What are Soap Rocks?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Soap has evolved from its original oil and water mixture into many different modern incarnations. Soap rocks are one type of popular cleaning agent. A novelty glycerine soap, a soap rock is a bar of soap formed in the likeness of a specific gemstone or rock.

Soap rocks.
Soap rocks.

Rock soap is designed to enhance the bathing experience. It features natural oils, herbs, and scented formulas to complement its smooth, gemstone-like feel and coloration. Like real gemstones, soap stones glimmer and shine when wet, creating a visually stimulating, light lather instead of traditional bar soap foam.

Almond oil can be used to create soap rocks.
Almond oil can be used to create soap rocks.

Many different types of rock soap feature benefits other than aesthetic pleasures. Vitamins, herbal extracts, minerals, and other skin-enhancing ingredients are typically present in rock soap. Some common ingredients include clay, lavender, chamomile, aloe extract, mineral earth, and comfrey.

Most gemstone soaps are the same weight and size. Soaps measure five and one-half inches (14 centimeters) in length, and four inches (10 centimeters) in width. Each gem soap weighs six ounces (170 grams).

People with sensitive skin often enjoy soap stones. Since many novelty soaps contain harsh ingredients, they often have to avoid such bath creations. Rock soap is considered to be gentle and safe for most skin types. Unscented options, as well as favorite scents like cucumber-melon, are also available.

Several different natural oils are also used to create soap rocks. These include jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, and others. This composition allows for maximum washing and minimum natural oil loss from the bather.

Gemstone aficionados are likely to find their favorite rocks in soap form. Amethyst, jade, opal, emerald, amber, citrine, lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye, ruby, sapphire, jasper, turquoise, rose quartz, and many other simulated gem soaps are available. General marbled stone pieces can also be purchased. Prices, which are moderate, are generally the same for each soap piece.

Since soap rocks are often so realistic, resembling visually stunning precious gems, many people opt to not even use the soap. Instead, they put the soap stones on display, usually in their bathrooms. Many artful arrangements can be made with soap rocks in conjunction with candles, water fountains, sea shells, and other popular bathroom decor. Unlike real gemstones, however, soap stones will diminish when wet. When used as art pieces, the soaps should be carefully kept dry.

Though they consist of mild, biodegradable formulas, soap rocks typically have a long shelf life. They are not tested on animals and contain no animal products. Each soap varies widely in coloration and shape, as soap rocks are generally handmade products.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments


Rock soaps are often available for sale in unique gift shops and boutiques. They usually come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and scents. They are also often organic soap, which is an added bonus to using them for bath time.

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