6 Great Uses for Marseille soap
Marseille soap is not a new sustainable product, in fact it has been around for about 600 years. It is produced in France and traditionally it was made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea with olive oil and the alkaline ash from sea plants. The mixture sits until it is ready and is then poured into a mould, cut into bars, and left to harden; this whole process can take up to a month. I can honestly say I was quite late to the party with this one. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I heard about this and I can’t believe it took me so long to learn about this incredible, do it all soap. Marseille soap is made to be grated or rubbed and is one of the most moisturising and gentle soaps ever made. There are so many uses for this soap which is a great way to keep costs down, declutter your cleaning cupboard and reduce any plastic. It is made from natural ingredients and is biodegradable which means it is a great sustainable alternative to soaps and detergents with chemicals in. Here I have explored 6 great uses of this soap, but there are many more.
Washing the dishes
This is its most common use; because it usually comes in a block, it is really easy to use, just rub some of the soap onto a dish brush and use it directly on the dishes. Alternatively, you can grate some and add it to warm water. A small amount goes a long way with Marseille soap so switching to a hard soap can help reduce the amount of washing liquid you go through.
Because of the olive oil in Marseille soap, you can use it affectively to shave without it being too dry on your skin. The oil can help create a barrier on your skin to stop your skin absorbing dirt throughout the day leaving your skin feeling silky smooth and fragrant. I have even read articles where men use this soap to shave their face everyday, so it seems to be a winner. It also lasts such a long time so it is much more sustainable than shaving foam bought in a aerosol can.
Marseille soap is tough on stains and can remove everyday spills like coffee, chocolate but can also remove ink, lipstick and blood. For this to be affective, you should use with cold water rather than hot as hot water can melt the stains into the fibres. All you need to do is wet the area and rub the bar over the stain, leave for 10-15 minutes and then pop into the washing machine or wash by hand. It should work well on oily stains too.
It was only when looking into this soap more that I realised that soap could be a natural insecticide and has been used for more than 200 years for this purpose. Marseille has a low mammalian toxicity so this soap can be used a pesticide even in organic farming, causing no harm to people or pets. Just cmix some grated soap with boiling water to create a spray for your plants. Only a small amount is needed so around 20 grams of soap to 1 litre of water.
Switching to a soap bar is a great way to be more eco-friendly, I also find they last much longer. Marseille soap makes a great body wash because the olive oil is so nourishing to the skin as well as doing the job of cleaning your body and smelling incredible.
Washing the laundry
I am so much more conscious about the chemicals that are in my products, there has been a few times that I have had a reaction on my skin because of the laundry detergent I was using. Marseille works well for laundry cleaning as it removes stains and is completely natural, it also gives your clothes a wonderful fragrant which surprised me considering how natural it is.
There are a couple of way to use this as an affective laundry detergent. You can either rub the bar of soap on a damp towel and pop the towel in your machine along with your other washing or you can grate the soap and mix with boiling water, bicarbonate of soda & White vinegar, leave to cool and pop in the detergent drawer in our machine. This will replace any washing detergent or fabric conditioner and is even great for handwashing delicate items like cashmere. I have popped the recipe below to make a batch, I would love to hear if you give it a go and what you think. Tag us on Instagram @the_plastic_free_life.
You can also find our Marseille soap right here