Removed stains easily
A little goes a long way
Good for handwashing delicate clothes
Overwhelming scent during use
Not meant for washing machines
We purchased the Zote Laundry Soap so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
With so many different laundry detergent options, it might be easy to overlook Zote Soap laundry bars because they’re designed for handwashing clothes, but they’re also really budget-friendly. Each bar is made from natural ingredients that are OK on sensitive skin and can be used directly on fabrics for general washing, as a stain remover, or shredded to create a homemade detergent. Read on to learn more about this unique product and how well it performs.
Ease of Use: Very difficult
When these bars of laundry soap arrived at my house, we wondered if there had been a mixup or if we got the wrong product. We've never seen, nevermind used literal bars of soap to do laundry. Once we realized that we had the right product, we were looking all over the packaging to figure out how to use it.
There were no instructions anywhere on the packaging. The package only had examples of what it can be used for. Apparently, catfish bait is one of its many uses. So, we relied on Google to help us out.
At first glance, we wondered if we were supposed to cut it into pieces and toss it into our washing machine. But that is definitely not the answer since this soap can ruin the washing machine.
It seemed our only option was to wash clothes by hand with it. We read that people shred it using a cheese grater and add the flakes into homemade laundry detergent mixes, but we had no interest in doing that.
The pack I got had one pink bar and one white bar. After some research, we learned that they are the same formula, but the white soap doesn’t have dye, making it even more natural. We tested both to see if there were any differences in performance.
When we opened the bar of soap, we were immediately hit with the scent of citronella, mainly used for repelling mosquitoes, so it did not exactly have the “laundry” smell we're used to. Once we got over the smell, we started hand washing some clothes. The sink filled with warm water, and soap was rubbed all over the clothes. We rinsed and wrung them out as best we could before tossing them into the dryer with a few towels.
Overall, this was one of the more difficult laundry cycles–ever. We can't call it a load because there’s no way we could get through handwashing an entire load of clothes.
Cleaning Performance: Surprisingly good
We weren't sure what to expect when our clothes came out of the dryer, but we were pleasantly surprised. Everything seemed as clean as they are when we use the washing machine.
We didn’t notice a difference in performance between the clothes we washed with the white bar compared to those washed with the pink bar.
We purposefully dabbed a small spoonful of marinara sauce on two baby clothing items (a onesie and a pair of baby pants). We let the sauce dry and set in before we treated the stains with soap bars. We treated the pants with the white bar and the onesie with the pink bar. After treating the stains, we hand-washed each with a few other pieces of clothing and tossed them in the dryer together. When they came out, we were shocked to see no remnants of the stains on either piece of clothing.
The stain-removing power in the soap really says something about the product. We've never hand-washed an item of clothing before, so we can’t imagine we did a good job; it was all Zote Soap.
Scent & Texture Of Fabrics After Wash: Soap has strong citronella scent
After being overwhelmed with the citronella smell when we opened the bars of soap, we were expecting our clothes to smell that way, too, but they didn’t. They didn’t have a smell at all.
We prefer that “fresh laundry” smell. So, while we're glad our clothes don’t smell like an insect repelling candle, we were disappointed in the absence of a laundry scent. The clothes’ texture wasn’t crunchy, but they weren’t overly soft either.
We were shocked to see no remnants of the stains on either piece of clothing.
Normally, we add extra products (like scent boosters, fabric softener, and dryer sheets), so we are used to laundry feeling pretty soft. But someone who doesn't usually add softeners to their laundry would be pleased with their clothes' texture using this laundry soap. We wouldn’t hesitate to use Zote soap on delicate or hand-wash-only clothes.
For under $10, you get two bars of laundry soap, which is a steal. We're not sure how many loads you can get out of each bar, but we'd guess you could get at least 20 washes out of one bar, which comes out to less than 25 cents per load.
We were shocked to see there were no remnants of the stains on either piece of clothing.
Competition: It’s a unique product
While there are plenty of laundry detergents available on the market, we don’t think you could make an apples-to-apples comparison of any of them to Zote Soap. Most laundry soaps are liquid, pods, or powder and are specifically formulated to work in washing machines, and this isn’t. It has totally different ingredients than other brands and stands alone as a product.
Perhaps the closest item to Zote Soap is the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar, which is intended as a stain remover bar. The soap bar is dampened and rubbed onto a soiled area before laundering. Then, you toss the clothing item into the washing machine. The manufacturer claims it to be most effective in removing chocolate, baby formula, perspiration, and make-up.
Great for delicates.
We think Zote Soap did an amazing job overall, but we wouldn’t use it for our family simply because of the time it would take to clean everything by hand. It’s a great product for removing stains or washing delicates, but it’s just not practical if you wear more than 10 articles of clothing in a week. With so many available laundry soap options, it’s not worth it for us to make homemade laundry detergent, but if the company were to find a way to make it safe for a washing machine, we'd definitely buy it.
- Product Name Soap
- Product Brand Zote
- Price $9.40
- Weight 1.79 lbs.
- Color Pink or white