Uses for Fels-Naptha

1959 Fels Naptha


Fels-Naptha History

Fels-Naptha soap has stood the test of time. It has been around for over 100 years.  It was in the Fels family until 1964 when it was sold to Purex. It used to come in not only bar  form, but in liquid, granule and chips form (Gentle Fels, Instant Fels, Speedy Fels) as well. It’s manufactured by Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. It now has the Purex logo on the packaging. It’s often over-looked in the laundry aisle. But once you see the vintage looking label, you’ll easily recognize it.

Bar of fels naptha
It’s commonly used to make homemade laundry soap when combined with 20- Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

Powdered Laundry Soap

2 cups finely shredded Fels-Naptha or Zote soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight plastic container. Use two tablespoons per laundry load. Use vinegar as a fabric softener, and hang-dry clothing at least part of the time. Keep in mind that sunshine bleaches naturally. And most clothing and towels don’t have to be washed after a single use.

Liquid Laundry Soap

1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax

Grate 1/3 bar of soap. In a large pan (reserve this pan for soap-making only), mix 6 cups of very hot water and grated soap. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Using a wooden spoon, stir until it comes to a boil. Lower heat and stir until it thickens (about 15 minutes). Watch closely to prevent it from boiling over. Remove from heat. In large bucket, pour 1 quart of hot water and stir in the soap mix. Add another 5 1/2 quarts of water. Mix to combine. Set aside for 24 hours to form a thick gel. For ease of use, pour into a container with a lid (you can reuse an old laundry-soap container or milk jug), and shake before using. Use 1/2 cup of soap per machine-load of clothes.

It’s great as a strain fighter, too.

Stain Remover and Pre-treater:

It works especially well on oil-based stains. Just rub the stain with a wet bar of Fels-Naptha Soap. Let it sit for a while and launder as usual. It works great on baby clothes, which often have formula
stains. And it works wonderfully on perspiration stains and oil-based cosmetic stains, too.
– Chocolate smudge on clothes. Rub the stain with Fels-Naptha Soap and let sit in your filled washer with 20 Mule Team Borax for 30 minutes. Launder as usual.
– Clean white canvas tennis shoes. Work the Fels-Naptha Soap into a lather and use a soft brush to work into the canvas. Launder as usual without chlorine bleach.
– Remove old stains on colored clothes. Make a solution of 2 cups warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Pour on stain. Let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse well and work in Fels-Naptha Soap. Launder as usual.

Fels-Naptha is versatile and can be used for more than just homemade laundry soap and stain remover.

Here’s a few more uses for Fels-Naptha.

Clean paint brushes:

Simply run the paint brush over the soap bar, add a bit of water, rub the brush to clean and rinse.

Shower Cleaner:

Rub a nonabrasive scouring sponge with a wet bar of Fels-Naptha and start cleaning. It will take a little hard work the first time you use it but it will be a breeze after that.

Poison Ivy Prevention and Treatment:

Use for the treatment and prevention of poison ivy, sumac and oak rash. Shower immediately with Fels-Naptha to remove the resin from your skin, and it will help to dry up the rash, as well. This will greatly reduce and in most cases prevent any skin reaction to the poison ivy oil. Make sure to launder your clothes in some shaved or grated fels naptha (about 1/16th of the bar) to remove the resin from your clothes, too. Poison ivy resin can stay on your clothes for over 1 year even if the clothes have been washed with normal detergent.

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Deer Repellent:

This requires a little work and smells bad but it works.
1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap — grated
2 bunches of scallions — chopped
2 heads of garlic — separate the gloves but don’t peel
4 eggs — whole
1 small can of chili powder

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with a lid about half full of hot water. Pour the grated fels naptha into the water and stir to dissolve. Put all the other ingredients in cheesecloth or pantyhose and
place in bucket of soap mixture. Take a spoon and crack the eggs against the side of the bucket. Fill the bucket up completely with hot water, leaving the cheesecloth submerged. Put in a shady place for about seven days with a lid on it. Hold your breath and place small amounts in a garden sprayer and spray where the deer are foraging. Reapply after each rain or about every 14 days.


Can clean items such as leather purses, couches and sneakers. Lather a soft cloth with Fels-Naptha and water. Scrub gently and rinse with a damp cloth.

How do you use Fels-Naptha?

Here’s more about Joseph Fels, the maker of Fels-Naptha and his wife Mary Fels.  And more Fels Naptha History.



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Six Savings from Soap

Made possible with Fels-Naptha by its perfect combination of splendid soap and real naptha. How this golden bar brings ease and economy in doing your washing and general housework.

1. A saving of clothes
Why not make your lovely clothes last longer? Those dainty undergarments with edgings and insertions you crochet with your own hands, are too precious to be worn-out so soon in washing.
When you rub clothes between a hard soap and a hard washboard, that means wearing away the fabric and hurrying it to the ragbag.
Fels-Naptha is particularly safe. Because it is not a brick-hard soap it rubs off easily on the clothes without wear. And it washes clothes so gently! The real naptha in Fels-Naptha makes he dirt let go by loosening it from the fibre without injury to the fabric. Only extremely soiled places need a light rubbing. You don’t have to do any hard rubbing at all. This is why Fels-Naptha keeps clothes from wearing-out fast.

2. A saving of hands
There is no need to risk scalding and shriveling your hands in hot water, or to put up with the extra heat and steamy atmosphere of boiling clothes. Fels-Naptha does its work in water of any temperature.
You can boil clothes with Fels-Naptha if you wish, and get them clean quicker than with ordinary soap, because of the real naptha in Fels-Naptha; but thousands of women tell us they find no need of boiling when they use Fels-Naptha.
The Fels-Naptha way of washing with lukewarm water is the comfortable way.

3. A saving of time
In using Fels-Naptha you simply wet the clothes, soap them, put them to soak, then go about the house for half an hour doing something else while the real naptha in Fels-Naptha goes through and through the clothes and loosens dirt. At the same time, Fels-Naptha makes the water soapy, ready to flush away the dirt when you douse the clothes p and down a few times. Extremely soiled places, of course, will need a light rubbing. Rinse, and the washing is done. A saving of time!

4. A saving of fuel
Since you can do the washing with Fels-Naptha in lukewarm water, what is the use of wasting gas or coal? You can save all the extra heat needed to boil clothes, if you use Fels-Naptha.
When you use a washing machine-because the naptha in Fels-Naptha loosens the dirt even before the washer starts to work, you don’t have to run the washer so long-you save electric current.

5. A saving of work
When you use Fels-Naptha there is no need to spend the morning bending over the washtub, or to rub your strength away on the washboard. There is no boiler to lift on and off the stove, and no lifting of clothes in or out of the boiler. You will never dread the weekly wash when you do it the Fels-Naptha way, because it doesn’t tire you out.
If you have the washing “done out” with Fels-Naptha, the clothes come home sweeter and cleaner, and with less wash wear and tear. Or, if the washing is done at home for you with Fels-Naptha, the strength saved enables your laundress to do the ironing, too, the same day. A real saving of work!

6. A saving of money
Besides the saving of money in fuel, time and clothes, very often with Fels-Naptha you save doctor’s bills by preventing colds from overheating, and other illness from over-exertion.
The only way you can make this all-round saving from soap is to be sure you get Fels-Naptha-the original and genuine naptha soap-of your grocer. The clean naptha odor and the red and green wrapper are your guides.