Zote, the Economical Soap for Hand-Laundering Shirts

Shavings of Zote Soap, Made with a French Chef's Knife ©M-J de Mesterton
Shavings of Zote Soap, Made with a French Chef’s Knife ©M-J de Mesterton
Zote Soap and Boraxo for Economical Laundering ©M-J de Mesterton 2009
Zote Soap and Borax Powder for Economical Laundering ©M-J de Mesterton 2009

Zote soap comes in a huge, bright pink bar. It’s made in Mexico, but has been gaining popularity in the U.S. I discovered it long ago when searching for Octagon. Zote is not only mild and fresh-smelling, but is an effective stain-remover when rubbed on a wetted spot before washing. It can be grated and added to a general laundry load. Zote, cut into small chunks, is also an effective fishing-bait, especially loved by catfish. Zote is also suitable for bathing and dishwashing. It contains coconut oil, a natural “optical brightener”, tallow, and citronella.

Zote soap is available at Walmart, and on-line at Lehman’s, home of the butane-powered clothes iron seen here at Elegant Survival.
One bar of Zote will last many months, when kept clean and dry, and usually costs a dollar or less.

For washing men’s shirts: wet the underarms, cuffs and collar, then rub these areas with Zote soap. Soak overnight in a small tub of water. Then, scrub the areas with a small brush–a nail brush is a handy tool, available at Walmart for under a dollar. If you need more suds during this process, rub more Zote onto the fabric. Agitate and rinse shirts, then hang to dry. You may wish to use a washing machine for this step, but use your gentlest cycle to prevent the sleeves from getting twisted while spinning. Hand-washing will give your shirts a much longer life than just throwing them into the washer would do, or worse yet, sending them to the cleaners. To read more about shirt care at Elegant Survival, use the search-box.

©M-J de Mesterton, January 2009