Drying Your Luffa
The most important thing when using and caring for your luffa sponge is to keep it clean and dry. Bacteria can grow in a warm moist environment and you do not want that on a sponge you are using on your skin. Once a week rinse your luffa and clean it by either boiling it in a pot of water on the stovetop, placing it in the top rack of your dishwasher, or in the washing machine with a load of towels. Air dry your luffa thoroughly and it should last several months to a year. When you are done with your sponge you can compost it or place it in the bottom of your flowerpots before planting to help them retain moisture.
Preparing Your Luffa Material
- Start with a clean, dry luffa sponge and a serrated kitchen bread knife.
- On a cutting board slice the luffas with the knife into whatever size slice you need.
Full luffa sponge is used to create crafting material that can be sewn into washcloths, small baskets, ornaments, and pet chew toys
- Cut down one side of the luffa lengthwise and then cut out the hard fibrous core.
- The hard fibrous core can be used as a heavy-duty scrubber or place it in the compost bin.
- Wet the material and flatten it under a heavy breadboard or cookie sheet.
- When dry you can cut the material with sharp scissors into the size and shape you desire.
Luffa Treats for Wild Birds
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 4 cups wild bird seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
- Dried luffa slices
- Garden twine
- Muffin tins or small molds
Grease your muffin tin with a bit of coconut oil or natural oil. Tie a string around your luffa slice for hanging and place inside the muffin tin or mold. Mix together the flour, water, and corn syrup and stir well in a large bowl. Add the bird seed, flax seed, and sunflower seeds and stir until well mixed. Spoon into your molds and press firmly, filling the luffa slice. Let the treats harden and dry for 4 to 6 hours. Unmold and let air dry for another 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Hang outside.
Note: After the birds have eaten all the seeds you may be able to reuse the luffa slice. If not you can discard it in your compost bin.
Luffa Stamped Tags and Bags
- Luffa slices
- Acrylic paint
- Heavy card stock or paper tags
- Natural seeds, pressed flowers, bits of colored paper
Dip the slices of luffa in the paint and press them onto the paper tag. You can do this same method with pieces of heavy natural fabric. Let the paint dry completely, then use or continue to decorate with natural seeds or pressed flowers. Seal your tags using clear spray paint or decoupage medium such as mod podge.
Luffa and Flower Arrangements
- Trim the sponge to fit inside your vase and arrange your flower stems inside.
- Remove the leaves that will be under the waterline, as this will keep your water and flowers fresher longer.
- When you are done with your floral arrangement, either compost the whole thing or clean and dry your sponge for another use depending on its condition.
Luffa Household Cleaner
Luffa sponges by themselves are excellent natural scrubbers. Gentle enough for fine glassware and tough enough for stubborn spots like stovetops or even car tires without fear of scratching the surface. You can mix up your own natural household cleaner to use along with your luffa sponge. Be sure to clean your sponges between uses and keep them dry. This will extend their usefulness.
Learn more about growing Luffa and more recipes at Growing and Enjoying Luffa Sponges.
“This post on Luffa crafts is provided as an educational/inspirational service of the National Garden Bureau and our members. Please credit and link to National Garden Bureau and author member when using all or parts of this article.”