A Frugal Stain Remover That Really Works

A Frugal Stain Remover that Really Works! I have tried everything but can't believe this works on the toughest of stains! I'm not buying any of the expensive sprays again.

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Laundry is not my favorite chore but it is still a chore that we all have to do. I actually don’t mind the laundry so much. It’s the folding that takes more time!

As every Mom knows, one of the main jobs when doing laundry is getting out stains of all sorts. With an active 17 month old son and a teacher husband, I have a variety of stains that come through our laundry basket.

In an effort to preserve our cloths, I tried countless brands of commercial stain removers. Shout, Resolve, special sports cleaners…I even tried making my own with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Dawn. Have you seen that recipe floating around Pinterest? They all worked okay, but none of these were truly effective. Plus, store bought sprays are expensive!

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across the old-fashioned remedy for stain removal that our Grandmothers used to use. It’s a simple $0.97 bar of yellow soap called Fels Naptha. I don’t know what is in Fels Naptha but I am always amazed at how well this soap works on stains!

Yes, it requires a bit of elbow grease in that you actually need to rub the soap into the stains (compared to spraying and washing) but it gets out even the toughest of stains! Trust me when I say that I have used this on countless blow out baby diapers (you remember those!) and am always amazed when there is no stain remaining.

My technique is simple. I pile clothes with stains on top of the dryer. When it’s time to do laundry, I took those stained clothes to the sink, rub the stains with Fels Naptha and rinse them out. Most of the time, the stain is already completely gone – even after it’s sat. If there is a bit remaining, I’ll rub the stain again with Fels Naptha but won’t rinse it this time. I’ll toss it in the washing machine and any remaining stain comes out in the wash.

Want proof? Take a look at some examples from my laundry basket. It’s harder to take before and after pictures than one would think but I tried my best.

When my family was here around the holidays, we had some cranberry juice that got spilled on my new white Christmas tablecloth. The angle of the comparison pictures is slightly off, but notice that the red stain is completely gone after using Fels Naptha!

Before & After Tablecloth

Here’s another example. This one is spaghetti sauce that missed the bib on my toddler son’s Sunday shirt. A quick rub with Fels Naptha and here’s proof again. Stain completely gone!

Before and After TeeShirt

This works on dirty dress shirts (with that ring around the collar that they get), grass stains, dried in mud, and yes, blowout diapers. I’ve tried it on countless stains and have always been amazed at what this little bar of yellow soap can do.

To date, the only stain that it has NOT worked on is when my husband left some red paper tickets in his khaki shorts pocket that bleed through. While Fels Naptha did lighten the stain, those khaki shorts are forever stained pink. To be fair, none of the commercial sprays worked either. (I tried them again after the Fels Naptha as a last resort.)

If you are looking for a frugal stain remover that really works, pick up a bar of Fels Naptha on your next trip to the grocery store. I have bought it at my local grocery store (Meijer) and seen it on the shelves at Walmart as well. Both places had it priced at $0.97 when I last bought a bar. The other thing to note? One bar of soap will last you a long time! I’ve been using the same bar for over a year and still have half the bar remaining.

If you don’t have time to run out to the store, you can always pick up a bar of Fels Naptha at Amazon for a tiny bit more. Still, it’s a bargain compared to other stain removers! After you try it, you may want to buy more bars to share with all your friends. It’s truly that good of a laundry stain removal!

Let me know what you think after you try this soap. I don’t make this recommendation lightly, but I think you’ll love what Fels Naptha can do for the stains in your clothes!

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12 Comments

  1. My favorite stain remover is Shout Advanced, heavy duty. I found my last 3 bottles at a close out at Kroger. My guess is that it won’t be sold much longer. It works wonders, but I always let the stain removed set on the stain overnight. Lestoil works great on oily stains, but I only used it on the hardest stains, not much anymore as the kids are grown. I used it on grass stains, oil, dirt, etc. It was hard to find then, and now, I haven’t seen it for years in any grocery stores. I haven’t looked for it either. The hottest water that you can wash your clothes in helps with the stain remover. I don’t use cold water except on delicate items as I don’t think they help get stains out. I am a HOT water gal for all my towels and sheets. They are white, and are still white after using them for several years. My mom used Fels Naptha and Dad always had great looking shirts. He wore a lot of white shirts. I love doing laundry, always have. Now that I don’t have little ones at home, I am enjoying ironing. I also love to iron. No, I haven’t started ironing underwear, my aunt did that! I love reading all of your hints,baking, cooking ideas too! thank you!

    1. From someone who loves laundry, thanks for all the tips! They do tend to discontinue stain removers. That’s why I’m glad I have Fels Naptha – and will stockpile a couple bars for if they decide to stop making it! 🙂

  2. that is the kind of soap that we in PA use after we walk on the Appalachhian Trail and are nearby to poison ivy! I have a bar of it ALWAYS in my house!

  3. That’s an awesome tip! How does it work on grease? I am in love with the Shout Grease busting formula that I can only purchase at Wal-Mart it seems. But, this would be a lot easier!

    1. I should have mentioned that. Grease is the worst to get out. Fels Naptha does work on grease…but it seems to vary, based on the grease. I’ve gotten car grease out with the soap, but oil splatters are so much harder. Sometimes the soap works on those, but other times, not completely. I really should learn to wear an apron more often! 🙂

    2. I will definitely have to try. Kristen, do you wet the bar or rub the dry bar on the stain? For grease I have been using Lestoil, the only place I have been able to find this is at Ace Hardware stores

      1. I do wet the bar of soap and work up a small lather as I rub it into the stain. Then, I rinse it out…and scrub a bit more if the stain remains. Thanks for the tip about Lestoil, too. Grease is such a tough stain to remove!

  4. Well, I will give this a try! Seems like someone always gets a tomato sauce-based stain on something white and those just don’t seem to come out. Thanks for sharing!

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