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Home Remedy for Itch Relief: Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap

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July 12, 2012

Home Remedy for Itch Relief: Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap

By Kirk Deeter

I spent the past week in a cabin in the woods of northern Michigan, and I feel comfortable claiming that I have more insect bites and bumps and plant-caused rashes and welts now than I did after 17 days in the jungle of Guyana. Granted, I was afraid of stepping on the wrong thing every second of every day when I was in South America, and I bathed in DEET without the slightest care that what hair I have left would turn orange or fall out altogether.

But here in Michigan, I have the miracle cure that's been in our family medicine chests for generations: Fels-Naptha laundry soap. It says it's "Ideal For Pre-Treating Stains" but I've never seen anyone in my family actually use it on laundry. We wet the end of the bar and rub it on insect bites to take away the itch. Now, by way of disclaimer, the label cautions that Fels-Naptha is an eye and skin irritant. I guess if your skin is already irritated, that doesn't matter. At least it didn't matter to my Grandma. And Grandma was always right about everything.

How many of you use Fels-Naptha? Does anyone actually use it on clothing? Do you have any other home-spun tricks and remedies?

 

Comments (18)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Have never heard of this product. They must not sell it in my area.

For bug protection, I wear long sleeve shirt and pants. There are some fabrics on the market that can keep you cool during the hottest of days and offer prtotection against biting bugs. If I do need deet, it never goes directly on my skin. I'll spray it on my hat and collar to protect my head but never directly on the skin. If the bugs are really bad, I have a light weight mesh suit I can wear.

Nothing is perfect and I will get bit. Was stung by a bee yesterday while wet wading a river. Luckily it was low enough on my leg, I just waded a little deeper and let the cool water take care of the itch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kdmckin33 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have used it for years for poison ivy. Use a cheese grater on the bar for laundry soap to get the poison ivy oils out of your clothes. Also, use the bar in the shower after you have been in poison ivy to help prevent a widespread rash. Seems to work well for me. It will dry your skin out but dry skin is better than oozy itching skin...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My wife uses it when she makes out laundry detergent. She uses a cheese grater on it before mixing it in with the other ingrediants she uses to make the laundry detergent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My wife uses it when she makes out laundry detergent. She uses a cheese grater on it before mixing it in with the other ingrediants she uses to make the laundry detergent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

never heard of it, nut for getting rid of the itch, take rubbing alcohol with either cotton balls, or just pour it over the itch, and it stops it, same with absorbine junior.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Sepelak wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Yep. Use it all the time. Great stuff!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Merkincrab wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Been using Benadryl or generic topical gel and it works great, better than cortizone gels. I take garlic and multivitamins every day and rarely get bitten. The meds are for my significant others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never heard of Fels-Naptha Buckhunter? You trying to appear young?
That is an old plumbing trick solution to a leaky pipe. Wet some Fels-Naptha, gum it up, apply it to the leak, and tape it up. Works on fittings in place of teflon tape to have no leaks. But I wouldn't drill a hole in the bottom of the boat to let the rain water out just because I have some Fels-Naptha along. Not if I was very far from shore.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Sayfu, You know I'm a young'n. You should have seen me fishing the other day. I was jumping from rock to rock like a ballerina on stage in NYC.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Been using it for decades and where it really shines is using it before signs of an ivy or oak outbreak occurs. It will lessen the severity of the outbreak if not prevent it all together. After the outbreak, burn it out with Clorox. Works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

buckhunter...and never spilled a drop of your Carling's Black Label.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jan J. Mudder wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Here are two home remedies that work:

For a mosquito bite, put a dab of olive oil on the bite (enough to wet the area) then cover with table salt. There's something about the combo that draws the poison out.

For a bee sting, wasp bite, etc., mix together baking soda and vinegar (any type works) to make a paste, then apply the paste to the sting/bite. It does something to neutralize the sting, which reduces swelling and itchiness. If it's in an awkward place, like between the toes or fingers, you can mix a pasty mix in a plastic bag then place your hand or foot inside to soak.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

All yer old wives tale remedies....I can come home, and take my shirt, and pants of, and look like someone shot me with a spreader load of #8's at 30 yds., and I don't feel a thing. I bring along a bottle of Wild Turkey. Somethin about those Spirits that does the trick.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

We always used lye soap for poison ivy when I was a kid, helps wash off the oils.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never used it on laundry, but have used it for years on poison ivy. Always have a bar of it in the house. now that you've mentioned using it for skeeter-bites, I'll have my better-half give it a try so she doesn't scratch 'em till they bleed.

I know on poison ivy, the stuff dries up the blisters pretty quick - a lot quicker than calamine or ivy-dry.

I did hear about another over-the-counter poison ivy remedy, which is supposed to be the best thing out there - haven't tried it yet, but if I happen to get into some again i will. It's called Zanfel, and it's supposed to un-bond the oils from your skin cells. Most of the product reviews I've read rave about the stuff, whti the only ones that don't being folks that probably have it in their blood stream.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Well I guess when you get old enough there's nothing new. We used to call this Octagon soap and it worked great to dry up poison ivy. Another home remedy is baby Gatorade [Pedialyte]. Splash it on a bad sunburn. It will immediately take the sting out of the burn. You will still peal but without the pain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ideamanct wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have never used it for fly fishing, but I have used it while serving in the Marine Corps to do laundry in the field when I was overseas. I would think it should work equally well on remote fishing, hunting, and camping trips when space is at a premium. Didn't have a cheeze grater but it shaved up easy with my Kabar.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Probably the very first mfgered commercial soap. Before that granny used lye they made.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kdmckin33 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have used it for years for poison ivy. Use a cheese grater on the bar for laundry soap to get the poison ivy oils out of your clothes. Also, use the bar in the shower after you have been in poison ivy to help prevent a widespread rash. Seems to work well for me. It will dry your skin out but dry skin is better than oozy itching skin...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Have never heard of this product. They must not sell it in my area.

For bug protection, I wear long sleeve shirt and pants. There are some fabrics on the market that can keep you cool during the hottest of days and offer prtotection against biting bugs. If I do need deet, it never goes directly on my skin. I'll spray it on my hat and collar to protect my head but never directly on the skin. If the bugs are really bad, I have a light weight mesh suit I can wear.

Nothing is perfect and I will get bit. Was stung by a bee yesterday while wet wading a river. Luckily it was low enough on my leg, I just waded a little deeper and let the cool water take care of the itch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My wife uses it when she makes out laundry detergent. She uses a cheese grater on it before mixing it in with the other ingrediants she uses to make the laundry detergent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My wife uses it when she makes out laundry detergent. She uses a cheese grater on it before mixing it in with the other ingrediants she uses to make the laundry detergent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

never heard of it, nut for getting rid of the itch, take rubbing alcohol with either cotton balls, or just pour it over the itch, and it stops it, same with absorbine junior.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Sepelak wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Yep. Use it all the time. Great stuff!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Merkincrab wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Been using Benadryl or generic topical gel and it works great, better than cortizone gels. I take garlic and multivitamins every day and rarely get bitten. The meds are for my significant others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never heard of Fels-Naptha Buckhunter? You trying to appear young?
That is an old plumbing trick solution to a leaky pipe. Wet some Fels-Naptha, gum it up, apply it to the leak, and tape it up. Works on fittings in place of teflon tape to have no leaks. But I wouldn't drill a hole in the bottom of the boat to let the rain water out just because I have some Fels-Naptha along. Not if I was very far from shore.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Sayfu, You know I'm a young'n. You should have seen me fishing the other day. I was jumping from rock to rock like a ballerina on stage in NYC.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Been using it for decades and where it really shines is using it before signs of an ivy or oak outbreak occurs. It will lessen the severity of the outbreak if not prevent it all together. After the outbreak, burn it out with Clorox. Works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

buckhunter...and never spilled a drop of your Carling's Black Label.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jan J. Mudder wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Here are two home remedies that work:

For a mosquito bite, put a dab of olive oil on the bite (enough to wet the area) then cover with table salt. There's something about the combo that draws the poison out.

For a bee sting, wasp bite, etc., mix together baking soda and vinegar (any type works) to make a paste, then apply the paste to the sting/bite. It does something to neutralize the sting, which reduces swelling and itchiness. If it's in an awkward place, like between the toes or fingers, you can mix a pasty mix in a plastic bag then place your hand or foot inside to soak.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

All yer old wives tale remedies....I can come home, and take my shirt, and pants of, and look like someone shot me with a spreader load of #8's at 30 yds., and I don't feel a thing. I bring along a bottle of Wild Turkey. Somethin about those Spirits that does the trick.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

We always used lye soap for poison ivy when I was a kid, helps wash off the oils.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never used it on laundry, but have used it for years on poison ivy. Always have a bar of it in the house. now that you've mentioned using it for skeeter-bites, I'll have my better-half give it a try so she doesn't scratch 'em till they bleed.

I know on poison ivy, the stuff dries up the blisters pretty quick - a lot quicker than calamine or ivy-dry.

I did hear about another over-the-counter poison ivy remedy, which is supposed to be the best thing out there - haven't tried it yet, but if I happen to get into some again i will. It's called Zanfel, and it's supposed to un-bond the oils from your skin cells. Most of the product reviews I've read rave about the stuff, whti the only ones that don't being folks that probably have it in their blood stream.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Well I guess when you get old enough there's nothing new. We used to call this Octagon soap and it worked great to dry up poison ivy. Another home remedy is baby Gatorade [Pedialyte]. Splash it on a bad sunburn. It will immediately take the sting out of the burn. You will still peal but without the pain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ideamanct wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have never used it for fly fishing, but I have used it while serving in the Marine Corps to do laundry in the field when I was overseas. I would think it should work equally well on remote fishing, hunting, and camping trips when space is at a premium. Didn't have a cheeze grater but it shaved up easy with my Kabar.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Probably the very first mfgered commercial soap. Before that granny used lye they made.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment