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Fels Naptha Soap: Here’s What It is & How to Use It!

bars of Fels Naptha Soap with a handmade knitted kitchen dish scrubbie
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Fels Naptha soap is one of the oldest household products that is still available to this day. This vintage laundry bar is just as good today as it was decades ago! Fels Naptha Laundry Bars are still working on grease, grim, ring-around-the collar, sweat and odors.

It’s still quite popular and has been labeled a super product as it has been suggested to have beneficial skincare remedies, as well as laundry, stain remover and household cleaning benefits.

Fels-Naptha laundry bar is uch a great all-purpose and inexpensive product.

bars of Fels Naptha Soap and a handmade knit scrubber

It’s essentially a laundry soap bar and stain remover that was first manufactured somewhere around 1894.

This Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover became increasingly popular during the Great Depression because it was surprisingly inexpensive and could be used to clean most things around the house.

You may want to make a hand-knit natural scrubbie for your bar of Fels Naptha Soap to use on tough stains! Keep this scrubbie in your laundry area for pre-wash treatment.

This bar of Fels Naptha from Amazon.com, listed directly below, is a great deal! Grab several today! Just like old time prices……

Fels Naptha Soap Ingredients

This soap contains sodium palmate, sodium tallowate, and sodium cocoate. It also consists of talc and water. Fels-Naptha soap ingredients work together to tackle your toughest stains.

Fels Naptha Laundry Bar is also the perfect pre-treatment for tough grease stains. It is a fantastic degreaser.

You may be wondering where to buy Fels-Naptha soap. Look at large store like Walmart, Target, Ace Hardware or Amazon.

A Word of Caution

As with all cleaning products, use extreme caution and always use Fels Naptha Soap in a well ventilated area.

Safety of Purex Fels Naptha

Make sure to protect your skin from exposure by wearing rubber gloves at all times while using this soap.

Remember, this is a heavy duty cleaning bar, so use with caution.

For reference, here is a copy from OHSA for all hazardous type materials.

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10+ Fels Naptha Soap Uses

Fels-Naptha was typically used for making homemade laundry soap, but that is just one of its many uses that most people aren’t even familiar with.

If you’re curious about this super product, read on to find out 5 amazing uses for Fels Naptha bar soap in and around your house.

Fels Naptha is a vintage product, take a look at other old fashioned remedies that are still helpful today!

1. Pre Stain Treatment

This household soap is the perfect pre-stain treatment for ring-around-the-collar and cuffs. It is easy to use and works extremely well.

This Fels Naptha laundry bar soap is ideal to keep in your wash area.

Simple wet the area with water and rub the bar of Fels Naptha soap into the fabric. Create some lather by rubbing the fabric.

Or, make the spray bottle version as listed below with 1/4 cup grated Fels Naptha soap to 32 oz of hot water. Melt and pour into a spray bottle.

This step helps tremendously in getting your clothes super clean.

Bars of Fels Naptha soap and the green and red classic paper wrappers that are still used today!

2. Homemade Laundry Detergent

This simple laundry detergent recipe is one to love! Click on the link for printable How-To instructions. To make your own laundry detergent, you will need these items.

3. Bathroom Air Freshener

Need a simple but effective air freshener in your bathroom or closet?

If so, then simply place a bar of Fels-Naptha Soap under the sink or on a shelf. The freshness is amazing!

Make sure to place the bar of soap in a small dish or on a plate of some type to protect the cabinet or cupboard surface.

Also, look at how you can use Thieves Oil as a Bathroom Air Freshener.

4. Fels Naptha Soap Poison Ivy Treatment for Clothing

Fels-Naptha can help you get rid of poison ivy on your clothes.

There is also some information suggesting that Fels Naptha can be used on your skin to treat poison ivy but be very careful.

5. Protecting Your Garden from Aphids

You can also use Fels-Naptha to protect your garden from bugs.

A simple recipe for Aphids:

  • Dissolve 1 tablespoon of grated Fels Naptha soap in 1 gallon of hot water
  • Stir to dissolve, cool and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spray aphids weekly until gone.
  • The spray once a month as routine maintenance.

For your vegetable garden, make sure you use a safe organic product like one that is approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)

Maybe try something like Safer Insect Killing Soap for your garden veggies.

Or, make your own DIY insecticidal soap from a milder safer liquid soap.

6. Protecting Your Garden from Deer:

If you need to protect your yard or garden from deer then consider this recipe:

  • Grate 1 bar of Fels-Naptha and
  • Dissolve it in a 5-gallon bucket filled halfway with hot water.

Take a 12″ x 12″ piece of cheesecloth and add the follow ingredients:

  • 2 Bunches of Chopped Green Onions
  • 2 Heads of garlic (unpeeled)
  • 4 Whole Eggs (do not crack but leave whole until next step)
  • 1 Cup Chili Powder
  • 1 Cup Cayenne Pepper

Chop the green onions and garlic or process in a food processor.

Place the chopped onions and garlic , the 2 whole eggs, chili powder and Cayenne Pepper in the middle of the piece of cheesecloth.

Tie this bundle with string to secure.

Once you’ve tied it up nicely, put the bundle of cheesecloth inside the bucket and then crack the eggs. Add more hot water to the bucket and top it with the lid.

For your vegetable garden, try something that is approved by the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) like Safer Insect Killing Soap for your garden veggies.

Place in Sprayer Bottle

Let it sit in a safe place for a week and then pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray this mixture on any areas that you want to protect from animals.

Plan on respraying your garden or yard with this mixture about every 2 weeks or after any heavy rains. Use either a hand sprayer or a pump sprayer.

Do not spray on any edible plants in your garden! Remember, for your vegetable garden, use a safe product reviewed by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)

Use a product such as Safer Insect Killing Soap for your garden veggies.

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7. Cleaning Your Sink

You can use Fels Naptha to get your sink to look shiny and spotless; with its grease cutting property, this works great to clean your kitchen sink.

Just lather up some Fels Naptha on a soft cleaning cloth or soft brush, scour the sink, and then rinse.

Or, make the spray bottle version as listed below with 1/4 cup grated Fels Naptha soap to 32 oz of hot water. Melt and pour into a spray bottle.

This soapy mixture works great on grease and grime!

Once you’re done washing and rinsing, use a dry cloth to wipe the sink and gently rub to a shine.

This will give your sink that smooth polished look you’ve been hoping to see.

8. Clean the Bathroom

Make a simple spray to clean your bathroom. Grate and dissolve 1/4 cup of Fels Naptha Soap into one quart (32 oz) of hot water.

Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use to clean and freshen your bathroom.

Use on the following:

  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Floors
  • General Cleaning
  • Laundry Stains

9. Mold and Mildew

Bathroom mold and mildew are nasty especially as they build up in your tile grout. Take preventive steps to keep mold and mildew away.

Using a dry bar of Fels Naptha soap, simply rub the bar into the grout and scrub with a brush to help clean mildew and mold from damp places. Do this weekly to keep your shower free of mildew.

10. Cleaning Stubborn Stains on Your Carpet

Have a stubborn stain on your carpet? Feel free to use Fels-Naptha to get rid of it within minutes.

All you need to do is grate a bar of Fels-Naptha soap and then dissolve it in hot water. Use a scrub brush to get the stain out or use the hot water mixture in your carpet cleaner for even better results.

Make sure to do a small test area to make sure this mixture is safe for your carpet or rug.

Extra Info: Fels Naptha vs Zote

If you are wondering about the differences between Fels Naptha vs Zote laundry soap, this information is very helpful!

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Bonus: The List is Long of the Fels Naptha Benefits

Fels Naptha soap is one staple product to have on hand. Here is an overview of the possible uses for this simple soap.

  • Odor Eliminator – place unwrapped bar of Fels Naptha and place in area to freshen the air.
  • Use as a Magic Eraser on counters and floors to remove black marks. Make sure to wipe up on floors so they are not slick.
  • Clean and freshen refrigerator and fruit/vegetable drawers
  • Garden Insecticidal Soap Spray for aphids
  • Garden spray to repel animals
  • Laudry Pre-Treament
  • Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
  • Carpet Spots and Stains (always do a pre-test)
  • Ring-Around-The-Collar Pre-treatment
  • Air Freshener Bar
  • Clean Outside Lawn Furniture

Final Words

This soap has stood the test of time. Although there are a ton of spot and stain removers available on the market, I find I reach for my bar of Fels Naptha soap more and more to remove stubborn stains and it still works the best!

But, as with all cleaning products, use extreme caution and use in a well ventilated area. Protect your skin from exposure by wearing rubber gloves at all times while using this soap.

While Fels Naptha laundry bar is a fantastic product, it only has a C rating from the (EWG) Environmental Working Group.

One of my readers pointed this out, so I wanted to pass this on so you have the information to do your own research on this product to find out if it will work for you.

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12 Comments

  • Brenda Kay Webster
    May 24, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    When you use Fels-Naptha as a stain treatment, do you rinse it out before putting in the washer or do you just throw it in the washer with the Fels-Naptha still on it?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      May 26, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      I just throw it in the washer. This method has worked well for me. I love this soap as a pretreatment and have used it for decades! ☺

      Reply
  • Elizabeth
    June 14, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    If you swim in a lake that has “the Itch,” rub a bar of Fells Naptha soap on your skin and you won’t get it.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      June 16, 2021 at 12:57 am

      That’s fantastic…thanks for sharing this information!

      Reply
  • Robert
    August 26, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Been using it about 20 years for poison oak and Ivy. Got curious and Googled it. Thank you for all the info and suggestions. FYI- 97 cents for a bar at WalMart, August 2021.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      August 26, 2021 at 5:59 pm

      Great news…..a bar of Fels Naptha Soap is so inexpensive and has so MANY uses! Hope this works for YOU!!! Thanks for writing!

      Reply
  • joseph
    October 6, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I use Fela- Naptha for cleaning dishes, pots and pans. It works very well. as a matter of caution, use gloves.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      October 8, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks for the tip on using gloves!

      Reply
  • Kathi Mag
    December 28, 2021 at 1:01 am

    I have super sensitive skin, cannot use Noxema which removes a layer of skin and leaves my skin weeping serum, but have used Fels Naptha on my face, body, and hair with excellent results. I figured it would be ok for my skin, as my mom always washed us down with it when we got into poison ivy on camping trips. It leaves my face clean and soft, and my hair clean and shiny.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      December 28, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      There are some that do not like to use Fels Naptha on their skin so this is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • Donald Wilhold SR
    June 4, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    I have used Fels Naptha bar soap for 40 to 50 years and somewhere along the line they changed the bar soap from “hard to lather to soft to lather”& the difference is that it does not clean or remove the oil from my body and for me that is a bad thing.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      June 15, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      It is so frustrating when these good old products are changed. But, I do still rely on my yellow bars of Fels Naptha!

      Reply

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