Hydrogen peroxide is one of those things which people have in their bathroom, that they use primarily for healing wounds and cuts. But it is a shame to save this handy bottle for just medical uses, when there are so many more uses for it around the home. And it is so inexpensive too!
Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless liquid that is a bit more viscous than water. It has strong oxidation properties, so can be used in many ways as a bleach or disinfecting agent. From personal care to household sanitizing, hydrogen peroxide is an very versatile item to have on hand. (**NOTE: See the note at the bottom of the page about the difference between food grade and topical hydrogen peroxide. The type of tip varies with the type of hydrogen peroxide recommended.)
I’ve used hydrogen peroxide in many ways around the house, and also asked my Facebook fans to give me some of their tips too. (you will find these in red and bold throughout the article.)
In the Kitchen:
1. Wooden and plastic cutting Boards are a breeding ground for germs. Clean and disinfect them with a mixture of a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The vinegar acts as a cleaning agent and the hydrogen peroxide gives the board a good disinfecting treatment.
2. Do you have stained tile or stone counter tops? Combine hydrogen peroxide with flour to make a thick paste. Apply it to the stained area and leave overnight. (cover it with saran wrap) Wipe clean in the morning.
3. Use food grade hydrogen peroxide to clean the shelves of your fridge and the racks of your dishwasher. Because it is non toxic, it is safe to use on places where foods are stored.
4. Soak kitchen sponges in a mixture of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Leave them to soak for a while and then rinse with water. It removes the bacteria and sanitizes the sponges.
5. Clean kid’s lunch boxes with a diluted mixture of food grade hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse and dry.
6. Sanitize your dishwasher by adding a few ounces of hydrogen peroxide to the dishwasher before you wash the dishes.
7. After cutting chicken, pour hydrogen peroxide on your cutting board to help control salmonella. Rinse well and dry.
8. Use hydrogen peroxide as a general wipe for kitchen counters. Use it full strength on a cleaning rag or sponge.
9. Add hydrogen peroxide to water and rubbing alcohol to make your own wipes at home. Get the tutorial for DIY disinfectant wipes here.
In the Bathroom:
1. Cleaning the bath tub is one of the hardest cleaning chores that I have. I have been using Mr. Clean erasers for this task but they are very expensive. Page fan Connie Mixon Prichard uses hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish washing liquid and baking soda to clean her bath tubs. She says “Due to allergies I cannot use sprays…. or anything with a scent… so this works great!” Sort of like a DIY Scrubbing Bubbles!
2. Clean the toilet the easy way. Pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl. Let stand 1/2 hour and then flush. Also sanitizes the bowl. (great if you have dogs that like to use the toilet as a water bowl!)
3. Clean the counters in your bathroom (and kitchen) with hydrogen peroxide on a cleaning sponge or rag to sanitize and give a fresh smell.
In the Laundry Room:
1. Bleach works great in the laundry for whitening clothes but is toxic. Whiten clothes with hydrogen peroxide by adding a cup of it to white clothes and washing as you normally would. It is non toxic and biodegrades rapidly.
2. Do you have bloodstains on fabric? Pour it directly onto the stain and let it sit for about five minutes. Then blot the area and rinse in cold water. This may need to be repeated. Works best for bloodstains on white fabrics, since hydrogen peroxide also has mild bleaching powers, so use with caution on darker fabrics.
This tip is used successfully for the Gardening Cook Page fan Mary Wells Knoblauch. Mary says: I always use it to get blood stains out of clothes or any fabric. Pour the peroxide over the blood stain and it will start to foam. I may or may not shoot it with a spray n wash for good measure and throw it in the wash. I’ve even let the bloody laundry sit till ready to wash before doing the wash and it still comes out.
3. Clothing can show stains under the arms from perspiration over time. Treat these with a mixture of 1 part dawn dish washing liquid and two parts hydrogen peroxide. Leave for another and rinse well.
4. Page Fan Debra Vittetoe also says that hydrogen Peroxide mixed with dawn dish soap makes a good general stain remover from soiled clothing, and is much cheaper than retail stain removers.
5. Clean your shower curtain of bacterial and mold build up. Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the washer and add your shower curtain. Wash normally.
6. Get rid of red wine stains by cleaning with 1 part hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 part liquid laundry soap. Pour it on the stain, blot with a towel then wash with warm water.
1. Nothing smells worse that the smell of a skunk that has sprayed you or your pet. (ask my brother about this one!) Page fan Pauline Rundle Little Kalenik uses Hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish soap & baking soda to get rid of Skunk smell out of a pet. She adds: “I Used it last night @ 11pm and it works !!”
2. Hydrogen peroxide makes a great cleaner for mirrors and glass with no streaking.
3. Pet cages get very grimy over time. Since both vinegar and food grade hydrogen peroxide are non-toxic disinfectant agent and more effective at killing bacteria than bleach, use it to clean pet toys, cages and other equipment. You will need two spray bottles for this. (don’t mix them in one bottle) Spray first with vinegar and then with Hydrogen peroxide. Leave for a few minutes and then wipe off. Very non toxic.
4. Vegetables from the store contain both dirt and pesticide residues. Soak your vegetables in a full sink of water with 1/4 cup of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. Soak for about 30 minutes and then store. This clean, disinfects and also helps to prolong freshness.
5. Do you have lace curtains or table cloths that are yellow from exposure to sunlight? Fill a sink with cold water and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. Soak for about an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.
Health and Beauty:
1. Feel like a spa treatment? Combine two quarts of hydrogen peroxide in a tub full of hot water. Soak for about an hour, adding more hot water to keep the temperature comfortable. Acts as a rejuvenating and detox treatment.
2. Foot fungus is something no one wants to deal with, but medicines for it can be really expensive. Make a mixture of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water and spray it on your feet each night. You will soon see very marked improvement.
3. Retail toothpaste has all sorts of chemicals and sweeteners in it. Instead make a mix of baking soda and just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste and brush with it. It has also been suggested that when you are done, you should soak your tooth brush in hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it between brushing. This is a dubious tip, to me, since it degrades when exposed to light. It won’t hurt, but may not do much in the way of disinfecting.
4. Hydrogen peroxide makes a very effective mouth wash. If you don’t care for the taste of it, you can add some mint flavored liquid chlorophyll to it. (affiliate link.)
5. Page Fan Brunella Clementel adds that it also works great as a teeth whitener. I’ve been doing this for years: When I take a shower, I keep hydrogen peroxide in the shower stall. I just swish the peroxide around in my mouth while I wash my hair and then spit it out. Works great!
6. Sanitize baby teething rings and other toys that end up in their mouths with 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide and water. It is non toxic and also not a lung irritant so is safe to use on baby items.
7. A very diluted mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide in water as a spray will bring out the natural highlights in your hair. (Very diluted. You don’t want green hair!)
8. If you have wax build up in your ears, you will love this tip. Use a few drops of olive oil, or almond oil in your ear first with a dropper. Tilt your head and wait a few minutes. Now add 3-4 drops of hydrogen peroxide with the dropper. Rest with your head tilted for about 15 minutes. (it will bubble) After 15 minutes, tilt the head in the other direction to release the ear wax. (Medical note: Be sure you do not have an ear infection before trying this. This tip is just for normal ear wax build up.)
9. Mold control. This is a tricky one. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has listed hydrogen peroxide as among the substances that can be used to treat mold, but it has also said there had not been enough research to recommend its use. Since it is not known which molds hydrogen peroxide is most effective against nor what the human health hazards may be from using it, I would recommended using this tip with caution.
In the Garden:
1. Use to help seeds germinate. Add 1 ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a pint of water, add the seeds, and leave overnight. You can also wet a sponge, top it with seeds and add a little hydrogen peroxide to the top of the sponge.
2. Add 2 tsp hydrogen peroxide to a cup of water and spray on the leaves of sick plants and also to ward off fungus.
3. 2 tbsp Hydrogen peroxide and 1 quart of water also controls mold and mildew in the green house when used as a spray.
4. 1/2 tsp of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1/2 cup of water poured directly into the soil of plants that are infected with soil dwelling pests will take care of the problem for you.
5. Over watering is the cause of many plant failures. Because hydrogen peroxide contains oxygen, it helps to aerate the soil. Putting a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide into the soil can help to restore normal soil levels. ** Some gardening experts suggest using 35% grade hydrogen peroxide for soil problems. (affiliate link)
6. Clean fungus in seed trays with diluted hydrogen peroxide and water before adding new soils and seeds for another year.
7. Use a cap of hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water and spray on plants that are infected with bugs. Non toxic, inexpensive and much safer than chemicals. Bye bye squash bugs!
PLEASE NOTE** Many of these tips mention food grade hydrogen peroxide in a 3% concentration, which is safer than the topical solution found in drug stores. (affiliate link.) The tips that are for pets, babies, or use food, should use the food grade variety. The hydrogen peroxide in the brown bottle at the grocery store is not food-grade, and is not safe when ingested – but is perfectly safe for topical skin infections and general household cleaning.
Additional note: I have not included many of the tips found around the internet on using hydrogen peroxide as a douche, as a nasal spray, or on other mucous membranes. These tips are unproven and many are disputed as being effective or safe. I have done a great deal of research on the tips that I have included to make sure they they not only work but are safe to use.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."