Background subtraction (BGS) aims to extract all moving objects in the video frames to obtain binary foreground segmentation masks. Deep learning has been widely used in this field. Compared with supervised-based BGS methods, unsupervised methods have better generalization. However, previous unsupervised deep learning BGS algorithms perform poorly in sophisticated scenarios such as shadows or night lights, and they cannot detect objects outside the pre-defined categories. In this work, we propose an unsupervised BGS algorithm based on zero-shot object detection called Zero-shot Background Subtraction ZBS. The proposed method fully utilizes the advantages of zero-shot object detection to build the open-vocabulary instance-level background model. Based on it, the foreground can be effectively extracted by comparing the detection results of new frames with the background model. ZBS performs well for sophisticated scenarios, and it has rich and extensible categories. Furthermore, our method can easily generalize to other tasks, such as abandoned object detection in unseen environments. We experimentally show that ZBS surpasses state-of-the-art unsupervised BGS methods by 4.70% F-Measure on the CDnet 2014 dataset. The code is released at https://github.com/CASIA-IVA-Lab/ZBS.