Let’s talk about hydrogen peroxide. Not only is it great for scrapes and cuts, but there are hundreds (or more!) of hydrogen peroxide uses out there. The more I read and learn about it, the more intrigued I become. If you are looking for a great product that can be used for cleaning, disinfecting and beauty purposes, this is the one!
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide and How Can I Use It?
Most of us have seen hydrogen peroxide in the brown bottles at the drug store, but what the heck is that stuff anyway? Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that releases oxygen into the area it is applied to. Oxygen acts as an oxidizer, which can kill bacteria.
There are different concentration strengths, and each has a purpose. In general, however, the hydrogen peroxide uses we’ll discuss here will require a 6% or lower dilution.
Also, if you ever wondered why it was sold in brown bottles, it’s not just for brand recognition. It’s because hydrogen peroxide is degraded by light. What does that mean for you? Basically, you shouldn’t keep it in the light too long or it won’t be effective. Once it leaves the bottle, use it right away.
How to Clean with Hydrogen Peroxide: 10 Tips
There are many hydrogen peroxide uses that have to deal with cleaning items. However, before we get into what you can clean, I have to get a tiny bit technical first (I know) about the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Cleaning is removing visible dirt from an area. Sanitizing is clearing off non-visible debris and killing some bacteria. Disinfecting is killing bacteria and other microbes specifically. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant.
That being said, here are some of the items you can disinfect with hydrogen peroxide:
- Cutting boards and counters. We all do a pretty decent job of keeping counters wiped and clean, but when is the last time you disinfected them? Next time, instead of reaching for your typical chemical-laden disinfectant, try grabbing a bottle of 3% solution and pouring it undiluted into a spray bottle.
- Refrigerator and dishwasher. If your appliances need a good disinfecting, spray on some hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit a few minutes, then wipe clean and rinse.
- Clean sponges. Anyone else always slightly grossed out by your kitchen sponge? This is one of the most helpful hydrogen peroxide uses in my opinion! Make a mixture in a bowl with half warm water and half hydrogen peroxide. Let your sponge soak for 15 minutes, then rinse.
- Get tough residue off pans. When combined with another miracle cleaning item, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide can be made into a paste to help get tough residue off of pans.
- Whiten bathtub grout. Again, create a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, apply to grout and let sit overnight.
- Disinfect and whiten the toilet. If your toilet has hard water stains, you can use hydrogen peroxide in the toilet to disinfect and whiten.
- Boost your clothes whiteness. One of the most popular hydrogen peroxide uses is in the laundry room. When a cup of peroxide is added to laundry, it can whiten whites. Do not used hydrogen peroxide on colored clothes, however, as it will remove color.
- Remove stains from fabric. If your laundry pile frequently has clothes with blood, grass, dirt or other difficult to remove stains, make sure to have hydrogen peroxide available. Simply add a capful directly to the stain, let it sit five minutes and rinse well. Repeat as needed.
- Clean floors (and brighten them). If you are dealing with stains on tile floor, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, apply it to your stain and let it sit overnight. If the stain is a particularly tough one, you can even cover the paste with plastic wrap while it works its magic.
- Clean toys and play areas. This is an excellent way to disinfect toys without using harmful, dangerous chemicals. Use a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide to clean toys then wipe with a damp cloth. Or, you can simply fill a container with a mixture of 1:1 hydrogen peroxide to water, soak toys, rinse, and dry.
3 Hydrogen Peroxide Health Remedies
First of all, it’s important to note that the classic hydrogen peroxide uses on cuts and nicks is no longer recommended. As a kid, I remember my mom pulling out the hydrogen peroxide bottle from under the sink nearly every time I got a cut or scrape (which was often!).
However, these days it is actually recommended that you do NOT use hydrogen for this purpose, as research has shown it can do more harm than good by irritating skin cells.
Outside of those types of hydrogen peroxide uses, there are a few other health-related ways to use it. Here are some of my favorite:
- Gargling to treat a sore throat. Dealing with a sore throat? Gargle some 3% hydrogen peroxide. It kills the bacteria without causing scarring. Just don’t swallow!
- Treating foot fungus. A light spray of hydrogen peroxide can help keep athlete’s foot at bay.
- Softening calluses and corns. Soak your feet in a tub filled with a diluted hydrogen peroxide/water mix and your feet will soften.
5 Beauty Hydrogen Peroxide Uses
Last, but not least, there are many hydrogen peroxide uses that can help in the beauty department. Here are just a few to consider.
- Brighten your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a mouth rinse to help keep your pearly whites bright. Don’t swallow the mixture, however, as it can be very irritating to the stomach and cause vomiting.
- Clean makeup brushes. Start by washing your brushes with soap and water, then give them a swirl in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide. Rinse and dry!
- Whiten teeth with a DIY toothpaste. Mix a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and use to brush your teeth.
- Boost your skin routine. To kill off bacteria and lower your chance of acne, give your skin a swipe with a cotton ball damped with hydrogen peroxide, then rinse with water. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the peroxide first!
- Use it to bleach your hair. Feeling particularly brave? Try using hydrogen peroxide to lighten your hair. Mix 2 1/2 cups of water to 2 tbsp of peroxide and rinse your hair with it in the shower after you shampoo.
So, who is heading to the store to start stocking up on hydrogen peroxide bottles? It’s pretty amazing stuff!
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