Answer: You need to allow your luffa gourd to completely mature and begin to dry before harvesting them. Their shells will turn tan/brown as they begin to dry out. A completely dried gourd will not rot, but one that is just beginning to dry must be hung in a dry location with good air circulation to fully dry out or it will likely start to rot.
When the gourd is dried, crush and peel away the outer "skin" and shake out the seeds. Wash the luffa in clean water and then soak it for an hour in a solution of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Then rise it and allow it to dry thoroughly. Your luffa sponge will last longer if you wash it and allow it to dry after each use.
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