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Hydrogen peroxide has proven to be one of the best solutions for healing scratches and preventing infections, but did you know that it has a variety of uses around the home? It’s true! In this guide, we’ll go over some of the top uses for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
H ₂O ₂ has the ability to oxidize (breaks down) and it can also help to break down natural odors, such as pet odors, fish, or rotting food. The brown bottles of H ₂O ₂ found at any grocery store are strong enough to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi spores. This means if your dog Spot, had an accident on the carpet, you can pour some peroxide on the area he made a mess in and the liquid will break down the urine in just a few minutes. After 10-15 minutes you can either blot it out with a towel or use a carpet cleaner to extract the liquid.
H ₂O ₂ can also be used to sanitize and deodorize garbage disposals without any effort. Simply pour in a bottle of peroxide, and let it dwell for a few minutes. You’ll probably see and hear it fizzing, that’s when you know it’s working. The peroxide is gentle on plumbing and won’t damage it, unlike some harsh drain cleaners.
Since we’re on the topic of smells, if you’ve got a pet that has made a mess on a tile floor, you’ll discover that no matter how many times you try and clean it with all-purpose sprays, it still smells. That’s because the grout has absorbed urine and the odors are coming from small holes deep inside the grout. Use some H ₂O ₂ to get rid of the stink. When urine dries, it leaves small crystals and when liquid is reintroduced, those become hydrolyzed which means the odor will come back. To defeat the odor, you must eliminate the source. No, we are not suggesting you get rid of your dog. Instead pour some peroxide in the area where they made a mess. Make sure to pour enough to saturate the porous grout. Then let it sit overnight, by morning time, the peroxide would have dried, and at the same time, the urine crystals will have been oxidized and not creating odors anymore.
H ₂O ₂ is a powerful and effective stain remover. Much like how odors are oxidized by peroxide, it does the same thing when it comes to organic stains. This means blood, urine, grass, pet stains, and food and beverage. If coffee was spilled on the carpet, the best way to get rid of the stain is to absorb as much of the coffee as possible. Then pour some hydrogen peroxide into the area. Allow it to dwell for at least 5 minutes, during that time, you’ll notice that the stain is simply disappearing. This is applicable to all organic stains and it will not work for stains that have some sort of artificial food coloring, ink, or grease.
This technique can be used for laundry too. Pre-treat any stains on clothing with some peroxide before each wash. Doing so allows the peroxide to break down the organic elements and when it’s time to wash the clothes, the stains can easily come out.
Mattresses can also be treated with H ₂O ₂. Over time, body soil, fluids, dead skin cells, hair, and dust can accumulate in a mattress. Regular vacuuming can help get rid of the skin cells and dust and other dry soils, but to treat the stain you can apply some hydrogen peroxide. Many professional carpet cleaners offer this service, but they use a stronger peroxide. The grocery store version of H ₂O ₂ is rated at 3%, professional cleaners use a 6% version. That type of
H ₂O ₂ is readily available at most beauty supply shops commonly sold as “volume 20” peroxide. This version is going to be stronger and on the acidic side, which can cause skin irritation and burns. The best way to use volume 20 is to dilute it with either soft water or reverse osmosis water at a ratio of 1 cup of peroxide for each gallon of filtered water. Even with 6% diluted, it is highly recommended that gloves and eye protection are worn when handling the peroxide solution.
Spray directly onto the mattress, especially the stubborn stains, and let it dwell for at least 5m minutes. You’ll notice the solution working because you will see bubbles on the stains. That’s the peroxide hard at work in breaking down the stains. Use a microfiber towel to wipe the mattress clean or a carpet extractor with an upholstery tool to suck up the leftover liquids. If you do not have a carpet extractor, a wet/dry shop vac will work too.
Here’s a little tip: for treating mattresses, carpets, and upholstery; combine 1 cup of Zep Citrus Degreaser or Simple Green and 1 cup of peroxide for every 1 gallon of filtered water. The degreaser helps to break down stubborn grease stains that pets and people have left behind, providing stain-free, fresh-smelling results.
Hydrogen peroxide can kill yeasts, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. This makes it the perfect sanitizer for items that come into contact with food since there are no harsh chemical odors or residue. Every home should have at least 2 cutting boards for sanitary reasons. One to use for vegetables and fruit, and the other for meats, poultry, and fish. Raw meats can contain bacteria that can only be killed by cooking them in high heat. Some of the bacteria can survive hot water and soap which means they can live within the crevices that have been formed by a knife on the cutting board. To sanitize a cutting board, directly pour hydrogen peroxide on the surface and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe off clean with a clean paper towel.
Mildew won’t have a chance with peroxide. If you have some of it forming on various parts of your shower or even on scrub brushes/loofas, pour some peroxide on the surfaces and watch it kill the mildew. Then rinse with water, your bathroom and accessories will now be mildew-free.
Rather than spending anywhere from $5-$20 for a fruit/vegetable wash, make your own with hydrogen peroxide by mixing a 50/50 ratio of 3% peroxide and filtered water. Let fruits and vegetables soak in the solution for at least 15 minutes and rinse clean. Not only does this leave food cleaner, but if there were any bacteria on them, they would have been eliminated.
Lastly, hydrogen peroxide can be used to soothe a sore throat, whiten teeth, and reduce gum inflammation. All you need to do is combine one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, then gargle with it for no more than 90 seconds. Doing so helps to fight off any bacterial infections in the throat as well as heal canker sore or abrasions in the mouth caused by having braces or eating a tortilla chip the wrong way.
With all the different household uses hydrogen peroxide has in a home, it’s probably a good idea to keep a few bottles handy. They usually cost less than $1.00 from any grocery store and as you have read, they have a multitude of uses around the home. Hydrogen peroxide provides a safe alternative to harsh chemical cleaners for a fraction of the price.