What Is Loofah Soap?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Loofah soap is soap which contains loofah, a plant product which is prized for its exfoliating properties. A bar of loofah soap can be used to wash and exfoliate at the same time in the shower or tub. Some bath supply stores sell loofah products, and it is also possible to make the soap at home, for people who like to do their own soap making.

Loofah may be used to make soap.
Loofah may be used to make soap.

There are several types of loofah soap. In the most basic, loofah is covered with glycerin in a melt and pour soap making process. This type of soap is very easy to make at home, as all that is required is a mold, a block of glycerin, and a piece of loofah. Once hardened, the soap can be cut into blocks for use. Some companies include a rope in their glycerin soap to provide something to hold on to, as glycerin is notoriously slippery.

Some glycerin soaps have a rope so that there's something to hold on to.
Some glycerin soaps have a rope so that there's something to hold on to.

Other soap makers embed loofah into different kinds of soap, such as castile soap, liquid soap, or cleansing cream. It is also possible to use shredded loofah for a more mild exfoliating soap. Soaps with shredded loofah tend to be more smooth, and they are often easier to manage. As the soap bar is used, the loofah will gradually wear away, unlike a soap bar with a solid wedge of loofah, which may start to protrude over time without wearing down, making the soap cumbersome to use.

On its own, loofah can be kind of difficult to manage. It tends to get very stiff with extended use, and it can start to attract mold and bacteria if it sits in the shower. By embedding loofah in soap, people can ensure that they change their loofahs regularly while enjoying ease of use. Regular changes don't just reduce the numbers of organisms camping out in the loofah: they also mean that people are using loofah which is still fresh, with lots of fiber for exfoliation, instead of older loofah, which tends to be smoother.

Some people like to make exfoliation a part of their regular skin care regimen. Loofah soap can make it easier to exfoliate on a regular basis, combining the soaping and exfoliating process for efficiency. This soap can also be very useful for removing embedded dirt and grime. Mechanics and other people who work in environments which tend to get greasy and dirty can use loofah soap to gently scrub their skin, and some loofah soap products are formulated specifically for people who work in dirty industries.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


I tried using loofah soap, but it didn't lather very well. I went another route and used a combination of a soap for sensitive skin and an actual loofah.

I have a loofah soap pouch that I use for exfoliating. I simply slide my bar of soap into the slit, and the suds seep out through the mesh material.

The pouch is a loofah in itself. One side is rough, and this is the side I use to exfoliate my dead skin.

The other side is softer, and using it creates a great lather. So, one day, I can exfoliate, and the next, I can lather with soothing suds.

I find that it is good to use the loofah side only twice a week. That way, I don't irritate my skin.


Loofah soap feels so good on my skin, especially after a hard day of sweaty work. I love to use it in the summer to remove my tough spray-on sunscreen, which regular soap has trouble dissolving.

After I mow my yard, I have a combination of sweat, sunscreen, and grass particles covering my skin. I don't feel that regular soap is powerful enough to do the job. When I use loofah soap, I feel like I'm renewing my skin entirely.

It's also good to use less frequently in the winter, when dry, flaky skin becomes a problem. The loofah gets rid of the dead skin. I don't use it very often when it's cold, though, because my skin is already dry and sensitive then.


@Perdido – Most likely, if your soap doesn't state boldly on the label that it contains loofah, the beads are made from something else. Some exfoliating soaps use jojoba in their beads, but sadly, many companies are using plastic.

Unlike loofah and other plant products, the plastic microbeads do not break down naturally. So, when you throw a deteriorating bar of soap away, you have lots of plastic beads remaining, and these pollute the environment.

I always try to buy actual loofah soap. I don't want to be responsible for any more harm to our planet than I already have been.


Do all soaps that have scrubbing beads contain loofah? The only time I have heard the term “loofah” before was to describe a rough sponge that I scrub with in the shower, so I just assumed that every exfoliating product might contain it.

I have a bar of soap with microbeads for exfoliating, but I don't know what they are made of. They appear to be round and blue, and it feels really good to scrub my back with this soap, because it scratches the itch.

Are these microbeads made of loofah, or could they be made from something else? I would like to know what I am using on my skin.


I have been interested in handcrafted soap for a long time and I recently found a fantastic loofah soap recipe. It is easy to make, smells, wonderful and provides and gentle but effective exfoliation on the skin.

I have given a few bars away to my friends and they all love it. People think that it is not worth the time or the effort to try and make their own soap but you would be surprised. Many of my favorite bath and beauty products are things that I have made at home.


I think that regular exfoliation is crucial for healthy skin so I always keep a bar of loofah soap in my shower. Mine smells like lavender and green tea and it does wonders for my skin.

For a long time I use an exfoliating pad but I found that it was too harsh and it left my skin irritated. The loofah soap is a nice compromise. the abrasion is never too harsh and you have an instant infusion of soaps and moisturizers from the bar of soap. I am 43 but my skin look as good as it did in my 20s

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