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Uses for Zote Laundry Soap

Updated on May 6, 2013

Zote Laundry Soap Love

Zote Laundry Soap is one of those cheap, useful, cleaners that don't have a thousand uses but for the ones they have nothing works better. Zote is great for hand washing delicates. It gets out the toughest stains, if you hand wash with it. I have gotten mud out of my daughters white dresses with it. I have gotten burnt motor oil off my hands and out from under my nails with it, faster than using Quick Orange. Zote does not smell like perfume or room spray, it has a clean smell. One of the ingredients that give Zote is fresh almost citrus like smell is citronella so when you wash your clothes with it mosquitoes will avoid you. Zote is a soap not a detergent, there is a difference. Most bar-soaps for personal use are not really soap they are detergents. That being said Zote can also be used for personal hygiene. Zote is also one of the main ingredients in my home made detergent. Did I mention that Zote is cheap?

Zote Laundry Soap - White Bar
Zote Laundry Soap - White Bar

Handwashing with Zote

It works better than Woolite and easier on your hands than lye bars.

Hand-washing laundry with Zote is similar to using old-fashioned lye laundry bars. However, Zote is softer than the lye bars that my grandmother and I used, so do not let the bar sit in water to long. I'm going into detail here on how I do it, but do it whichever way suites you.


1. First,Spot treat any truly heinous stains before you start.

2. Next, fill the sink/washtub that you want to wash in with water. Do not overfill the washtub. Leave enough room for the laundry to slosh around in while you clean the clothes.

3. Then, wet the clothes thoroughly and let the soap soften up a minute but not to long. Zote is a soft bar compared to old fashioned lye bars. Make sure the lining of clothing is wet as well.

4. After the clothes are thoroughly wet, rub the wet bar into all of the places that get sweat, dirt and/or makeup stains (collar/neckline, cuffs, bottom hemline and underarm). Then rub soap on any stains. Scrub the areas that get dirt more than other parts with a washboard or with a soft scrub brush. Be gentle, do not rough up the nap of the fabric. Do not rub stained fabric up against it self, it will spread the stain.

5. Rinse the garment. I doesn't need to be a super clean, it's just a rinse just get the makeup and dirt rinsed away.

6. Then gently soap the rest of the garment.

7. The other pars of the garment can be scrubbed on a wash board or rubbed up against it self.

8. Rinse the garment well and set aside each piece of laundry.

9. When finished washing and rinsing, check for spots again.

10. Rinse all laundry again, just to be sure. It sounds like I would be using more water this way but with the exception of blue jeans, I don't.

11. Lastly, dry the clothing by whichever way suites you.

Wow, eleven quick and easy steps. It's actually really easy.

Zote spot treating
Zote spot treating

Spot Treating With Zote

How to Make Liquid Zote Spot Treater

I found this spot treating method on the Zote website. I dry my clothes outside so this is easy for me.


1. Put 1 small bar of Zote in a pot cover it with water and boil. Keep the soap at a soft boil. Stir continually and do not let the soap burn.

2. Once the soap is a thick even goo take the pot off of the heat and spoon the soap goo onto the stain and set the garment in the sun until the soap hardens again.

3. Pick the soap off and the stain should come with it.


I haven't had any problems with this method my self but I recommend spot testing a small, inconspicuous part of the fabric for color fastness.

Homemade Detergent by Chelsea & Sam Powers
Homemade Detergent by Chelsea & Sam Powers

The recipe is simple and works great. All you need is Zote, Washing Soda, Borax and Baking Soda. For the longest time I thought I was the only person to use this recipe. After searching the internet I found out lots of people make it and everyone does it a little different. My recipe is a dry recipe there is no cooking at all.


  • 2 cup Ground Zote
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Baking Soda


  1. 1. I let the Zote sit out in the air for a day or two to harden then I grate it with a cheese grater.
  2. 2. Then I put the grated Zote in my non food blender to make it a powder. Since Zote is soap I am sure you could put it into a food blender and then washout.
  3. 3. Next I mix the powdered ingredients, either by hand or in a blender and put them into a container with a lid. I like my detergent to be a fine powder so I blend the mix. Like the "Will it blend?" guy says, "Don't breath this."
  4. Keeping the ratio the same you can scale up or down
  5. How to Use:
  6. For my laundry I use 2 level tablespoons per load and it works great for me. I pre-treat tough looking spots before washing.
5 stars from 1 rating of Recipe and Instructions For Washing Machines

Zote for Personal Hygiene

No I'm Not Kidding, You Can Wash Your Person With This

I wash my hands with Zote and know people who wash their face, hair and body with Zote and it works.

For Oily Hair:

Soften the Zote and get some on your hand and gently massage it on to the roots and scalp. Then rinse and wash with shampoo as usual.

For Acne:

Gently wash your face with Zote before bed and after sweating or steaming in the shower. Use it like you would use a Nutragena bar.

For Mechanic Hands:

Use Zote like a regular soap. Rub your nail brush into the bar before using the nail brush and your hands and nails will be clean.

For Bath Soap:

I have occasionally used Zote for bath soap but it's a bit strong for me. Since I use it as a sachet and laundry soap, if I use it as bath soap I come out smelling like a citronella bush.

Other Uses for Zote

Zote can be used as a laundry sachet. It keeps clothes fresh smelling and repels moths and mosquitoes.

Pink Zote can be used a catfish and carp bait, they supposedly like the smell.

While camping, Zote sachet's can be hung in tents to keep mosquito's away.

Zote can be used as a general kitchen surface cleaner.

Zote is also great hand-soap.

There are lots of other uses that I haven't tried but read about.

Where To Find Zote

I'm not sure of other areas but I can find Zote at most grocery stores nearby and at the dollar store by my house. It's a $1.15 before tax at the dollar store near my house for the big bar but it's $.88 cents before tax at the grocery store for the big bar. If your grocery store doesn't carry it, check a Mexican grocery store, (Zote is imported from Mexico). If Zote is not readily available where you live, Amazon has it by the bar and by the case, along with the ingredients for the machine washing detergent.

I'd love to hear from you. - Thanks for stopping by.

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    • profile image 

      3 years ago

      Use Zote to clean makeup brushes! It's excellent! Wet makeup brushes and rub them across the soap, let em dry and voilà! Cheap, great way to clean brushes. .97 cents at my local Walmart

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Yes! It's great for carving! It holds up well!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Can zote be used for carving? For a school project that you have to carve a vase, arrow, soldier, grapes?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you SOOO much for this article....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! I am glad to see that more people are writing about more natural ways to clean.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for this lens! love it.


      bar sinks

    • AFernandez1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, Thanks for the tip and for checking out my lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fascinating! I've never heard of Zote soap before, so I am learning. There is a recipe module that is available that I think you'll like, its user friendly and presents a printable version. Very creative and unique!


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