Today, I wanted to share with you a product that I use extensively at home: Marseille Soap, or Savon de Marseille.
Gentle, pure and naturally anti-bacterial, Marseille soap is ideal for skin care. Grated, shredded or blended, Savon de Marseille can be used in a variety of ways at home, as laundry detergent, a powerful stain remover for stubborn stains or a natural and eco-friendly pest control solution. Plus, it lasts twice as long as ordinary soaps.
But make sure you get the real deal.
How do you know real Savon de Marseille from imitation? The real Marseille soap is composed exclusively of vegetable oils – ideally olive oil at 72%, but also coconut oil or palm oil. Beware of imitations imported from China or Turkey that tend to be composed of… animal fat. Yikes.
So here are my secret housecleaning tricks when it comes to savon de Marseille, or Marseille soap.
As a powerful stain remover
Marseille soap can be used at home to clean your sofa, your rug or your tiled and stones floors. You can clean your kitchen counters, tubs or pretty much any surface in your home. Simply rub a Marseille soap on a damp cloth or sponge or even directly on the surface you want to treat, and rinse well. Marseille soap is also ideal to clean or degrease wall or floor tiles. To clean stone, use a brush soaked in water with Marseille soap. This technique can be use for anything from travertine, marble, granite, terra cotta, or even slate.
As a clean laundry detergent
As a laundry detergent, Marseille soap can be used to clean anywhere from your finest cashmere sweater to your newborn clothing or delicate hand wash lingerie pieces. Marseille soap contains no coloring or synthetic adjuvant, making it ideal for sensitive skins and delicate clothes.
Marseille soap can also tackle an array of stubborn stains. To remove a stain on a piece of clothing, rub the affected area with a barely damp Marseille soap to form a crust on the stain to treat. Let dry, then wash as you normally do. This technique can be used for stains such as: alcohol or beer, coffee chocolate, food and sauce stains, or lipstick and make up.
How to :
Marseille soap laundry detergent recipe:
You will need :
– A large saucepan
– 3 liters to 4 liters of boiling water
– 150 grams of Marseille soap, shredded or grated
– A cup of baking soda
Pour some baking soda and Marseille soap into the pot filled with boiling water.
Stir with a wooden spoon until the potion is well diluted.
Let cool and pour the laundry detergent in a sealed container.
Shake the mixture before each wash.
As an plant pest control solution
Biodegradable, Marseille soap can be used, when diluted with water, as an insecticide on plants and soils. The beauty of Marseille soap is that you can also treat edible plants, such as fruit trees, grape vines or edible gardens plants. Once rinsed, the fruit is edible even after treatment with Marseille soap.
In a spray bottle, pour hot water over 2 tablespoons of grated Marseille soap. Mix well. Spray on the affected plants. Repeat for 3 days.
As an iron cleaner
To clean a clogged iron sole plate, wipe some Marseille soap on a still warm iron, then iron on a clean cloth. This should help extend the life of your iron.
As a green (biodegradable) dishwashing liquid
Mix well ½ cup of grated Marseille soap with warm water. To add fresh scent, add one or two drops of mint or lemon essential oils.
As a beauty product
Marseille soap can be used as a shower gel, shampoo or shaving soap.
Its gentle formula soothes irritations and allergies, and can help in many cases of eczema or psoriasis when used a shower soap.
As an arthritis and cramp pain relief
Marseille soap is used in Provence for cramps and arthritis pain: it is customary to place at the bottom of the bed a cube of Marseille soap. Myth or reality? I’ve never tried, but this peaks my attention… Have you?
As a jewelry cleaner
Fill a pan with hot water and then add 1 cup of grated Marseille soap. Let your jewelry pieces soak for 10 to 15 minutes, rubbing each piece a bit before rinsing with water. Dry it and shine-on!
I clean all my silver sterling pieces with Marseille soap and I’m always blown away by how shinny my oxidized jewelry comes out, looking literally like new!
As an antiseptic cleaner
Insect bites, wounds and sun burns can be cleaned and treated with Marseille soap; simply rub some soap on the wound or insect bite, then rinse. To soothe a mild sunburn, apply Marseille soap while simultaneously pouring cold water on the affected area.
As a natural mite repellent in your closet
Simply attach a slice of Marseille soap on a rope in your closet to avoid the tiny creatures that swallow your favorite tees or cashmere sweaters. It works, really!
As a dog shampoo
Miss Daisy and her glorious coat is a living proof of the benefits of Savon de Marseille. That’s all I’ve been using to wash her ever since she was a puppy. It cleans her coat very well without irritating. We always make sure to rinse her well, especially in the paws area where soap could remain after rinsing. Marseille soap definitely gives a shine and spectacular lust to her coat. Now you know the secrets to Miss Daisy’s beauty!
Did I miss anything? Do you use Marseille soap at home for any other usage? I’d love to know!
Photography Siham Mazouz for French By Design ©