Sunday, September 11, 2011

Zote Laundry Jelly

1 - 5 gallon bucket*
1 (14.1 ounce) bar of Zote**
3 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda***
3 cups Borax
Long mixing spoon or paddle

1. Grate the Zote bar.
2. Add the grated Zote to a pot with water on medium heat and stir until melted.
3. Fill the bucket halfway with HOT water.
4. Add Washing Soda and Borax, stir until the powder is dissolved and everything is blended together. 
5. Add the melted Zote; stir well.
6. Fill the bucket to the top with HOT water, stir well and cover overnight to cool and jell.

Use 1/4 - 1/2 cup per load. 
Some water will collect at the top which is normal and great for delicates.

You can also fill a liquid laundry jug up halfway with the Zote jelly and then fill it with water. 
It will thicken, so shake well before each use.

I scoop the jelly straight from the bucket since it dissolves easily in the washer.

A 5-gallon bucket of Zote jelly is easy to make and inexpensive - only pennies per load! 

*Lowes and Home Depot carries 5 gallon buckets. I like the Gamma2 spin lid instead of a traditional bucket lid. They are easy to spin off and on, and offer an air-tight seal. They also come in several colors.

**Big Lots carries Zote for like 80¢ a bar, or you can substitute three bars of Fels Naptha for the Zote.

***It may be hard to find Arm & Hammer washing soda in your area. A friend told me to try local hardware stores. I ordered mine online at Right now it's $6 a box, but I stocked up when they had a sale last year. has Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda for only $2.99 w/free shipping if you spend $40. That's 14 boxes! But it might not be a bad idea if you can't find it locally and plan to start making your own.

This is almost the recipe I use for my powdered Zote laundry soap, but I copied a friend's jell technique. 
She convinced me to try the jelly verison. 
She acutally used Fels Naptha, but I like Zote's light and fresh clean smell on our clothes.

Zote jelly makes very little suds, so it's perfect for your regular and HE washing machines.

Some people have problems using homemade laundry soap, but I think that it's mostly due to hard water.
eHow has a homemade water softener that may work for you. 
It's a simple and inexpensive solution:

1 cup Borax
2 cups washing soda

Mix all them together in a gallon container leaving a 1/2" space at the top.

Add 1 cup into the wash with your homemade (or regular) laundry soap.

My local Wal-Mart now sells washing soda, Borax AND Fels Naptha!

Have Fun!!


melanie said...

I make the powdered version of this but i also add baking soda. Because there are only 2 of us it lasts us a long time. Does the jelly form have a long shelf life? I was just thinking maybe the liquid form would go "bad". But I would like to use the liquid. although it does take up a lot more storage space it seems.

Natalie said...

I think the Zote Jelly is pretty! Makes me want to make it. I wonder if it would work with my hard water - I'll look into the softener. Does Zote smell very strong? I am sensitive to smells. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Angie - said...

Natalie: Zote has a very light scent before you put it in the washer and after the clothes are finished it's hardly noticeable at all.

Melanie: I've done a little online searching and I think it should be good for at least a year or more.

Cricket said...

The only place I can find Washing Soda around here is Wal Mart. If they carry it in my store, maybe they carry it in all of them?

Angie - said...

They don't have it in my local Wal-Mart, but a friend found some in her Wal-Mart - she lives about 30-40 minutes away from me. She actually found all the ingredients for the jelly at her Wal-Mart!

The Family Circus said...

I've been using this for over a's great! I sometimes use Fels Napa or Castle bar soap in place of Zote, smells awesome! Right now I'm hooked on the Foca scent. You can find Washing Soda and Borax at Publix Supermarkets too.

Anonymous said...

You can always use baking soda instead of trying to find washing soda.

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