How to Use Zote Soap and Save Money

By Marsha Harrison

how to use zote soap

If you have not heard of Zote yet, then allow me to introduce you to this product. As a household staple in Mexico, it is a laundry bar soap composed of citronella, animal fat, and coconut oil.

Moreover, it has a brightening ingredient that removes stains without affecting the fabric’s color.

Besides taking care of your laundry needs, this product can help you with other household tasks. Let me share several ways on how to use Zote soap.


For all the tutorials, you will need a bar of Zote soap. An additional list of supplies will be provided in each guide.

Use Zote Soap as Laundry Soap in 4 Different Ways


1. Handwashing your delicates

Items needed:

  • Basin or sink
  • Zote soap
  • Warm water

To handwash your delicates, you can fill either the sink or a basin with warm water. Soak your delicate garment in here.

Use pink Zote soap and scrub the clothing until you see it foaming. After that, rinse it with water to remove the soap and hang it to dry.

Note: Delicate fabrics are prone to shrinking due to its sensitivity to heat and excess agitation. Examples include silk, lace, linen, wool, and fabric items with embroideries.

Cotton is not always categorized as delicate but thin cotton fabrics can be treated as such.

2. Pre-treating stains


As for stains, wet the fabric surface and then rub the soap onto the affected area. Don’t forget the collar and armpits where stains usually occur.

Let the Zote soap work through the stain for about 5 to 10 minutes. Next, toss the garment in the washing machine and proceed to launder it as you normally would with any other clothes.

Alternatively, you can handwash the clothes.

3. Make powdered detergent

Items needed:

  • ½ cup of soda ash
  • ½ cup of borax
  • Grater
  • Zote soap
  • Plastic container with lid

If you would rather not hand wash your clothes, use Zote bar soap to make powdered detergent.

First, get a grater and grate the bar. Be sure to fill 1 cup and place it in a plastic container.

Add soda ash and borax to your grated Zote soap and mix them well with a spoon. Put the lid on the container if you plan to use it on a different day.

In any case, use 1 tablespoon of powdered detergent for a regular load. For heavily solid clothing items or large loads, you will need 2 tablespoons of the DIY Zote detergent.

Note: Both borax and soda ash can be found in laundry detergent that many of us buy commercially.

4. Use it as a fabric softener

Items needed:

  • Knee-high hosiery like an old sock or stocking
  • Zote
  • Knife

Cut a small chunk of Zote bar and place it inside the sock to be used for softening your towels and sheet.

You can chuck in your washing machine at the last wash cycle. When the washing machine completed its rinse and spin cycles, simply dry the towels and sheets as usual.

Expect fluffier towels and softer sheets!

Use Zote Soap as a Personal Care Product

1. Treat acne

If you want to try Zote soap for acne, make sure that the product you have is authentic.

Start by wetting the bar with a bit of water then wet your face. Rub the soap on your finger then dab it on your face, specifically on the affected areas.

Allow the soap to work for 5 minutes then rinse it away. Do this twice a day.

These steps must be followed down to a tee for best results.

2. Washing your skin and hair


Just like any bar soap normally used for skin, you only need to create a lather by wetting yourself and the soap. Simply rub your hands with the bar in between.

Once you see it foaming, slather it across your body. You can even use it for your hair in place of a shampoo.

The Zote bar into smaller pieces and storing the rest to ensure that your supply lasts long.

3. Repel insects and pests

Yes, you can use Zote bar as a mosquito repellent. You don’t even need to mix it with anything else.

If you have grated soap, you can sprinkle it on the floor. Alternatively, rub the soap on a surface. You can even place some soap bits at the foot of your bed to ward off mosquitoes.

Rest assured, you can wake up free of insect bites!

  • Warning: Citronella attracts bears. Avoid using Zote when you are camping!

Other Interesting Ways to Use Zote Soap

1. Making a dish soap


Items needed:

  • Dish soap container
  • A pint jar of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of washing soda
  • ⅛ cup of baking soda
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of chopped Zote soap
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spatula

In a saucepan, pour the warm water and melt Zote soap at medium-high temperature.

Once dissolved, remove the saucepan from the stove and allow it to cool down for 15 to 20 minutes. You can stir from time to time.

Add the baking soda and stir it into the mixture. Next, put the washing soda into the saucepan and stir it again. You will notice that the consistency is starting to thicken.

Keep stirring as the mixture cools down to help the ingredients dissolve. Let it cool for about 15 minutes.

You can add lime or other additives like coconut extract as shown in this Our Little Homestead video.

Then, pour the mixture into the dishwasher container.

Add ½ cup of dish soap to give it antibacterial properties and help create suds. Shake well.

Tip: Do not pour this mixture of Zote soap in foaming soap dispenser. Foaming soap has thinner consistency to work with foaming dispenser pumps.

2. Baiting catfish

Items needed:

  • 1 ounces of grated Zote soap
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • ¼ cup of bacon fat
  • Molds

Melt the soap into the water over low heat. When completely melted, add the garlic and bacon fat into the mixture.

Pour the bait into the molds. Be sure that the shape and size of the mold are suitable for the hook.

If you are not using it for fishing yet, simply store it in a resealable plastic bag or airtight plastic container. It also helps to solidify the baits when stored in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is Zote soap more affordable than other laundry soap brands?

Yes. depending on where you buy it, Zote can cost between $2 and $3 per bar. Even better, you can cut it up and stretch one bar if you mix it with other ingredients to create a fabric softener or dish soap.

The fact that you can use one bar for many things means that you will save more money using it compared to other brands.

2. Where can I buy Zote soap?

Unfortunately, not many groceries and pharmacies sell Zote soap. This product is available in specialty stores like hardware or camping store.

You can try checking out e-commerce sites and apps but note that a lot of people like using Zote soap so it tends to sell out fast.

3. Why is Zote soap good for sensitive skin?

Zote is skin-friendly mainly because it does not contain harsh detergents. As mentioned earlier, the brand makes soap from natural ingredients.

4. What is the disadvantage of using Zote?

After sharing all the positive things about this brand, I think it is only fair to outline what people don’t like about it.

Firstly, the soap tends to have an overpowering smell while you’re using it. That said, this can be subjective since some folks tend to be more sensitive than others.

In this article on SF Gate, some people even claim that the citronella scent reminds them of the store-bought bug spray.

Secondly, the other disadvantage is that you need to grate the Zote bar and combine it with other ingredients to machine wash your clothes.

Anyone who has a tight schedule will not have time to handwash particular items. Most of us are using washing machines to do our laundry.

Of course, Zote has a lot more to offer and I’m sure that many of you would be willing to put up with these small trade-offs.

5. Is there a big difference between the pink and white Zote bars?

According to many sources, both variants are made with the same formula. The only difference is that the white one does not contain dye.

Hence, if you want something more natural, go for the white bar.

6. Is Zote bar antibacterial?

No, the brand does not make such claims. That said, keep in mind that the FDA has released a ruling about products that are marketed as antibacterial.

To date, there is no evidence that soap with antibacterial properties is superior to plain soap. Studies also find that ingredients that make soap “antibacterial” like triclosan and triclocarban could pose some health risks.

You can view the full press announcement on the FDA’s website.


Zote soap is truly an impressive product as it lets us wash our clothes and dishes. Thanks to its all-natural ingredients, the soap is also safe to use for most skin types. It can even treat your acne or make catfish bait!

In this article on how to use Zote soap, I shared several tutorials on how to make the most of this wonder bar.

The best part is that this product is incredibly cheap. If you are into frugal living and DIY-ing, I’m sure you will love using Zote soap!

Furthermore, I have made a lot of DIY soap making tutorials you may like:


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