Green cleaning recipes call for borax, but when my father was a pediatrician, he recalls diagnosing children with borax poisoning. Is borax safe?
Suzanne from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Borax (sodium borate) is an alkaline mineral salt. It’s a naturally occurring compound, but even things from nature can be harmful (like asbestos or mercury).


Not unlike conventional cleaning products, homemade or store-bought green cleaning solutions should be stored safely away from children and pets.


Borax isvery effective, versatile, affordable, and eco-friendly compared to petroleum-based ingredients in conventional cleaning products. Handled with respect, borax is a great addition to your cleaning arsenal. Mix solutions in your kitchen, away from food, and clearly label your finished product.

 

My favourite green cleaning recipe is Queen of Green All Purpose Cleaner Spray. Combine all ingredients and pour into spray bottle.




  • 1/2 tablespoon borax

  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (found at organic grocers)

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 2 litres warm water


It’s excellent for cleaning countertops and bathroom tiles, and washing floors. It even tackles the gunk in your microwave.


Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to queenofgreen@metronews.ca. For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at davidsuzuki.org


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