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Fels-Naptha is a brand of bar laundry soap. It is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation. The soap comes packaged in paper, similar to bar body soap, and is most often found in the laundry section of a supermarket or grocery store. While sometimes also sold next to personal-care body soaps, however, it should not be used as a body soap since it is a skin and eye irritant. It is often used as a home remedy in the treatment of contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, and other skin-irritant plants.

The soap is used for pre-treating stains on clothing by rubbing the soap onto the stained area.

It can also be used to make homemade laundry soap that is much cheaper than many commercial laundry detergents.

Example of homemade laundry-soap recipe:


1-2 cups water (to melt grated soap)

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated

5-gallon bucket

1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda—see sodium carbonate)

4 1/2 gallons HOT tap water


1-3 oz. essential oil (in preferred scent)

Grate bar soap using a hand-held cheese-grater. Place grated soap in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover it. Heat on low, stirring until soap is dissolved. Fill 5-gallon bucket with HOT water and add dissolved soap solution; stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and optional essential oil and mix well. Mixture will thicken to gel-like consistency as it cools. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load.

A QUICK & EASY VARIATION ON THIS RECIPE: 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap 1/2 c. Washing Soda (20 Mule Team brand is good) 1/2 c. Borax

Grate bar of soap. Combine grated soap with soda & borax. Use in place of laundry detergent. it only requires about 1/4 c. per load.

Social History Note

During the 1920s and 1930s, Fels Naptha was often said to be the preferred soap for washing a child's mouth out who had used bad language. Numerous people from this era attest to having been disciplined in this way. The size of the bar made the discipline all the more dramatic.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fels-Naptha". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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