Pros: Works on blood and grass stains, no strong odor
Cons: Pricey, didn't remove the grease stain as promised
This listing is for Zout, packaged in a squirt bottle, but when I sent a SAP to the Home & Garden Leads to add "Zout 3 Action Foam" in a spray bottle, they told me to write my review under this listing. I just wanted to get that out of the way to avoid any confusion about this being "off topic".
Why I Bought Zout
Several weeks ago my husband stained one of his shirts while putting our garbage in the dumpster, (which happened to be quite full). He leaned over the edge to push the garbage around to make room for more, and when he came back inside I saw this large ugly black spot right across the front of his shirt, on the chest.
I immediately had him take it off, and I sprayed it with a stain remover and washed the shirt with a load of colored clothes. When it came out of the wash, the stain was still there ... it looked like an oily based grease stain.
Not wanting to set the stain, I didn't put it in the dryer, but let it sit out while I went to the store to look for a specific stain remover that would work on grease stains. At the store, I spent a few minutes reading the product claims on a number of stain removers, and it seemed that Zout was the right product to remove this particular stain. I wasn't happy at the $5.99 price tag, but felt if it removed the spot, it was well worth the price.
What Is Zout?
Zout Action Foam comes in a reddish orange colored plastic container, with a trigger sprayer. The only two choices on the nozzle head are "on" and "off". There are three grooves for the fingers to rest, making it very easy and comfortable to hold.
The front of the bottle says "Stains Gone. Guaranteed!" The Zout Action Foam has a triple enzyme formula, with a "3" in the center of the bottle, which contains 22 ounces.
A yellow hang tag on the bottle says that Zout is the BEST stain remover, as featured in Real Simple Family Magazine. The info on the back goes on to say that in the Fall of 2007 issue of the magazine, the Real Simple "laundry technicians" tested numerous different stain removal products, and Zout Action Foam or Spray gave them the best results in a pre-treat stain remover.
Zout is safe on all colorfast washables. Not recommended for use on silk.
Stains Zout Claims To Remove
Zout Action Foam stain remover claims to work on:
Amylase: For Starch stains like BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, tomato sauce, and baby food.
Protease: For protein stains like baby formula, blood and grass.
Lipase: For Fat & Oil stains like butter, salad dressing, and french fry oil.
My Experience with Zout
To use Zout, simply turn the nozzle to "on", and cover the stain completely. I think that spray on products like Spray N Wash are actually easier to use than this foam version, as it takes a lot of spraying to get the spot covered. The foam comes out in a narrow squirt and doesn't cover a lot of area at once.
Instructions also say to wait for one to five minutes before laundering, and I waited the full five minutes. Zout has a mild soap scent that reminds me of other liquid laundry soaps, it's not over powering and not too flowery, it just smells like soap. It comes out of the bottle in a white colored foam.
I washed my husbands shirt with a small load of colored clothes, and when I took it out of the washing machine, that ugly grease stain was still on the shirt! I was so disappointed in Zout's inability to get the stain out!
Since my initial experience with Zout in treating an oily stain, I can say that this did get blood out of a T-shirt, and grass stains out of the knees in my jeans. Yet it didn't do a very good job of removing spots on my hand towels in my kitchen (in all fairness I don't know what caused the spots, I simply use them for wiping my hands after cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes.)
Remembering the Zout guarantee that it will get stains out, I read the bottle to see what was required to get my money back. There is a toll free number to the satisfaction guarantee hot line, which I called. Unfortunately, in order to get a refund, I needed to send in the original receipt, as well as the UPC code from the back of the bottle, and a 3x5 card with my name and mailing address. This refund maxes out at $5.50, and it is only good for one refund per household.
When I bought this bottle of Zout, I also made many other purchases (some specifically for my business), and I can't send them the "original" receipt, so I called their other toll free number and inquired about my mailing in a copy, as was told that would be acceptable. I really don't think much of their guarantee, many companies will mail a refund check simply from a phone call or email complaint, but I will jump through their hoops to get my money back in this case.
When I was looking for stain removers for removing grease stains, Zout was the only product (that I looked at that day), that actually claimed to work on fat and oil. That was the only reason I made the purchase. Because it failed to work as intended, I cannot recommend Zout 3 Action Foam Laundry Stain Remover, even though it did work okay on other types of stains.
This review is my contribution to Tom's (sleeper54) 9/9/09 celebratory write-off essay http://www.epinions.com/content_5342994564
Thanks Tom! :)