luffa sponge soaps

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I need instructions on the easiest way to make luffa sponge soaps.

P

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

cold process or melt and pour?

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Probably melt and pour. I've never made soap before...don't want to blow myself up..*G*

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

That's easy then, there are two ways of doing it. One is to have a long skinny mould (I used a french bread pan with the ends closed off with duct tape) pour in some soap, lay in the luffa and cover with more soap. It may take a bit of poking as it cools to get the soap to stay sunken. When it hardens, remove from the mold and slice with a sharp serrated knife. If you have lines from the knife, just hit it with a hairdryer to melt them smooth. he other way si to use slices of the luffa and put them in muffin tins or other moulds that fit and fill with melted soap. Pop it out and Taa-Daa!

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks so much for that info. Do you spray the pan or tins w/ a release(i.e:Pam cooking spray)? Would the melted soap be to hot for candy molds? So many question.

Off to find some soap making supply webpages.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

I don't remember spraying mine, I put them in the freezer to shrink and they popped out, but spray would probably make it easier. It may recomend it on the package, better check. I heavily grease all my cold process moulds. Melt and pour does'nt have to be that hot when you pour it so candy moulds would work. I use them for my soild lotion bars to make tiny ones like chocolates and stuff.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks again.

Think I'll go look for a Soap Making Book( for Dummies) on amazon.com. Went to a soap makers supply webpage and just got confused....LOL Didn't have the faintest idea what I need to get started.

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

Hi, I have never made soap before. But Im going to be growing luffa this year & am wanting to make luffa soaps.
Can you add fresh goats milk to the melt & pour.
Thanks
Cheryl

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

I don't think so. I have added goatsmilk powder, It had a bit of a grain to it, but disolved instantly when you used it. If you added fresh goatmilk, it would dilute the soap and you'd have a runny mess.

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks , I was kind of thinking that way but having never madr soap before .
where can you find powder GM.
thanks
Cheryl

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

Unfortunately, I buy it in 50 pound bags for feeding orphaned fawns. You can find buttermilk powder at grocery stores and it has similar properties. Or youou might try some of the soap supply places on line. The other option is to order a goatmilk soap base or noodles already done. CHeck out Soapcrafters site, they have wonderful products.

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

when I have made my luffa soaps in the past, I pre sliced my sponges then used small bowls or containers that fit the sponge. Poured the M&P soap and used a chops stick to poke the sponge down into the soap until it remained there on its own. :)

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I didn't get around to planting my luffa seeds last year so this is still on my to-do list.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

This sounds like fun. Tried growing the luffas, but did ot have any luck on them. will have to try again!

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

If I find a place to grow mine,I'll share with ya BB.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

*GGGG*









Toss....

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY
Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

bigred & BLOSSOMBUDDY
Here is what we have set up to grow our Luffas. Its a cattle panel tied to the fence & 2 T-posts makes a nice arch way . don't you think it will look great with luffa hanging down.

Thumbnail by denimangle
Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

problems not what to grow them on but where. Small garden and by the time I get the veggies planted...no room

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh I have done the cattle panel thing... done it with birdhousgourds, peas and a few others. My problem here is wet feet. I flood. Growing sweetcorn is not an option. Growing potatoes.. yes, if I can get them in early.

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

BLOSSOMBUDDY & bigred

see the blue barrels in the picture Im planting in them not in the ground No wet feet ,no moles, etc. It only takes a little space. The panel is 4' wide and you can arch it as hi as you want we are 8' from the fence so we are arch is between 7 to 8'ground to top So a 4x8' space is all you need ...
Im also growing birdhousgourds.
Cheryl

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Cheryl, That is a cool method. Unfortuenately too for me, location location location... only location is to far to drag a hose to water...its do or die here! And often quite a bit of the later!

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I might be able to find a spot in my hub's big garden on the fence

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

bigred ,
ours is 8 feet from the fence but you can push it in closer
or you can take 4 T-post and make your arch anywhere.
good luck

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

So, this is off topic, but not really LOL I grew loofas once, and couldn't get them cleaned to produce the sponges, they ended up molding. ARGH!! Would love to grow and get my own sponges out of them.

Peggy do you do this? would love to know how to

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I've cleaned loofas once many years ago. If I remember correctly,I soaked them in a bucket of bleach water (you don't have to use bleach if you want them natural)for a couple days(how many I don't recall),skin will start sluffing off when it does,take them out and finish removing the skin/peel ,put them some where w/good air flow to dry out. When they're dry you can shake and or prod the seeds out.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Well, I must have picked them too soon cause I did that, but I didn't let them soak for days. Must have been why.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

I think you can totally let them air dry for the loofas and the hide will crackle off too. The washe the sponges after shaking the seeds out.

We did birdhousegourds a few years back and they molded. But the cool thing on them was that they cleaned up and had a haiku look to them. Whe just chucked them on a hayrack and left them go for months. Then washed them. I still have some and they ar great yet for projects.

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

From what I have been told/read you can let them dry on the vine. Then peel and do the bleach soak after you shake out the seeds (if you are keeping the seeds you dont want to bleach them) Or you can peel , squeeze out seeds , then dry & Bleech. Guess there is no right way .

The birdhouse gourds (im growing them this year also ) do mold on the outside but just scrubs off.

I hope its all as easy as I have read & been told :)
Now to get them to grow ...

Question if your not growing your own Luffa where do you buy it ?
Id like to try some out before next fall...
Cheryl

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

don't take my word for it....it's been a lot of years since I did it.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Birdhouse gourds...the little gourds mold too. But depending on the look you want...haiku is interesting!

Is a luffa considered a gourd?

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY
Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

No I don't believe so .. Luffa is a veg. you can eat them if picked young.

West Palm Beach, FL

I grow luffa every year for soap making and other craft projects and for gift baskets. The best way to peel a luffa is fresh off the vine. It is ready to "pick" when you give it the squeeze test and it gives and no longer is hard and the stem has turned brown and dried out. Don't be in a hurry to pick them you want to be able to sqeeze them some. If the luffa is popping and crunching when you squeeze it then it is ready to peel. That is the connecting skin and strings giving from the luffa. Pull off the bottom end with a slight twist. You should now be able to tear/cut the skin with your finger while running it up under the edge to the top. If this is to difficult then it is not ready. If you have made it this far then you should be able to run your finger under the skin and shuck it right off in one big piece. Now lay the sponge somewhere where it can dry for a day or two. You may wish to turn it over once. Then go back and shake the seeds out. Now you can wash it in the washer( I fill the tub up with luffas) with a small amount of bleach. You will have to wipe the washer out afterwards. Or use a bucket instead. I then put them in the dryer for about 20 mins. They are still a bit damp when I take them out.

For soap making I use a piece of PVC tupe with a cap. Put my luffa into the PVC pour my M&P soap let it harden, then push it out and slice it off. I have also used different sized molds, putting my piece of luffa in the mold and pouring the soap in. Usually have to hold the luffa down until the soap hardens some.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

ladygreen,

Thanks for that helpful info.


I didn't get my loofa seeds sewn due to a lot of flash flooding this year. Wonder if it's too late to sew them?

Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX(Zone 8b)

ladygreensleeves,
Thanks so much for all the great info ...My vines are growing and I have flowers but no babies yet .....
I was planning on useing either a PVC pipe or a chips can for my soap making
Do you have any pictures of your luffa soap you would post.
Cheryl

West Palm Beach, FL

Of all the pictures I have taken not one includes my soaps....lol. I was making them mainly for family and friends and decided to try selling some at a festival held every year at my old home town. Don't you know I sold everyone of them! My neighbor raved about how great they were and said I should, and since I was going to be there anyway I thought I would try. Wished I had taken more of them now. I sold the luffhas and seeds too.
How many of you use them in other ways, like at the kitchen sink to scrub the dishes or teflon pots and pans. Perfect for that as well as they won't scratch the teflon.

Bigred, you could try sowing your seed now. Just stay on top of their water needs. Mine have that wilted look during the heat of the day in late july and august and then spring back as it starts cooling off. I make sure they get a good drink every other day or so soaking the ground and the vines.

My vines are growing like crazy right now and flowering, have seen one or two female flowers but mostly male flowers. I started the vines to cover a old ugly fence and then when I ended up with so many luffhas I needed a way to use them. Thats how I got started with using them in soaps. I love vines and luffhas definitally cover that topic. As well as any fence or support or anything else their little tentrils can crasp ahold of.

I have seeds, lots and lots of seeds for anyone who is interested.

Heres a picture of the luffha on the vine last year.




Thumbnail by ladygreensleeves
West Palm Beach, FL

oops wrong picture......try this one.

Thumbnail by ladygreensleeves
Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

I wanted to try luffas.. maybe next year if I get seeds. If I do do them though, I will need to put up a trellis and so will do lot of plants.

If you have some seeds I would be glad to have them! Please D-mail me! Thanks

West Palm Beach, FL

boy oh boy do I have the seeds!!! How many do you want? I started with 10 little ole seeds I purchased on ebay and now have a gallon freezer bag full. Just send me a bubble envie with a return label and postage and I will return it with your seeds. I will send you my addy via d-mail. Anybody else just send me a d-mail and I will do the same :0)

Regina

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Rediga, you have mail! Load me up!

I want to grow a bunch of these to give to the food pantry at our church. Then the people can have a scrubby too!!

Id like to try to do the soap making. Been wanting a recipe for glycerin soaps! Silkie smooth as that is! Have no clue on how to!

Ok, well look forward to your seed soon!

Peg, hope you can grow them too this year. I am further north and think it may be a lost cause, but heck.. could try a small few of Reginas when they arrive! Will let you know how it pans out!

Right now my watermelons and cantalopes are only about an inch tall, so.. hmmm loofa.. might be late, but it has been a late spring so harvest late too! Gonna be a toss up, and dont know if you dont try!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Got so excited could not spell yer name!! LOL!

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