Archive | 4:11 pm

Soapy Sponges

16 Feb

Way last summer, during Alphabe-Thursday’s Rainbow Summer School, I wrote about my green luffa gourds growing in the garden.  Then I talked about how to pick, peel and clean the luffa gourds in the fall.  I figured it was only proper to finish their story for Alphabe-Thursday’s letter S, for Soapy Sponges.

Once the gourds were thoroughly dried, I cut them into two inch wide chunks.

They were still filled with seeds, so I continued washing them.

I washed and washed and picked seeds and picked seeds.

Once wet, they’re really a sponge!

Finally, I had most of the seeds out, so I put them in the bowl with some bleach.

I covered them and let them soak overnight.

When I checked them in the morning, I was still finding seeds!  I can’t believe how many seed these gourds had in them.

By the time I got done bleaching, and deseeding, and rinsing they looked much better.

I gave them a final rinse, squeezed them out, and let them dry (after picking out even more seeds).

After they dried, I prepared them to be filled with soap.  I needed some parchment (or freezer) paper to wrap them in.

It’s not always easy to get the tape to hold on parchment paper, so I had to go to the ultimate tape–duct tape will do any job!

Then I set them in a lined 1 pound candy box so I could fill them with soap.

I made my soap and poured it into the holes in the sponge.

Because I was also using this to fill fancy molds, I wanted it to be fairly thin so I didn’t have air bubbles.  That didn’t work so well, for the luffa sponges.  The soap just ran right out the bottom.

I decided to wait before filling the other two.  I added my dye and filled my other molds knowing that would give the soap a bit of time to thicken a little.  Hopefully that would keep it from running out.

Much better!  After letting the sponges sit for a day, it was time to remove them from their wrappings.

Well, there’s soap all through it, but there’s a solid chunk on the bottom from where it leaked out.

Then I did the pink ones.  Much better.

I guess they turned out okay, especially the pink ones.  Of course, the final test will come when I can try them out after they’ve cured for four weeks.  Hmmm…what letter will we be on then, so I can let you know how I like them?

Be sure to visit Jenny Matlock for more Alphabe-Thursday S posts.