Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fels--Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (History & Giveaway)

The following was borrowed from and I simply found it too good to NOT share with Chat With Vera readers:

The Fels Naptha soap story begins in 1861 in the small town of Yanceyville, North Carolina. The local economy was floundering, so the townspeople devised a plan to create a distillery to boost the economy. They set to making a local brand of whiskey, and used the sour mash as feed for pigs. The problem was that the mash wasn't cooked all the way through and proved fatal to the pigs. A local man named Lazarus Fels stepped in, purchased the entire lot of pig carcasses and cooked the fat, combining it with lye to concoct bars of soap. The business had a slow start, so the Fels family moved operations to Baltimore and, in 1873, to Philadelphia.

Under the name Fels & Company, the Fels family continued to create and sell soap to the wholesale market. It wasn't until Samuel Simeon Fels, the youngest son of the Fels family, joined the company in the late 1800s that Fels & Company created its signature brand. In 1893, Fels & Company released a new type of soap product that incorporated naptha, otherwise known as benzene solvent, in its soap.

Fels Naptha soap was different from its predecessors. The active ingredient of benzene solvent proved to cut through grease and clean surfaces thoroughly. Throughout its century-long history, Fels Naptha soap has been used as a home remedy for rashes, a stain remover for grease-based stains, a base for homemade laundry soap and even a pesticide for worms that bore into dogwood trees.

Fels Naptha is one of those products that has experienced little change in its appearance and properties throughout its history. Although it is currently made by the Dial Corporation, it still features a basic paper wrapper with an old-fashioned logo.The soap is yellow and longer than most bars of soap. It resembles laundry soap more than body soap.

Out of the wrapper, the bar is larger
than regular "bath" bars but not too
large to handle for rubbing into stains.
Although many people have used Fels Naptha soap on their hair, scalp and skin, it is not intended for bathing use. The active ingredient is an irritant to the eyes and skin. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has identified high concentrations of benzene, which is also found in some plastics, rubbers, synthetic fabrics and solvents, as carcinogenic to human beings (see Resources below).
I found it particularly interesting that this all began here in my home state of North Carolina. Although, its true success was not achieved here.

Purex and the folks at Dial now manufacture Fels Naptha soap.  Here is what is said on their website:
Easy size to grasp and rub
onto stained fabrics
Purex Fels-Naptha is a powerful laundry bar that works overtime to remove greasy, oily stains, perspiration, and ring-around-the-collar. With over 100 years of removing America’s stains, you can rest assured that this laundry bar knows how to tackle your toughest stains.  All you’ve got to do is rub the stain with a wet bar of Purex Fels-Naptha and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wash your clothes as you normally would and say farewell to tough stains for good.
Lots of folks are trying to get back to more basic products for laundry and household care. Well, this is one way you can do that. These bars cost less than $2 and has a basic, clean fragrance.
GIVEAWAY: I have a couple of coupons that I'd like to share with my readers and you can try to win one by using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Begins August 3 & ENDS August 25 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received 1 bar of Fels-Naptha and 3 coupons from Purex Insiders in exchange for this review. Two of the coupons will be used as giveaway prizes I will mail to Chat With Vera readers. No compensation was received for this post.


  1. Fels Naptha has many uses. As a carpet cleaner we use it for many spots we encounter daily. The downside to Fels Naptha is that it has to be rinsed really well to prevent any dirt attracting residue being left behind. So most homeowners will not be able to use it properly on carpet unless they have an extractor.

  2. Fels-Naptha doesn't have benzene in it anymore.


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