The luffa soap is done.
Here’s how I did it.
First, I grew some luffa gourds.
And prepared them sponge-style.
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.
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?