Making Homemade Luffa Soap

by Daisy on 01/13/2012

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The luffa soap is done.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I grew some luffa gourds.

And prepared them sponge-style.

You can buy luffas already prepared.  I’ve never done it so I don’t have a recommended seller, but you can do an online search and comparison shop.

Now for the soap part.

I used this recipe for pure olive oil soap.  For fragrance, I used 2 oz. litsea essential oil, which is nice and lemony, & 2 oz. lime essential oil.

I spilled another good ounce of the lime all over the floor and myself.  I smelled awesome.

The set-up, from left, scale, essential oil, one of the Pringles cans for molds, one of the luffas, olive oil, stick blender, lye, & water.

I put the luffas into the Pringles can molds.

Sliced off the extra with a serrated blade.

Then I poured the lye into the water (according to the amounts specified in the recipe) and let it cool to just warm, not hot.

I added the lye/water mix to the olive oil and blended . . .

. . . until it reached a very light trace.  In the pic below, you can just barely see the swirl of the blender I drew through the soap.  I wanted a light trace so the soap would pour easily into the voids in the luffa and I knew adding the essential oils would precipitate a thicker trace. Then I blended in the essential oils.  It did thicken the soap, but not too much.

I transferred the soap to a pitcher to make it easier to pour into the molds–not an essential step, but it did help.  As I poured in the soap, I periodically thumped the can on the counter to get rid of any air pockets.

This recipe would cover at least three luffas.  Here, I made two luffa molds full plus some big chunky bars without luffa in them with an oatmeal container and a tea box as molds.

It took about two days to set up enough to slice.  Usually this recipe is a very fast hardener, but it took longer this time, perhaps because of the luffa, perhaps because of the phase of the moon, I don’t know.  Soap can be contrary sometimes.

I used an electric knife to slice the soap after I tore off the Pringles can.

It’s still curing, but it’s looking good. And smelling very deliciously lemon-lime.

In case you were wondering just what to do with luffa soap, you use it like a scrubby soap bar.  Luffa is scrubby, but sort of soft, too, when it gets wet–very skin friendly.  Once the soap is used up, you still have the scrubby segment of luffa.

Do you like luffa?  How do you use it?

 

 



{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynnette January 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

Nothing yet but I’m dreaming of the possibilities! I had thought of making some luffa soap too…we’ll see. I seem to be nervous about making my first batch of soap but you make it look so easy.

Lisa Pie January 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I have been growing my own loofahs for several years now. I gift the pretty ones and use the not-so-pretty ones for our family. I have found that the old previous years’s back scrubby ones become really good tile and grout scrubbers. Also a section cut about 4 inches thick is a perfect pot scrubber.

You can cut them up into little chunks to put into soap bars or even shred them up for hand scrubby soap bars.

Also, if you feel like you are getting a bumper crop of loofahs, when they are teeny and young you can cook them like a zucchini.

Amy B January 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I like growing loofah and making soap like you do, too. I read once that way back when, loofahs were used as kitchen pot scrubbers. I tried it with one of my tougher loofahs, and it works great! (And lasts a long time!)

Abigail January 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

Darn it! Here I had my garden all planned out, but now I think I need to add some Luffa gourds! :)

KeLLy Ann January 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

This is great! I can’t wait to try this!

Javalady62 January 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

This looks fabulous ! Now please tell me about the Loofah Gourd Plants. Wat kind of space and height to they require ?? I think I shall add them to my gardening wish list.

Heather January 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Okay, now that I’m intrigued, care to share your soap recipe??? PLEASE!! :)

Tomato Lady January 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Heather–Yes, just follow the link to my pure olive oil soap!

Ryan Michelle February 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I had no idea you could grow luffa in your own garden! Thank you so much for all of the fun (and amazingly useful) ideas you share. My husband and I recently stumbled across Little House in the Suburbs at the local bookstore and it has truly inspired us!

Last week we made our first batch of lye soap using your recipe. And last night, we made another batch – but this time with lemongrass. Thank you again for sharing all of your great ‘recipes’ and how-to’s. I look forward to reading more!

Tomato Lady February 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Ryan Michelle–You’re so sweet to let us know! I’m glad you found the book and have gone over to the soap side. It really isn’t all that difficult, is it? How do you like the lemongrass smell? I’ve been wondering about that–it smells a bit weird to me in the jar, but I imagined it would be different in soap.

Mudgirl March 7, 2012 at 5:29 am

I, too, had no idea that luffa is just a gourd! I’m collecting my seeds for spring planting and will add this to the mix. Thanks so much for sharing!

Kendra March 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’m excited to try this. I bought a packet of the Luffa Gourd seeds about a month ago, but it said not to plant until April for my area. I have some lavender essential oil already so I’ll probably try that in my soap (and maybe throw in some actual lavender pieces as well). Thanks for the recipe!

Tina June 9, 2012 at 7:31 am

I have never thought of growing luffa! Honestly, i thought it was some exotic thing you couldn’t get here. I love this DIY. Thanks so much for the enlightenment~

Evik December 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Awesome! I did not think about growing the luffa and I really like the idea. I was already thinking about making luffa soap, and wondering what it is like the combination – you answered my question, I really like your style of writing :)

Well, I think it is time to make some luffa soap! Thanks again, I will have a look over your blog.

Sharon Moore June 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I loved reading about your loofah soap. I make goat milk soap on our small farm and am very interested in growing the loofah gourds. Do you know where I might get some seed.

Sharon Moore June 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

How long does it take for the loofah gourds to reach maturity? A friend gave me some seed but I didn’t know if it was too late to plant this year.

Daisy June 22, 2013 at 4:44 am

Sharon Moore–If you have a long season where you live, you might just make it. It will be cutting it close, but it wouldn’t hurt to try a few seeds.

Louise Walker June 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

It has been fun reading all about luffas! I purchased a luffa with a long bamboo handle so that I could exfoliate and scrub my back. When I used it the first time, these brown things started dropping out. I freaked out! I thought it was some kind of bug or something. After my shower, I inspected the brown things and determined that they were seeds. I had thought that a luffa came from the sea like a sea sponge, so I am wondering how these seeds got in there. I am thinking maybe they were stored in a warehouse prior to shipping to the store and some little mouse stored his seeds inside. I soaked the luffa and used a knitting needle to get the rest of the seeds out. I couldn’t stop wondering about those seeds, and that led me to Google and this site! Eureka! I am so excited to read about this plant and all the things one can do with it. I don’t have a garden anymore, but I am going to try to convince my daughter to grow some in her garden. I will enjoy my luffa even more now that I have this great information! I hope to make some luffa soap at some point. Sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great information!

Daisy June 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Louise Walker–I like the little mouse theory! How funny about the bug shower, I’m sure you didn’t find it very funny at the time! You’re not alone thinking they are from the sea, I’m sure a lot of people assume the same thing.

Eunice July 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Hi am just wondering how much of a water discount you recommend to help get the hardening and aging process down a little bit?

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