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Donate homemade laundry detergent to your local food bank

Stocking the shelves at The Berea Food Bank
Stocking the shelves at The Berea Food Bank
Berea Food Bank/St. Clare Catholic Church

At a time when many families are struggling to put 3 squares a day on the table, food banks all over the nation are also having difficulty securing donations. Members of the St. Clare Bazaar Committee came up with a unique solution: They make homemade laundry detergent for their own use and they also donate it to the Berea Food Bank.

If you've ever shopped for name-brand laundry detergent then you know it takes a huge bite out of your grocery budget. When you break it down, some brands end up costing almost $1 per load of laundry.

According to committee members at St. Clare Catholic Church in Berea, Kentucky, their recipe works out to just pennies per load and, not only do they use their homemade laundry detergent to stretch their own household budgets, they also donate it to the Berea Food Bank every month.

According to the St. Clare blog, the following recipe costs just pennies to make, it's Earth friendly, non-allergenic and best of all, it works.

Homemade laundry detergent

  • 1/2 bar of Fels naptha soap – grated
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1/4 cup Borax
  • 1 empty 2 1/2 gallon pail

Grate the Fels naptha soap into a saucepan. Add 4 cups hot water and heat over the stove until soap is melted. Add washing soda and borax and stir.

Fill 2 1/2 gallon pail with hot water, allowing space for contents of saucepan.

Add contents of saucepan to pail of hot water. Stir. Let it sit overnight before using.

Stir well again, as it will start to gel after sitting overnight.

For regular washing machine, use 1/2 cup of detergent. For high efficiency washing machine, use 1/6 cup of detergent.

Recipe for homemade fabric softener

  • 6 cups warm water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups any hair conditioner

Gently mix all ingredients to avoid making bubbles. Store in any bottle or pitcher. Use 1/4 per load of laundry.

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