There are many household items and substances that prove useful in everyday situations. Salt, vinegar, and lemon are just a few of these substances that can be used for a variety of things around the house.
But an even more powerful agent is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a great agent that can be used for a lot of cleaning needs as well as other needs. Let’s learn more about this amazing substance.
Note: while the results from a bad choice on cleaning with peroxide aren’t drastic, it can be when used for health reasons. So never use peroxide on or in yourself without consulting your doctor.
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula H₂O₂. It can be found in a pale blue liquid before treatment and is often used over-the-counter as an oxidizer, bleaching agent, and antiseptic.
When you hear the formula H2O2, you may be thinking, “Hey, how is hydrogen peroxide different than water?” and that is a good question. Because the formula is very similar, both compounds being composed of the same chemicals.
Both water and hydrogen peroxide have hydrogen and oxygen in them and nothing else. This means that peroxide is 40% denser. But the biggest difference is the chemical reaction of the extra oxygen in the hydrogen.
According to the Fundamentals of Chemistry by Brady and Holum, “The single bond between the two oxygen atoms is weak, so that H2O2 readily fragments into either H and HO2 or two OHs. Either way, the resulting species are free radicals, which means they are very reactive, and this makes H2O2 a very powerful oxidising agent.”
Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner
One of the main uses for hydrogen peroxide is to clean. It is a great idea to keep it around the house because it can be quite a bit cheaper than standard cleaners and can be purchased in large bottles.
Sometimes, it is recommended to mix peroxide with another agent in order to get the best results. But other times, you can use it alone to clean surfaces and remove bacteria that is deep down below the surface.
Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has so many uses around the house that it’s easiest for us to separate them all in order to explain each one properly. Make sure you always test it out in a small area before using the peroxide over an entire surface.
You can deodorize cloth that has mildew starting to grow, has been sprayed by a skunk, or something else that seems impossible to remove. Just spray it on before washing the cloth to remove the smell.
Alternatively, if your dog has been sprayed, you can mix a quart of peroxide with 1/4 cup of baking soda and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. This can be used as shampoo for your dog and remove the skunk smell.
A deep clean for your tile can be achieved with just a little peroxide. Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of baking soda. It will create a paste that you can scrub onto the tile. Make sure you get down in the grout too.
Then wait up to 15 minutes and scrub the area with a brush. Rinse it off and the tile should look much better. The grout lines should be brighter and the tile should be free of grime. Do another round if it needs it.
If your mirrors are blotchy and foggy, then you can use peroxide to clean them on a regular basis. You will be surprised to see how shiny that your mirrors can once again be and you won’t turn back again!
It works best when you use half water and half peroxide to spray the mirrors, or windows, down and then wipe them with a lint-free cloth. Both microfiber and paper towels work well for this method.
Medicate Your Plants
Plants love hydrogen peroxide. It has a variety of uses for plants but we will do a one-for-all combo here. Peroxide can treat root rot, get rid of bugs, and fungus on plants. Here is a great formula to use.
Just add a spoonful per cup of water and spray it onto the plants during the watering time. It should do the trick. Water them like this until the problem goes away. If preventing bugs, do it about once a week.
Get Rid Of Toilet Bowl Germs
Yes! Peroxide can get rid of that unwanted toilet bacteria. While you can get Lysol that comes with hydrogen peroxide in it, you can also use pure hydrogen peroxide which is cheaper and can be very effective.
Just pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into your toilet in order to sanitize them. Let it sit for half an hour before scrubbing the toilet with a toilet bowl brush. Finish by flushing the toilet and you’re done!
Bleach The Bathtub
Bleach can be awful strong to use to clean something you are planning on bathing in! So peroxide is a much safer alternative. Spray it on diluted or undiluted and let it work. Let it sit for a few minutes and scrub it off.
It can work to remove bacteria, whiten the bathtub, and get rid of any grime that has been left behind. In fact, peroxide can work as an all-purpose bathroom cleaner that can clean your entire bathroom.
Refresh Your Mattress
If you have no idea how to clean your mattress properly then maybe peroxide can help. You can’t throw the mattress in the washer and you don’t want to spray it with bleach. So this is a wonderful option.
For cleaning the mattress, it’s a good idea to only apply the peroxide to stains. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress and let it sit. Then, you can vacuum it all up and wash away the peroxide.
Clean Your Dishwasher
Most dishwashers contain a lot more bacteria than you should feel comfortable with. But rather than run peroxide through your system, you can simply spray the inside of the dishwasher and then run it through with standard dishwasher detergent.
This will get rid of a majority of bacteria that can harm your family. Also, make sure you use a disinfectant cleaner every once in a while, if not every time you clean your dishes in the dishwasher.
Got watermarks on furniture or countertops? Peroxide can help remove them. Just use half peroxide and half water to wash away the stains by blotting at them until they are removed. Simple as that.
Note that we don’t mean watermarks left by manufacturers to label their items. We mean watermarks left by water or glasses. Although you can always try to remove watermark stamps this way as well.
Your metals don’t have to be far gone before you try to clean them. You can clean metals by using a baking soda and peroxide mixture and scrubbing the metals down about once a month, or more often.
It depends on how often you use them. Silverware often needs to be cleaned once a week like this. If you notice a lot of marks and stains, and a loss of shine, then do it more often. If not, once a month is good.
You can remove rust stains from tools by spraying the tools with hydrogen peroxide or soaking them for a few minutes. After they dry, you can scrub them with steel wool to remove the excess rust.
Don’t try this method with indoor utensils as it is too strong. However, you can use it on outdoor metals as they can handle the strong peroxide. Just make sure they don’t soak for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Spruce Up Outdoor Furniture
You can use diluted peroxide on outdoor furniture. Just spray it on and use it as a cleaner if your standard cleaners aren’t working. The best part about this method is that it is relatively safe for pets.
Other cleaners are not safe for pets so if you have pets, don’t use chemical cleaners around them unless you know the safety precautions to take. With peroxide, you won’t have to worry about that much.
Sanitize Counters And Cutting Boards
You can sanitize your kitchen counters and your cutting boards by using peroxide to clean them. Use diluted peroxide on your countertops and your cutting boards by spraying them and letting them sit for a few minutes.
Then come back, rinse them off and let them dry. After that, you can continue using them again. It’s also a good idea to do this once a week to keep your counters and cutting boards free from bacteria.
Clean Your Veggies
Those veggies may be fairly clean when they come from the earth, but the chemicals added afterward are no good. It’s a good idea to soak them before you eat them when washing them just won’t cut it.
Use about 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water to help remove bacteria from vegetables. If the veggies are root veggies or are thick-skinned, then you may have to soak them for twenty minutes first.