1) they're clean
2) they smell clean
this does both. as an added bonus, you can leave some of it in a shallow dish on the counter and it absorbs odors while leaving a slight fresh scent. besides how well it works and how good it smells, another plus is that it only cost about $31 to make-- and it will last me for about a year and a half. that's right, a whopping 18 months.
recipe taken from howdoesshe. edited to read as i made it, without her commentary.
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle.
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap, use the pink kind- Found in the detergent aisl
2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle
if you have a hard time finding things, go to walmart. i avoided it and tried to shop at two other stores (tom thumb and target), but walmart was the only store that had all of these items.
so simple to make! shred the zote soap either using a cheese grater or the food processor. i used the food processor. then i added about 1/4 of each ingredient, layering them, and stirring after each grouping. it makes it easier than adding all of everything and stirring it all. i've got it stored in a rubbermaid container in our closet, but what i'm using is in the purex bottle. it's a perfect size to keep some near the washing machine, and i'll just refill it with the bulk of it as it runs out.
when using this, you only need TWO TABLESPOONS to do a whole load. that's the middle line inside the lid of the purex bottle (see? another reason i'm using that to keep small amounts available).