Fels Naptha vs Zote

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Fels Naptha vs Zote– the true laundry challenge! For years we’ve offered a multitude of homemade laundry detergent recipes and then we created our Original Super Laundry Sauce recipe… which works wonders on the laundry. The issue? Many folks didn’t have access to Fels Naptha, one of our original ingredients and wanted to know whether or not they could use Zote in its place. So we accepted the challenge, and we made both, side by side to test. Here are our results . . .
fels-naptha-vs-zote
To begin with, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between Fels Naptha and Zote:

Fels Naptha: Fels main ingredients are Soap, water, talc. It’s a has a light fresh scent, the smell does not stay in the clothing past a day or so. It is most effective on oil-based stains such as body soil (aka accidents!), chocolate, make-up/sunscreen, etc. It is quite effective at dispersing and removing urushiol oil (aka poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac oils) from clothing and skin. Fels Naptha has been around from over 100 years.

Zote:Zote is 66% Fat- derived from animals- the main ingredients are beef tallow and coconut oil, contains citronella essential oil & therefore smells like citronella, Zote is much softer and has a lighter/more airy consistency, the smell of Zote will linger in clothing for days, Zote contains optical brighteners. . Since Zote contains Citronella – it helps repel mosquitoes from anyone wearing clothing washed in it. Zote comes in 2 different options: regular white Zote- more whitening power and pink Zote- for delicates, kids clothing, those with skin allergies/sensitivities, etc.

In this challenge we’re using our Super Laundry Sauce for Dummies Recipe– this is the NO Cook Version that takes about 5 minutes of actual effort in all.

A regular sized bar of Fels Naptha is 5.05 oz, whereas a regular sized bar of Zote is 14 oz. They’re both around $1 to purchase (actually a little less than that at Walmart) In order to make a single jar of Laundry Sauce, you need a half bar of Fels, about 2.5 oz. So we used a half bar of Zote in this recipe. Rather than try to match it ounce for ounce. The Zote has a lighter, whipped, airy texture to it, much like a bar of Ivory soap, so to be fair, we decided to go with half a bar, 7 ounces.

fels-naptha-vs-zote

Since they are the same price, it doesn’t change the expense of the homemade detergent.

In following the Super Laundry Sauce directions, we put our half a bar of Fels and Zote in jars and added hot water.

fels-naptha-vs-zote

We waited patiently overnight. This is how they appeared the next morning:

fels-naptha-vs-zote

Note that the Zote also gels like the Fels. They are very similar in texture and consistency at this point.

Next, we added our remaining ingredients as per the Laundry Sauce recipe.

We screwed on the blender blade on the top of the jar and whipped the contents of each jar:

fels-naptha-vs-zote

Now comes the real test… washing our sons work clothes… you see, he works at a fast food restaurant as a cook so his clothes are rather saturated in nasty fast food grease smell when he comes home. Lucky for us, he had to work the morning shift today and his clothes are especially grimy from preparing onion ring batter and pan after pan of bacon!

We washed the soiled clothes in warm water with cold water rinse. Disclaimer, we use city water NOT well water to wash our clothing so the mineral content is neither high nor low. Your results may vary based on the type of water you have, well, Artesian well, city water, hard water, etc.

How we washed the clothing in Both Tests:

Add the clothing to a top loading machine.
Add 1 level tablespoon of Laundry Sauce on top of the clothes.
Shut the lid and select warm wash/cold rinse.
Start the machine.

The results:

Fels Naptha
: Fantastic, only a tablespoon was needed to get out the offending smells and stains in the fabric. We like that the smell doesn’t linger after washing so we can use perfumes/colognes or essential oils without smelling like we got maced when we walked by the perfume counter at Macy’s. It dissolves fine in cold, warm or hot water, making it useful for most laundry.

Zote: Failed, miserably. The Zote did NOT dissolve in Warm water, it left considerable streaks of white on the clothing and gobbed up into a ball in the machine. It would appear that it is great for hand-washing delicate clothes in very HOT water and is effective at removing body oils and light soil. In our experience, it is not an effective stain remover for heavily soiled clothing or for use with cold or warm water temperatures.

Conclusion: What it comes down to is personal preference and what you’re using it for. If our children were still little and just playing outside with regular sand/dirt/grass stains, I’d probably go with Super Laundry Sauce made with Zote.

fels-naptha-vs-zote

 

Since our kids are now teens that go paintballing, work in fast food restaurants, mudding/4-wheeling, etc and my spouse is a contractor that frequently gets tar, spackle, caulking, glue, etc all over his clothes when he works, we’ll have to stick with the Fels Naptha Super Laundry Sauce, which seems to get out the majority of the stains with minimal effort.

Buy Ingredients Now:


fels-naptha-vs-zote

Fels Naptha is currently $1.09
with free shipping if you’re a Prime Member

fels-naptha-vs-zote

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**Update***

Since the Zote failed so miserably the first time going in with a half bar we decided to put it to the test ounce for ounce, weighing both the Zote and the Fels for the same amount before making a new batch.
The results were similar, while the Zote did (mostly) dissolve, the clothes just didn’t come clean. Since Zote contains brighteners that Fels does not, we’ll be making a batch of Fels Zote soap combination to see if we can achieve the best of both worlds ( a detergent that works AND brightens clothes!)

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About Liss 3993 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

65 Comments

  1. just made first batch of super laundry detergent. excited about the cost! done a load of dishtowels and rags and felt they came out a bit stiff.

    will need to continue using liquid fabric softeners. thanks for this great site

    • Just made first batch of super laundry detergent. Excited about the cost! Done a load of dishtowels and rags and felt they came out a bit stiff. Will need to continue using liquid fabric softeners. Thanks for this great site

      They came out stiff? Did you hang them out to dry or are you talking that they felt stiff right out of the machine??

      If so, test your water to see if it’s Hard.

    • Just made first batch of super laundry detergent. Excited about the cost! Done a load of dishtowels and rags and felt they came out a bit stiff.

      Will need to continue using liquid fabric softeners. Thanks for this great site

      I have learned that using fabric softener on towels and rags cause them to lose the ability to absorb liquids due to build up of the fabric softener. I started using vinegar on our towels and rags. It has been used as a fabric softener for many years, and even before commercial fabric softeners were available.

      Although vinegar has that gross smell, it goes away during the drying process. My husband was complaining about the towels not getting him dry when he got out of the shower and the towels kept a mildewy smell. I researched how to get rid of the smell and found vinegar was the #1 thing in every article I found.

      I tried it and our towels are even softer than when I bought them and now absorb the water after a shower. It’s also a natural disinfectant. I’ve began using it all around the house to clean.

      The smell dissipates quickly as it dries without lingering. You can even add essential oils.

    • Just made first batch of super laundry detergent. Excited about the cost! Done a load of dishtowels and rags and felt they came out a bit stiff.

      Will need to continue using liquid fabric softeners. Thanks for this great site

      You can use vinegar in your rinse cycle to help with the stiffness. I use a quarter cup in my wash and it is fantastic!

  2. what about using sunlight laundry bars instead of either zote or fels naptha? has anyone tried that? if so, what were the results?

    • What about using Sunlight Laundry bars instead of either Zote or Fels Naptha? Has anyone tried that? If so, what were the results?

      i don’t have any fels-naptha or zote to compare it to but i have definitely used sunlight bar soap. i am totally happy :cloud9: with the results. Clothes come out clean and fresh smelling.

      I don’t use a dryer so my towels are not so fluffy as I would prefer. I shake the living daylights out of my towels to fluff as much as possible. My 100% cotton towels are super absorbent with the Laundry Sauce.

      The reset of my clothes are not stiff. I have never seen any soap residue on my clothes either. I live in Canada so very hard to find Fels soap.

      I am going to try experimenting with making my own bar soap and compare the stain removing results.

      There is another bar soap I might give a try – its called Linda and it can be purchased at No Frills. No Frills seems to get a lot of products from Italy – a company called Aurora Importing.

      :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute: :pute:

  3. i haven’t made either version yet, but am planning on making the fels naptha one tomorrow. i was just wondering if you had used the same 2.5 oz. of the Zote bar instead of using half of the bar maybe it wouldn’t have been so sudsy.

    Either way, I’m looking forward to making this soap and saving my family some money. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and this amazing site. It has been so helpful!

    • I haven’t made either version yet, but am planning on making the Fels Naptha one tomorrow. I was just wondering if you had used the same 2.5 oz. of the Zote bar instead of using half of the bar maybe it wouldn’t have been so sudsy.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to making this soap and saving my family some money. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and this amazing site. It has been so helpful!

      My first batch of the super laundry sauce was a comparison between the two soaps.

      I cut the zote into 1/4 ‘s so it was approx 3.5 oz .

      It disolved fine in my H.E. It cleaned as well as the liquid detergent made with the zote.

      After having made the liquid detergent for many years, I agree that fels naptha cleans better. Zote tends to leave the clothes dingy unless you hang the wet clothes out in the sun, then the optical brighteners activate.

      For me, actually making the soap, I prefered to use the zote. Fels naptha has a scent that sends my allergies into high gear. But the super laundry soap has solved that.

      DH chopps the soap and puts it with the water in the jar over night. The next day, The soap is jelled, so nothing is “airborne.” After blending and adding the essential oils, the smell doesn’t bother me at all.

  4. great info…i was wondering about the difference in these two soaps. i have made powder with zote but the clothes weren’t as clean as i like. i will use fels next.

    thanks this is a great site.

  5. i just made this recipe using zote before i found this forum. lol check it out tomorrow in the laundry. i have used the zote before but not in this concentration.

    :learncook:

  6. this is great to know, because i was wondering if i could substitute the zote for the f.n…. now i know that come payday, when i try my first batch of the super duper laundry soap recipe, i will stick with the original recipe!

  7. been using this for 2 weeks the clothes and linens we regularly wear and use all are clean and do not irritate my skin. I am sensitive to soaps every year they
    ‘new & improved’ all detergents out of my comfort zone.
    This Laundry sauce does not offend my skin or nose..
    Thank You so much
    :jar:

  8. love,love the fels recipe and it really does get the clothes clean, i do use the homemade softener when i wash using the hair conditioner recipe . it makes the clothes pleasantly soft.

  9. i’ve made the original recipe & love it. my honey does home remodels & my son lives in dirt. my laundry has never looked or felt better!

    i went nuts & made it for my family/close friends, they love it too. we’ve also found it works great in our carpet steam cleaner!!! great value & multipurpose….

    can’t go wrong!!!:weight:

  10. i use fels naptha in my laundry detergent. although i have been using a different “recipe” which involved cooking on the stove, i am going to give this one a whirl. but hands down fels naptha cleans a lot better.

    since we started making our own soap the whites are brighter and the colors have actually faded less than with store bought detergents. throw in some vinegar based fabric softner and even the dogs’ blankets come out clean and smell fresh (a feat in and of itself since i have 4 dogs)

  11. i use the laundry soap recipe but i add more water so its more of a gel than the sauce…and i use the homemade fabric softener recipe, which is mainly vinegar, which makes our clothes remarkably soft….the vinegar is what softens the clothes…and if you have hard water, mix in a couple tbsp of epsom salt to help with that!

    • I use the laundry soap recipe but I add more water so its more of a gel than the sauce…and I use the homemade fabric softener recipe, which is mainly vinegar, which makes our clothes remarkably soft….the vinegar is what softens the clothes…and if you have hard water, mix in a couple tbsp of epsom salt to help with that!

      epsome salt hardens water… it does not soften water. a quick google search will verify, epsome salt is not the same as water softener salt.

  12. i use the zote in my home made laundry detergent. it never leaves any issue on my clothes, my washer comes out cleaner, but the difference is that i use it in the dry homemade laundry soap, not the liquid. that may be the difference.

    we grate it in with the borax, baking powder, washing soda, oxiclean, and if we want, a bar of whatever bath soap smells good. last round we used ivory and our clothes came out with absolutely no scent, which is good for our baby girls. fels naptha is not sold in any of my local stores, so i had to make do.

    • I use the zote in my home made laundry detergent. It never leaves any issue on my clothes, my washer comes out cleaner, but the difference is that I use it in the dry homemade laundry soap, not the liquid. That may be the difference.

      We grate it in with the borax, baking powder, washing soda, oxiclean, and if we want, a bar of whatever bath soap smells good. Last round we used Ivory and our clothes came out with absolutely no scent, which is good for our baby girls. Fels naptha is not sold in any of my local stores, so i had to make do.

      I prefer Zote.

      My clothes come out much brighter than with Fels-Naptha; and I don’t like the smell of the Fels-Naptha. I also use my dry homemade laundry powder. So I agree I that the powder vs liquid could be the difference.

    • I use the zote in my home made laundry detergent. It never leaves any issue on my clothes, my washer comes out cleaner, but the difference is that I use it in the dry homemade laundry soap, not the liquid. That may be the difference.

      We grate it in with the borax, baking powder, washing soda, oxiclean, and if we want, a bar of whatever bath soap smells good. Last round we used Ivory and our clothes came out with absolutely no scent, which is good for our baby girls. Fels naptha is not sold in any of my local stores, so i had to make do.

      Ive been looking into this and habe heard the fels and other regular soaps dont do justice, and zote is better! If i wanted to give this a try without making my washer scummy and clothes clean, does the zote do it? I also want to do the dry kind like youre saying

    • I use the zote in my home made laundry detergent. It never leaves any issue on my clothes, my washer comes out cleaner, but the difference is that I use it in the dry homemade laundry soap, not the liquid. That may be the difference.

      We grate it in with the borax, baking powder, washing soda, oxiclean, and if we want, a bar of whatever bath soap smells good. Last round we used Ivory and our clothes came out with absolutely no scent, which is good for our baby girls. Fels naptha is not sold in any of my local stores, so i had to make do.

      Can you please tell me what area of the country you live in and what stores you fine Zote in? I’ve been searching high and low, near and far, at every market and superstore in my town of 150,000 people and can’t find it anywhere!

      • Can you please tell me what area of the country you live in and what stores you fine Zote in? I’ve been searching high and low, near and far, at every market and superstore in my town of 150,000 people and can’t find it anywhere!

        You can purchase it on Amazon here–> https://amzn.to/2LyEY8d We generally purchase ours at Walmart, but I’ve seen it at several other grocery stores. It might be more helpful if you tell us what Town,State you’re looking in as Zote is carried Nationwide and we can better direct you to the stores.

  13. i was able to buy all my ingredients for the original laundry sauce at walmart in our house hold soap isle, between the dawn and the tide.

  14. i am at the very end of my diy dry laundry soap. my only issue with it has been the whites look dingy. i am excited to try the laundry sauce with the fels-naptha.

    maybe this will make my whites sparkle more and my hubby’s socks not look so grey.
    i do have a question though, since i was using a dry detergent i was able to add scent crystals to my soap. will i be able to add those to this liquid laundy sauce? i really enjoy the clean fresh scent and not having to use any seperate fabric softener.

    help, please…..
    desperate and dingy…..

    • I am at the very end of my diy dry laundry soap. my only issue with it has been the whites look dingy. i am excited to try the laundry sauce with the fels-naptha.

      maybe this will make my whites sparkle more and my hubby’s socks not look so grey.
      i do have a question though, since i was using a dry detergent i was able to add scent crystals to my soap. will i be able to add those to this liquid laundy sauce? i really enjoy the clean fresh scent and not having to use any seperate fabric softener.

      help, please…..
      desperate and dingy…..

      i haven’t used it with this recipe yet, but i have “grated” fn &/or zote into my laundry many times as detergent 1/16 of bar is the instructions. If I remember correctly the FN is 16oz bar, & the instructions are to use 1/16 per load. I usually do both if that’s all I’m using for detergent.

      If it’s whites I’ll add a cup of peroxide (by diluting it in the running water), & it will get clothes whiter than even bleach in my experience!! Like when my children wear their socks OUTSIDE for shoes!!! 😁 bleach won’t get them white again unfortunately, but peroxide will.

      I use it & baking soda for a lot of cleaning, including laundry(must liquid y’all under running water to avoid discoloration & clumps). I bought a flat grater from $$ tree & measuring cup I only use for laundry/cleaning. I’ve mixed the peroxide, baking soda, & even vinegar in w these 2 soaps as well for whitening, odor removing, softening, etc.

      they all work great! I’m really excited to be able to make it in bulk like this though so i’m not grating for every load. only thing i do t know is how to incorporate any of those 3 things in super sauce, but since 2 are liquid seems like last minute addition won’t be bad!!

      😃 I think I’m going to make a zote/pink batch for my “gentle” clothes w/per oz recipe VS 1/2, & then maybe try incorporating baking soda in somewhere, although it may have the same properties as “baking power” in recipe already. Gonna have to play with it. Hope that helps, I like the sun drying method too for the white zote.

      Of course I always “fluff” line dried stuff for 10min on med or < heat to get stiffness out. Hope that helps.
      I also found “white brite” @ walmart which is $3-4 a bottle, & lasts WAY longer than any $5 tub of oxy clean (like 1/4), & whitens better than bleach & oxy clean combined!!! just be careful, bc u can’t put anything but whites in!!!

      examples:will discolor any towels w colored trim, dish rags, socks w/colored trim, etc. all those things i previously washed in a white load w/bleach, peroxide, &/or oxy clean, but that white brite is no joke!! it gets out sweat stains on shirts i previously couldn’t get out w anything else, socks work a shoes become white again, etc.!!!

      it doesn’t seem too harsh either i do all towels, rags, & all white socks in it. the ingredients are basically some form of hydrogen peroxide, i’m guessing just very concentrated, bc it’s the hands down best whitener i’ve ever used!! i use no more than 1/4 cup per full lg load, & it often comes w/a-$1 coupon=$3(lasts for a few months w a minimum of 1lg white load per week).

      Hope 1 of these helps, & I’m looking fwd to trying my tricks w my HM laundry sauce!!😉

      I am at the very end of my diy dry laundry soap. my only issue with it has been the whites look dingy. i am excited to try the laundry sauce with the fels-naptha.

      maybe this will make my whites sparkle more and my hubby’s socks not look so grey.
      i do have a question though, since i was using a dry detergent i was able to add scent crystals to my soap. will i be able to add those to this liquid laundy sauce? i really enjoy the clean fresh scent and not having to use any seperate fabric softener.

      help, please…..
      desperate and dingy…..

      i can’t tell if my other lengthy reply on “dingy” came thru, but i’d suggested peroxide as a whitener & “white brite”(walmart). anyway, i also suggested baking soda
      (not knowing if it was in sauce recipe) it is though!! 😃 the A&H washing powder.

      So that leaves peroxide to try adding per load, making sauce w/white zote & sun drying, OR trying the “white brite” from walmart. Hope that helps, if my other reply didn’t come thru I can attest that white brite is extremely economical, seems to be a concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide, & gets everything really white again!! Don’t include any colors/colored trim in load though(like w bleach), they’ll be lightened too!!

      Hope this helps! : )

    • I am at the very end of my diy dry laundry soap. my only issue with it has been the whites look dingy. i am excited to try the laundry sauce with the fels-naptha.

      maybe this will make my whites sparkle more and my hubby’s socks not look so grey.
      i do have a question though, since i was using a dry detergent i was able to add scent crystals to my soap. will i be able to add those to this liquid laundy sauce? i really enjoy the clean fresh scent and not having to use any seperate fabric softener.

      help, please…..
      desperate and dingy…..

      fels left my clothes dingy. 🙁 we started using the zote (pink). it’s a little more….laborious to get it to not clump up, but no more grey/faded clothes!

      i use a cook method and a lot more water (the biggest stock pot i could find) with a full bar of zote, half a box of borax, half a box of washing soda, and vinegar. i hate that zote is animal based, but at least we’ve found a recipe that doesn’t result in ruined clothes. best of luck at finding one that works for you!

  15. wow that’s shocking to me. i’ve also tried both versions of the laundry soap; but in powder form. i prefer pink zote (i haven’t tried the white yet).

    it smell much nicer than the fels-naptha and my clothes come out brighter using it in my he washer.

  16. can anyone confirm if the fels-naptha and zote soaps are the same as the sard bars of soap we get in the laundry aisle in australia???

  17. i was leery of fels naptha since i have sensitive skin, and that is what i use to clean oil paint of of my brushes. i had never heard of zote before reading this article, so when we started making our version (over a year ago), we used ivory. i shredded it with the top grater blade in the food processor, and then had the bottom blade hitting it with a couple of spoonfuls of the borax and laundry soda in the bottom.

    it totally powdered the ivory for the mix. our clothes get clean, stains come out, and it has no smell in itself.

  18. i haven’t read through every thread yet, but here’s my question? i’ve made the 5 gallon liquid Zote recipe which I love and it smells fresh. I’ve also made the Laundry Sauce with the Fels Naptha.

    What I want to know or I can try myself is, can I make the Laundry Sauce with the Zote so I have a more concentrated batch but don’t have a 5 gallon bucket? I was wanting to make this for my daughter, with the Zote soap only it’s hard to transport a 5 gallon bucket unless I make it at her house. It’s easier to carry in the quart jars.

    LOL:loveshower: Anyway just curious. I was planning on experimenting.

    Her husband can use the Fels Naptha Laundry Sauce as his work clothes get pretty dirty.

    • I Just wanted to add that I did make the Zote soap with the Fels Naptha Laundry Sauce recipe for dummies and it came out really good. BUT, I had to melt down the Zote and then mix it in the blender while it was hot with the rest of the ingredients, washing soda & borax. It had that pink look and I made a cute pink and blue label.

  19. has anyone used either of these for washing baby clothes? my daughter is expecting and she would love to avoid spending a bundle on dreft or other baby laundry soap!
    :money1:

  20. well, and i was just so excited to finally find zote available locally, so i could try it and it may not want it after all. i really like the sauce made with fels naptha. since the bar is cut up anyway, i might just make one jar with zote.

  21. sls with fels got out dark cherry juice of my daughter’s brand new shirt and off the white cotton lace on her new shorts. love this stuff. gets stuff out even after it’s been through wash and dry cycle.

  22. i make the powdered washing detergent by grating the soap then adding the other powdered ingredients (super washing soda, borax, baking soda) and when i first started i used fels-naptha. i wasn’t unhappy with the fels-naptha, in fact i really liked how it worked. i then found zote to be cheaper because for the same price i got two batches of detergent from zote and only one batch with the fels-naptha.

    i’ve had no problems using the zote (pink one is the only one i can find), and i really like the scent. i think the zote works just as well as the fels-naptha on stains, grease, and odor. :purr:

  23. i make the dry laundry soap using fels napa bar soap. i use whitner (oxiclean) when i feel my whites need a boost. when i used tide, which i feel is the best store bought laundry soap, at times i still used oxiclean to brighten. or bleach on cottons!

  24. i have done the diy laundry soap before & felt it was too time consuming imo. i found a better way for us that was cost saving and eco-friendly. more power to y’all who do it.

  25. I’m so glad you decided to post the differences! I am very new on stumbling on how to make your own laundry detergent and wanted to get the best recipe I could. I just made a dry detergent (1 cup borax, 1 cup Washing Soda and 1 bar Ivory soap).

    There is no smell what so ever, and was wondering if this is normal. I am definitely going to try the Super Laundry Sauce!

  26. i have made every kind of homemade detergent there is. powdered, sauce, liquid, etc. i have used fels and zote.

    i don’t like the fact that fels has talc in it. talc is known to cause cancer in women, so it’s out for me. we buy something called soilove at the dollar store.

    if there is a terrible grease spot or other stains, we squirt that on it. it’s mostly alcohol so i’m sure we could make our own. the zote works well for me.

    and no cancer causing agents. when i made the sauce, it was only whipped for about a day, then was almost a solid. our house stays in the 60s which could be a factor.

    we live in the bay area, so the weather is mild, hence the cooler house temp. but everything solidifies, including coconut oil, so maybe that was the problem. i prefer liquid home made detergent made with zote.

    been making it and using it for years. another thing about fels is that it has ether in it. why?

    it’s just weird and when i read that on the label, i laughed. ether is what they used when i was a kid having my tonsils out, to knock me out. yeh, i’m old.

    🙂

    so that’s my take on fels vs. zote. :smile1:

    • i have made every kind of homemade detergent there is. powdered, sauce, liquid, etc. i have used fels and zote.

      i don’t like the fact that fels has talc in it. talc is known to cause cancer in women, so it’s out for me.

      Talc does not cause cancer; rather, the contaminants that naturally occur in stone can. (My sister had ovarian cancer, and use of baby powder on her with diapering is a suspected cause). However, these days this is known, and talc is required to be free of contaminants (including lead!).

      I don’t think I’d buy any made in China (since they seem to have so many q.c. problems), or any other import, though, since we really can’t test everything that comes into the country.

      I don’t worry about Fels Naphtha, though I brought up this blog on a search to see if we could go even milder with Zote. Since the water-softening washing soda & borax were left out in the test recipes, however, and the Zote showed (apparently) hard-water clumping, I don’t think they were given a level playing field. As a scientist, I find this test inconclusive because of the recipe difference–one that showed exactly the problem we would expect if any laundry bar, even a great one, were used in hard water without a softening agent like washing soda.

      Since we don’t use it that way–we add washing soda & borax in “real life”–to me, the jury is still out.

  27. I’m afraid this test may be flawed. Since the usual dry ingredients (washing soda, borax) were omitted, this test leaves out *water softeners.* All this test really tells us is that Fels Naphtha performs better in hard water (perhaps because it contains water softeners itself in the bar). The clumps on the washing machine look like hard water-soap coagulation to me.

    If you run the test again, using the full recipes, that would tell us more! I appreciate your trying this and all the wonderful things you bring us…they’re great…just need to to run this test where the chemistry reflects the actual laundry sauce recipes.. Those powders aren’t just in there for looks (lol).

    They make the detergent bars more effective in spite of minerals.

    In case this sounds critical, I LOVE the money-saving tips on this site, and I think you’re great!! 🙂

    • I’m afraid this test may be flawed. Since the usual dry ingredients (washing soda, borax) were omitted, this test leaves out *water softeners.*

      I think you misunderstood the article. Zote and Fels were not tested independently, they were made into the Super laundry sauce recipe WITH Washing Soda AND Borax, as the recipe indicates. All ingredients were measured by weight. The Test was not flawed in any way as BOTH soaps were used equally in the same conditions.

    • If you run the test again, using the full recipes, that would tell us more!

      um, i think you need to reread the article, it says that it was run with zote and fels made into super laundry sauce (as in- all of the ingredients were the same in each recipe, except the swap of zote for fels).

      next, we added our remaining ingredients as per the Laundry Sauce Recipe.

      we screwed on the blender blade on the top of the jar and whipped the contents of each jar:

      it’s great to have a scientific point of view, but it’s better to carefully read the article first. 😉

  28. Oops–I missed that line. Looked at it twice (skimming), too! I guess that’s what I get for posting when I’m half asleep!

    Thanks–guess Fels Naphtha wins. It’s what I’ve always used, but was hoping to switch to Zote.

    Incidentally, I decided to make the laundry soap recipe with 1/2 EACH of F.N. and Zote. I’ll try to remember to post my results.

    It made a nice, creamy laundry sauce, but needed a little extra water. I did find that my blender did not do well with how soft Zote was! Had to keep turning blender jar upside down & knocking the gunk out.

  29. (I was making dry laundry detergent for that batch, so had not soaked it in hot water overnight–I did for the laundry sauce, tho.)

  30. I read the comment about laundry being ‘stiff’ after drying. In my experience, this is usually because too much soap has been used leaving a coating, or because there is buildup after using the soap (any soap) repeatedly. With soft water, less soap is needed.

    Vinegar added to the rinse will cut out any leftover soap. If your clothes/towels/etc. feel sticky, then either too much soap has been used or there is a buildup.

  31. This approach is definitely flawed. Please try it in an ounce-per-ounce type of test.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of similar clumping problems with Fels Naptha if you tripled the amount of soap ounces (like you did with Zote) and instead used 7.5 oz. of Fels per jar. If your favorite casserole calls for “one can” of diced tomatoes and you’ve been using an 8-ounce can for a while, but just found a 24-ounce can on sale, you couldn’t use the bigger can, leave all the remaining ingredients as is, and get the same tasty results.

    All this to say, one 5-oz. bar of Fels is NOT equal to one 14.1-oz. bar of Zote.

    If the Zote were sold in 5-oz. bars, the test would have been valid.

    I only use 1/6 bar of Zote per jar (one-third bar per batch). This 2.35 oz. portion of Zote very closely approximates the 2.5 oz.

    of Fels per jar in your recipe. The finished product is perfect and has never clumped up in my machine like in your photos. It dissolves better than Fels sauce even in cold water.

    As a bonus, you get three times the finished product for the same price as you do with Fels!

    • This approach is definitely flawed. Please try it in an ounce-per-ounce type of test.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of similar clumping problems with Fels Naptha if you tripled the amount of soap ounces (like you did with Zote) and instead used 7.5 oz. of Fels per jar.!

      We’ve tried it both ways, ounce for ounce and the zote doesn’t get anything clean, but then again, my husband is a contractor and often works on machinery & I need something tough that can get grease and grime out, not just a few drops of sweat. Zote just does Not work.

  32. I always use the Zote and never have any problems. I use method # 2 and use 1/2 bar of Zote. I use and immersion blender and mix it in a 1lb whip cream container. I sit the container in a gallon Ziploc bag in case it spills and when I store it I leave the container in the bag so it is air tight.

  33. Before reading this article made a similar recipe using zote and got those dreaded white streaks on a navy ble sweatshirt. How did you get them out?

    • It’s probably soap residue. Wash it in warm water OR, if you’re afraid of color fade, put white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle and wet it down – then wash as usual. These days, most colors are fine with a warm wash though – at least a few times.

      I swear by adding 1/2 tsp citric acid to each load, and adding just shy of 1/4 c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. I’ve had no soap residue whatsoever since I started doing that – clothes are softer, too.

      But…look up laundry stripping. Just so you know.

  34. Did you make the Zote and Fels soap mix yet? We live on a farm so mud is a huge aspect of our daily life but i’m interested in seeing if the Zote will repel mosquitoes as well since my youngest gets eaten alive but i hate putting bug spray on her.

  35. I have been using pink Zote lately because of the scent of the Fels Naptha and I don’t see any difference in the cleaning of our clothes. To get your whites whiter, use some bleach in the water when you wash your whites. My mom always used bleach for whites and it works.

    No detergent will get your whites really white unless you use bleach, but be careful. Read the instructions.

  36. 😂😂😂 According to Zote, the pink and white bars are exactly the same product. The pink dye makes no actual difference said from appearance

  37. Just an FYI but Zote’s own website will tell you that all three colors of Zote are identical other than dye added to the pink and blue. It’s all strictly because certain colors are popular in different areas.

    • This is not for public viewing but you could stand to learn what a proper noun it-and isn’t.

      I’m going to assume you meant was “is and isn’t” rather than “it-and isn’t”, because I completely understand that humans make mistakes and are not infallible. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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