Yes, pumice stone can scratch glass.
In fact, the volcanic stone and powder are regularly used as an abrasive on glass, providing crafters and makers an ideal media with which to produce a fine grinding texture on porcelain and glass.
This type of scratching can produce a frosted look or an opaque look that gives glass a semi-solid look versus the normal transparent version glass often comes in.
Read on to learn more about pumice stone and why it can scratch glass.
Can Pumice Stone Scratch Glass? (EXPLAINED)
Where Does Pumice Come From?
If you’ve ever seen a rock or stone float on water, it’s likely to be pumice.
The stone is classified as a type of igneous rock, but it is particularly abundant when a volcano is in an explosive state.
Pumice itself is particularly lightweight and porous mainly because of all the air pockets trapped inside the stone as it cools from a liquid state to a solid one.
Pumice is extremely abundant and industrial uses have become common, especially in using the material as filler for construction aggregate as well as blasting or smoothing product surfaces.
Large amounts of pumice are often found around the base areas of volcanoes and end up creating layers of material that compact and eventually become dirt after many years of collection and weathering.
This in turn creates stratified layers that geologists can use to identify the time period when a volcanic explosion occurred in the area as well as dating other strata found in the pumice.
Pumice generally comes from the frothing of magma which occurs when things are particularly turbulent in a volcanic flow or burst.
Material cools quickly, with air trapped inside, creating a pocket or bubble effect by the hundreds or thousands in each rock.
The best way to visualize how magma must look with air trapped in it would be a can of soda as it is poured into a glass of ice and foams up.
Composition and Structure
Pumice is ideal as a building material because it is both lightweight as well as easy to mix with water and can dry into a solution.
In fact, it was pumice that the Romans used first to create moldable, craftable structure material for their buildings.
The volcanic stone is also well known for its buoyancy.
In fact, at sea, the thin walls and cavities in the rock cause it to float when ocean eruptions occur, and phenomena known as “pumice islands” may float around for months, visible from the air given their size as well as creating navigation headaches for shipping.
Uses, Applications and Functions
As noted earlier, pumice makes a great abrasive material for sanding and achieving a fine, smooth surface effect on lots of materials.
And, like the Romans used it, pumice can be used to craft building blocks and forms similar to how cement is used today.
Pumice has also been applied to cosmetic products.
It can be used as a soap given its grittiness and ability to clean off dirt and exfoliate, a particularly desirable benefit for feet that have callouses and hard skin from manual use and friction due to exercise or work.
Sponges are also fabricated with pumice for cleaning and scrubbing cooking surfaces.
Pumice stones are ideal for cleaning off water stains and mold from porcelain without actually damaging the porcelain surface itself, making the stone ideal for sink and bathroom hard stain cleaning.
In terms of industrial applications, pumice is still a primary ingredient in lightweight cement and ferrous cement, often used for boat hull fabrication.
The volcanic stone also sees a lot of landscape use as well, being applied as a sublayer in planters and largescale plots and providing for easy drainage.
That in turn avoids pooling, which can kill plant roots.
Safety is Advised Around Pumice Dust
At a mineral level, pumice involves the formation of silica and similar.
So, when it turns into dust, pumice can be extremely lightweight and airborne, which means it can also be breathed in.
Both pumice and ash can be harmful and deadly in recent or continuing volcanic areas as the dust, when internalized, can cause microcuts to lung tissue.
Eventually, a person’s lungs get clogged with the material, causing violent coughing fits to expel the grit and repair the damage.
Without water and clean air, many who are heavily exposed get sick, and the damage can be fatal.
How is Pumice Applied as an Abrasive?
Pumice for sanding can be applied either by hand as a wet sanding or it and be rubbed in with a tool.
Many crafters use a powered brush or sander for high-speed large surfaces, and then they apply a hand treatment for smaller sections or a final finish on glass and similar.
Because pumice can be broken down to such a fine grit level, it is ideal for use in the end treatment of a product when smoothing and removing edges, points, grit or small bumps in a material being treated.
Frequent Availability But Not Always Used
Given the fact that pumice can be found on every continent and generally near volcanic areas, either current or ancient, it’s a common material world wide.
However, the extent of its use has largely depended on whether cultures could find a utility for the material.
Today, developed areas use it quite a bit, but other parts of the world have abundant supply but no application.
No surprise, these locations have become exporters of pumice to countries that consume the rock in high amounts.