How to Use a Pumice Stone

Pumice stone

Pumice is a type of material that forms when extremely hot lava mixes with water. The mixture causes the lava to rapidly cool, and produces a very porous and rough stone that can be then used to rub away dry, peeling skin. The use of the stone requires that you first soak the area of your foot in warm water, and then out of the water, take the stone (dampen it too first) and ever so gently rub away at the problematic skin in circular movements until the dead skin is removed. While the primary use for pumice is often related to health and beauty care, you may find other helpful uses for pumice such as removing cotton pills from fabrics to cleaning your toilet.

Exfoliating With a Pumice Stone

  1. pumice stoneSoak the area you want to smooth in warm water. Typically, this will be the callused part of the feet. Your heels may require special attention, as they tend to produce a hardened layer of callused skin that can turn scaly or crack. Exfoliating your elbows may also be wise, so check there for hardened and decaying skin deposits. When soaking, attempt to soak for at least five minutes before using the stone.
    • To soak your feet, fill a bowl with the warm water and sit as you place your feet in the water; let your feet float some to keep pressure off while also covering the entire foot.
    • When working on other parts of the body, we recommend that you do so after a shower.
  2. It is best to wait a few minutes before applying the stone after a soak. When exfoliating, it is best to work when your skin is soft, so as you prepare, be sure to check on the feel of your skin and only begin applying the stone when it is sufficiently softened.
  3. Wet the stone. Before you start, there is one final step to the process, and that is dampening the stone prior to use. This allows the stone to gently glide over the skin instead of catching onto it, which would cause discomfort.
  4. Rub the stone gently over the calloused area. To exfoliate properly, use a circular motion as you begin scraping off the dead skin. As long as the skin is properly softened, this should be an easy enough process, and you should continue until you reach the fresh skin underneath the callus.
    • Be sure not to press to hard on the skin, as you may end up damaging the fresh skin underneath. As long as the callus is softened up beforehand then a light pressure will get the job done.
    • When working on your feet, try to pay special attention to the heel and the side of your toes. There may be other problem areas so be thorough in your search.
  5. Rinse and repeat. While exfoliating, take periodic breaks to wash the area away and look to check on your progress. If you still see dead bits of skin then you still have some work ahead of you.
    • Unfortunately, one drawback of using a pumice stone is that it will wear over time, so when exfoliating you may need to turn the stone over to a fresher side. To keep your stone in working order be sure to rinse off the stone after every use.
  6. Dry and moisturize your skin.
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    After you are finished with the pumice stone, it is best that you pat the skin dry with a clean towel, then coat the area with a moisturizer. 

    • Different oils such as coconut, almond, or body lotion are all great options for moisturizing the skin after exfoliating.
    • Repeat as required, but be sure not to overdo it. You don’t want to damage fresh skin.

Caring for your Pumice Stone

  1. Scrub it after use. As you use the stone, it will continually build up dead skin on the surface and within the pores, so after a while, a proper cleaning is in order. To cleanse your stone of this build-up, use a scrub brush on it while under running water. For best results, add soap to the stone to thoroughly clean it. 
  2. Allow it to dry out. Following the cleaning, you’ll want the stone to dry out entirely so that it can remain bacteria-free. Often, the stone you buy will come with a string bored in the top, allowing you to hang it after use. This is a very important part of using your pumice stone, so be sure to look after it.image Pumice Stone
  3. Boil it if necessary. One of the benefits of using a stone as a tool is that they are often quite sturdy, and in our case, you can actually boil your stone to ensure that it is properly sanitized. To accomplish this, bring a pot of water to a complete boil, and carefully drop the stone in (avoid the splash!), and allow it to boil for five minutes. To retrieve it, use as pair of tongs to take it out of the water, then set it down to dry.
    • Ideally, you’ll want to boil the stone every two weeks if you use it often.
    • Bleach can be added to the cleaning process if you happen to get the stone exceptionally dirty.
  4. Replace the stone as it wears down. Pumice stones are inexpensive and can be found at any store that sells beauty supplies. Conversely, while stones are exceptionally strong tools, they can be worn away with use. Pumice is unfortunately one of these such stones, and thus, has to be replaced after it gets too small to use.

Exploring Other Uses

  1. Use it to remove hair. In ancient times, the Greeks used to use pumice as a way to gently remove hair from the body; this method is still quite effective to this day. To use a pumice stone to remove hair on your body, soak your skin in a bath or shower until it is soft and heated. Similarly to when you exfoliate, wet the stone first, then gently rub for about 30 seconds to completely remove the hair from the area.
    • Pumicing the hair on your skin is similar to shaving in that the hair is removed close to the skin, instead of being pulled out.
    • Generally there shouldn’t be any pain, so if you are experiencing any then you may want to make sure that you aren’t pressing too hard.
  2. Pumice can be used to remove pills from clothing. The physical makeup of the stone is suited quite perfectly for picking up and disposing of pills that happen to attach to your clothing. To do this, you’ll want to lay out your clothes on a flat surface and press the stone down on the fabric with a gentle grip. As you move the stone in a circular pattern, you should start to see the pills disappear from the cloth. If you press too hard, you can actually damage the fibers.
  3. Finally, it can be used to clean your toilet. If you have copper rings building up around your toilet, they can be removed by first putting on a pair of nonporous cleaning gloves, and then taking a pumice stone in hand and rubbing the stone on the dirty area. 
    • If the stain is particularly stubborn, a cleaning agent can be added. 
    • Obviously you will want to keep your body stones separate from stones you use for household cleaning.