One household supply you might have seen in the supermarket and never given it a second thought of the many uses it can have around the home. This is Hydrogen Peroxide or the chemical name of H202.
You will see this is one of the cheapest home supplies you can find and will only cost a couple of dollars.
With any chemical, there are cautions and warnings you should take. It should not be ingested for any Hydrogen Peroxide, and any strength over 3% rubber gloves should be worn.
Many hydrogen peroxides are used around the home, but here are 8 of the best you can try out for yourself.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is a liquid that is a little thicker than water. It is clear, colorless, and odorless.
The food-grade variant is used for many purposes, such as cheese processing and bleaching wheat flour. Other places it can be used are in killing germs and microorganisms on food packaging. (Learn How Much Baking Soda for Laundry)
It is called food grade because the lower concentrations you can get buy in the supermarket contain stabilizers such as Sodium stanate, phenol, acetanilide, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate.
It is also for these stabilizers why hydrogen peroxide should not be ingested, but should any hydrogen peroxide be ingested in no circumstances.
Aside from the food-grade dilution of 35%, here are the other strengths that you might see.
- 3% – household hydrogen peroxide available from supermarkets and sold in brown or solid bottles.
- 6% – 10% – hair bleaching hydrogen peroxide
- 90% – industrial strength and used for bleaching papers, fabrics, and an ingredient in rocket fuel production.
How to Make Hydrogen Peroxide
The sale of higher strengths of hydrogen peroxide is restricted in many areas, and only the lower 3% strength is commonly available.
Many people look at making this at home, but it requires other compounds to be mixed and out of most households’ reach.
Some people have tried purchasing a regular bottle and removing it a little. They then place this in the freezer, and because hydrogen peroxide freezes at a different temperature, this can be poured off in small quantities.
The problem with this is, there is no knowledge of the strength, you can be prone to skin burns, and the hydrogen peroxide you find will break down quickly because there are no stabilizers contained in it. (Learn How to Bleach Clothes)
Because of this, most of the tips, including the ones below, all use regular hydrogen peroxide.
It should be noted, you might find some bottles which are labeled as not being stabilized, these might be better for some of the tips below, but it isn’t necessary to try to find these.
8 Handy Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide
Because hydrogen peroxide is best known for its medicinal uses, this is where we will start, and it is where you will find it in the supermarket’s pharmaceutical section.
Although this one isn’t included in the tips, this is generally how you will use hydrogen peroxide for the cleansing and disinfection of minor wounds.
If anyone in the family has a wound or cut, the 3% hydrogen peroxide can be directly applied to the affected area.
This can aid in the cleaning away of dead tissue, slow minor bleeding, and help prevent infections from setting in.
It should be noted not to keep adding hydrogen peroxide to a wound because of its strength; doing so can also prevent any good bacteria which aid in wound healing. One quick area it can also help is acne problems. (Read Does Hydrogen Peroxide Bleach Clothes)
A small dab on the infected areas can help cleanse the area, but the same rules apply for application as they do with wounds. Resist the temptation to keep applying to these areas.
1. Oral Hygiene
There are two areas where hydrogen peroxide is great for oral hygiene: fighting canker sores.
You would mix one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with one part of water to do this. You then dab this solution directly onto the lesions. This is a mild antiseptic that will kill any bacteria.
The second area is where you can make your own effective mouthwash. With this method, you mix one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water, and you will end up with 1% strength hydrogen peroxide.
Take a small mouthful and tilt your head back and gargle for 60-seconds. Spit out the mouthwash and be sure not to swallow any of the liquid. This mouthwash should only be used once or twice per week, not to kill any friendly bacteria.
2. Foot problems
Many of us suffer from itchy feet, and anyone can tell you athlete’s foot is no fun. Because of the antifungal properties, hydrogen peroxide can be an effective remedy for foot fungus infections. To do this, you mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide at 3%. There are different application methods, from wiping the liquid on the affected areas, spraying it, or soaking your feet.
One other related area is callouses or hard skin. This requires you to mix 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2 cups of hot water.
Once you have this, you sit with your heels or feet soaking for up to 30-minutes after you should dry your feet thoroughly and use a pumas stone or foot file to remove any dead skin.
3. Tooth Whitening
Making whitening toothpaste is simple. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and with 3% hydrogen peroxide until you have a creamy paste. Because hydrogen peroxide is used as a bleaching agent, you can use it to whiten teeth effectively.
All you need to do is transfer this to your toothpaste and clean your teeth as usual. If you do this, you should only use it twice per week.
One other way to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth is to dab a cotton swab in the 3% solution and run it against your teeth. Leave this on for one or two minutes and rinse your mouth with cold water.
4. Whitening Tile Grout
We all know how dingy grout looks after a while. Luckily hydrogen peroxide can help. You can spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto your grout, leave it for a couple of hours, and then rub it with a toothbrush and some soapy water. Scrub as hard as you can and then dry.
Tiles can also be cleaned of stains and soap scum. You will also find in areas there is mold or mildew.
Using this method, you can treat both at once. Mix hydrogen peroxide with flour to form a thick paste. Apply this to your tiles and cover with plastic wrap. Let this sit overnight.
The following day, you need to remove the wrap and then rinse all the cakes off paste to see your clean grout and sparkling tiles.
This method can also be used on marks on marble. Just follow the same process and cover the mark with the paste and cover with the wrap overnight.
5. Cleaning the Toilet Bowl
To thoroughly disinfect your toilet bowl, you can pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Let this stand for around 20-minutes, and then scrub your bowl as you usually would. All you need to do then is flush as usual.
At the same time, you can disinfect your bowl brush by using a spray bottle to cover the bristles with the liquid. This is one of the most effective ways of keeping your toilet sanitized without using harsh chemicals.
6. In the Laundry
Hydrogen peroxide is handy to remove stains. You only need to mix two parts of hydrogen peroxide and one part of your detergent; this should then be applied to the stains you aim to remove. This mixture can be ideal for removing blood stains, armpit sweat, or any other organic stains you might find.
If you have white tablecloths, you can wipe down any yellow areas with hydrogen peroxide, or you can add some to your wash cycle instead of using regular bleach.
Your shower curtain can also benefit from being washed in a hydrogen peroxide solution. This will help remove all the watermarks and soap scum while killing mold growth.
7. Cleaning the Kitchen
Cleaning with hydrogen peroxide is really easy, and the kitchen is one of the places which can benefit the most. You can use it to wipe down your cutting board at regular intervals.
This will soak in the surface and seek out and kill any lurking bacteria in cracks or cut marks.
Sanitizing work surfaces is super easy, and all you need to do is give them a quick spray and wipe them off with a clean cloth and warm water.
This process is also suitable for all the door handles, light switches, and other areas where hands might touch, and germs can breed. Do this with your weekly clean, and your kitchen will look brand new with little effort.
Once you have done all this cleaning, all of your clothes and sponges will have gathered plenty of germs and bacteria. You can mix up some hydrogen peroxide and warm water to soak your sponges and towels.
Doing this not only makes sure you won’t be transferring any germs, but it can also increase the life of your sponges by helping to remove any built-up gunk.
8. Eating Healthy
There are a few methods of cleaning fruit and vegetables with hydrogen peroxide. This makes them healthier to eat by getting rid of any dirt, insects, or chemicals used in their growth. It can also help your fruit and veggies to stay fresher that little bit longer.
Fruit and vegetable cleaning can be done using two spray bottles—one full of vinegar and the second full of hydrogen peroxide.
To make things easier, you can get a bottle that accepts spray triggers, so there is no need to transfer to another container.
First, spray your fruit and veggies with the vinegar and followed directly by the hydrogen peroxide. Once you have covered all of your vegetables, please give them a good rinse under running water to help detoxify your food.
You can use the method above, but with just hydrogen peroxide, all you need to do is spray all over and let them dry before rinsing them underwater.
The final method can be done in two ways, the one uses food-grade hydrogen peroxide, which might be difficult to obtain, but if you can purchase any, all you need to do is fill the sink with your fruit and veggies and cold water.
Add a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and let them sit for twenty minutes. Finally, rinse and let them dry.
This is one way to make sure no stray chemicals are lurking on your vegetables, and this method can help preserve them a little longer.
The other way to do this follows the same procedure but uses the 3% hydrogen peroxide; this time, add 1 cup and 1 cup of vinegar to your sink full of water.
Let them soak for ten minutes and give them a gentle scrub while you are rinsing them. This kills the bacteria and makes sure you have clean and healthy veggies.
The above tips cover most of what you might find around the home, there are many others, but they are merely variants of what is mentioned above.
All of our tips use the 3% hydrogen peroxide you can easily purchase. The 35% food grade is restricted in certain areas, and if you do find it, it still needs to be diluted.
As we mentioned, no hydrogen peroxide should be swallowed even if it is the 3% food grade or not.
It is for this reason any foods should be thoroughly rinsed before consumption. The oral solutions follow the same guidelines no matter how weak they might appear.