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The Uses of Fels-Naptha

written by: Vandana Singhal•edited by: BStone•updated: 7/3/2010

Fels-Naptha is a century old, time-tested cleaning product. What can it be used for? Can I use Fels-Naptha to wash dishes? This old-school product has a lot to offer the modern family.

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    Fels-Naptha is an excellent product to perform the tough task of cleaning stains and grime. Though it has existed for more than 100 years few people are familiar with this efficient and versatile soap. It, along with other more natural cleaning supplies such as borax and washing soda, was replaced by newer, chemical-based soaps and detergents. However, Fels-Naptha is now making a come back due to its excellent potential, and price.Fels-Neptha 

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    Fels-Naptha Soap Bar

    Fels-Neptha is a laundry bar soap manufactured today by the Dial Corporation. This is a time-tested product for treating tough stains on your clothing. This soap bar contains 13 components apart from water and fragrance. It is a mix of sodium palmate, sodium tallowate and sodium cocoate or sodium palmate kernelate. Sodium palmate and sodium palmate kernelate are procured from palm oil. Sodium tallowate is obtained from animal fat-tallow. The cleansing agent, sodium cocoate is a basic soap making ingredient. Other ingredients used to make Fels-Naptha include coconut acid, tallow acid, palm acid, glycerine, pentasodium pentetate, titanium dioxide and sorbitol. While it is not as pure and eco-friendly as castile soap for example, it is much better for the environment than conventional soaps and detergents. Even though laundry is the most traditional application for Fels-Naptha, it can be used for many cleaning tasks.

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    Various Uses of Fels-Naptha

    Here are some of the potential uses of Fels-Naptha:

    • Poison ivy treatment — for more than one hundred years, this soap has been used for the treatment and prevention of poison ivy, oak rash and sumac. If you suspect that you have been exposed to poison ivy, sumac or oak, just immediately wash with this soap and rinse with plenty of water. In addition, wash your clothes with grated Fels-Naptha to remove the poison ivy resin.
    • Clean your shower. Use a wet bar of Fels-Naptha along with a non-abrasive scouring scrub to clean your shower. It may take longer initially but it does work well after scrubbing.
    • Remove stains. Though it is not hand soap, it can remove grease, ink or various other nasty stains from your hands. However, it is not safe to wash hands regularly with this soap as it is a skin irritant.
    • Prevent laundry stains. Fels-Naptha effectively removes spots from clothes caused by food, sweat and cosmetics. To remove stains, simply rub the wet bar on the stain and then wash normally. It can remove even the toughest of stains when other pre-treaters are ineffective.
    • In the garden. To get rid of aphids, prepare a solution by mixing 3 tablespoons of soap with a gallon of hot water; let cool and spray on plants.
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    Washing Dishes?

    Can I use Fels-Naptha to wash dishes? Some people often interchange laundry and dishwashing soaps and detergents. Other traditional products, such as baking soda and castile soap can be used for both clothing and dishes; however, this is basically a laundry bar. It is not recommended to use for washing dishes. Fels-Naptha can irritate the skin when used excessively. It is not meant to be a hand or body soap, nor should it be used for cleaning dishes by hand or for cleaning the plates, cups, and silverware that you and your family eat off of.

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    A Wonder Soap?

    Fels-Naptha is definitely one of the most practical soaps on the market. For those trying to save a little money, it is also a fraction of the cost of regular laundry detergent. You might not be able to use Fels-Naptha to wash dishes, or as a body soap, but it can be used for just about everything else.

    To have more interesting information about Fels-Naptha, visit

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