Ox Gall Anti-stain Soap - How Did It Develop?

Man with wine-stained fabric clothes

What is Ox Gall Anti-stain Soap?

There is a special stain remover soap, known as ox gall soap, which has been around for centuries. As is usual with any great finding, it involved several steps in the discovery process over a long period, before the final product was realised.

It all started when French chemist, Antoine-Alexis Cadet de Vaux, in 1767, discovered that gall, was an excellent degreaser and stain remover.

So What is Gall?

Gall, also known as bile, is a matter secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder of cows. Unfortunately, at the time, the idea never quite took off due to the vile bile smell. 

It wasn't until the middle of the 19th Century that it was uncovered that simply mixing ether with gall was a great way to eradicate this foul smell. This new ox-gall stain remover soap was, at that time, highly recommended for cleaning stubborn stains from goat or sheep wool.

Very suspicious looking cow

Ox Gall Soap For Weight Loss?

At the end of the 19th Century, another French chemist in Paris, Louis Encausse, created Le Savon Vert de L'Amiral, (the green soap of Amiral). This soap contained only 5% gall.

Strangely, because of the degreasing qualities of the gall, it was advertised as a slimming soap! It was promised to make you slimmer in the fatty areas of your body if you apply the soap. If only it were that simple to lose weight!

Ox Gall Stain remover soap

What is Ox Gall Soap Made of?

Later, the traditional Savon de Marseille was added to the gall, and stain remover soap was reborn. Hallelujah!!

Nowadays, the composition of anti-stain soap can vary greatly depending on where it is purchased. However, the most environmentally friendly version remains that which is created by mixing gall and Savon de Marseille. 

In the hope of making a better stain remover, other ingredients may be added to the preparation of ox gall soap, but be aware that these are not always natural. For example, some contain triazine-triethanolamine, which can be very irritating to both your skin and lungs. So pay attention and read the label to find the soap's composition.

The anti-stain ox gall soap from Natural French Soap contains only natural ingredients: Sodium palmate, sodium palm kernalate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, fel bovinum, D limonene, argile, glycerin, edta. (see update below).

Ideal for removing stains from all fabrics without damaging them. It is 100% biodegradable and a very efficient detergent alternative, with natural orange essence, ox gall and clay of Sommières, a small village near Montpellier, France

It can remove blood (if you are watching Mr Dexter), wine, grass stains, grease stains, sauces, coffee stains, jam, and oil stains, you get the idea.

A pair of grass stained knees on white pants

How do you use ox gall soap?

  • To remove stubborn stains, wet the anti-stain soap and the stained area.

  • Rub the stain with the anti-stain soap and leave for about 15 minutes. 

  • Rinse large items like carpets or sofas with clear water.

  • Wash smaller items in the washing machine as usual.

Stain Remover Soap Update: 

We no longer sell the Ox-gall anti-stain soaps as they contain animal products. However, there's no need to worry; we have two alternatives of vegetable soap you can now purchase. 

These are equally efficient, some would argue, more so, and they are much more environmentally friendly.

You can read about those here: 

I hope this article was helpful to you and if so, please share it with your family and friends using the buttons below.

Here are the two vegetable-based anti-stain soaps:

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