Most people have peroxide on hand if there is a minor cut or scrape that needs care. That makes sense because the medical use of hydrogen peroxide is to remove germs from minor wounds and cuts to prevent infections. But have you ever considered that hydrogen peroxide might have so many other benefits as well? Peroxide has a vast range of uses. We will discuss some of them in this article!
Use hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, disinfect toys, clean tile and grout, shine mirrors, treat laundry stains, bleach hair, and even brighten discolored nails and teeth – this is not even half of the variety of uses that peroxide has.
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Hydrogen peroxide - what is it?
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent with disinfectant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. Colorless and unstable, it acts as an oxidizing agent. When peroxide comes into contact with catalase, an enzyme found in blood cells and some bacteria, it bubbles and fizzes. Bubbles are the result of a release of oxygen gas.
Hydrogen peroxide has a shelf life of about six months. It would be best if you stored a bottle of peroxide in a dark, cool place once it is open.
Before using peroxide, you should always check the expiration date.
There is a way to check and see if your peroxide bottle is still safe to use. Try pouring peroxide down the bathroom sink drain to test for a bubble reaction. If the peroxide reacts with the metal area of the drain, it is safe to use. If it does not respond, the bottle may have expired. In this case, discard the peroxide.
Watch the video below: How to Tell if Your Hydrogen Peroxide is Still Effective.
Preventing infection with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide and first aid kits are readily available in most households, which may surprise many. Hydrogen peroxide helps rinse wounds and prevent infection effectively. However, hydrogen peroxide is not as beneficial as most people believe when used excessively. Hydrogen peroxide does not eliminate ALL bacteria, and it may even harm the tissue surrounding the cut, delaying the healing process. Even though peroxide helps fight infection, too much of it is not a good idea.
How hydrogen peroxide cleans wounds
According to Alex Silbajoris on Sciencing.com, hydrogen peroxide cleans wounds by moistening and loosening dried blood and dirt. As with fizzy denture cleaners, it foams on contact, which helps mechanically clean the wound. Debridement, or the removal of dead tissue, is another benefit. However, it can also destroy fibroblasts that are necessary to rebuild the connective tissue. Because peroxide breaks down healthy tissue, I would not recommend it for prolonged use.
Cleaning uses for hydrogen peroxide:
Tamara Gane created the following guide to cleaning and disinfecting children’s toys:
- In a spray bottle, combine 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Spray the toy with the solution and thoroughly wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
- You can reach cracks, crannies, buttons, and knobs with a Q-Tip.
- After cleaning, allow the toy to dry.
- Spray the toy with the solution and thoroughly wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
Disinfect toothbrushes and mouthguards
The article “How to Disinfect a Toothbrush: Tips on How to Keep Them Clean” by Eric Kitts states that you can also use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your toothbrush and keep it clean until your subsequent use. Put your toothbrush bristles down in a small glass of hydrogen peroxide. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months and change your peroxide solution every day.
Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for cleaning and disinfecting mouthguards and nightguards according to “How to Clean a Night Guard,” reviewed by Dr. Michael Florman. To clean the night guard, soak it in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. After the night guard has soaked for about 20 or 30 minutes, it’s time to remove it and thoroughly rinse it with warm water.
Clean and sanitize cutting boards
Bacteria can grow on cutting boards. Cleaning your cutting board with soap and water is helpful, but you should also sanitize it. FoodNetwork.com recommends pouring the peroxide directly onto the board and letting it fizz. When the fizzing stops, wipe the board with a clean cloth.
After applying the paste to the grout:
- Let it sit for about ten minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Wipe everything up with a dry cloth and seal it.
Clean laundry stains
We often use peroxide to brighten and bleach items, including various stains. Blot bloodstained laundry with peroxide and then rinse with warm water, as suggested by MaidForYou.com.au
Mary Marlowe Leverette suggests soaking the stained fabric in peroxide for 10 minutes before tossing it into the washing machine. Mary’s article, “5 Reasons to Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Laundry,” also explains how peroxide can brighten a load of white fabrics and even clean and disinfect washing machines.
Disinfect humidifiers and vaporizers
Routinely cleaning and disinfecting your humidifier is recommended because mineral buildup can eventually damage the machine. In addition, humidifiers are prone to harboring bacteria that you may breathe in and cause respiratory infections.
To do this, follow these instructions from “How to Clean a Humidifier Like a Pro” below:
- Make a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part peroxide
- Fill the humidifier tank with the solution and leave at least 30 minutes
- Empty the tank and rinse thoroughly with clean water
- Allow the tank to air dry before reassembling
Treat mold and mildew
Although there are various cleaners (like bleach or CLR) that successfully clean mold and mildew buildup in your bathroom, peroxide can also do the trick. Jamie Kim suggests spraying the affected area and letting it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing the mold away. Learn more about this method on GoodHousekeeping.com
Clean your dishwasher and refrigerator
Make DIY cleaning products with peroxide
- Baking Soda and Peroxide Paste: Shifrah Combiths from TheKitchn.com has a great article titled, “7 Times Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide Make a Stellar Cleaning Combination.” According to Shifrah Combiths, creating a paste from baking soda and peroxide can clean and shine bathtubs and tiles, clean baked-on food from baking sheets, and remove hard water stains from faucets.
- All-Purpose Cleaner With Peroxide: In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup peroxide and 2 cups distilled water. Add ten drops of essential oil or two teaspoons of lemon juice. Mix well. Do your routine cleaning.
More uses for peroxide:
Use it in your garden
The article “Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants” by Joan Clark thoroughly explains peroxide uses in the garden. Peroxide helps combat root rot, prevent bacterial decay, fight fungal infections, kill weeds, keep pests away, fertilize your plants, sanitize seeds, accelerate seed germination, and disinfect gardening tools and pots.
Clean fruits and veggies
Clean make-up brushes
You can benefit from the antibacterial properties of hydrogen peroxide by using it to disinfect makeup brushes. If you do not routinely clean your makeup brush, it can harbor bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil that cause breakouts.
The website Femina suggests soaking the brushes for 10 minutes in a solution of:
- Seven drops of shampoo
- Two tbs of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Two tbs of warm water
After that, rinse them and let them dry flat or hang them up.
Treat toenail fungus
Treat toenail fungus with hydrogen peroxide. Using a cotton swab, wipe 3% hydrogen peroxide directly on your infected toenails.
Hydrogen Peroxide acts as the developer in most hair dye products, according to OurEverydayLife.Com‘s article “Permanent Hair Dye Ingredients.” Believe it or not, you can lighten your hair with DIY peroxide solutions or pastes. The peroxide used in hair dyes is limited to 6% to prevent excessive damage to the hair.
With hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, you can lighten your hair by mixing the two ingredients in a paste and spreading it evenly throughout your hair. Rinse with cold water after letting it sit for 15 minutes to one hour, depending on your hair’s color.
Alternatively, you can lighten your hair with a simple 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water. Put the mix in a spray bottle and spray a small piece first to test for any allergic reaction and to confirm that you like the color. Apply the solution to your hair and leave it on for 15 minutes to an hour. Wrap a towel around your neck and shoulders. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
For more information on dyeing your hair with peroxide, check out the article “Hydrogen Peroxide For Hair Lightening Uses, Risks, and Alternatives” on Healthline.com.
Whitening your teeth or treating swollen gums can be done with peroxide. Peroxide can be applied either as a rinse or as a paste. Gargle with one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Additionally, you can use baking soda and peroxide as toothpaste by mixing them.
Brighten discolored nails
Priya Prakashan suggests this method to brighten discolored nails: Mix one teaspoon hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon baking soda with 125 ml hot water in a small bowl. Stir the solution until the powder dissolves. Soak your nails in the solution for up to 10 minutes. Wash hands with soap and water, and then moisturize with cream since hydrogen peroxide can dry out your skin. Read more at www.india.com.
Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades to cleanse wounds, but this is not even its most effective use. In addition to disinfecting everyday items, hydrogen peroxide is also effective for gardening, kitchen cleaning, and even laundry! You can use it to bleach hair, whiten teeth, and treat toe fungus. Your household should always have peroxide on hand, no matter what the purpose is.
Q: Can peroxide kill ear mites in dogs?
A: No. According to the American Kennel Club, you should not clean your dog’s ears with peroxide.
Q: Can peroxide damage teeth?
A: According to www.CongressDentalGroup.com, hydrogen peroxide can cause damage to the tooth enamel if used in high concentrations and used too frequently. Bleaching with hydrogen peroxide can lead to inflammation of the roots of the teeth, which can lead to secondary problems, such as infection.
Q: What are the side effects of using peroxide on acne?
A: Hydrogen peroxide’s primary side effect when applied topically is skin irritation at the site of contact. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide can cause a severe allergic reaction. According to Jacquelyn Cafasso and Dr. Cynthia Cobb, hydrogen peroxide interferes with wound healing, leading to scarring on the skin. Skin irritations and burns may result if used in high concentrations. Read this article on Healthline.com to learn more: (Click Here)
Q: Is peroxide like rubbing alcohol?
A: Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are both antiseptics, which kill germs. According to www.WebMd.com, rubbing alcohol can kill germs in 10 seconds, while peroxide may take up to 5 minutes to kill germs. Rubbing alcohol is harsh on objects’ finishes, flammable, and is poisonous if consumed or overused. Hydrogen peroxide is safe on most surfaces and is not volatile. Although peroxide is not flammable, when peroxide is combined with other substances, it can help to intensify a fire, according to www.firefighter.com
Q: Can peroxide clean piercings?
A: Although peroxide kills germs, it is not ideal for cleaning fresh piercings as it can slow down the healing process. Peroxide kills both healthy and harmful bacteria and white blood cells necessary to heal the piercing. According to Byrdie.com, it can irritate the skin and delay healing.
Q: Is hydrogen peroxide good for cleaning?
A: Peroxide has germicidal, virucidal, sporicidal, and fungicidal properties, according to the CDC. Peroxide is, therefore, an excellent cleaning agent. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean glass, walls, doorknobs, countertops, appliances, bathtubs, tile, grout, shower curtains, and toilets.
Q: What strength of hydrogen peroxide for cleaning?
A: When used on inanimate surfaces, 3% hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant. Typically, concentrations of 3% to 6% are used for disinfection, but the higher the concentration, the harsher it becomes.
Q: Can hydrogen peroxide clean a mattress?
A: Yes, you can spray stains with 3% hydrogen peroxide and then blot them dry. Alternatively, you can mix:
- one cup of peroxide with three tbs of baking soda
- one tsp of dish soap
Spray this mixture on the stains, according to StanleySteemer.com.
Q: Can you mix peroxide with vinegar?
A: DO NOT mix vinegar and peroxide in the same container! This will result in peracetic acid. The peracetic acid is corrosive to the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin. When exposed to concentrations as low as 15.6 mg peracetic acid/m3 (5 ppm) for 3 minutes, it causes severe discomfort and irritation of the upper respiratory tract.
Want to learn more about cleaning chemicals you should never mix? Check out this article: Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix.
Q: Is hydrogen peroxide effective against coronavirus?
A: According to the British Columbia Ministry of Health, accelerated hydrogen peroxide 0.5% effectively disinfect surfaces and medical equipment. According to a quote from Todd Neff of uchealth.org, “A straight 3% hydrogen peroxide solution takes out rhinovirus – which is tougher to kill than coronavirus – in six to eight minutes, and should be at least as quick in disinfecting coronavirus.”
Q: Should you ingest hydrogen peroxide?
A: No, you should not ingest hydrogen peroxide because, according to the National Capital Poison Center, poison.org, hydrogen peroxide may cause stomach upset, vomiting, and throat irritation if swallowed. Hydrogen peroxide in large amounts, or concentrations greater than 3%, can result in severe stomach burns that could require hospitalization.
Photo Of Hydrogen Peroxide: Buy Medline Hydrogen Peroxide at Medical Monks!
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