Today, I have 25 ways to use Fels-Naptha bars, they are awesome! As all my loyal readers know, as part of my efforts to be prepared for emergencies and disasters, I try to apply as many approaches as possible to also be self-sufficient and save money at the same time.
Some years ago, a good friend of mine, Kendra, introduced me to Fels-Naptha as a great product to use around the home. She had been making homemade laundry detergent for years and included Fels-Naptha as one of the key ingredients.
She and I spent a day making a huge batch of the detergent so we could share the resulting mixture between our two families. Check out my post about how to make your own laundry detergent, it’s wonderful stuff!
Besides the Fels-Naptha, it includes 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster & Multi-Purpose Cleaner, and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Household Cleaner & Laundry Booster. Yup, just those three ingredients. In case you missed this post, DIY Laundry Detergent
I understand there are also “recipes” to make DIY liquid laundry detergent and DIY laundry detergent pods using Fels-Naptha as an ingredient. I haven’t made those products at this point. I may need to get into those options in one of my future posts.
Since that time I’ve been wanting to do some research and report on each ingredient and how they can be used for other applications. Today it’s Fels-Naptha’s turn.
This image below shows how I “grated” a Fels-Naptha Bar for making my DIY Laundry Detergent. I had to cut the bar in half lengthwise so it would fit in the slot of the machine.
Fels-Naptha has a pretty long history in the cleaning business. It got its start in the 1890s as a product manufactured by Feby Fels and Company. Fels had added the Naptha, a hydrocarbon mixture since it seemed to have the qualities of laundry soap.
Since Naptha is made in a process similar to gasoline and other hydrocarbon products, it was eventually dropped out of cancer concerns. It’s interesting that Naptha remains in the product name.
As the product gained popularity and profits, the Fels Company sold to Purex, a name which is still shown on the packaging. Dial bought out Purex and continued to make the soap until Henkel, a large international company, purchased Dial in the early 2000s.
My efforts today should help you put Fels-Naptha to its most efficient use, but hopefully, you’ll see that in doing so you’ll also save money. Over the years, like so many other household items, cleaning products have experienced a significant increase in cost. Many products have become very specialized as they are designed to remove stains, grease, food, ink, etc., and also provide pleasant scents to your clothes.
One of the benefits of consistent use of Fels-Naptha is the cost of a bar. I just visited Wal-Mart and bought 10 bars at about $1.00 each. The bars are actually larger than most bars of soap, making them even most cost-effective. With all the uses around your house that we’ll discuss today, you’ll be glad you have a bunch of bars in your storage area.
Let’s start out by outlining many ways Fels-Naptha helps you in the laundry room:
You Can Make a Pre-Wash Treatment Solution
You need to take one part Fels-Naptha that has been grated and add it to one part of the Borax laundry booster we used in the homemade laundry detergent. Put the mixture in a pot and add two parts of water. You’ll heat the total mixture until the ingredients have melted down. Put the new solution in your favorite spray bottle and use it like you have other stain sprays.
Get Those Ugly Ink Stains Out
You should see those ink stains disappear by throwing a piece of soap in the washer. If it is a large or heavily soaked ink stain, take a wet bar of Fels-Naptha and rub it all over the stain. Then put the stained item in a gallon of water along with 1/2 cup of the Borax booster mentioned above.
Soak the item for about 30-45 minutes and then put it in your washer like normal. You may want to wash it by itself so you don’t get any of the ink to carry over to other items.
Clean Those Baby Tops or Bibs With Ease
Yup, babies have a habit of getting their food, including formula, all over their tops and bibs, it’s a baby thing. To get those stubborn stains out, rub the stain with a wet Fels bar and then soak them like you did the ink-stained items and throw them in the washer.
No Problem with Those White Clothes Items Like Shirts
Mark used to wear white shirts every day in his job at a bank. I’m so glad they eventually moved to a more casual approach. Now it’s pretty much just Sunday’s best wear for those shirts. I’ve tried bleach over the years and it works ok, but the shirts tend to change color with multiple treatments, and I think the shirts take a beating with the bleach.
A solution is to dissolve a cup of Fels grated flakes in your sink and let the shirts, or other white items needing attention, soak in the sink for an hour or more. Once you’ve soaked them you can put them in the washer with other light-colored items like you’ve always done.
If those shirts have sweat grime around the collar, take one additional step and rub the collar with a dry bar of Fels, and then use a brush with soft bristles to work the soap into the collar, wait for 30-45 minutes, and then wash the item as usual.
Do You Often Get Oil-Based Stains?
If you spend any time in the kitchen or your garage for that matter, you’ll get some stains from oils or grease. It could be splatter from a steak on the BBQ or fry pan, melted butter you spread on some toast, or some drops of oil when you change it in your car or lawnmower.
To remove those stains, wet your Fels bar, rub the bar on the stain, wait for an hour or more, and then wash the item as you’d usually do. If the stain is a tougher one, use the Fels spray explained earlier, run the spray into the stain with a soft brush, wait the hour, and then wash the item. Sometimes these stains take a little extra work and patience!
If You Like Chocolate As I do, You’ll Get Some Stains
I think we all love chocolate, especially kids and grandmas. As you have with so many other stained items, rub the stain with a wet bar of Fels, but then soak it in a Borax booster and water mixture. You’ll want to let the item soak for at least 30 minutes, then wash like always.
Also, try using Fels to get rid of other clothing stains like those caused by spilled colored drinks.
For Those Who Use Makeup, Fels-Naptha Can Be A Godsend
I don’t wear much makeup anymore, I guess it’s an age thing. But if you use makeup on a regular basis, you’ll find Fels can make makeup stain removal an easy chore. Use a dry bar of Fels on the stain, wait for it to do its magic for about 15-20 minutes, then wash the stained item. If you think it needs more attention, use a wet bar or use the Fels spray you’ve made, wait more than 30 minutes, then wash the item.
Are Grass Stains Part of Your Weekly Laundry Challenge?
If you have children involved in outdoor sports, or just young kids who spend time on the grass at the park, grass stains can come into play. I’ve found over the years that this is one of the toughest stains to get out of clothes. Either rub a wet bar into the grass stain or use your Fels spray with a soft brush. You’ll want to let the item sit for at least an hour, then wash it.
If You Wear Leather Pants or Jackets, You’ll Want Fels to Clean Them
I know, leather can be a little touchy. You don’t want to ruin a beautiful or expensive piece of leather clothing with the wrong cleaning solution. I’d suggest you find a spot that isn’t as exposed to view for a trial run. Take a wet bar of Fels and generate some lather.
Take the lather and rub it into the leather until you get even more lather. Rub it for a few minutes, but don’t damage the leather with an aggressive approach. Let the leather dry overnight, or until fully dry. Brush off any residue with a soft cloth.
Do Your Sneakers Need a Do-Over?
Although gym shoes/sneakers come in all sorts of colors, they all tend to get dirty as they journey with us every day. Give those shoes a refresh by rubbing the outside of the shoe with a dry bar of Fels and then brush them off with a damp cloth. If they have those stubborn stains, try using the Fels spray bottle. Be sure to clean off any loose dirt first using a soft brush before any Fels treatments.
Besides Use In Your Laundry, Fels-Naptha is Handy Throughout the House
After a hard day at work, we all need a helper to get the home or apartment cleaned up to our satisfaction. Whether you do a different room each day of the week, or jump in with both feet and do the whole place on a Saturday, Sunday, or another day off, use Fels-Naptha to reduce that workload as follows:
As We Work in Our Yards This Spring, We’ll Need to Clean Those Floors
As the weather gets better, we’ll all be spending more time outside. I’m so excited to see springtime and the chance to start working in my flower and vegetable gardens. Of course, that means I’ll be tracking in the dirt that comes with “working the soil.” Thank goodness I’ve got some Fels-Naptha to help with that chore.
You can make a great floor cleaning solution by putting 1/2 bar of grated Fels into a gallon of water. You’ll heat the water to melt the grated soap. Let the water cool down some and then use the liquid to mop your floors. The great thing is, you not only have clean floors but you don’t have to rinse them. Yay!
Clean Your Upholstery the Easy Way
Just like with the floors, your upholstered furniture may need a going-over, especially if you have dogs or kids who like to sit on it while eating their favorite snack. You can clean that furniture by using a spray bottle to dampen the upholstery slightly and then running a damp bar of Fels over the moist material.
You’ll want to brush the upholstery with a soft brush, and you’ll probably see some lathering action take place.
Use some towels or other cloth material to wipe away any lather, then rinse the cloth and allow it to dry. You may want to vacuum the material once it’s dry in case there is still some residue left.
Your Toilets Can Get a Clean and Refreshing Treatment
Sometimes our toilets get some water stains, particularly if you don’t have soft water in your home. You also have the occasional challenge of residue from someone who was sick or the guys in your home who can’t aim very well. Use Fels to get rid of the stains and smells.
Take 1/4 bar of Fels and melt the grated flakes in 5-6 cups of hot water. Once the mixture has cooled you can add the fragrance you like by adding 15 or more drops of essential oil. Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl and clean as you normally would.
You can also take a washcloth and dip it in the mixture before you put it in the bowl and use that to clean the outside of the bowl and tank.
Sinks in the Kitchen and Bath Often Need a Workover
You can clean those sinks either by using the Fels spray you made or rubbing a bar over the surface of the sink and related faucets and then use a wet soft brush to do the scrub work. Rinse and lather that may be leftover. Easy peasy
Do Your Sinks Get Greasy?
Some homes have a challenge with grease in sinks due to the type of work a family member does or if lots of greasy meats are prepared using the sink. Use the same cleaning process as listed above, but you’ll want to wipe away the lather rather than a typical rinse so you don’t spread any possible grease residue around. Then you follow up with the rinse as a final step.
Like Sinks and Toilets, Showers Can Get Water and Soap Stains
For years we had full glass shower doors. We kept a squeegee in the shower all the time so when you were finished with your shower you could squeegee the doors so water and soap stains were kept at a minimum.
We ended up doing a remodel of our master bathroom, and as part of that, we took out the glass shower area and replaced it with a walk-in totally tile shower space. What a blessing.
If you have glass shower doors and want to keep the glass and the door frame clean, use Fels. You’ll take a bar of Fels and a damp sponge and work up a nice lather. Dampen the glass doors and the frame and then get busy scrubbing the surface with the lathered-up sponge.
Your first time around may take some work, but follow-up treatments should be easier. Use the shower sprayer to rinse the surfaces, and you may even want to towel down the area to make sure all the residue has been removed.
Those Bathroom Tubs Need Some Attention Too
If your shower is incorporated in the tub as part of your bathroom layout, the tub is probably due for a cleaning just like the shower doors. Use the same approach discussed above and you’ll love the results.
Why Use a Commercial Spray for Odor When Fels-Naptha Works?
We see TV commercials all the time telling you to spray your furniture and carpet with their commercial spray to get rid of unwanted odors. You can do the same thing with a spray using Fels. You’ll want to grate 1/4 bar of Fels into two cups of hot water and then heat the mixture so the flakes melt and get dissolved.
Let that mixture cool down and pour the contents into a spray bottle. The Fels puts out a refreshing smell, but you can always add some drops of your favorite essential oil for the scent you want.
When applying the spray, don’t overdo it. Try a light spray your first few times and see how long it lasts, I think you’ll be surprised.
After That Painting Project, Use Fels-Naptha to Clean the Brushes
You’ve spent a lot of money to spruce up that bedroom with a fresh coat of paint, including the cost of some quality paintbrushes. You plan to use the brushes again soon for another room. How do you clean those brushes in hopes of making them like new?
Don’t spend funds on paint thinner, you can use Fels to keep the bristles soft and clean. Once you’ve cleaned the paint from the bristles, rub them over a bar of Fels to get that like-new feeling.
Note, you will need some paint solvent to clean brushes used to paint with oil-based paint. Water will do the trick with water-based paints. The Fels treatment will work on the brushes used for either, once the paint is cleaned off.
How do You Clean Your Aluminum Kitchen Cookware?
If your aluminum cookware needs some help getting back to that like-new shiny appearance, try using Fels. Take the edge of the bar and rub it all over the cookware to “polish” it.
Rinse off the Fels and you should be good to go with shinny kitchen cookware you can be proud of. Note, if you have a bunch of baked-on gunk on the cookware, you’ll need to clean/scrape that off first.
With Warm Weather on the Way, Does Your Patio Furniture Need Help?
I think we’re all excited to have warm weather return. That usually means it’s time for neighborhood get-togethers for an outdoor BBQ, some card games, and more. Let’s get that furniture up to snuff so you feel comfortable inviting people over.
Depending on whether your patio furniture is made of material or leather, you’ll need to decide how best to move forward. Feel free to refer to the cleaning techniques outlined above for cleaning upholstery and leather items and you can’t go wrong.
How’s That Grout Looking Since the Last Time You Cleaned It?
Grout is a challenge to get clean at the best of times. Who wants to get down on their hands and knees to clean that stuff, not me! Since the grout often has dirt ground into it, the Fels can only do so much.
Use the Fels to get that dirt out by rubbing the corner of a bar along the grout line. Follow up with your usual grout cleaning compound and you should find the Fels has helped to loosen the dirt and prepared the grout to be more susceptible to proper cleaning.
Can I Use Fels-Naptha to Clean My Dishes?
We talked earlier about making your own laundry detergent using Fels as one of the ingredients. You can use Fels to make a liquid dishwasher soap, but it’s only going to work if you hand wash items. Homemade dishwasher soap using Fels isn’t automatic dishwasher friendly.
To make the soap, you need to make 1/4 cup of the bar by grating it. You then mix the flakes with a cup of water that you then heat so the flakes will melt.
Let the heated mixture cool and put it in a container you can use next to your kitchen or bathroom sink like you would any other dishwashing product. Plan on shaking it slightly before each use, but use like you’ve done with other products.
Are There Any Other Uses for Fels-Naptha I Should Consider?
Yes, there are a number of uses I haven’t addressed in this post. As my 25th item, I want to highlight some of the suggested uses I came across that I didn’t discuss in this post.
These are uses I don’t have any experiences with, and some I probably won’t ever use, but I wanted to put them out there for your review and consideration. Note that I caution you since Fels-Naptha has been shown to be a skin and eye irritant.
I’m not sure how effective they may be, so try them if you feel comfortable doing so. Here goes:
Make your trash and recycle can smell better.
- Clean your carpets and throw rugs.
- To get rid of mildew.
- Use as an insecticide.
- Make bugs go away.
- Keep those pests out of your garden area.
- Use like WD-40 to make things slide and open better.
- Treat certain bug bites.
- Scrub the skin affected by poison ivy, oak, and sumac to remove the oils that cause itching and blistering.
- Help treat cold sores.
- Keep lice away.
- Has been known to help treat acne.
- Use to keep mice away.
- Can be used like Goo Be Gone to get rid of sticky things.
- Used as a flea and tick shampoo for your pets.
Who would have thought there could be so many uses for a small bar of soap! I certainly didn’t. I hope you find these 25 uses for Fels-Naptha to be helpful in your home. I’ve grown to appreciate this product at so many levels. I’ve used the DIY laundry detergent for years and feel our clothes are cleaner, fresher, and lasts longer than when I used commercial products.
I plan to put many of the uses I’ve outlined here as part of my overall program to find easier solutions to household chores and do so more cost-effectively. Let me know if you try some of these suggestions and how they work for you. We love to hear from our readers. May God Bless this world. Linda