Find out Where to Buy Fels-Naptha Soap

Finding and Substituting the Heavy-Duty Laundry Soap

Fels-Naptha Soap
••• MelbaToast917/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons

Fels-Naptha Soap is a common ingredient in homemade laundry detergent, but it can be quite difficult to find. If you look in the right stores, it should be available, but if it isn't, there are substitutes that may be easier to locate.

Where to Find Fels-Naptha Soap

Fels-Naptha is made by Dial under the Purex label and is sold in individual bars as well as multi-bar packs. It has a white, red, and green wrapper. It is a heavy-duty laundry soap that has been used for more than 100 years and has long been a popular option when washing clothes. It also makes quick work of oil, grease, and other tough stains when used as a pre-treatment. 

As most consumers choose to purchase pre-made laundry detergents, Fels-Naptha is not as common as it once was. However, you often can find it in the laundry aisle in grocery stores and big-box stores, hardware stores, and international grocery stores. And if you still can't find it, you can buy it on Amazon.​

Other Uses

While it's marketed for use with laundry, Fels-Naptha has other household uses. Some of these include cleaning your grout, unsticking drawers by using it to lubricate the tracks, keeping deer out of your garden (they don't like the scent), cleaning scum from sinks and showers, cleaning toilets, cleaning paint brushes, shining aluminum, treating cold sores, making homemade bug repellant, repelling mice, treating mosquito bites, removing stickers and labels, lubricating squeaky door hinges, cleaning outdoor furniture, treating mildew, and preventing lice.

Warnings

The producers of Fels-Naptha make it very clear that you should avoid direct contact with your skin because it is an irritant. In fact, this soap has long been a common folk remedy for treating poison ivy and oak exposure on the skin. Using it in your laundry after coming in contact with those plants also should remove the irritant from clothes. There also are claims that the fatty acids of Fels-Naptha can wreak havoc with septic systems.

Substitutes

If you still can't find Fels-Naptha or have concerns about some of the warnings that come with it, you may want to consider an alternative. While Fels-Naptha is a powerful booster in homemade laundry detergent, you can try any of these substitutes:

  • Zote Soap: As popular as Fels-Naptha for laundry soaps, you might prefer Zote because it does not contain the same concerning ingredients. Available in pink and white bars, it has a citronella-like scent and may be more readily available at big-box stores.
  • Castile Soap: Look for all-natural ingredients. Many are available either scented or unscented. Kirk's and Dr. Bonner's are two brands recommended by DIY detergent users.
  • Ivory Soap: A gentle, dye- and heavy perfume-free bath soap, Ivory can be used in place of Fels-Naptha. This may not be as pure and clean a soap as its advertising suggests, but it is available at almost any store.