How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent With Zote Soap Video

Here’s my first YouTube video! I show how to make homemade laundry detergent using Zote soap. You can see the earlier Zote soap recipe blog post I wrote here.


24 Responses to “How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent With Zote Soap Video”

  1. Marcy Covault

    Thanks for the instructions. I have used Zote (prefer to fels naptha) to make a liquid mix, basically using 1 bar of Zote, 2 cups washing soda, and 2 cups borax. I cut the Zote into chunks and melt on the stovetop with 6 cups water, add washing soda and borax and stir until all is dissolved, then pour 4 cups hot water into 2+ gallon bucket, add soap mix and stir. Then add 5 quarts of water and stir. Let sit 24 hours to “gel”. Use 1/4 cup for average loads, and 1/2 cup for heavy loads.

  2. finnfemme

    You’re welcome, and thanks for your liquid detergent recipe, Marcy! 🙂 I have tried making the liquid with Fels Naptha, but I found it pretty messy, I will have to try it with Zote. I prefer the powdered version but that is only because I have a top-loading washer. From what I’ve heard, the powder doesn’t dissolve in HE washers. So I’m assuming the liquid mix would work in them.

  3. Judy

    Thanks so much for the video. I’m a visual person. I just made my first homemade laundry detergent. I enjoyed grating the soap. It was easier than I thought and I was getting a good arm workout at the same time.

  4. finnfemme

    I actually look forward to hand-grating the soap, Judy! It also works as an excellent stress reliever. 😀

  5. finnfemme

    Hi Janette,
    I do use it for delicates, i.e. lingerie, and it works great! The only thing I don’t use it for is washing my wool/angora/cashmere/mohair sweaters – then I use baby shampoo.

  6. Stephany

    In Mexico they sale the zote soap in liquid form. If only they would sale that here 🙁

  7. Eve

    thank you, I was looking for a better option than the fels napa soap. and found zote soap in my local grocery store, I like the ingredient list but there are no directions how to use it. I love this video, as you answered all my questions, thank you for the helpful ratio. I love the homemade version of laundry soap. and like you was looking for better option to use. so thanks again for wonderfully helpful video!

  8. Jennifer J Rodriguez

    Are you a FINN? I have a neighbor whose ancestors came from Finland, and Dorothy speaks and writes Finnish also!! Anyway, I found ZOTE at a K-Mart store here in Michigan, first time seeing it. PINK, and it is easy to cut and use. I have been using fels naphtha, why do you like Zote better? Thanks for the video, you did a good job 🙂

  9. finnfemme

    Hi Jennifer,
    You are very welcome!
    My mother is 100% Finnish, and I am half-Finn. I don’t speak or write Finnish, but my mom grew up speaking Finnish in North Dakota. There really aren’t that many Finns around, so it’s interesting to hear of the few that are!

    I like Zote better because it is softer, smells better and grates more easily. I have used Fels Naptha in the past, but it doesn’t seem to dissolve as well.

  10. Pj

    Thank you so much for your recipe. I use the same recipe except I add 1/2 tub of oxyclean and I add 2 lg containers of Gain or Downy, whichever sprinkles I feel like using, per batch. I never make only a single batch. Our kids love to come and help us make a quadruple batch because they know they are going to be getting their containers refilled. We all end up with about a 3 to 4 gallon container full. The last time I made it was Christmas 2 yrs ago and we are just now running out. I am telling y’all…It’s inexpensive, makes a great gift for your children going off to college, or who have their own families, or for anyone really. I can’t believe I was spending $10 for a small container of liquid detergent just because I loved the smell. And buying several a month. Then I was buying the liquid softener that matched. Now I don’t have to do either, it’s all in one and saves me a ton of money. Especially with 8, soon to be 9 family members I am doing laundry for. I am hooked!

  11. Leah Ann Watson

    I have been making my own home made laundry detergent for 4 years now! I have used the Fels Naptha bars as well as the pink Zote! I prefer the pink Zote because it is easier to grate & I love the smell of it compared to the Fels! Here is the recipe that I use & it makes 4 gallons! I eat lots of Kosher Dill pickles & that is where I got my gallon jars! Grate 1/2 of a bar of pink Zote & add 2 quarts of water & heat to a rolling boil until all dissolved! In a clean 5 gallon bucket add 2 cups Super Washing Soda & 2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax, pour in the boiling melted Zote soap & stir until dissolved, then add 2 more quarts of water & stir, that completes the 1st gallon! Add 3 more gallons of hot tap water, which equals to 4 gallons & stir! Fill 4 gallon jars immediately & cool until it is a gel! When you are ready to use it, stir it well with a wire whisk! I use 1 cup of the pink liquid for super size loads & subtract 1/4 cup as the loads are decreased! The original recipe that I was given by a good friend, calls for just 1/3 of a cup of grated Zote but I prefer this recipe, using 1/2 of a bar! I made by 1st batch 4 years ago and have never went back to the store bought detergents! I have even used this recipe in the dishwasher with white vinegar in the rinsing dispenser for beautiful dishes but prefer to buy the Cascade pods! Making your own detergent turns into an addiction, I can’t wait to run out so I can make some more! I just finished making 8 gallons which required just 1 complete bar or the pink Zote! 8 gallons will last this family of 2, the better part of a year, maybe just under! If you ever try it, you will not got back!

  12. finnfemme

    Pj and Leah Ann –
    Thank you so much for your comments! It is always nice to hear how others make their own laundry detergent. We all have our own spin, don’t we? 🙂

  13. Nancy

    Thank you. Excited to make my first batch. Does this washing powder leave any residue in the fibers of clothes such that it makes them feel “greasy”? I guess I am thinking of fabrix softeners that make towels and clothes feel soft, but unusually so. I like fabric & towels to just feel normal, not extra soft…

    Thanks, again!

  14. finnfemme

    Hi Nancy,
    This washing detergent does not leave any residue whatsoever. The fibers get really clean! I do not use fabric softener as I detest oily film on the laundry. I air-dry all my laundry as well, so things can end up pretty crunchy. But I find as soon as I wear or use the item, it softens up.

  15. Michele Bauer

    I love makin my own wash soap but my problem is wen using it I have to use warm wtr all the time cause the soap doesn’t melt, but I have used fells not zote is there a difference, I would love to do most of my wash in kool wtr and ? can I double the ingredients for to make the whole 5gal bucket
    thank you

  16. finnfemme

    Hi Michele,
    I find that the Zote soap melts better than Fels-Naptha. Perhaps because it is coconut-oil based. I usually wash in warm or hot with this detergent recipe, so I don’t know if it would dissolve in cold water. Perhaps mixing it with a little warm/hot water before adding it to your cold water wash would work.
    Yes, double the ingredients to make a really big batch!

  17. Erin

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My MIL has a similar one, but for Fels-Naptha. I cannot find Fels-Naptha anywhere in my city. Just made my first batch today and am just about to start of load of laundry. Who knew I could be this excited to start laundry? Thank you so much!


  18. Hilary

    Thanks for the formula andvideo Marilyn!

    I made too much , so long ago…I forgot it! I love to use Norwex powder in HOT instead of Zote for bright whites, to strip really bad smells ( eg.mold, diapers) and …to stretch the Norwex!!
    And the Zote makes our clothes have less stactic and Lemongrass. I love to add couple drops of EO.
    We hang dry ours also. Clothes last longer, saves $ energy and… hanging them up anyway

    A friends family of grown siblings can’t believe such a small amount actually works, so she ADDS IN Baking Soda, to fill up a bigger “detergent” scoop . Whatever works right?

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