Surprising Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

Let’s travel back in time to your high school chemistry class. As you may recall, hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound composed of water and oxygen. The chemical formula is H₂O₂, indicating that it contains two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. In its pure form, hydrogen peroxide is a very pale blue liquid that is slightly more viscous than water. However, we typically know it as a clear, inexpensive liquid most often sold in a brown bottle.

While there’s debate over using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect wounds because it can slow down healing time, its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and bleaching properties make it an ideal solution for cleaning and disinfecting various items throughout your home. Read on to learn 8 surprising uses for this household staple.

  1. De-gunk tile and grout. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide in a sealable container. Add a teaspoon of liquid dish soap, close the lid, and shake until fully combined. Wearing protective gloves, apply the mixture to dingy tile and grout, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then rinse clean with water.
  2. Freshen up mattresses. Mattresses should be deep cleaned every 6 months or so. Start by vacuuming the mattress itself. Then, create a cleaning solution of one-part hydrogen peroxide to one-part water. Use a clean, soft-bristle brush to work the solution into any food, drink, and bodily fluid stains. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, repeating if needed, until the stain fades. Let air dry completely before making the bed.
  3. Clean the tub and shower. Many commercial tub and tile cleaners contain bleach, ammonia, and artificial fragrances that can be harmful to respiratory health, caustic to skin, and generally bad for the environment. For a safer, eco-friendly solution, make a paste of two-parts baking soda to one-part hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the tub and shower area, wait 30 minutes, then rinse with clean water. Follow with a spritz of 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water to dissolve any remaining residue and soap scum.
  4. Banish rust. Place equal parts cream of tartar and baking soda in a bowl. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the rusty object, wait one hour, then wash with water. This method works best for light to moderately rusted items and can also be effective on rust stains in your sink or tub that are caused by rust in tap water.
  5. Sanitize cutting boards. Wood cutting boards can trap unhealthy bacteria, but because wood is porous, it can warp and crack if washed in the dishwasher. To clean and disinfect a wood cutting board, spray with white vinegar, wait 5 to 10 minutes and wipe. Pour on enough 3-percent hydrogen peroxide to cover the entire cutting board, distributing it evenly with a paper towel. Let the solution sit for another 5 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle the surface with salt. Rub the salt into the grain of the cutting board with half a lemon to soak up any lingering odors. Allow the lemon and salt to soak into the surface for at least 30 minutes, then wipe with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry.
  6. Banish toilet bowl germs. Keep your toilet free of bacteria with a weekly dose of hydrogen peroxide. Pour ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let sit for 30 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush. You can also freshen the toilet brush by pouring a little hydrogen peroxide onto the bristles and allowing it to air dry before placing it back in the holder.
  7. Brighten whites. When it’s time to wash whites, add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water to your washing machine, then wash as usual. 
  8. Clean the humidifier. A humidifier can add needed moisture to dry indoor air. But failing to clean your humidifier regularly can lead to the buildup of mold and bacteria. Once a week, fill the humidifier with one-part hydrogen peroxide to four-parts water, let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes, then rinse out the interior with cold water.

Is the air inside your home bone-dry in the winter or humid in the summer – or both? Contact Air Professional Associates today to find out how you can enjoy added comfort and improved indoor air quality with a whole-house humidifier. By having one installed to work with your HVAC system you can control exactly how much humidity you want. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.

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