If you ask chemists, they will probably tell you that hydrogen peroxide is a type of inorganic chemical compound made of 2 hydrogens and 2 oxygen atoms. It has strong oxidative properties which are why people prefer using it as a disinfecting agent.
When dissolved in water, hydrogen peroxide kills off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other germs.
In this article, we have covered some of the most useful practical uses of hydrogen peroxide.
1. Wound disinfectant
In medicine, hydrogen peroxide is commonly used in the disinfection of open wounds on the skin surface, including cuts and lacerations before putting on stitches. For this particular use, practicals prepare a 3% solution of the compound. When getting into contact with catalase, an enzyme, the antiseptic tends to create a foam.
Damaged cells, especially blood cells, release this enzyme. If an almost healed wound creates foam when coated with hydrogen peroxide, it means that there is a certain bacterial infection in there.
By adding hydrogen peroxide to your hot body soak you can remove dangerous toxins and chemicals from your skin and body. Pour about a liter of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your bathtub and soak in for at least 30 minutes.
3. Fungal infections on feet
Fungal infections commonly attack the narrow area between your toes, as this part of your body tends to be moist almost all the time. However, fungi appear not only between your toes but on your feet in general. Skin peeling and bad odor are some of the symptoms that indicate a fungal infection. Make a hydrogen peroxide solution, and stick close to the ratio of 50:50. Soak your feet in the solution every night before you go to bet. Remember, you should keep your feet dry, because if not, the infection may come back sooner than you think.
4. Ear wax removal
Ear wax, or cerumen, tends to accumulate in the external auditory canal. Eventually, this may seal the pathway of sound to the tympanic membrane. In such cases, some 3% hydrogen solution will do the trick. However, when it comes to severe cases, the treatment requires a water jet propulsion device that will take the clot out of the ear canal efficiently. Apply a few drops of the solution into your ear canal. You should feel a crackling sensation which means that the cerumen starts dissolving.
Hydrogen peroxide is used for a versatile range of purposes, including teeth whitening, enema, hair lightening and even cleaning their contact lenses.
Believe it or not, hydrogen peroxide is an amazingly effective and cheap mouthwash. For a single-use, you need a capful of the solution, and the little cap on the bottle will fit well for that purpose. Hold the solution in your mouth for 10 minutes and spit it out. This shall become your most beneficial daily routine. You will get rid of all the nasty canker sores, not to mention your Hollywood smile. Always use a 3% solution, and you can add a tiny bit of liquid chlorophyll to enhance its flavor.
Combine some baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide to make yourself a super-cleaning and healthy toothpaste.
If you do not like all the fuss about making your own toothpaste, you can just soak your brush into 3% hydrogen peroxide and brush your teeth as you normally do. Soaking your toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide will keep you safe from germs.
Hydrogen peroxide has strong anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. This is a good thing to know, especially for those who are oftentimes bothered with a severe toothache. But, you have to come clean with a fact, hydrogen peroxide is not a painkiller. Thanks to its mighty properties, it destroys the pathogens that trigger the infection. For instance, if your dentist advises you to get a root canal because of an inflamed tooth that is likely to die, do not give up on your tooth that easily. Try rinsing your oral cavity with hydrogen peroxide several times a day, and you can also try coconut oil once a day, as an additional treating agent. Your discomfort shall disappear and you will save your tooth.
If you are struggling with a severe toothache and you are not able to go to your dentist’s, put a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your oral cavity and hold it in for about 10 minutes. Repeat this several times a day. Your pain will be gone for good.
9. Tooth whitening
Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide for a while and you will notice that your teeth have become whiter. You do not need fancy and expensive professional whitening. All you need is a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Pour 2 cupfuls of 3% hydrogen peroxide into some warm distilled water once a week to treat yeast infections. If it works for you, you can do the treatment twice a week.
11. Colonic or enema
If you are using hydrogen peroxide as a colonic, add 8 oz of the solution to 5 gallons of warm water. If you are doing an enema, add a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a quart of warm distilled water.
12. Hair lightening
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective bleaching agent and it is great if you want to boost your hair volume with a few highlights. Make a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and spray it on your hair, preferably when it is wet. You can do this after taking a shower. Comb the solution through. This treatment will give you natural highlights if you have light brown or dirty blond hair. However, do not expect any drastic change, because hydrogen peroxide lightens your hair gradually.
13. Contact lenses
Hydrogen peroxide has the role of disinfectant in CIBA Vision’s Clear Care no-rub cleaning solution for contact lenses. The chemical compound breaks down protein build-ups on lenses that are actually a way in which eyes respond to the foreign body. This is great for sensitive eyes.
Sanitizing / Disinfection / Cleaning
Add 2 oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the regular washing products to disinfect the dishwasher.
15. Kitchen / Household surfaces
Use hydrogen peroxide to clean kitchen countertops and tables. It will destroy bacteria and leave a fresh scent behind. Put a tiny bit of the solution on your dishrag and wipe or spray it on the surface. Make a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and keep it in a shower bottle. Store a bottle in every bathroom and clean it without affecting the septic system as is the case with blench and other disinfectants. After you clean well your wooden cutting board, spray it with hydrogen peroxide to destroy salmonella or other microbes. In the final phase of the cleaning process, spray over some vinegar.
Always have a spray bottle of 3% (straight) hydrogen peroxide nearby and use it to clean the inside of your fridge and your kids’ lunchboxes. Hydrogen peroxide also aids in cleaning glass or mirrors. You can use it in your bathroom as well to clean and disinfect counters, toilets, floors, and other surfaces.
Extra tips: Always use 2 spray bottles and do not blend the solutions. Keep straight vinegar in one bottle and straight hydrogen peroxide in another spray bottle. When cleaning a surface, regardless of whether it is your cutting board, counter, sink, confines, toys, toilets, or floors, spray one mixture on the surface you are cleaning, then use the other. The mixture of both ingredients causes a chemical reaction in a short time and they create a potent sanitizer. Wash off the surface subsequently. The same applies to vegetable and food decontamination.
16. Humidifiers / steamers
Pour a pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water and pour the solution in your humidifier and steamer.
17. Washing and laundry
Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your white clothes to get them even whiter. Use it instead of your regular bleach. If you need to clean blood stains, put hydrogen peroxide on the dirty spot directly. Leave it on for a minute, rub well and rinse off with cool water. You can always rehash if necessary.
Hydrogen peroxide will keep your garments white, and it is an amazing alternate solution. If you chlorinate clothes, they wear out much faster, but that is not the case with peroxide.
18. Laundry and removing of stains
When used in time, 3% hydrogen peroxide can remove stains. However, 2-day-old blood stains can be removed with hydrogen peroxide efficiently. Put a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain, and it will start bubbling up. This is actually a reaction with catalase. Wait for a couple of minutes and wipe up the excess liquid using a cloth or paper towel. The stain will have disappeared.
Apply 3% of hydrogen peroxide onto the bloodstain before you ‘seal’ it in with warm water. In the next phase use cold water and cleanser to remove peroxide treated stains.
Note: Hydrogen peroxide bleaches and discolors fabrics.
19. Food preparation / decontamination
Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are cheap, viable, and non-poisonous disinfectants. They destroy pathogens more effectively than bleach. Hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic, so you can use it to clean cooking and food prep surfaces. Experts at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University did some testing and matched vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mists. This combination worked well in eliminating Salmonella, Shigella, and E. Coli on excessively contaminated food products and surfaces.
20. Veggie soak
Veggie wash or soak destroys microorganisms and neutralizes harmful chemicals. Add a quarter container of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your sink that you have previously filled with cold water. Soak light skinned vegetables, like lettuce, for 20 minutes. For thicker skinned veggies, like cucumbers, you need about half an hour. Rinse, dry, and store in the fridge. This technique preserves the freshness of your veggies.
If you have no time to do the soak, spray your fruit and veggies with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, rinse off and dry well.
21. Meat sanitizing
Rinse off meat with hydrogen peroxide before cooking it.
22. Leftover tossed salad
Make a solution of half a cup of water and a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Drain, cover well, and keep your salad in the fridge.
Put your pork, beef, fish, or poultry in a casserole. You should never use an aluminum pan. Combine equal parts of water and 3% of hydrogen peroxide. Pour the solution over the meat, cover, and keep it in your fridge for half an hour. Rinse off well and proceed with the cooking.
24. Sprouting seeds
Add an ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a pint of water. Douse your seeds overnight. Later, add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse off the seeds.