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Uses for Pumice Rock

author image Judy Bruen
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.
Uses for Pumice Rock
Pumice rock is formed from cooled lava. Photo Credit scisettialfio/iStock/Getty Images


Pumice rock is an igneous stone that forms from cooled and hardened lava. The pumice rock is classified as a glass because it contains no crystal structure or mineral qualities. The rock contains tiny bubbles of gas, rendering it lightweight and capable of floating on water. Pumice rock is readily available throughout the world and used for a variety of purposes.

Construction and Landscape

According to Minerals Zone, pumice rock has been used since Roman times to help build structures and buildings. The Mineral Information Institute reports that three quarters of annual usage of pumice rock is used for construction purposes. Pumice rock is used for decorative and landscaping purposes -- it is less expensive than hand-cut rock. It is used as an additive to make lightweight cement and concrete, helps to smooth concrete, is resistant to harsh weather and contributes to cement's polished appearance.

Personal Care

Pumice rocks are natural exfoliants that scrub away dead skin cells and smooth roughened or calloused body parts. Pumice rocks are commonly used on heels during foot baths or feet treatment. Pumice rocks are inexpensive, durable and easily sanitized -- one can be used by different people if they are cleaned properly. Ground pumice rock acts as a skin exfoliator in some facial and body scrubs. Adding pumice rock to hand soaps and scrubs reduces the amount of extra chemicals that are often added to cleaners to remove stains, grease or dirt.

Household Cleaners

Pumice rocks are ground into powdered form and then added to cleaning products to enhance cleaning and help create a polished appearance. In its powdered form and as an ingredient in cleaning products, pumice provides cleaners with the benefits of abrasion without scratching surfaces. Pumice powder is added to products that are used to clean finishing glass, metal and plastics.

Stone Washing Jeans

Pumice rocks can be used in jean production to give the pants a faded, worn-out look. When pumice rocks are added to wash cycles with the jeans, they remove a layer of the jeans, exposing some of its white threads. Stone washing jeans with pumice rocks is time consuming -- it may take several washes until the jeans achieve the desired appearance. Additionally, pumice rocks reduce the durability of the pants while producing results that are not uniform or consistent. Due to the large amount of water necessary to stone wash jeans with pumice rocks and the unpredictability of the amount of abrasion, many jean companies are using manufactured enzymes to create the same appearance.

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