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  • Writer's pictureSalt RIver Soap Works


A plastic free, bio-degradable option for bath and household cleaning!

In a effort to keep it "Clean", here at Salt River Soap Works, we have completely restocked the shop with non-synthetic options for all your bath and kitchen cleaning needs. NO MORE PLASTIC! NO MORE NON, DE-COMPOSTABLE FIBERS! This article will help you understand one of the many plant fibers that nature provides for us, with endless applications. Let us dive in...........

Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber family. (Cucurbitaceae)

In everyday non-technical usage, the luffa, also spelled loofah, usually refers to the fruits of the species. It is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable, but must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. When the fruit is fully ripened, it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens across the world.

Choosing Luffa cuts down on waist in our land fills, reduces toxic off-gassing from plastic manufacturing facilities, and also helps a small business or small Community farmer by supporting their efforts to grow and harvest this incredible plant.

Luffa takes a little getting used to. It is an interesting fiber. When it is dry and new it will be very hard, but with a soak in some water it becomes soft and pliable. Whole luffa is especially rigid and a little more difficult, in my option, to use. When luffa is cut and processed, on the other hand (see photo), this natural fiber gets its "shine" on. You will find luffa in rounds, slices, pads ( 2 flat pieces sewn together), attached to wood handles, on the backs of natural brushes and in a cloth like fiber fabric as well.

When wet luffa is softly textured, providing a nice exfoliating experience on skin and can be used as a no-scratch scouring pad for stuck on dishes. The applications are almost endless! Any time or place where a little extra scrubbing is needed a luffa will work. They work like a charm with our soaps and I especially like the Luffa Poof we carry for working up a good Slat River Soap Works lather.

Luffa is also naturally anti-microbial. It slowly degrades, there for it has a lot shorter life span than plastics, which means you change them out sooner reducing microbial build up. The structure of the plant is also less conducive to trapping microbes . Best of all, when their life is up, simply toss them in the garden or in the trash and they will biodegrade in a few weeks, providing nutrients to the soil. Another advantage is that luffa is 100% non toxic to animals and humans! It's an eatable vegetable after all!

Did you know that a years worth of kitchen sponges can take up space in a landfill for up to 52,000 years! But sometimes a squishy sponge is just what you need! So if you must use sponges, consider using 100% CELLULOSE (made from wood chips and fibers, a recycled product from lumber processing.), or 100% natural SEA SPONGE ( We will talk about that amazing plant from the ocean in another post!) Both biodegradable, and non toxic to our precious planet and bodies!

All luffa products in the photo below are available at Salt River Soap Works, Afton Wyoming.

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