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The many virtues of a Marseille soap cube.

In the past few days, I believe we have all been using hand sanitisers. These little bottles that allow us to clean our hands and wash away viruses including coronavirus.

I have, like everyone else, been following the general advice. I used it on a regular basis, every time I went out, every time I touched a door handle, or got in and out of a place. However,  because I have a sensitive skin, I ended up with irritations and redness all over my hands. Especially on the back of my hands. It’s not the end of the world, but quite unpractical when you know that you’ll have to keep washing your hands regularly for the next couple of weeks.

My mistake was to keep using my hand sanitiser while I was at home instead of using a more gentle cleaning alternative. Now that I think of it, it was  silly on my part to use a hand sanitiser at home. I guess it was just there in the kitchen and I instinctively used it. Due to that ongoing irritation, I turned to my Marseille soap that I was using to wash my dishes. I simply cut it in some smaller chunks and washed my hands with it. After a few days, the irritation was gone. My hands are now back to normal.

Before writing that new blog, I did a little bit of digging regarding Marseille soap and its amazing properties. It turns out that using a Marseille soap cube is as efficient as a hand sanitiser (as long as you wash your hand thoroughly and for a minimum of 20 consecutive seconds). Of course, you won’t use it when you are out and about, but it is a nice alternative to have when you are at home. Not only will it clean your hands, but it will not irritate your skin. Just make sure you keep it dry after you have used it. 

As I am sure you have guessed right now, I am going to write a little something about Marseille soaps. 

Let’s have a look at the 5 benefits of using a real Marseille soap cube.


Numéro 1: its origin: I have said it many times, it is important to ensure that you are buying a real Marseille soap. A real Marseille soap cube is manufactured in Marseille or in the Marseille region. Why is this important? Because a real Marseille soap is made in an old traditional cauldron, the old fashion way. The best way for you to be sure that you are purchasing a real soap, is to look for the UPSM stamp. UPSM stands for Union des Professionnels du Savon de Marseille. (Union of professional Marseille soap makers). This stamps guarantees you that you are buying a real Marseille soap. Currently, only 4 soap makers have obtained that stamp and we work with two of them: La Compagnie du Midi (La Corvette) and Marius Fabre. But you also have the choice of Le Fer à Cheval and Le Serail. Below is what the stamp looks like. You should find that stamp on the cube itself of every Marseille soap cube you purchase. If it’s not there, then it’s not the real one. 

Real marseille soapNuméro 2: its ingredients: A real Marseille soap is made of four ingredients: vegetable oil (olive oil is the main ingredient in ours, hence its green colour), salt, water and sodium hydroxide. It contains no colouring, no fragrance, no preservative, no chemical additive, no palm oil and no animal fat. When you purchase a soap that bears the UPSM stamp, you also know you can trust the ingredients of your soap.

Numéro 3: its variety of uses: A Marseille soap cube has a variety of uses. You might think that is is an expensive soap to buy, but you can do so much with it. Here are all the different ways you can use it:

  • As a dishwashing soap: leave it in a nice looking bowl, use a dishwashing brush and don’t ever buy a bottle of washing up liquid ever again. It works as well as your usual supermarket product and it will last you longer (a Marseille soap does not melt, if you keep it dry after each use, it will last you a long time).
  • A stain remover: you got a little tea stain on your favourite cushion. Don’t panic! Simply rub your Marseille soap on the stain a few times, add a bit of water to make it foam, rub with your microfibre cloth and leave it to dry. That will do the trick!
  • A shower soap: if you think your cube is too big, you can easily slice it in a more manageable piece and use it as a shower soap. It will not dry your skin and it is ideal if you have a sensitive skin.
  • A hand soap: a Marseille soap will wash you hands as well as a hand sanitiser and it won’t irritate your skin. Make sure you clean your hands for at least 20 seconds and that you do it thoroughly (front and back of your palms, in between fingers, rings, nails and wrists). Just cut your big cube in a smaller size, leave it in a nice little ramequin by the bathroom sink. Voilà!
  • A natural laundry alternative: if you buy Marseille soap flakes, you can make an amazing laundry liquid. I personally would not switch back to my old supermarket laundry liquid. I have even made a tutorial about my homemade laundry liquid on Youtube. Have a look at our tutorial! Click here.
  • For the little boo boos, injuries and insect bites: if you have a little cut, clean it with a little piece of cloth previously soaked with some Marseille soap. It will clean the wound easily. If you have a small insect bite (mosquitos for instance), just rub the soap directly onto the itching area. It will help as well.


Numéro 4: its environmental benefits: A real Marseille soap is 100% biodegradable. Moreover, with this cube, you will be able to take four times more showers than if you were to use a bottle of liquid shower gel. (Keep it dry after each use and it will last you much longer). When you use a soap cube or a soap bar, you avoid buying a product with a single-use plastic bottle. You do your bit for the planet!


Numéro 5: its eternal youth: A real Marseille soap does not run out of date. A good cube is a little bit like wine. The older it gets, the better it is. Let me explain. If you buy several cubes, just make sure they are kept in a dry place. The drier it gets, the more concentrated in olive oil it will be. It might lose its colour with time, but its amazing quality will remain.

In France, because suppliers of hand sanitisers ran out of stock, some manufacturers of real Marseille soap have stepped in, and they even work with health professionals, clinicians and nurses. How amazing is that!

Did I also tell you how chic looking is the soap itself? I know…this is probably the least important fact, but it still counts a tiny tiny bit. Oui Oui!


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the legendary French Marseille soap cube!


À bientôt.


Jessica Sanchez

La French Maison


La French Maison