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Making Luffa Soap

In an earlier blog post, we discovered how easy it is to grow luffas. Making soap from luffas is a fun and easy craft project for all ages.

The finished soap scrubbers can be used in the tub, shower, or to remove garden grime from hands. The scrubbers may also be packaged for gift giving or sold as a fundraiser for school gardening projects.

Supplies You Will Need:

Luffa sponges (homegrown or purchased)
Soap molds or small plastic containers
Serrated kitchen knife
Spoon
Cutting board
Glass measuring cup with a spout or other microwave-safe bowl with a spout
2 lb. block of melt and pour soap base (available at craft stores and online retailers)
Small spray bottle
Rubbing alcohol
Essential oils (optional)

Optional supplies for cleaning homegrown luffas:

Bucket
Household bleach
Gloves
Eye protection

Step by step guide to making luffa soap scrubbers:

Note: Adults should supervise each step of this project. Make sure children wash excess soap off their hands before touching their eyes or mouth.

Luffa sponges are ready to harvest when the skin feels loose and brittle around the hardened fibers inside. To process the sponges, peel the skin off and shake the seeds loose. Be sure to save the seeds for future crops!

Luffas that are grown in your garden may need to be bleached prior to use to remove any mold and mildew on the fibers.

Full-sized luffas can be purchased from local growers or online to use for this craft project.

Remove outer luffa skin and seeds. Soak dingy luffas in a solution of 10 parts water to 1-part bleach for about an hour to remove any stains. Allow them to dry completely before making soaps scrubbers.
Next, use a serrated knife to slice whole luffas into rounds approximately 1 to 1 ½ inch thick.  The thickness will depend somewhat on the soap molds you choose.

We chose oval-shaped silicone soap molds for this project.  Small flexible plastic containers can also be used. Upcycled food packaging could be used i.e. yogurt containers. Shallow molds work best for removing soaps without damaging them.

Purchase melt and pour soap base from a craft store or online retailer.  Clear soap bases allow the luffa to show through, making them visually appealing. A solid white soap base can be used, and colorants added. These products are also available where soap making supplies are sold.  Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the soap into smaller cubes.  Place the cubes in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup.

Melt the soap base following package directions. We found microwaving in 30-second increments and stirring often worked best.

If desired, add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil and stir well to distribute.

Place luffa slices in molds and spritz each with rubbing alcohol to reduce air bubbles on the surface of finished soaps.

An adult should pour the melted soap base into each mold to avoid burns and spills. Fill each mold to the top with the melted soap base.  Spray again with rubbing alcohol to keep the luffas from floating in the molds.  Do not move molds while the soap base is still melted. Allow them to cool in place until hardened.

Once the soap has cooled enough to move, place molds in the freezer for a few minutes to make removing them easier.

After allowing the soap to reach room temperature, remove the soap from the molds and wrap in plastic wrap or package in baggies to keep them from taking on moisture until ready to use. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Virginia Dubose and Sierra Zardus.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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