What remedies do you suggest for cleaning the toilet? Nancy of Winnipeg

You must try my green cleaning recipe, called all-purpose powder. It’s very easy to make — it only takes two ingredients.

In a container, combine a 50:50 mixture of borax and washing soda. Stir and then sprinkle into toilet, scrub and rinse.

This recipe works well with a white vinegar chaser, too.


Don’t add vinegar to the powder.

Instead, after scrubbing, pour about half a cup of white vinegar in the toilet.

Let it sit to disinfect and deodorize before flushing.

Add borax and washing soda to your next grocery list — they’re key ingredients in most of my favourite green cleaning recipes, available at queenofgreen.ca.

Borax, or sodium borate, is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral salt.

It’s effective because it disinfects, fights mould and mildew and whitens.

You can find a box, for about $7, in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores.

Most people will recognize the borax box from their grandmother’s pantry.

Washing soda, or sodium carbonate, is more caustic and has a higher pH than its cousin, baking soda.

Fewer mainstream grocery chains carry washing soda, although Arm and Hammer distributes it.

If you can’t find it at your local grocer in the laundry aisle, check out health food stores or organic grocers.

Borax and washing soda are found in a host of green cleaning recipes because they are versatile, affordable and eco-friendly.

But even things from nature can be harmful, so store borax and all green cleaning products safely away from children and pets.

Finished products you make should also be clearly labelled.

And don’t underestimate baking soda, which on its own lifts dirt, deodorizes and whitens. You can even substitute washing soda for baking soda in this recipe.

David Suzuki Foundation
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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