Making Homemade Luffa Soap

by Daisy

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?



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{ 33 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?

sylvia gonzalez February 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

My husband planted the seeds at the base of our mesquite tree . they grew throughout the tree like overly large fruit. Everyone asked what they were and we happily gave many of them away.

John DeCuyper February 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm

I bought your book and my wife and I have a question about your deodorant recipe. Could you please e-mail me at the address above?


Lee March 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

I’m trying desperately to get some seeds. Quite impossible here. Anyone have some to share? thanks.

Daisy March 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Lee–What country are you in?

Marla Sandridge April 4, 2016 at 8:55 pm

I live in Eastern TN and also cannot find Luffa seeds, do you know of a catalog where they can be purchased? Maybe you should go into the Lufffa seed business! Thanks for any help you can give me. Also what type of soil does the Luffa plants like, do they like shade or sun and what about water requirements? Thanks!

Daisy April 4, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Hi Marla, Both rare seeds ( and Park Seeds ( sell luffa gourd seeds. They like lots of sun and are pretty tolerant of drought once established. Hope you get yours started, they’re a beautiful plant and the luffas are a cool bonus.

Denise November 28, 2016 at 9:59 am

I noticed that your Luffa was green and rather wet when you peeled it. Do they need to dry out more after peeling? or dry more before peeling? Me and a friend are trying this for the first time. We peeled one that was still heavy before checking out some websites. Hoping we haven’t messed it up.

Daisy November 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Denise–Yes, I’ve learned since that I should have waited longer. It’s easiest once it’s completely dry, then give it a soak to soften the skin and it will peel right off.

Lala December 23, 2016 at 12:00 am

I grew loofa for the first time this year. I started the seeds indoor and did not get my plants out till March, but I had a pretty good crop. I am in Texas were there is a long growing season so I still have a few plants on the vines. I bought 10 heirloom seeds online, now I have hundreds of seeds.
I am making soap tomorrow for the first time, that is why I found your web site tonight. Thanks for the info.

Daisy December 23, 2016 at 8:15 am

Lala–They are so fun to grow. I love the big, yellow blooms. Good luck with your soap!

Marilyn March 8, 2017 at 10:41 pm

U can grow luffa but it takes alot of garden space the vines can grow 50 feet or more I grew them about 5 years ago. I need my garden space for my tomatoes,cukes,beans,squash,peppers,carotts,&kale.

NanciMac May 26, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Hello all. Love your information about the luffa gourd. What do you use if your gourd is bigger than the pringles can? Do you cut it to fit the can? Do you use all of the gourd so you have different sizes of luffas? What is the best thickness to cut if adding liquid soap? Or best size without the soap? Also, you can buy Non GMO seeds at Walmart on line at their online store. They need to ship them. Can’t get them in a store that I know of. Happy growing!

Daisy June 6, 2017 at 7:17 am

NanciMac–I have different sizes so I choose the ones which fit, but you could trim them to go in the can if you like. I cut mine about an inch and a half or so, nice chunks. Thanks!

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