Savon de Marseille: A Traditional Soap with Alternative Uses

Posted by Christopher Smeeton on

We don’t tend to put all too much time or effort into choosing the soap we’ll use. But seeing as this is an item that will come into contact with our skin on a daily basis, we should place a little more importance on it. The soap you choose can have an impact on your health, your hygiene, and the planet as a whole. Savon de Marseille soap is the perfect option for anyone who’s looking for a great all-rounder. This French soap is ideal for sensitive skin and the environment – and it has a whole host of alternative uses too! Here’s everything you need to know about it!


When you choose Savon de Marseille soap, you help to continue the tradition of French soap making. This particular type of soap has a surprisingly long-lasting history, reaching as far back as the 17th century. In fact, the rules which laid down the foundation for Savon de Marseille as we know it today were put into place by Louis XIV in 1688!

How It’s Made

Savon de Marseille soap has to abide by the rules created by Louis XIV all those years ago to lay claim to its name. Much in the same fashion that champagne needs to be produced in Champagne, Savon de Marseille soap must be made in Marseille. The soap must also contain a minimum of 72% olive oil. When being made, the soap is melded together in large cauldrons. It is cooked and then washed out with salts. The resulting mixture is poured into cooling vats and then cut into shape with wire or cutting machines.

Why Choose Savon de Marseille?

All-Natural French soap experienced decreased demand around the 1940s and 1950s when more synthetic soaps and detergents hit the market. People began to think that soap containing chemicals had stronger cleaning powers than natural products. But over time, people have come to realise that all-natural products are simply better. Chemicals in many artificial soap brands can wreak havoc with your skin and – seeing as the skin is the largest organ in your body and can prove pretty sensitive – this is something you’re going to want to avoid. Sulphates, in particular, are something to watch out for. These chemicals are used to create bubbles and lather, but they also strip the skin of its natural oils and can be serious irritants for those of us with sensitive skin or conditions, such as eczema. Savon de Marseille soap doesn’t contain any sulphates and has no artificial fragrance or colour either.

It’s Vegan

You needn’t be concerned about animal cruelty when you buy Savon de Marseille soap. Many soaps nowadays contain saponified animal fats (often listed as “sodium tallowate” in ingredients lists). But genuine Savon de Marseille never includes this. It is composed of vegetable oils instead. It’s Eco-Friendly This French soap’s all-natural ingredient list and cold press manufacturing mean that it is completely eco-friendly too! This soap won’t leave any long-lasting impact on the environment or pollute waters in the way that many other soaps do.

Alternative Uses for Savon de Marseille

Of course, the majority of us will use savon de marseille in a similar way to how we’d use any other soap. We’ll use it to wash our bodies and faces when we bathe. Seeing as this soap is gentle on the skin, it’s fine for daily use. It’s also a soap that can be used on little ones too! However, there are plenty of alternative uses for savon de marseille that you might not have known about. Here are a few for you to take into consideration.

As a Pet Shampoo

Seeing as this French soap is so ideal for sensitive skin, it can make a great shampoo for dogs. Just rub the bar between your hands while your pet is in the bath and lather them up. It’s a good idea to lather, rinse, then lather again. You’ll find that you get a lot more bubbles and a deeper clean the second time around. Once you’re happy and all the dirt has been rubbed from your pet’s fur, make sure to rinse thoroughly. Focus on areas where the soap might get caught up, like between pads in your pet’s paws.

For Shaving

Nowadays, many of us invest in specialist shaving foams. But this is generally a marketing ploy – the right kind of soap can be just as good for shaving as any of the overpriced foams out there. Savon de Marseille builds up a thick, soapy lather when rubbed between your hands, which is perfect for a close shave. As a Laundry Detergent Savon de Marseille’s uses go above and beyond those of standard soaps. Considering this soap’s long and rich history, it’s not all too surprising that people have found different uses for it over the years. One such use is savon de marseille as a laundry detergent. Seeing as the soap isn’t coloured or heavily fragranced, it’s ideal for more delicate items of clothing, including lace and baby clothes. To create your detergent, simply grate some savon de marseille, then add your shredded soap and a small cupful of bicarbonate of soda to around three litres of boiling water in a saucepan. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a liquid without any pieces of soap floating about. You can then use this detergent for the perfect handwash.

As a Stain Remover

This soap works great on stubborn stains too! Damp your block of soap, then rub it directly on the stain you’re dealing with. Leave the area to dry without rinsing. You should see a crust of soap form on top of the stain. Once it has dried, washed your clothes as usual. The stain should be gone by the time you remove the item from the washing machine! Many of us tend to think that a bar of soap is simply a bar of soap. But hopefully, a little insight into savon de marseille has shown that a soap can be so much more than something that sits in the soap dish in your shower. This unique French soaps proves that the right soap can have all sorts of alternative uses and won’t leave an impact on the planet in exchange for them!