Updated: Jun 20
Gentle, pure and naturally anti-bacterial, there is much to love about Savon de Marseille. These incredible cubes have been made using traditional methods for over 600 years and can be used in a variety of ways in and around the home. Ideal for skin care - grated, shredded or blended, Savon de Marseille can be used as laundry detergent, a powerful stain remover for stubborn stains or as a natural and eco-friendly pest control solution. Plus, it lasts twice as long as ordinary soaps!
But firstly, a word of warning! Beware of imitations imported from China or Turkey that tend to be composed of… uuugh! Animal fat!
So how do you know real Savon de Marseille from imitation?
Well, real Savon de Marseille is composed exclusively of vegetable oils – ideally olive oil at 72% and is made only in Marseille, using a traditional process, with natural organic ingredients sourced only in Provence. So make sure you buy only authentic Savon de Marseille backed by the Savon de Marseille ‘Traditionnel Garanti’.
Now, onto some secret household tips using Savon de Marseille… but sssh! Keep it to yourself!
1. As a Powerful Stain Remover.
Savon de Marseille can be used at home to clean your sofa, your rug or your tiled and stone floors. You can clean your kitchen worktops, baths, sinks or almost any surface in your home. Simply rub Savon de Marseille onto a damp cloth or sponge or even directly on the surface you want to treat, then rinse well. Savon de Marseille is also ideal for cleaning or degreasing wall or floor tiles. To clean stone, use a brush soaked in water with Savon de Marseille. This technique can be use for anything from marble, granite, terra-cotta, travertine, or even slate.
2. As a Natural Laundry Detergent.
Savon de Marseille contains no colouring or synthetic adjuvant, making it ideal for sensitive skins and delicate clothes. As a natural laundry detergent, it can be used to clean almost anything from your finest cashmere sweater to your new clothing or even to hand wash delicate lingerie pieces.
Savon de Marseille can also tackle a variety of stubborn stains. To remove a stain from a piece of clothing, rub the affected area with barely damp Savon de Marseille and leave it to form a dry crust. Then wash as you normally would. This technique can be used for stains such as red wine or beer, coffee, chocolate, food, gravy stains, or even lipstick and make up.
You will need:
3 - 4 litres of boiling water
150g of Savon de Marseille, shredded or grated
180g of baking soda
Pour the baking soda and Savon de Marseille into a large pan filled with boiling water.
Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well diluted.
Allow the mixture to cool and pour the laundry detergent into a sealed container.
Shake well before each wash.
3. As a Plant Pest Control Solution.
Biodegradable Savon de Marseille can be used, when diluted with water, as an insecticide on plants and soils. The beauty of Savon de Marseille 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 Savon de Marseille.
In a spray bottle, pour hot water over 2 tablespoons of grated Savon de Marseille and mix well. Spray on the affected plants, repeating for 3 days.
4. As an Iron Cleaner.
To clean a clogged iron sole plate, wipe some Savon de Marseille on a still warm iron, then iron on a clean cloth. This should help unclog and extend the life of your iron.
5. As a Green (Biodegradable) Dishwashing Liquid.
Mix 180g of grated Savon de Marseille with warm water. For fragrance, add one or two drops of mint, lemon or your favourite essential oil.
6. As a Beauty Product.
Savon de Marseille 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 as a shower soap.
7. As a Jewellery Cleaner.
Fill a pan with hot water and then add 350g of grated Savon de Marseille. Leave your jewellery pieces to soak for 10 to 15 minutes, rubbing each piece gently before rinsing with clean water. Dry, and shine-on! Oxidized jewellery comes out looking literally like new!
8. As an Antiseptic Cleaner.
Insect bites, wounds and sun burns can be cleaned and treated with Savon de Marseille. Simply rub some soap on the wound or insect bite, then rinse. To soothe a mild sunburn, apply the soap while simultaneously pouring cold water onto the affected area.
9. As a Natural Insect Repellent in Your Wardrobe.
The traditional moth balls we’ve all known since childhood have a tell-tale acrid smell because they contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Both chemicals work by sublimation, which means that they give off toxic fumes and have been banned in the EU since 2008.
Modern moth balls use pyrethroids such as Transfluthrin, which is not too pleasant either. Inhalation or skin contact with Transfluthrin is known to cause nervousness, anxiety, convulsions and skin allergies - amongst other symptoms.
For a harmless and natural alternative, simply hang a slice or ‘tranche’ of Savon de Marseille on a rope in your wardrobe to repel moths, insects and larvae that can damage your favourite garments or woollens. It really works!
10. As a Dog Shampoo.
Many dogs with glorious coats are living proof of the benefits of Savon de Marseille. You can use it to wash your best friends coat without irritating, even from puppyhood! It’s natural, soft and moisturising and cleans very well. As with other dog shampoos, always make sure to rinse well afterwards, especially in and around the paws, where soap could remain. Savon de Marseille will definitely give a spectacular shine and lustre to your dogs coat!
Did we Say 10 Uses?
Well, according to folklore, it can even be used as a remedy to help alleviate rheumatic pain!
11. (Bonus) or (Bogus) as an Arthritis and Cramp Pain Relief.
Savon de Marseille is traditionally used in Provence for cramps and arthritis pain. It’s customary to place a cube of Savon de Marseille at the bottom of the bed. Fact or Fiction? You decide!