Has anyone used this soap in homemade laundry detergent? Did you like it better tahn Fels Napa?
It's been awhile since I made homemade laundry detergent, but I found ZOTE to work better than Fels Naptha. As a plus, it's MUCH cheaper at 90-cents a bar, and I love the citronella scent in ZOTE.
The ingredient in Fels Naptha that made it work so well on laundry has long since been removed because it was a "nerve toxin", although that ingredient, naptha, can still be purchased in the paint department at the hardware store and is an excellent cleaner.
ZOTE has optical brighteners to aid in keeping your whites looking bright, which aren't in Fels Naptha. Homemade soap mixtures, by their very nature, can lead to soap scum build-up and dingy-looking whites, so this is a benefit.
Homemade laundry soap formulas are missing corrosion inhibitors, enzymes and chelating agents found in today's detergents and may not perform as well. If you have hard water you may find your clothing will get cleaner if you use the hottest water possible for the type of fabrics you are using, and use an extra rinse to aid removing the soap residue, and possibly even using water softener products. After using homemade laundry soap for a period of time I would have to switch to a regular laundry detergent to get the soap scum build-up out of my clothes, then I'd go back to homemade again.
When you experience soap scum build-up on clothing, the effect is like adding sandpaper to your fabric. You'll find clothing will wear out quicker using homemade laundry soap mixtures. If you line-dry your clothes and they are stiff and scratchy, that's a sign you have soap scum build-up.
If you have a front-loading washing machine, homemade soap may not be recommended for use in it. The fat content of the soap you use, or the amount of suds you get from the products may be a potential problem in a front-loader. Check with the manufacturer because using homemade soap mixtures in a new washing machine could void the warranty.
Another plus with ZOTE, I cut the large bars into 8-10 small bars and use it in the shower.
Actually, Walmart has 2 bars for .97, which is why I got it.
I did have the problems with the soap buildup, and used Tide for a while, and the clothes seems to be OK. And thanks for the heads up re: line drying. I do line dry as often as possible.
(I used Charlies for a while, and loved it, but unfortunately, at the present moment, I can't afford it. :()
Thanks Grainlady. You are always such a wealth of knowledge. Everything you share is very much appreciated.
*I read that the reason the napthalene was removed from FelsNaptha was that despite the warnings, people were bathing in it and making shampoo from it. I wouldn't doubt if this were true. A lot of things get removed from the market because of a few people who did not use good sense.
We have found my husband to be allergic to Zote but not to Fels Naptha. On another note he is allergic/sensitive to most laundry soaps on the market but seems to do fine on home made soap unless it is Zote. Additionally, the only laundry boosters we can use are borax and bleach but only if the bleach is used sparingly.
If you are worried about the build up, I found that using white vinegar in the rinse helps and then I rinse the clothes again. I will look for Zote. Homemade detergent is great for me to use for my girls are allergic to everything but the "free" detergent and the fabric softeners.
I have used grated Fels, and Zote, and have a HE washing machine,although top loading, and have found no residue at all. I also use Borax in every load.
I have been using homemade laundry soap in my front loader for quite some time now. Almost a year, give or take a month. I wouldn't go back to the store bought for anything. I have very hard water and iron. Even with a water treatment system, I couldn't keep the laundry from getting stained. After some experimenting, I discovered that I could make a formula that, while still natural, was better for my laundry. I use Fels Naptha for my laundry soap. I haven't yet tried Zote. I have used my own homemade soap when making my laundry soap. I worked just as well.
I an not sure if this helps any, but it is my two cents.
I've been making homemade laundry detergent with Zote and my hubby says/thinks his whites are getting dingy from it.... :( So I switched to a recipe that uses Dawn in it, but not sure how safe that is for clothes washing. Just wondering if there is an update on the Zote....I am using the pink one if that matters.
There are generally two reasons this happens, especially when using homemade laundry soap. Not enough soap or detergent is used, or the clothes are not thoroughly rinsed.
1. Do you have hard water? Hard water + soap that doesn't get rinsed out = hard water mineral deposits (aka soap scum) that will make your whites dingy. If you line-dry your clothes and they are stiff, then you have a soap scum build-up. Use a water softener product in the wash AND rinse if you have hard water. You may also need an additional rinse on a regular basis to remove the soap. Soap is more difficult to rinse out in hard water than detergents. So you can see what you think you are saving by making your own laundry soap, you will quickly spend on additional laundry aids or additional water for an additional rinse.
2. Do you use the hottest water possible for the type of fabrics being washed? Homemade mixtures work best in hot water, so that will add to your utilities for additional expense from using homemade laundry soap. If you are washing in cold water, especially in the middle of winter and it's extremely cold where you live, or you have extremely cold well water, homemade mixtures don't perform well. Your clothes are getting wet, but without some action from the soap, they aren't getting clean. "Cold water detergents" are specifically designed for cold water, but water colder than 65-degrees F is not recommended for washing because soap and detergents will not activate and clean effectively. Some washers will mix hot/cold water to get the optimum temperature for laundry detergents, even if you sit the machine on cold wash. Cold water is around 75-80-degrees F.
3. Not sure about adding Dawn. Isn't that defeating the purpose of saving money.... It's not a whitener, but a pretty good degreaser, but that's not the problem. I would be afraid it produces too much foam, especially if you use a HE machine. Zote has whitening agents in it, but not enough to help if there is soap scum build-up.
4. How to remedy. If you try this remedy, you'll have a better idea what is causing the trouble.
Wash the white clothes in the hottest water possible for the fabric type. Hot water is considered 120-140-degrees F. Add enough water softener to make the water feel slippery (about 1-cup for a top loading machine, 1/4 c. for a FL). Don't add any detergent or soap. If the water becomes sudsy, the clothes were not rinsed enough. Wash them again adding only water softener, which will help loosen the soap scum and remove it from the fabric. If the clothes do not whiten, add a commercial detergent, or more than normal homemade soap, and rewash.
Hope that helps you out. Homemade laundry soap is not a perfect science for laundry needs. Save money with it, but you may need to learn live with dingy whites if you happen to have hard water and use cold water for washes. You may need to use twice as much per load to get enough cleaning action, especially if you have hard water and use cold water for washing. For each additional add-in you need, the cost of it goes up as well.
One way to remove soap build up is with 1 1/2 cups white vinegar in wash load.
An extra rinse is going to be less expensive, and probably more effective, than 1-1/2 cups of white vinegar. It would be difficult to put that much vinegar in a front-loading machine.
You may enjoy this old thread about adding vinegar to laundry. In the thread I mention using 1/4 c. vinegar to my F/P washing machine (which will be 13-years old in November). I recently had the h/c valves replaced.
Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenweb - Laundry forum - vinegar