22 uses of hydrogen peroxide to try today (2023)

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For at least a century, hydrogen peroxide has been used as a super cleanser by everyone from housewives to orthopedic surgeons. But which uses are still supported by solid science today, and which should you consider obsolete—or even dangerous?

Spoiler alert: Hydrogen peroxide is no longer recommended for wound or skin care because doctors have determined it can lead to dangerous complications and slow healing time, but there are still many ways it can be useful and beneficial to you .

Hydrogen peroxide might seem dated in its old-fashioned brown bottle — but it's definitely not a natural home remedy. It is ahousehold chemicals.

True, it differs from water only in the addition of an additional oxygen molecule. But that extra molecule makes it a powerful oxidizer. That's why hydrogen peroxide is such a versatile cleaning agent, and it's also why you need to be careful when using it on people and pets.

Hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly and easily when it comes into contact with air or water and is therefore considered safer than chlorine chemicals.

SeaCenters for Disease Control (CDC), Hydrogen peroxide kills yeast, fungi, bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

The CDC lists specific concentrations you need and how long you need to let them sit to kill various organisms.

Here's how to use this common chemical to safely cleanse your body and home.

1. Clean your dishwasher

To get rid of mold in your dishwasher, spray the intricate parts of your dishwasher where moisture can linger long after a cycle is complete — in the creases of grommets, traps and crevices of the utensil basket.

AStudy 2016of home dishwashers found that 83 percent of the dishwashers they tested were positive for fungus and 47 percent of the dishwashers tested contained the black yeastE. dermatitidisthat can be harmful to humans.E. dermatitidiswas mainly found on the rubber seals of the dishwasher.

Or if you fancy giving that hardworking contraption a spa day, use hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and essential oils to make onefragrant dishwasher "bomb".

2. Scrub your sink

Many home care blogs recommend this trick for cleaning your kitchen sink: Wet the surface of your sink, then scrub it with baking soda sprinkled on a sponge. Once you have scrubbed the entire surface, pour 3% hydrogen peroxide over the surface and let it sit before rinsing clean.

3. Disinfect counters and cutting boards

AfterOhio State University Extension, cleaning counters with undiluted hydrogen peroxide is effective at killingE coliandsalmonellaBacteria on hard surfaces such as counters when left on the surface at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Renowned renovatorBob Vila's websiterecommends a 10-minute soak in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to kill germs on wooden cutting boards.

4. Wash vegetables - and extend their shelf life

organic gardenerrecommendUse 1/4 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water to remove bacteria from vegetables. When washing vegetables with tender skin like lettuce, simply soak for 20 minutes and then rinse.

Carrots, potatoes and other hard-skinned vegetables can be soaked for 30 minutes before rinsing and drying. Because bacteria can cause vegetables and fruit to turn brown, a hydrogen peroxide bath in the fridge is said to keep them fresher for longer.

5. Scrub the cookware

If your baking sheets, pots and pans have a burnt-on brown layer, Jill Nystul from the blog One Good Thing can helprecommendsDusting them with baking soda and then spraying the soda with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide will restore them. Let them soak for 1 to 3 hours before wiping the mess off.

6. Get rid of garbage can germs

After washing the garbage can with soap and water, spray the entire container with a 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Let the trash can dry in the sun for several hours. Just as peroxide cleans surfaces, it helps remove germs from your trash can.

7. Thoroughly clean your toilet

SeaCDC, Hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, viruses and spores, making it a great choice for cleaning your bathroom.

To clean your toilet, add 1/2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to your bathroom bowl to kill germs and brighten your toilet's surface. You need to leave it in the bowl for 20 minutes to get the full benefit.

8. Shine mirrors and glass surfaces

Spray a 1:1 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide on glass surfaces, then wipe with paper towels, a lint-free cloth, or newspaper to clean streak-free.

9. Kill mold and mildew

Mold can grow quickly in the humid environment of a shower stall.

To kill them without breathing toxic bleach fumes, spray undiluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and leave for 30 minutes. Wash. The peroxide will kill the mold and mildew, but you may still need to clean up the stains they left.

10. Brighten old porcelain

If your porcelain sink has yellowed, you can whiten it by scrubbing the dampened sink surface with baking soda and then scrubbing it with a sponge soaked in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

11. Lather away soap residue

For weekly cleaning of a fiberglass shower and tub, make a foam paste of 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and a tablespoon or two of hydrogen peroxide. Scrub the surface of the shower with the mixture when the bubbles subside.

You take care! When using pure peroxide, wear gloves to protect your skin. Hydrogen peroxide can cause redness and burning.

12. Remove stains

Dieenvironmental working grouprecommends hydrogen peroxide as an effective agent for removing grass stains, blood stains, and beverage stains such as fruit, juice, and wine. Try dabbing the cleaner on the back of the fabric first.

13. Lighten up dingy whites

Nystula toohas a solutionwhen your t-shirts, sheets and towels have turned a dirty gray tint.

Make your own oxygen bleach by combining 1/2 cup washing soda — note: it's not the same as baking soda — and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide. Start the cycle, let the washing machine fill and soak the clothes for a few hours before ending the whitening and sanitizing cycle.

Wait! Wipe a pattern first. Before trying hydrogen peroxide on any fabric, test a small, secluded spot for colorfastness. Be extra careful with vintage fabrics: TheSmithsonian Institution’s fabric preservation experts say that peroxide can bleach and weaken fibers.

14. Sprout healthy seeds

Numerousstudieshave shown that soaking seeds in 1 to 3 percent hydrogen peroxide can soften the seed coat and begin germination. If you want to increase the chances of a good plant yield, you can soak the seeds in hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes before planting.

15. Remove algae from your pond water

If you have a water feature or koi pond, you can safely treat the water to reduce or remove harmful algae.gardeningexperts atEngage in gardeningused 1/2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to clean a 90 gallon pond.

16. Treat plants with fungal infections

If your garden vegetables are suffering from flour mold or other fungal infections, you can spray them with a hydrogen peroxide solution to rid them of the fungus.

Mix 4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide in half a liter of water and spray the plant. Stronger concentrations could burn delicate leaves, so don't use it at full strength.

Most vets no longer advise against using hydrogen peroxide to clean your pet's wounds, no matter how small the injury.

17. Induce vomiting in poisoned dogs

If your pet has eaten something poisonous, contact your veterinarianallowed toadvise you to use hydrogen peroxidemake the animal vomit.

Because hydrogen peroxide ingestion is dangerous for your pet, it's important to speak to your veterinarian or a poison control center before attempting to induce vomiting using this method.

18. Clean the litter box

To eliminate odor and disinfect the litter box, empty the litter, wash the container with soap and hot water, and then spray thoroughly with full-strength peroxide. Leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing, drying and replacing the litter.

Attention fish tank!

Some aquarium enthusiasts use hydrogen peroxide to control algae and clean their tanks, but talk to a fish vet before adding hydrogen peroxide to your tank. While hydrogen peroxide breaks down rapidly in water,researchindicates that some species of ornamental fish, including gourami and sucker catfish, do not tolerate it.

DieFood and Drug Administration (FDA)classifies hydrogen peroxide as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for humans at low doses. But the FDA warns against getting hydrogen peroxide on your skinHighmay cause irritation, burning and blistering.

If it gets in your eyes, it can cause burns or abrasions to your cornea.

Breathing in higher concentrations may also cause respiratory irritation, chest tightness, hoarseness, or shortness of breath. And swallowing hydrogen peroxide, especially in higher concentrations, can cause vomiting, inflammation, or damage to hollow organs.

Take it out of your first aid kit

Hydrogen peroxide was once used as an antiseptic for superficial wounds and injuries. It is not recommended for this purpose today. While it kills bacteria, somestudieshave shown that it can be harmful to fibroblasts, which are cells your body needs to heal.

Medical reports aremixed, but doctors at theThe Mayo ClinicNow we're saying we shouldn't use it to clean cuts and wounds.

Don't lighten your skin with it

Dermatologists can use hydrogen peroxide to treat some skin conditions, but it's not considered a safe way to lighten hyperpigmentation when used at home. The risks outweigh any potential benefits, especially since there are other optionsbrighten dark spotson your skin

Do not use it to treat acne

Yes, it bubbles and bubbles and kills bacteria, including the bacteria that can cause itAcne. But oneStudy 2005shows that hydrogen peroxide can also cause scarring, so applying it directly to acne is not a good idea.

In general, it's not a good idea to use hydrogen peroxide on your skin at all - although there are many websites touting it as a health and beauty aid that can do everything from whitening your nails to softening calluses on your heels.

19. Use it to disinfect your toothbrush and retainer

DieAmerican Dental Associationsays toothbrushes in the bathroom can be exposed to fecal coliform bacteria and other bacteria. Tiny amounts of these bacteria don't usually cause health problems, but if you want to be on the safe side, soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide.

AStudy 2009found that rinsing in hydrogen peroxide reduced bacterial counts by 85 percent.

20. Use it to sterilize makeup brushes

After washing excess makeup off your brushes with a gentle shampoo, soak the bristles in a bowl of water and a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes. You can also use it to clean the pads of your eyelash curler. Rinse off any residue thoroughly to protect your eyes.

21. Whiten your teeth

A bright smile is on almost every to-do list these days, and the market is teeming with products that use itHydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. Concentrations vary.

Some products available from dentists may contain 10 percent hydrogen peroxide.studiesdemonstrate that these products are effective and safe when used as directed.

22. Consider getting your hair lightened by a professional

However, hydrogen peroxide is generally considered safe in commercial hair dye productsresearchshows that severe chemical burns can occur even in a professional salon.

HairDyes with peroxidecan damage your hair if you use them too often, so talk to a trained stylist to work out a schedule that will protect your hair and skin.

The familiar brown bottle contains 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, but there are much stronger concentrations on the market including 35 percent food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

DuringFood grade hydrogen peroxidehas been widely discussed as a cure for disorders such asKrebs, lupus and diabetes, these uses are not supported by science or medical advice.

Do not use hydrogen peroxide to treat or cure any of these conditions. This could cause serious health problems and even be fatal.

Hydrogen peroxide is a household chemical that is safe to use for a variety of cleaning purposes around your home. Although it was once commonly used to disinfect cuts and wounds, it is no longer recommended for this purpose.

Hydrogen peroxide can reduce your chances of getting sick if you use it to disinfect surfaces, produce, and other items around your home.

Don't use it on your skin, don't swallow it, and don't try to use potent concentrations of food-grade hydrogen peroxide to cure disease. When used properly, hydrogen peroxide is still a helpful household disinfectant and health aid.

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