It seems like Fels Naptha has been around forever.
It is currently manufactured by Dial Corporation but was developed in the late 1800s by Joseph Fels who lived in Philadelphia. Mr. Fels created Fels Naptha originally to treat contact dermatitis for exposure to poison ivy or poison oak. That leads me to wonder… since Fels Naptha soap works by breaking up the oils, would work for exposure to handling jalapeno peppers? Did you ever slice and remove the seeds from a pound of jalapeno peppers? I have. Talk about some pain. When those oils start sinking into the layers of the skin it can burn for hours. And please don’t touch your eyes or any other extra tender place on your body.
My grandparents used Fels Naptha, and my mother always had a bar of the soap on hand – with 7 children, it was a regularly used item for removing stains from clothing.
Homemade Laundry Soap
I personally never bought Fels Naptha until I learned it was an ingredient for making homemade laundry soap.
I’m always interested in trying homemade products to stretch our budget so I bought all the ingredients and gave it a shot. The recipe I used to make my homemade laundry detergent is here, and this post has photos of the batch I made. I was able to find Fels Naptha from my local Walmart but when my boss wanted to try the recipe she had trouble finding it. Her daughter with six children also wanted to try the homemade detergent but could not find it. I told her no problem – I’d just check my local Walmart, thinking maybe we were able to find it easier since we live in a rural area.
I was surprised to find they were no longer carrying it. I started searching for it on the Internet.
I ordered six bars for my boss and had it shipped to our job.
The joke was on me when I got to work on Monday and told her the good news. Apparently she’d found and bought six bars, and another person at work had done the same thing!
She told me to go ahead and give her the bill for the Fels Naptha and she’d reimburse me, but I didn’t feel that was the right thing to do. I kept the Fels Naptha for myself and have been finding ways to use it ever since.
My mom was right, it works great at removing oily and greasy stains, ring around the collar, grass stains and blood. I wished I’d taken my mom advice earlier in life when my children were young and creating havoc with their clothing on a daily basis!
I also learned that Fels Naptha removes stains from carpet that I thought would never come up. One of our dogs sleeps at the foot of our bed and it was very stained. I’m including a photo below – the left side was taken before I replaced my bedding with a beautiful comforter set (only $50 from Ross Dress for Less). But look at the carpet. I swear to you, that’s the same carpet, in the right side of the photo it looks brand new! I scrubbed that carpet on my hands and knees, but it was totally worth it! I wet the carpet with the carpet cleaner, then scrubbed a square foot at a time with a bar of Fels Naptha until it had suds, then sucked up the soap with plain water in the carpet cleaner.
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