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30 Ways to Use Fels-Naptha Soap to Save Money Around Your Home

I love saving money. I know, “tell me something I don’t know, Stacy.” It is true though. I love seeing how much money I can save (and earn) in a month! After so many years of trying to live as frugally as I possibly can, it has become a big game for me each month to see how much money I can save and if I can beat my previous month. Because of that game, I love finding new ways to use common household items. For instance, we found ways to use old towels, ways to use old sheets, ways to use empty milk jugs, ways to use empty bottles, ways to use WD-40 and even ways to use cat litter (besides the obvious). I love finding new ways to use things. Why? Because it usually means that I can save money somewhere else in my life.

Do you use Fels-Naptha in your home in every way that you can? These 30 ways to use Fels-Naptha to Save Money Around Your Home might just surprise you! They sure surprised me!

One of the reasons that I love Fels-Naptha so much is because it is incredibly cheap here in the US. I can pick it up at Walmart for less than $1.00 per bar and since a little goes a long way? That is a dollar well spent. At that price, I can afford to buy a few bars to experiment with and I’m fairly certain you can as well. It may only be a bar of soap, but it can be used in so many ways that it just makes sense to have a few bars on hand in your home. When we first started looking at things to buying and start making homemade, one of the first things we stocked up on was Fels-Naptha because I knew we’d be using it so much. Fels-Naptha was extremely popular during WW2 but over the years it dropped in popularity as convenience products made their ways to the shelves. Recently though it has seen a resurgence since so many people are starting to recognize the value of saving money with depression era money saving tips or money saving tricks from the World War 2 era.

Ways to Use Fels-Naptha Soap to Save Money Around Your Home

I do want to caution you on one thing before you run out to the store. Fels-Naptha is a known eye and skin irritant. If you’re using it on your skin, be sure that you wash your hands with plain water first followed by an all natural hand soap afterwards. I like to use my DIY hand soap recipe since it doesn’t further irritate my skin and removes every trace of the Fels-Naptha from my hands. I have chemically sensitive skin that gets irritated very easily by commercial cleaners and the way that I just described works very well for me. The other thing that I’ll mention is that while Fels-Naptha isn’t labeled as a nasal irritant, I find that grating it does irritate my nose quite a bit. Just keep that in mind when you’re looking for ways to use Fels-Naptha in your home. With all of that said, you will be fine as long as you aren’t sitting in a bucket of soapy water for hours.

Treat poison ivy with Fels-Naptha – 
We camp a lot as a family so this is one of my favorite ways to use Fels-Naptha! If you think you have come in contact with poison ivy, quickly scrub with Fels Naptha and rinse well with hot water. The Fels-Naptha will help to remove the oils from the poison ivy from your skin so that you won’t be blistering and itching later. Use it on hands, ankles, and arms that may have touched the ivy. Be sure to avoid your face and any other sensitive areas of your body. This will also work well with poison oak and poison sumac.

Use Fels-Naptha to clean your grout – 
Want to make cleaning your grout incredibly easy? Before you clean it, rub your grout with the corner of a bar of Fels-Naptha. The soap will help lift the dirt that is caught in the lines. Follow with your favorite homemade grout cleaner recipe and rinse well.

Make a quick and easy homemade dish soap – 
Do you hand wash your dishes? Why not make use this super budget friendly ways to use Fels-Naptha and make homemade dish soap? For hand washing dish soap, just grate 1/4 cup Fels-Naptha and combine with 1 cup of water. Melt the soap into the water on the stove, let cool then use like you would any other dishwashing liquid. It will work better than any dish liquid you can buy at the store for hand washing, but it isn’t great for dishwashers. For homemade dishwasher soap, check out my homemade dishwasher soap recipe instead.

Use Fels-Naptha to help unstick drawers – 
In my kitchen, I have a drawer that likes to get stuck. I’m sure we all have at least one in our homes and that’s why I love this tip the best out of all of these ways to use Fels-Naptha. It might not seem like it but it absolutely will help you save money around your home since you won’t have to buy something to unstick that stubborn drawer. To unstick it, rub a bar of Fels-Naptha on both of the drawer tracks. It will lubricate the track and cause your drawer to open and close freely.

Use Fels-Naptha to make your white clothing whiter – 
Washing your whites in bleach too often can make them take on a yellow or dingy color. To keep that from happening, skip the bleach and use Fels-Naptha to help boost their color! Simply dissolve one cup of grated Fels-Naptha into a sink full of warm water. Soak your white clothing for an hour then wash as you normally would. When the whites come out, you will notice they are whiter, less dingy, and will be sparkling clean!

Pre-treat stains with Fels-Naptha – 
Keeping your white clothing looking great isn’t the only laundry themed tip on this list of ways to use Fels-Naptha soap. You can also use it to pre-treat stains so there is never a need to buy those expensive stain remover sticks or sprays! To pre-treat, rub the stain with a bar of Fels-Naptha and wash as you usually would. This works great on grass stains, makeup stains, lipstick, oil, chocolate, and other foods quite nicely.

Use Fels-Naptha to clean your sneakers – 
Dirty and stinky sneakers? Rub a bar of Fels Naptha over them before you clean them. It will pre-treat any stains like grass, grease or mud and also help deodorize them so that they smell better.

Use Fels-Naptha to keep deer out of your garden – 
If deer have started to consider your garden their personal buffet, Fels-Naptha can help. Grate a bar and spread all around your garden and near your plants (be careful not to get any in the root area). They won’t like the scent (or the taste if they lick it) and will choose to go elsewhere. If you need an extra strong boost, you can also add things like scallions and chili powder with the Fels-Naptha for that extra strength.

Make Homemade cleaning products with Fels-Naptha – 

Fels-Naptha is after all a laundry bar which makes it perfect for cleaning and perfect for making DIY cleaning products to help you save money around your home.  You can use it for everything from making homemade powdered laundry detergent, homemade liquid laundry detergent and more. Usually if a DIY cleaning recipe calls for a bar of soap, Fels-Naptha can be used.

Clean gunky sinks and toilets with Fels-Naptha – 

We all know that commercial cleaners are expensive so if you’re looking to save money around your home, using Fels-Naptha in as many places as possible is a great way to do it, especially in the bathroom. To clean your sinks, rub them all over with a bar of Fels-Naptha then using a soft cleaning brush, scrub them. Rinse well and your sink will be as clean as a whistle. To clean your toilet, melt 1/4 bar of Fels-Naptha into 5-6 cups of water. Allow the soap/water mixture to cool quite a bit then add 15 drops of lemon essential oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Pour into your toilet bowl then use your toilet brush to clean normally. Flush and you’re good to go!

Use Fels-Naptha to clean soap scum from your shower – 

If your shower has glass shower doors, you’re probably pretty familiar with soap scum. Instead of using expensive commercial shower cleaners, rub a clean, dampened sponge with Fels-Naptha then scrub your damp shower and doors down with it. Be sure to hit every area of your shower and doors. It will take some elbow grease the very first time that you do it, but once it is done, it will be significantly easier to keep up with.

Clean paint brushes with Fels-Naptha – 

If you like to paint. you might be spending a ton of money on paint brush cleaner. There’s no reason to. Just rub your brushes over a bar of Fels-Naptha then rinse well. The bristles will stay soft and they’ll be as clean as new.

Shine aluminum with a bar of Fels-Naptha – 

Do you have aluminum cookware? If so, Fels-Naptha works great for shining it! Just rub your gunky aluminum with the edge of the bar and polish! Rinse well and  you’re done!

Remove baby formula stains with Fels-Naptha –

Baby formula is one of the worst things to have stain your clothes or your baby’s clothing…especially if you’re looking to resell them. To remove baby formula stains from clothing, rub the stain with a wet bar of Fels-Naptha then soak it in 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup Borax for 30 minutes. Wash like normal and the stains should be completely gone!

Treat cold sores with Fels-Naptha –

Cold sores can be a pain..literally. To help dry them out and treat cold sores with Fels-Naptha, simply wash the area with the sore on it with the soap and rinse well. Pat the area dry and after a few days, it should be gone. One caution on this is to be very careful if you have sensitive skin.

Use Fels-Naptha to make a garden bug spray to save money around your home –

If your garden plants are being eaten alive (literally) by bugs, this may end up being your favorite of all of these ways to use Fels-Naptha. You can use it to make an insecticide that will kill the bugs on  your plants without harming the plant itself. Since commercial insecticides are so expensive, this is another great ways to save money around your home. To kill bugs, grate a small chunk of Fels-Naptha then dissolve 3 tablespoons of the grated soap into 1 gallon of hot water. Allow the mixture to fully cool then spray on your plants.

Use Fels-Naptha to keep bugs away to save money around your home –

Not only will Fels-Naptha kill bugs, but it can also repel them. To keep bugs away from your plants and home in general, cut a bar of Fels-Naptha into 1 inch chunks and place around the areas that you need to keep bugs out of. For plants, you’ll want to place the chunk at the base of the plant, but be careful not to get it into the root area. This will work for garden bugs as well as moths and other creepy crawlers that can get into your home.

Deodorize and keep bugs out of your trash can with Fels-Naptha – 

Why spend extra money for scented trash bags when you can save money around your home and use a bar of Fels-Naptha instead? To clean and deodorize your trash cans, dissolve 4 tablespoons grated Fels-Naptha into 1 gallon of hot water. Allow to cool and add 15 drops of tea tree oil and 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Spray the inside and outside of your trash can with the cleaning solution and allow to dry fully. Your trash can will now be clean, disinfected and deodorized. Bonus? Since Fels-Naptha works to repel bugs, it will also be pest free!

Remove ink stains with Fels-Naptha – 

I can’t be the only one who has washed an ink pen, right? Really? Noooo, I really can’t be! In any case, if you too have washed a BIC? Fels-Naptha can rescue your laundry. Just add a chunk to your washer and wash like normal. For stubborn ink stains, follow the instructions above for baby formula stains. Your clothes should look like new!

Use Fels-Naptha to repel mice from your home – 

Mickey causing too many issues in your home? Fels-Naptha to the rescue! Cut 1 inch chunks off of your bar and place them in areas where mice and other critters give you issues at. They won’t like the smell and will stay away. If you want to double up on the protection, add a few cotton balls covered in peppermint essential oil in different places. They won’t like that smell either.

Treat Chigger and mosquito bites with Fels-Naptha – 

Chiggers and mosquitos are pretty common pests during the warmer months of the year, but luckily Fels-Naptha can help relieve the itching from them! To treat chigger and mosquito bites with Fels-Naptha, simply wash the area well with the soap. Rinse well and pat dry. The soap will help dry the bites up leading to relief for  you.

Fels-Naptha can prevent poison ivy – 

Not only can you dry up poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac with Fels-Naptha, but you can also prevent it. Poison Ivy can stay on your clothing for up to a year after you’ve brushed against it even with commercial laundry detergents. Washing exposed clothing with Fels-Naptha though can help remove any oils that are on the clothing and actually keep you from many itchy nights.

Clean grease and other things off of your hands with Fels-Naptha – 

Know someone who deals with greasy hands on a regular basis? Lava soap works well but is twice the price of a bar of Fels-Naptha. Washing your hands with it can easily remove not only grease, but onion scents and other things that can stain or scent your hands.

Clean outdoor furniture with Fels-Naptha –

Outdoor furniture can get pretty funky over the course of just a few weeks and they are super expensive to replace. Instead of replacing them, clean then with Fels-Naptha. Wet your furniture down and rub your outdoor furniture with either the bar itself of with a cleaning brush that has been rubbed across a bar then rinse thoroughly.

Treat mildew with Fels-Naptha –

Mildew is another thing that can befall not only your outdoor furniture but other areas in your home as well. Again, Fels-Naptha can be used to help clean it. Wet the area down and spray with a bleach solution that is made up of 2 parts bleach and 1 part water. Let the bleach solution site for 10-15 minutes. Rub the area down with your bar of Fels-Naptha and scrub with a soft scrub brush. Rinse well and the mildew should be gone!

Lubricate squeaky door hinges –

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Well the squeaky door gets the soap. If you have a squeaky door hinge or knob, rub a dry bar of Fels-Naptha on the areas that squeak. Wipe off any excess and the squeaky wheels should fall silent.

Use Fels-Naptha to clean your carpets – 

One of my favorite ways to use Fels-Naptha is also one that will help you save money around your home. Commercial carpet shampoos are super expensive but Fels-Naptha is super budget friendly. Just mix 1/2 cup grated Fels-Naptha with 2 gallons of water and heat to boiling. Allow it to cool completely and use like any other carpet shampoo! As with any other carpet shampoo, be sure you check in a hidden are for color fastness.

Easily remove stickers and labels with Fels-Naptha – 

The list of things thrifty people reuse is pretty big, but a staple item that gets reused is jars and bottles. Those jars and bottles usually have pretty strong labels and stickers on them though and they can be a pain in the rear to remove sometimes. Fels-Naptha can make it easier. Rub the seam of the label (where the glue is) or the entire sticker with a dry bar then let sit for a few minutes. Next, soak the jar in a bit of water with a bit of soap melted into it. Once you’ve soaked it for a bit, the label or sticker should peel right off.

Prevent lice with Fels-Naptha – 

Now before I get into this, I want to remind you again that Fels-Naptha is a known skin and eye irritant. Please be careful if you choose to use this tip and if it harms your hair or eyes, neither SDF or I will be held responsible. Some folks claim that Fels-Naptha can be used to prevent lice. To use it for this purpose, wash your hair with Fels-Naptha once a week.

Treat minor acne with Fels-Naptha – 

Have a nasty pimple or zit? Wash the area with the pimple with Fels-Naptha and rinse well. It will help dry out the oils in the pimple and help it to heal quicker.


Do you use Fels-Naptha in your home in every way that you can? These 30 ways to use Fels-Naptha to Save Money Around Your Home might just surprise you!

Say YES to our emails! Score great financial tips, frugal living tricks, good food and more right to your email!


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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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  1. The mice suggestion? The mice that came into my house actually chewed my bar of soap so I guess the mice I have are weird.

  2. I really loved this post.. I had bought some Fels-Naptha soap to make homemade laundry soap, but decided to use another recipe and so was wondering what to do with this soap…looks like there’s plenty of great options. Thank you for sharing these ideas.

  3. I love your site, thank you for sharing all these tips.
    I also had bought some Fels-Naptha for making homemade detergent but ended up using Zote instead (it smells better). Now I know some uses for those other 3 bars of Fels I have leftover. I think I am going to try chunking it to put around our patio and fire area to keep bugs away, the grout needs cleaned as well, so I will try that one too. Thank you for giving me uses for those leftover bars.

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