12 Interesting Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide – chemically known as H2O2 – is one of the most common household disinfectants used in all parts of the world. In fact, the odds are pretty good that you have a bottle in your medicine cabinet or under your kitchen sink right now! Most people typically use hydrogen peroxide for sanitizing small cuts or even as a whitener for delicate items, however there is much more to this little brown bottle than most of us realize. Because of hydrogen peroxide’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, it makes it one of the most valuable $2.00 purchases you can make at the drug store!
There are all sorts of uses of hydrogen peroxide, from cleaning to whitening, to beauty to stain removal and we are going to share some of the more lesser known ones today. So quit just using that hydrogen peroxide on boo-boos! There is so much more that little brown bottle can do!
Disinfect your fruits and veggies
Save money and don’t buy the fancy veggie sprays, instead fill your sink with cold water and a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and wash your fruits and veggies. This will help rid them of any pesticides that may be prevalent.
Brighten your nails
If dark red or brown polish has left your finger or toe nails stained, try soaking them in peroxide for three to four minutes. If that doesn’t do the trick, keep swabbing peroxide over the nail beds with a cotton ball until the yellow has disappeared.
Remove Wine Stains
Oops! We’ve all had that moment where we’ve bumped into something and accidentally spilled a little wine on our favorite shirt. You can use some hydrogen peroxide to help remove it. It will not whiten as quickly as bleach does, but unlike bleach, there’s very little risk of damaging the fabric. To use some as a stain remover, combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and mild detergent in a bowl. Sponge the mixture onto the stain and let it sit for about one minute. Then, blot the solution onto the stain until it’s completely absorbed, and then wash the garment as you normally would. This also works with blood and many other types of stains too.
Whiten your clothes
Instead of using a harsh bleach to whiten whites, add two full cups of hydrogen peroxide to your load of whites and you’ll be amazed at how bright they are!
Lighten your hair, naturally
When summer comes, you may want to lighten your hair some. Save yourself a trip to the salon and instead mist some over-the-counter 3% hydrogen peroxide on your hair and spend some time in the sun. This can cause some dryness on your hair, so remember to do this sparingly and do some extra conditioning when you do.
Get clearer skin
You can use hydrogen peroxide as a face rinse to kill the bacteria that causes acne and help clear your complexion. First clean and dry your face as normal, and then apply some hydrogen peroxide on a soaked cotton ball to any affected areas, or to your whole face to help prevent future breakouts.
Clean your Sponges
You’ve done the dishes and – hooray! – everything is clean, except for your sponge. Get a little more life out of your sponge by letting it soak in a cup of hydrogen peroxide for an hour or so to kill any lingering bacteria.
Sanitize your toothbrushes
Along the same lines as the sponge, your toothbrush or toothbrush heads can harbor bacteria. Once a week (especially if you’ve been sick!) soak them in a cup of hydrogen peroxide to rid them of germs, dirt and bacteria.
Soften your feet
Got worn out feet? Help soften them by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water to make a foot soak that will naturally soften corns and calluses and help to leave your feet feeling soft and refreshed.
Help prevent “swimmers ear”
If your kids are like our kids then much of your summer is spent jumping in and out of a pool- which is fun but can often result in some achy ears due to “swimmers ear.” Help prevent this by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in a small dropper bottle and put several drops in each ear after swimming to prevent infection.
Give your plants a boost
To help your houseplants grow faster, soak your seeds in a solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide before planting. This helps to remove any fungal spores and to increase germination rate.
Whiten Your Grout
Is your grout looking dull? Give it some love by mixing some hydrogen peroxide with white flour to create a thick paste. Apply to grout and cover with plastic wrap overnight. The next day, simply rinse with water for whiter grout.
Who knew there were so many interesting uses for hydrogen peroxide? For such a small price, it’s amazing how many uses you can get out of that little bottle.
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Michelle; full time mama, part time blogger, wife extraordinaire. This busy mama to three “peas” is a lover of all things running, crafting and baking. A New England native and current desert dweller, she is the brains and wit behind the blog Our Three Peas, where she writes about the hilarious reality that is motherhood. She strives to live a green and natural life and swears that most motherhood-related dramas can be solved by having a nice glass of wine at the end of the evening.