You may be most familiar with hydrogen peroxide as a substance used to kill bacteria and clean small cuts and abrasions. Some people also use it to bleach their hair, although chances are you only have to see the results of this disastrous usage once and you’ll never do it again. However, there are myriad ways you can use hydrogen peroxide in and around the house. For one thing, you can mix the standard 3% solution with water (1:1) and swish it in place of mouthwash. It not only kills germs on the body, but in the mouth, as well, and it can be used to treat mouth sores and even whiten teeth. Or you might put a couple of drops on a Q-tip to clean your ears when you have an infection or to loosen up wax (talk to your doctor first to see if you need it, though). But of course, you may also be looking for ways to replace other household chemicals with a natural and non-toxic product, and hydrogen peroxide can deliver. Here are just a few uses you’ll surely want to try.
1. Laundry additive. You may be aware that hydrogen peroxide can act as a bleaching agent, but did you know that you can actually use it as a replacement for bleach when it comes to your laundry? You can not only pour it straight into the bleach receptacle in your washing machine for whites and colors, but you can also pour it directly onto whites to help remove stains like blood and sweat before throwing soiled garments into the wash. You just don’t want to let it sit too long; a couple of hours are enough to remove stains without damaging the fabric.
2. Kitchen sanitizer. This product not only helps to kill harmful bacteria on the skin that could lead to infection when you get cut, but it also attacks other types of germs, as well. In the kitchen, in particular, hydrogen peroxide can be used on cutting boards and other surfaces to remove bacterial threats like E. coli, salmonella, shigella, and more, some of which can live outside the body for days or weeks.
3. Fruit and veggie wash. Rather than paying more for a sanitizing spray for your fresh fruits and vegetables, simply spritz them with a 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water before rinsing with straight water. This will help to kill any bacteria populating the surface and get your fresh produce as clean as possible before ingestion.
4. Plant protector. You might feel a little weird about watering your plants with hydrogen peroxide, but when you mix 1 ounce or peroxide with 1 quart of water, you’ll actually add oxygen to the soil, much like rainwater. This can provide your plants with additional nutrients and help to stop root rot if you’re particularly liberal when it comes to watering. It addition, it can act as a pesticide the drives away insect in the soil. And if you spray leaves with a 1:1 water and peroxide solution, it can ward off many air-bound insects, as well.
5. Household solvent. Although you’ll still have to call out Filan and Conner Plumbing (or your local service provider) to deal with clogged drains, hydrogen peroxide can definitely be used to attack the germs and bacteria living in sinks, tubs, and toilets. In fact, you can use it in much the same way as vinegar, by mixing it with water in a spray bottle and using it to scrub surfaces that tend to pick up the most germs. Of course, you might not want to use it on wooden surfaces or electronics, but if you’re looking for more germ-fighting power than your standard vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice solutions can provide, hydrogen peroxide is an excellent choice for every room in the house.