This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our disclosure policy.
When you find something that’s life-changing, you want to share it with the world. That’s what happened when I discovered Fels Naptha Soap. This little bar of soap will change your life. It’s so inexpensive, and you can use it for so many things. Check out these uses for Fels Naptha Soap that is life-changing.
I like grabbing Fels Naptha on Amazon for a few reasons. One it's delivered right to my door. Two I can buy in bulk. Three I can use my free Amazon Gift Cards so I pay nothing out of pocket.
What is Fels Naptha?
Fels Naptha is a laundry soap bar & stain remover that has been around since 1894. It was very popular during the great depression for cleaning all over the house because it was cheap. So housewives found new ways to use this product to stretch their budgets!
Related: 22 Frugal Living Tips from the Great Depression
How to use Fels Naptha?
The main was Fels Naptha is known to be used now it is making your own laundry soap but there are so many more ways to use the soap that you probably didn't even know about! Check out the list below.
Ove on Confessions of an Overworked Mom, she's got another great DIY Powdered Laundry detergent using fels naptha. Give it a gander too!
Is Fels Naptha a Carcinogen?
When Fels Naptha hit the shelves in 1893 it contained Naptha. Obviously. The soap was reformulated and Naptha removed which in turn eliminates the cancer risk. So in short, Fels Naptha is not a carcinogen.
57 Uses for Fels Naptha That Will Change Your Life
Treat cold sores – As weird as it sounds, you can treat cold sores with Fels Naptha by washing the area with soap. Yup, it’s that simple! I love this so much better than other cold sore treatments.
Bug repellant – Bugs can be annoying when they’re in your home. Cut up chunks of the Fels Naptha and place them around your home. You may be surprised as to how quickly those bugs are repelled.
Use Fels Naptha as a scent – When you have a stinky area in your home, like the trash can, use Fels Naptha as a scent guard. It will help keep the stinky smell out of your house!
Make your own liquid laundry detergent – You may already know that Fels Naptha is popular use in laundry detergent. It helps to get your laundry super clean. I shared my DIY Laundry Soap recipe. Amazon even sells a laundry soap kit with enough stock to make laundry soap for months!!
Related: 28 Amazing Uses for Lavender Oil
Whitening whites – People have used Fels Naptha for many years to whiten their whites. You will want to soak the Fels Naptha in hot water, along with the whites.
Use as an insecticide – Mix Fels Naptha with hot water and put in a spray bottle (and label it!). Spray your plants with this mixture.
Remove Wine Stains- Need a great stain remover? Soak those wine stains in Fels Naptha. I used to use the Oxi Clean Gel Stain Stick and swear by it but I've switched to Fels Naptha and it's MUCH cheaper!
Related: Laundry Uses for Fels Naptha
Repel rodents – For some reason, those mice do not like Fels Naptha. Just cut them up into chunks and put them around areas in which the rodents hang out.
Remove grease – Are your hands full of grease? Wash your hands with Fels Naptha.
Clean your carpets – Stains on your carpet can be a real downer. That’s where you use Fels Naptha. This magic bar can be used to get those stains out of your carpet. You will want to grate it and mix it with hot water. Scrub with a scrub brush or use in your carpet cleaner for great results.
Related: 10 Unusual Uses for Lemons
Fels Naptha uses for acne – Nothing is more annoying than acne on the face. You can help eliminate acne by washing your face with Fels Naptha. It will dry out the acne and help you get some relief.
Lice prevention – Instead of waiting to get lice, prevent it with Fels Naptha soap. You can wash your hair with it. However, it if gets in your eyes that can be painful. Make sure you proceed with caution.
Get rid of those sticky labels – When you’re washing a cup and there is a sticky residue left behind, you can use Fels Naptha to get it off. Use the Fels Naptha bar and rub it on the sticker, soak in hot water, and repeat. Skip the Goo Be Gone!
Get rid of squeaky sounds – Have a squeaky door or hinge somewhere in your house? This is another one of these great uses for Fels Naptha. Simply rub the bar on the squeaky part and let the Fels Naptha work its magic.
Related: DIY Better Than Windex Glass Cleaner
Clean between grout – Make a Fels Naptha and hot water mixture to scrub the grout in your home. Watch it turn from brown to white quickly.
Make Pre Wash for Laundry – Adding equal parts of Borax and Fels Naptha that are grated to a double portion of water and boil until melted. Let the solution cool and then use it in a spray bottle on clothes.
Mildew in the shower – Nothing is worse than mold and mildew, use your Fels Naptha/hot water spray mixture to deep clean your shower.
Clean Shower Scum – using a sponge lather up a bar of Fels Naptha and scrub the shower door and handles, you can also use this on the water valve. Simply rinse it off.
Dog Shampoo – Simply use the bar and water to lather your pets. This will help with ticks and fleas as well.
Treat Fever Blisters – wash the area with soap and water. Be careful doing this as Fels Naptha could cause irritation.
Deal with poison ivy – Whether you have poison ivy on your clothes or your skin, you can use Fels Naptha to help get rid of poison ivy for good.
Make dish soap – Just like laundry soap, you can use Fels Naptha Soap to make dish soap. 1 part of grated Fels Naptha to 2 parts water warmed on the stove until all combined.
Clean counters – Take a wet sponge and rub a bar of Fels Naptha Soap on it then clean your sinks and counters. I like using it with a magic eraser, I haven't found a stain I can't get out with it!
Deep clean your rags – 1/2 cup grated Fels Naptha and a gallon of water boiled until the bar is melted. Soak your rags in the solution before washing.
Remove ink – Use it to remove ink from your skin and many other fabrics including leather. As a mom, this comes in handy with 4 kids!
Related: 13 Items They Made During the Great Depression (But We Pay for Now)
Protect your garden – Dissolve 1 bar grated Fels Naptha in a 5-gallon bucket. Then fill the bucket half full of hot water. Now in a cheesecloth, 2 heads of unpeeled garlic, put 2 bunches of chopped scallions, 4 eggs (uncracked), and 1 small can of chili powder. Tie up your cheesecloth with twine.
Tie it up really good and then place the bundle in the bucket and crack the eggs. Fill the bucket up with more hot water and top with the lid. let sit for 1 week then pour it into a sprayer. Spray the area that you want to keep the deer and other animals away from.
You will need to reapply every 2 weeks or after it rains but just beware, this smells nasty!
Remove Grass Stains – Work a wet bar of Fels Naptha into the stain. If you need to you can use a soft brush to really work the fabric. Let the clothes sit for about an hour and then wash.
Get blood stains out of clothing – Rub a Fels Naptha bar onto the stain and add a little borax mixture. Let the solutions sit overnight and then wash with laundry. You may have to repeat this process depending on the amount of blood but the stain should fade over time.
Sink cleaner – Using Fels Naptha with a soft cleaning brush will clean up sinks. You can rub a wet par over the area you want to clean then use the brush to scrub it. I have also been told to dissolve some soap into the water and add some lemon essential oil for cleaning as well.
Clean your shoes – Rub a bar over your shoes before washing them to remove stains and odors.
Skip the scented trash bag – Use Fels Naptha to clean your trash can out then place a 1-inch cube at the bottom of the can it will give a scent and repel bugs.
Treat mosquito bites – These bites itch like crazy! Super easy wash the area with Fels Naptha soap and pat dry, don't rub.
Tanning Hides – Yes it's possible! Use 1 bar per gallon of liquid.
Related: 10 Unusual Uses for Lemons
Clean Outdoor Furniture – Rinse off your outdoor furniture then run a bar of Fels Naptha all over it and then take your soft cleaning brush and scrub that dirt out!
Clean aluminum – If you have aluminum pots and pans this is a great cleaner for them! Use it like dish soap.
Fels Naptha eczema – Many say using Fels Naptha as a bar soap on their eczema helps lessen it.
Upholstery Cleaner – If you have kids you will want to make big batches of this! Get a spray bottle and wet the furniture, using a wet bar of Fels Naptha scrub the upholstery, and use a brush to clean it. Wipe off the suds and rinse well. Wala!
Clean Your Car – The same way Fels Naptha removes stains in your house will remove stains in your car, on the floor, and on the seats.
Ring around the collar – We know by now Fels Naptha is huge on getting stains out but did you know they specialize in getting out the ring around the collar stains?
Related: Homemade Foaming Soap Trick That Saves You Money!
Clean your refrigerator – Kids get into your fridge and spill something? Fels Naptha is great to help you clean it up, especially those super sticky stains like jelly that have been hiding in the back of the fridge!
Clean paint brushes – Painting around the house or doing DIY projects? Use Fels Naptha to clean your paintbrushes. It will lengthen their life and save them money!
Clean towels – We use towels around the house all the time! To clean up spills and messes, even to remove makeup in a pinch. This can start to really ruin your towels. Use Fels Naptha to clean your towels will get all those tricky stains out.
Wash your hair – This soap is great for getting out all the residue from lots of hair products and helps to strip hair color without killing your hair. Use it when needed but not every day, though they did use it more often in the Great Depression.
Clean the Toilet – Use 1/4th of a bar of Fels Naptha and around 5 cups of water. Boil together until the soap melts. Allow it to cool and then you can add essential oils if you'd like to give it a scent. You can use a spray bottle or simply pour the mixture into the toilet and give it a good scrub.
Removing Baby Formula from clothing – Rub a Fels Naptha bar on the clothes and then soak in a borax solution ( half cup borax and a gallon of water) for about half an hour. Then toss in the laundry. The stains will break up and start disappearing.
Freshen Up Trash Cans – Before I used my DIY Febreze for this and because it's a trash can we went through a lot of it. Now I have a spray bottle with this Fels Naptha mixture to keep my can smelling great and bonus, it also disinfects as well. Mixture: 4 tablespoons of Fels Naptha, 1-gallon hot water, stir. Let it cool. Add essential oils of your choice for the smell of your preference. Spray the entire inside of the can and let it dry.
Make your own Powder Laundry Detergent – I shared above my Liquid detergent but some prefer a powder. For a powder, you will need a food grate and a food processor to really break up the bars. Here is the recipe for the detergent: 8 cups washing soda, 6 cups borax, 3 Fels Naptha bars. Grate the bars and use the processor to break the remaining down to powder. When all is a powder mix together and store in an airtight container.
Remove Chocolate Stains – Similar to wine stains you will want to soak the stained clothing in a Fels Naptha mixture then wash.
Clean Leather – With a wet bar rub the stain on the leather until it lathers. Let it sit for about an hour then wipe with a dry tea towel.
Remove Makeup Stains – Rub a Fels Naptha bar on the stain directly and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then wash with other clothes.
Drawer Hinges – These are the last thing I ever think about cleaning but they get really grimy all the time. Rub a bar of Fels Naptha on the tracks and wipe down with a cloth.
Related: 30 Ways to Use Fabric Softener
Floor Cleaner – 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha grated and 1 gallon of water brought to a boil to melt the soap. Let it cool and mop as normal.
Remove Grease from clothing – You can soak your grease-stained clothes in Fels Naptha.
Heal up Chiggar bites – lather up with a bar of Fels Naptha and rinse off. This will help with the itch.
Clean Make-up Brushes – Give more life to your makeup brushes when you clean them with Fels Naptha. This is one of my favorite uses for Fels Naptha.
Cleaning Athletic wear – lather up your sports or workout clothing and then toss it in the wash.
Helping with splinters and infection – This is from readers so attempt with caution. Some have said using this soap and brown sugar to make a paste has helped draw out splinters and cure those splinter infections.
Keep in mind that some uses for Fels Naptha soap can be a skin irritant, so you don’t want to use it too much! You can dilute it a bit and still get the benefits!
So there ya have it. What are some uses for Fels Naptha do you have? Let me know in the comments and I can add them to the list.
Bruce Wallace says
Here’s another use for the Naptha soap. It is very good for washing after chigger and tick bites. It relieves the itch and reduces the soreness/swelling of the bits, and helps remove any of the bugs that still might be hanging around. After my recent bout with chiggers and ticks it worked great to help with the healing.
Thank you for these awesome ideas. I have used fels-naptha for many years as a laundry detergent and it does a wonderful job. wouldn’t use anything else. I love having more ways to use this great product. 🙂
Russ Bound says
My wife says she knew most of these. In San Diego, Fels Naptha has become not available except possibly Wal Mart which we only shop at when there is no other choice.
I ordered mine through Amazon. Was a lot less expensive
I give a bar and uses to all brides. They laugh but email me a thanks months later. One bar lasts quite awhile. I cut it into quarters and store it into a small plastic container, lid off please.
It is FANTASTIC for poison ivy. I have a severe allergy to poison ivy. I had to be put on prednisone for it. Fels Naptha was the only thing thing got rid of it and gave me some relief.
Thanks for that comment. My fiance was just told at the hospital to get this soap to help with his poison sumac.
Mary Polston says
I was in so much pain from Sumac on my neck bought a bar made a lather and washed my neck and arms wow worked as soon as I washed it thank goodness I found something for this
Absolutely. I have the same problem. Very very allergic to poison ivy. I’ve used this soap with barely warm water and a washcloth. I have escaped major allergic reactions if I wash within 2 hours of knowing or suspecting I have come in contact with it. Barely warm water to wash and then a cool water rinse of my skin and it avoids weeks of discomfort.
Misty Smith says
What about Virginia Creeper? I don’t recall being around any, but I woke this morning with what I thought was mosquito bites on both of my ears, but five hours later and my ears are blistering, around my eyes are swollen and blistering and itching!!!! as well as nether regions… I pray to god I can find some of this!
Stacy Taylor says
Can I use Fels Naptha on a nylon, lycra black top? Concerned it will discolor the black which would be worse than the small stain.
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
I’m going to be honest and say I don’t know. I did some digging and don’t see a lot of information. I am so sorry! One lady siad she uses it on her sports jerseys that are Nylon based with no problems.
If you use Fells Naptha as a laundry detergent you know it will not harm your Lycra. I do a lot of cycling and wash my bibs and jerseys with Fells. I also wear a lot of Under Armor and Cool Max shirts made of Lycra. They all get washed with Fells and have for years. No problem with Fells Naptha and Lycra.
Priscilla Deatrick says
Any idea how to get rid of the smell from shampooing my carpet with Fels Napha, baking soda and castile. I have a reaction where my head hurts, eyes and throat irritated, and lungs feel bad and nose sorta burning feeling. Went over it twice with water, after it dried sprinkled baking soda all over and run an ozone generator. Still bothering me. Any help appreciated.
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
Some have added some essential oils when shampooing. We don’t have carpet any more so I don’t have any personal suggestions sadly.
Lois Decky says
I just heard that this soap can be bad for septic system. Do you have any information or comments about that? I used to make my own laundry detergent with Fels but haven’t for awhile, would like to start again.
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
We have a septic system and never had an issue. I also use RidX once a month too.
You can substitute yeast packets for ridx. Our plumber gave us this info.
Couple of leaves of cabbage works like rid-x in your septic system.
I’d like to know more about using cabbage leaves instead of Rid-X. Like maybe how long have you used it yourself & how is it working for you, how much, how often, and how to get the cabbage into the septic system?
I was wondering if I could use Fels napha on the aluminum part of a crock pot which would be the heating element? And what would be the best way to do it because the heating element part of the crock pot can’t be soaked in water. Or is there some other way to get it clean? I have saw a few things on Pintrest and I tried putting ammonia in a glass bowl and let it set in crock pot over night with the lid on and it didn’t work for me. Really would like to get the stuff off it where stuff has spilled or burnt on food. Please help me!!!
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
I honestly don’t know if you can I have only used a wet clothes on mine.
Bar Keepers Friend, read all about it. http://www.BarKeepersFriend.com
Delores Barden says
Can fels naptha get rid of athlete’s feet from your shower tile and get rid of that yellow and black color from between the tiles
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
I’m not sure about athletes feet. I want o say yes because it’s soap but I don’t know for sure. I have found for the tile grout if the Fels Naptha doesn’t get it all I will use Oxi Clean and water. I have a container of Oxi Clean and it’s last me a year because Fels Naptha does great on almost everything.
Bórax works great for athletes foot. Look up Earth clinic dot com for other uses.
Karen k says
A salad shooter made quick work of grating a complete bar. Now I have plenty of small pieces to mix with hot water as needed. Caution with small children though. It looks like grated cheese.
Question…. When I was younger my mother would use Fels-naptha for head lice killer..but I forgot how long we had to leave it on before rinsing it off. Any idea?
Zandile Shange says
Hi Danielle, where do ilI get this Fels Naptha soap. Which supermarkets keeps this soap.
Just about all of them have it in the laundry isles.
I buy FelsNaptha from Walmart
I love fels-napha. A family member and I got really bad hives from Gain laundry pods. I washed with fels-naptha and then washed all of the clothes with it. I knew it would work because I used it previously for poison oak. It got rid of the oils from my skin and clothes. The other family member who lived across town went to the hospital and got shots and antibiotics and creams and kept getting reinfected. I had no idea that she had the same reaction as me. We talked on the phone a month later. She was shocked when I mentioned that this soap cured everything in 48 hours. She had wished that she had talked to me about this first. It would have saved her a lot of time and frustration.
I use Fels Napa to clean my makeup brushes. It works so well but is this safe to do?
Sandy Fagan says
What amount of felsnaptha do you shred for laundry soap & the amount of borox and ? to add to Fels? Sorry forgot what the 3 item was!
Also what is the amount of Fels and & water to clean grout?
Barbara Thompson says
Washing soda , one box washing soda , one box borax , one bar grated soap. Easiest to remember.
FelsNaptha is great for cleaning makeup brushes !
K Peduzzi says
I’m going to be hiking a long distance and weight limits of my pack are crucial.
Ive been looking for a singular product for shampoo, body and laundry.
Is Felsnaptha safe for regular bathing not just poison ivy and bug bite/repellant prevention?
I am very interested in trying so many of these ideas. I was wondering if you have made a simple reference chart with the proportions used on mixing for the different applications. I would really love a one page reference chart as I make and use these old remedies.
I have some carpet stains from my MIL old dog. I can’t get out so far. I don’t want to use to much soap in the mix because that can collect the dirt all over again.
Thanks for all your helpful tips
I rubbed stains in my bathroom throw rugs with the bar then laundered with a bit of detergent and stains were gone.
Floor carpet I’d (guess) to rub stains and brush them. Someone posted about carpet earlier. But a small amount soap & water is an idea. Maybe worth doing if stains are bad.
Read above about adding a dot of essential oil too.
Fels Naphtha used to considered the go to remedy for dirty language & back talking! Often the threat of it was enough to cure the problem!
Barbara Jones says
I don’t know if anyone would need this hack but when I was a little girl my leg fell into a rotted fence post. A big splinter was in my knee it got infected and wasn’t easy to remove my mother made a paste with the Fels Naphtha and brown sugar and put it on the wound every day. It took a few days but it drew out the splinter so I guess Fels Naphtha is magic.
This product sounds miraculous. Has anyone ever tried it to remove skunk spray? My dog can’t resist chasing them.
I had pantry bug (flies) infestation — so got rid of all the grains & cakes mixes — almost everything except cans. Thoroughly washed cupboards down,then placed full bar of Fels Naptha on shelf to deter them. They are munching on corner of the bar!
Andrea Gapo says
When I was little, my mom used Fels Naptha and brown sugar to draw infection from her finger. She had a red streak half-way up her arm from the felon on her finger. It also drew the infection out in a couple days. I have cellulitis in my forearm but can’t figure out if I could use Fels Naptha for it. I’m on antibiotics for it now.
I read it was a carcinogen. Anyone have any input on that?
The soap was reformulated and Naptha removed so it is no longer considered a cancer risk.
I bought a bar at my local grocery store and it was only $1.19 which was cheaper than a single bar on AMAZON. I haven’t used it yet because I’m trying to figure out how much to use. For instance, I have a pair of white athletic pants that are stained. Do I cut off a chunk and soak it along with the pants before washing them? Do I rub the bar on the stains that I sometimes get on my shirts (I usually use Lestoil but have found this not as effective lately). And finally, if the clothing has already been through the dryer, will this work on “set” stains? Please help – I’ve heard such great things about this soap! Thank you
Hi! Create a lather with the bar and water and scrub on your stains. Then toss in the laundry for a good wash and rinse.
Fels Naptha Gal says
I began washing my face with Fels Naptha in 1960! Back then, our family couldn’t afford to buy any of the fancy brands of soaps (such as Dove). The inexpensive brown bar of Fels Naptha was the only soap my mother kept in our house, so it was my only choice. I’ve been washing my face every day with Fels since then. I’ve grown to love it so much, that I now keep an ample supply on hand, and carry a bar of the soap when I travel. Over the years, I’ve received many compliments on my fair complexion. Others have even asked what products I use to get my complextion so clear. My answer is always a surprise – Fels Naptha brown soap.
I guess most people would imagine a cheap laundry soap to be harsh on the skin; but actually it’s quite gentle. However, I believe there must be something beneficial about the soap which helps to kill germs and bacteria. If you’re a senior, like me, I recommend following up with a natural moisturizer.
My son gets recurring cellulitis on his foot and ankle. Since Fels Naptha soap kills germs and bacteria would it be safe to wash with it to ward off any infection?
I have had trouble finding Fels Naptha so I contacted the company. I was told that it is no longer being made because they cannot get all of the ingredients. My grandmother introduced me to this great product as a teenager. I am 76 now and am going to miss it terribly. Nothing removes stains like Fels Naptha.
You can get it on Amazon pretty easily. https://amzn.to/3Af2kLy
I just bought some Fels Naptha on Amazon.com
Just now, a little bit on Fels Naphtha bar soap on a wet paper towel did a GREAT job of removing black shoe polish from a month-old almost-white carpet!!!!! I couldn’t be happier!!!!! 🙂