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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Whatever Happened to Fels Naptha Soap?

Post 37
We've enjoyed making our own bars soap for a long time.  It's so much nicer to use than store bought soap because it still contains the glycerin that is a by product of the saponification process.  More on that later..

Another use for our bars of homemade soap is laundry soap. There are lots of recipes online and numerous books available.  Here's what I do:

I grate 3 bars of our homemade soap.
To this I add
2 boxes of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 large box of Borax
After mixing together, I add essential oils of my choice.
Some favorites are grapefruit or lavender.

I've written about this before but the twist on today's post is that traditionally, many of the recipes I found online used Fels Naptha as the bar soap.  I remember Fels Naptha from my childhood as a hard, brown bar of soap that nearly turned to powder when it was grated.  Recently I purchased 2 bars to use in my laundry soap to give it a little added cleaning power for some tougher clothes washing jobs.  I my surprise and dismay, the bar of soap inside the familiar wrapper was not anything like I remembered it.  The strong perfume smell hit me as soon as the waxed paper label was opened.  The soap I thought I was buying was a mild, old fashioned lye soap smell.  The bright yellow color and soft texture were not even close to what I wanted.  The ingredients list on the label was very vague listing cleansers, degreasers and other generic terms for my old fashioned favorite.  After making a batch of laundry soap with this bar of soap I'm wondering if I'll be able to tolerate the smell and what kinds of toxins I'm putting into my washer.  This calls for a little more research.  I wonder if I can find the old variety anywhere?!


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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.