......That’s a weird question. What is this for?

Molly Caldwell, Culbreth Carr Watson Animal Clinic — A loofah. ...as long as you’re not going to make fun of me.

A well-known male attorney — One of those poofy things with body wash....am I anonymous in answering?

Art Newell, city planner — Washcloth.

Sammy Rich, city manager (and my arch nemesis) — Just manly soap.

Semi-famous female private school employee — Just soap and my hands.

Mike Colombo, FMC — I use a scrunchie (bath sponge).

Scotty Hancock, county commissioner — I use a washcloth and men’s body wash......I feel like this is a setup.

Monica Sheppard, columnist and beekeeper — a bar of soap.

Anonymous high ranking county employee — I’m a little nervous as to what the correct answer is supposed to be. I love a soap sponge but when I’m out, a washcloth or regular sponge will do. I’m not picky.

Blaine Kirby, mortgage consultant — Washcloth.

What do you use? A washcloth, sponge or just a bar of soap?

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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