Exfoliating is one of the best things you can do for your skin. It helps to rid your skin of dead cells and promotes the growth of new ones. One of the most common exfoliants to use with soap is loofah, a plant related to the cucumber that can serve as a scrubbing tool when dried. You can use sliced, ground, or whole loofahs when making both cold-process or melt-and-pour soap. This project uses a melt-and-pour soap base and a piece of loofah in a PVC pipe mold. It's fairly quick and easy to make, and you can add fragrance or coloring to customize the soap to your preferences. Plus, this loofah soap can make a thoughtful homemade gift.
Equipment / Tools
- 12-inch PVC pipe mold with end cap
- Kitchen scale
- Serrated knife
- Pyrex pitcher
- Whisk for fragrance/coloring (optional)
- Small measuring cup for fragrance/coloring (optional)
- 12 inch clean, dry loofah
- 48 ounces clear melt-and-pour soap base
- fragrance and/or soap coloring (optional)
Prepare the Mold
Make sure the PVC pipe soap mold is free of any dust or dirt on the inside. Firmly put on the end cap. If you don't have an end cap, you can use several layers of plastic wrap and some tight rubber bands to seal the end.
Insert the Loofah
Slide the loofah down into the mold. If it happens to be longer than the mold, cut the end off so it's even with the mold. If it's shorter, add another piece to fill the mold.
Cut, Weigh, and Melt the Soap
Cut the soap base into chunks, place them in the Pyrex, and weigh them. The pipe mold should hold around 40 ounces of soap base, depending on the size and shape of the loofah. To make sure you have enough soap, melt a full 48 ounces (or 3 pounds). Put the Pyrex with the soap base in the microwave, and melt it in one- to two-minute intervals until it is hot (about 180 degrees) and completely liquid.
Add Fragrance Oil and Coloring (Optional)
If you wish to incorporate fragrance in the soap, whisk in 1 ounce of your desired fragrance oil per 16 ounces of soap. If you're using soap coloring, add it at this point as well, following the directions on the product.
Pour the Soap Into the Pipe Mold
Slowly pour the melted soap into the pipe mold, leaving an inch or two of space at the top. Carefully tap the mold against a hard surface, such as a countertop, to dislodge any air bubbles from the soap. Then, fill it the rest of the way with soap.
Set the mold aside for two to three hours, so the soap can cool and harden.
Prepare to Remove the Soap From the Mold
After the soap has cooled completely, it's time to get it out of the mold. Put the mold in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you plan to remove the soap, and then pop the cap off the end of the mold.
Then, start pushing from the bottom of the mold to slide the log of soap out of the top. The soap will move slowly at first, so keep applying firm pressure until about an inch is out at the top.
Slice the Soap as You Slide It Out of the Mold
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut through the loofah soap as you slide it out of the mold. Slice each soap round roughly an inch thick. Use the edge of the mold to help you make straight cuts.
Head for the Shower
After your soap is sliced, it's ready to use. You can either use it as a body scrub or as hand soap.