With cleaning supplies cleared from the shelves, people are looking to use the cleaning supplies they can find. The laundry bars are often the last items to go because most people have no idea what to do with them.
The good news is that if you can find bars like Fels Naptha and Zote you can do a lot more than you ever imagined. Fels Naptha has many amazing uses around your home.
Looking for a milder option? Try Zote Soap.
What is Fels Naptha?
Fels Naptha is a lye-based soap bar made by Purex. This soap has been around since 1893 and it the kind of soap that your great, great, great grandparents used for pretty much everything. Fels Naptha can be irritating for some people’s skin but it is tough to argue with the fact it works.
Designed for laundry and stain removal Fels Naptha is best known as an ingredient in homemade laundry soap recipes.
Fels Naptha is a great frugal option that can help save you money while cleaning even the toughest messes. This cheap option is a great addition to your Bug Out Bag because unlike other cleaners it is lightweight and can be stored in a zip lock bag between uses so you can put it back into your bag.
What is in Fels Naptha?
Fels Naptha is lye-based which can be incredibly effective for cleaning tough stains but is a known irritant. This is why I suggest you do not use it on your skin except in extreme cases like to get rid of poison ivy or to remove thick layers of grease.
Fels Naptha also contains other irritants like titanium dioxide and acid-based coloring. EWG rates Fels Naptha a “C” you can visit their site here to see a full list of ingredients in Fels Naptha along with the connected precautions.
Is Fels Naptha Eco-Friendly?
The short answer is no. Fels Naptha contains titanium dioxide a chemical known for contaminating water and harming wildlife. This is one of the harsh ingredients that makes Fels Naptha NOT safe for use on skin.
If you are looking for a laundry soap bar that is safe on the skin and recommended for handwashing laundry give Zote Soap a try🧼.
Tips for using Fels-Naptha soap for cleaning.
While many people will use the Fels Naptha soap bar for cleaning directly with the bar by rubbing it onto a sponge or scrub pad I find the easiest way to use this very hard soap bar is to grate some of it with a cheese grater. We keep one just for soaps and such to help prevent having soapy cheese.
Mix the grated soap into warm water to make the bar soap into a liquid soap. This is easier to spread, use for scrubbing, and even dilute more and make into a sprayable liquid for quick and easy cleaning. A single bar can make many bottles of all-purpose spray cleaner.
Amazing uses for Fels Naptha
Laundry Uses For Fels-Naptha
The biggest use for Fels Naptha is removing laundry stains. It works well on grease making it a great stain treatment for guys that are into mechanics. Wet the fabric with warm water and rub a dampened bar of Fels Naptha into the stain to pre-treat. This can be done a few times.
Fels-Naptha can be used to make your own homemade laundry soap by grating it up and mixing it with borax and washing soda.
You can use Fels-Naptha as a clothes whitener. Grate some off and add to warm water. After allowing it to resolve you can then soak your white clothing to help whiten it before washing. This process can be done right in your washing machine.
Heavy soil messes
Because of how strong Fels-Naptha is it tends to be a great option for very tough cleaning jobs that need a more chemical option. Remember that this cleaner is rough on the skin and you should wear gloves to avoid direct contact.
Mopping heavily soiled floors with grated and dissolved Fels Naptha is a great way to cut through grease and grime easily. In fact, you can use this solution as a general degreaser.
While cleaning your floors you can take the bar to rub the soap into your grout before going over it with a drill scrub brush to get your grout as clean as new without a fight.
Fels Naptha is a very effective way to clean and deodorize trash cans. You can scrub and rinse your trash can leaving it odor-free and fresh by converting grated Fels Naptha into a strong liquid cleaner. Before adding your trash bag, cut off a chunk of soap from the bar and place it at the bottom of the trash can.
Clean your shower or bathroom tub
If you are dealing with soap scum or hard water stains on your bathtub you can use Fels Naptha to fight these common issues. To use Fels Naptha to fight soap scum and hard water stains rub a damp bar onto a scrub sponge the scrub.
For an easier to use option grate your bar or Fels Naptha and place a small amount into a spray bottle with warm water. Allow it to devolve then shake well before spraying onto the surface you need to clean. Let it sit for a moment to get rid of tough stains in your tub or shower. A drill scrub brush is my favorite tool for tough jobs like this.
Clean tough grout
Use Fels Naptha as a cleaning agent for tough grout stains. Simply rub a damp bar of Fels Naptha over the grout pushing it in hard. Dampen and allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing. This is another place a drill brush can come in handy.
Tough sink stains
The stain removal power of Fels Naptha is an amazing tool for dealing with hard water, soap scum, or even makeup stains in your sink. Rub a little onto a scrub sponge or scrub cloth and then rub into your stains and let sit while you clean the kitchen. Then wash as normal to remove the sink stains.
Clean Your Toilets Using Fels Naptha Soap
The toilet can be difficult to maintain as a clean part of the home, but Fels-Naptha soap can help clean it and keep it clean for longer periods of time. Start by making your own liquid soap by mixing grated Fels-Naptha with warm soapy water to create a thick goo-like cleaner. Pour this into your toilet and use your scrub brush to scrub it thoroughly.
Cut the rest of the bar into large chunks. Place a chunk into the back tank of your toilet like you do toilet cleaning tabs. Each time you flush your toilet, the soap dissolves and breaks down dirt and grime. Clean your toilet and replace the chunk in the back of the tank at least once a week.
Use Fels Naptha as a hand degreaser
While you should not do this if you are sensitive to Fels Naptha as even the company warns it can be harsh on skin this is a great way to get oil and grease off hands. If you are like me and have a husband that likes to work on cars and motorcycles you know that they tend to have a hard time getting it off.
Fels Naptha is a great option for washing this grease off of hands before they run through the house leaving marks on walls, furniture, and even the kids.
Use Fels Naptha to clean your oven
Ovens are challenging to clean and to get the job done you need a strong and effective cleaner. Fels Naptha is a reliable option for clearing away old baked-on food from your oven. Grated Fels Naptha, coarse salt, and just enough water to turn it all into a paste makes a wonderful cleaner for tough jobs like your oven.
Rub this mixture all over your oven and let sit for 30 minutes before using a wet scrubber or drill brush to scrub away the dirt, grime, and baked-on food. This will even break down burned on oil.
You can use Fels Naptha as a carpet cleaning solution
If you run out of carpet cleaner and need a quick, easy, and effective option for cleaning your carpet you can make your own carpet cleaner. Grate up a couple of teaspoons of Fels Naptha and mix into a gallon of hot water until devolved. This will be mild enough for your machine to handle while still helping aid in pulling out the dirt and grime leaving your carpet looking like new.
Clean your stainless steel with Fels Naptha
Dilute a small amount of grated Fels Naptha into warm water to make a very thin solution similar to a window cleaner. This can be used with a microfiber cloth to clean and buff your stainless steel to the perfect shine.
Removing mold and mildew with Fels-Naptha.
It needed a good scrub down to remove the mold and mildew. We grated and melted down Fels Naptha and used this strong lye-based soap to scrub down the deep freezer and remove mold and mildew easily.
Clean your lawn furniture without a hassle.
The deep cleaning power of fels-naptha makes an amazing solution for cleaning your outdoor furniture that can get grimy and hold girth in the textured parts. Grate some fels-naptha with a cheese grater and mix with water to make a strong liquid cleaner in your mop bucket.
Grab a scrubby sponge and dip it into the solution before rubbing it all over your lawn furniture. Then take a drill scrub brush to quickly remove dirt. Rinse and let dry. Your lawn furniture will look good as new. This is one of the best uses for Fels Naptha because of how strong the surfactants are, making it perfect for tough built-on messes.
Garden pest control
Melt down some grated Fels-Naptha soap in some warm water. Mix this with more water until you have a thin soapy mixture. You can then spray this on your plants to use as an insecticidal soap. Use Fels-Naptha to kill off aphids and other insects just like using Dawn Dish soap does. Spray daily in the evening until evidence of insects has stopped.
Treat poison ivy
If you have been unlucky enough to come into contact with poison ivy the most important thing you can do is to wash the area and any clothing that came into contact with warm soapy water. The strong sufficient in Fels-Naptha is an amazing asset for helping to treat poison ivy because it easily attaches to and removes the reaction causing oils left behind by contact.
If you are going out camping where poison ivy or other poison plants like poison oak are present consider taking along some Fels-Naptha and Zote soap and a camp shower to help make it easy to treat then take the time to follow up with hydrocortisone cream from your first aid kit to help keep you comfortable. Another great option is a baking soda and vinegar paste.
Hopefully, this is one of the uses for Fels-Naptha you will never need but having the knowledge might just help save you from a miserable time.
Clean makeup and paintbrushes
Fels Naptha is an amazing option for removing dirt, oils, grime, and even paint from brushes. Whether you are looking to clean your art supplies or want to make properly clean your makeup brushes by making your own makeup brush cleaner and mat Fels Naptha is a great option. Simply grate a bit into warm water and mix until devolved. Then you can let your brushes sit in the solution before rubbing on a brush mat and rinsing clean.
Substitutes for Fels Naptha
If you are unable to find Fels-Naptha you do have some options for alternatives to Fels Naptha.
A popular brand of laundry soap that is just as popular as Fels-Naptha, Zote originated in Mexico, is available in pink and white bars, and has a citronella scent. Compared to Fels-Naptha, it may be more readily available at big-box stores and small mom-and-pop shops. Its primary ingredients are the same as Fels-Naptha with a milder formula and the addition of citronella oil that gives it many more great uses.
The Castile Soap that is made with vegetable oils is not really a brand, but a type of soap. When shopping, look for one that has only natural ingredients. Castile soaps are commercially available and made with a wide variety of oils, which include coconut, olive, hemp, avocado, almond, and walnut oils. Kirk’s and Dr. Bronner’s are two popular brands when it comes to castile soap.
As another classic American product, Ivory is a gentle soap that is free of dyes and heavy perfumes. It also contains sodium palmate, sodium tallowate, and sodium cocoate, which are similar to those found in Fels-Naptha. The product can be found in almost any grocery or drug store. This is a great option if you want to skip the grater because you just need to microwave it to make a fluffy cloud that collapses into powder.