How to Make a Luffa Scrubber
image by www.giftsoftheorient.net, down---to---earth.blogspot.com
Luffa scrubbers are costly because they are highly useful for exfoliating skin, roughly scrubbing cookware that can't tolerate steel wool, gently washing vegetables, and many uses in between. With some dirt, sunshine, water and luffa seeds, you, too, can grow these fruits and create your own luffa scrubbers.
How to Make a Luffa Scrubber
Determine what garden zone you live in (see resources). The zones are based upon last spring's frost date. This is important to know because luffa like to grow in warm weather and have a long growing season. Knowing your zone will help you figure out when to plant the luffa seeds.
Buy your seeds. Look online or peruse seed catalogs (see resources). Luffa is a squash and can also be spelled as loofa. Make sure to buy your seeds in the winter so that you can sow then directly into the ground, right after the last frost in your area.
Prepare your garden. If you don't have one, prepare an area solely for seeds. This can be at the base of a fence, the middle of your lawn, next to your house, etc. If your growing season is short, you can start your seeds indoors a month before the last frost date. This will give your squash a good head start on the season.
Give them room to grow. Luffa squash are vines and like to climb, so give them support. This can be as simple as putting a trellis nearby, throwing some stakes in the ground with string across them for them to grow up, or letting them climb a fence.
Luffa need warm weather to grow and set fruit. If it starts to get cold in your area, throw a light blanket over them at night and remove in the morning as it gets warm. This will extend the growing season of your squash.
Recover the squash from the vine once the vine leaves and luffa have turned brown. This is usually after the first frost has killed the vine. Let luffa sit on the vine for as long as they'll stay up so they dry in the sun. If you have to pick them earlier, leave them in a flat spot in the sun.
Break off the flower end and shake until the seeds fall out. Save the seeds for replanting.
Remove the skin. The skin on your dried luffa will be very hard. Soak the luffas in warm water for a half-hour and then peel off the skin to reveal the sponge underneath. Your luffa will not look pristine and white like you might see in a store.
Soak the luffa squash in water mixed with a little bleach or hydrogen peroxide. This will lighten the color of your sponges and get rid of any mold that may be on the sponge itself. Not everyone wants their loofa soaked in chemicals, so this step is optional.
Set your luffa out to dry for a few days. Pretty soon you'll have luffa squash ready to use for whatever scrubber purposes you desire. You can cut it in shorter lengths for ease of use.