Time: 15 mins
Yields: 4-6 soaps (depending on the mould)
Luffa soaps are great for rough skin, like on your knees, elbows or feet. I love using them in my foot bath after a scrub, but also have one in my shower. These ones are for my foot bath and I’ve used a combination of lemon eucalyptus essential oil and peppermint essential oil to keep my feet smelling and feeling fresh. Also lemon eucalyptus is very effective to keep sandflies away, and since my bare feet always seem to attract them at night, I’m hoping that the scent will discourage them feasting on my feet and find someone else to nibble on.
You can use any melt and pour soap base for this project, even transparent soap base if you like. I’m using the SFIC Shea Butter soap base which I bought from Pure Nature. I really like this base because it has this nice creamy lather and it is one of the soap bases that is the least drying to your skin. They also have really nice luffa that are easy to cut into rounds.
The mould I’m using is one of my old Milky Way moulds. Oldies under soap making probably still remember them. They were probably one of the first companies to over soap moulds in the 90s. I don’t think they exist anymore and were bought up by Crafters Choice? Maybe someone can tell me more?
PREPARATION: Cut the luffa into rounds, the same width as your mould. Don’t wet it, we are using it dry. Add a luffa round to each cavity of the mould.
ONE: Cut up the melt and pour soap base into small blocks. You will have to eyeball the amount, because how much you need depends on the mould you are using and the sizes of the luffa rounds. I like to be safe than sorry, and always cut up a little more. Any extra soap I can always use in another mould or for another time.
TWO: Add the cubes to a microwaveable bowl or jug and heat it in the microwave on high in short bursts. I usually start with 20-30 seconds and then do short 10 second bursts. Always keep an eye on your soap in the microwave. You don’t want it to boil and you definitely don’t want it to boil over. It’s better to have some small clumps floating around, which you can melt by stirring.
THREE: Once it’s melted add your essential oil or fragrance at about 10 drops per soap. Again this depends on the size of your mould, but also on the essential oil and fragrance. Some are very strong, and others are very volatile (they evaporate quickly). I’m using only 8 drops here because lemon eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are rather strong. The blend is made with 1 part peppermint essential oil to 3 parts lemon eucalyptus essential oil. Or in other words 2 drops peppermint and 6 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oils per soap. If you have 4 soaps like me, then it’s 8 drops peppermint and 24 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oils.
Stir well! Fragrance or essential oils that haven’t been stirred in properly, will end up floating to the top, leaving these oily residues. The same will happen if you use too much fragrance or essential oils. If that does happen, just wipe it off.
FOUR: Pour the now melted and scented soap into each cavity with the luffa round. You can fill them all the way to the top, or if you like the look of mine, fill them just below the top of the luffa.
FIVE: Leave it to cool down and harden completely before unmoulding.
Because most melt and pour soap bases contain a lot of glycerin (hence also called glycerin soaps), they will attract moisture and ‘sweat’. To keep them dry, wrap them in cellophane or place them into cello bags, or store them in an airtight container.
- soap mould with round cavities
- melt and pour soap base of your choice
- luffa or ready cut luffa rounds
- essential oil or fragrance of your choice
- Cut the luffa into rounds, the same width as the cavity in the mould.
- Add one luffa round to each cavity.
- Cut the melt and pour soap base into cubes.
- Add to a microwaveable bowl or jug.
- Heat in microwave for 30 seconds and then in short 10 second bursts until melted. Do not let it boil!
- Add your fragrance or essential oil at approximately 10 drops per soap, depending on how strong the scent is and how large the mould.
- Stir well, making sure the fragrance or essential oil is well mixed into the soap.
- Pour the soap into each cavity of the mould.
- Let set and cool down completely before unmoulding.
- Store the soaps in an airtight container, wrap in cellophane or place in cello bags to prevent ‘sweating’.