http://www.durgan.org/URL/?LHOFA 18 October 2011 Luffa
Some dried luffa were picked today and prepared for use. There are about 20 fruit on the three vines. Luffa take a long season and my area is at the limit.
The un-dried sponges will be left on the vine until dry, then processed.
The shell is removed from a very dry fruit, then the ends are cut off and the seeds shaken out. A fruit is considered dry when it is orange/yellow in color and it rattles when shaken due to the seeds being loose inside the shell. The prepared sponges are washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine, or they may be washed in a bucket. If badly stained some bleach is beneficial. The sponges are then dried and later they will be impregnated with soap mold for washing the body. The gentle fiber impregnated with soap is a fine scrubber for removing dead skin, much in demand amongst my family and friends. The sponges last forever and is great for washing sinks and bathtubs. Some seeds previously collected have been viable for five years.