Can Homemade Soap Containing Fels-Naptha Cause a Rash?

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Fels Naptha is a cleaning product that is designed for removing laundry stains and other cleaning purposes. It can cause skin irritation. Check with a doctor or substitute another product to see if your skin clears up. This is a page about, "Can homemade soap containing Fels-Naptha cause a rash?".


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June 1, 2011

I have used the homemade soap and loved it. It cleans well and is cheap. I started using it in January of 2011. In February I started with a rash on my head. After about a month the rash started on different parts of my body. I have about gone crazy itching.

I have been to several Dr.'s and they can't come up with the reason for the rash. The only thing I can think of is the soap I have been using. Could Fels-Naptha be my problem?

By Jeannine H.


June 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think it is your soap. I can not remember exactly why I know this, but I heard growing up to avoid naptha in all respects. It is a chemical perhaps related to lye. I will look it up and get back to you but it is an 'old-fashioned' product and not all of them are worthy of re-introduction.

When America introduced detergent I lived in a country where women still washed by hand in tubs. One day at our local shops one woman mentioned her itchy skin and showed a rash up to her elbows, all the women around had the same thing. It was easy to realize it was detergent which we had never used before. The ingredient was eventually banned. I will let you know what that was too.

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June 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Fels Naptha is not related to lye. Lye is part of soap and is not cancer-causing. Besides, lye is used up in the chemical reaction process of making soap and does not appear in the final product. That being said, you should not use Fels Naptha or Octagon in your soap -making. Use Zote, Lirio, Dr. Bronner's, Kirk's, or any other castile soap, or laundry bar soap. You can find them on line or at Hispanic or Afro-Carribbean stores. Fels and Octagon contain a chemical that was added to the original formula way back when to increase the stain removal power. It causes kidney, lung, nerve problems, and is not safe for contact with human skin. It makes no difference what other ingredients are present or how you make your soap. you can use them for washing walls and floors and wear gloves at all times Some people are more sensitive than others in terms of rashes and cancer and other problems can take decades to develop.


In terms of your rash, stop using anything but, castille soap or baby soap. It takes 6 weeks for an allergen or offending agent to clear from your system. You could have an allergy, seborhheic dermatitis( a type of dandruff due to fungus), head lice, anything. You need to see a dermatologist who can do a biopsy if necessary or take scalp scrapings. change all pillow cases, hair brushes, hats, etc, daily until you find out what it is. Do not share hair items, hats and wash your hands after touching your hair.

The best way to diagnose a rash is by inspection-looking at it, getting a history, and them doing necessary tests. Do not put anything on the rash because it could interfere wit the diagnosis. Go as soon as possible.

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July 3, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I did a google search of "Fels Naptha rash" and had more info that I could possibly use in 3 seconds. It was quickly evident that that is probably your problem hope you didn't spend to much going to DR's. I found " It is prominently noted on the packaging that Fels-Naptha is a skin irritant, and that one should do their damnedest to avoid prolonged contact with the skin."


"Although placed with the hand soaps, Fels-Naptha is explicitly designed for the purpose of washing laundry, and is a skin irritant". It was noted by some this product is a good laundry stain remover. And can work well to remove poison oak oil from skin or a once in awhile hand cleaner for especially dirty hand like automotive grease.

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

It could very well be caused be the soap. If you've never had the allergic skin reaction before and then started having the reaction after doing your laundry that is what the problem is.

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