Many people know hydrogen peroxide because it was the stinging, bubbling liquid that their parents forced on their cuts when they were younger. The chemical compound H202, aka hydrogen peroxide, acts as an antiseptic, antibacterial, and bleaching agent. Since it is relatively safe to use hydrogen peroxide, it can be used to whiten teeth, clean ears, and care for the skin…who knew?? It can even be used to clean your entire house – if you know the correct way of using it. Keep reading to find out different hydrogen peroxide hacks that’ll make your life much easier.
Get Rid Of Ink Stains On Clothes
It’s almost impossible to remove ink from clothing, but not if you have hydrogen peroxide! Simply wet a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and dab it on the stain. Then, wash your clothes like you normally do. If it doesn’t work, you may need to use a heavy-duty recipe, a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part ammonia. Make sure you use clear ammonia, and do not use the solution on silk or wool since ammonia eats through the proteins on these fabrics.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Dentistry reported that hydrogen peroxide is effective in bleaching teeth. Make a solution of 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water, and swish it in your mouth for as long as you can, or at least 30 seconds. Spit out the solution if you feel pain in your mouth, and do not swallow it. According to a 2006 study in the same journal, higher concentrations could damage the enamel, so shorten the time you keep the peroxide in your mouth.
Help Plants Grow
Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen, which plants use to get nutrients from the soil. To encourage garden growth, put a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in one cup of water, pour it into a spray bottle, and mist your plants. Increase the dosage to 35% hydrogen peroxide if you want to treat the entire garden. This can also be used to pre-treat seeds. Since peroxide kills fungi, it also wards off potential diseases in plants such as root infections.
Clean Rusty Tools
If your tools are beginning to rust, it is time for a scrub. You can pour 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the area of the tool with rust and rub it with a brush or steel wool. For a stronger solution, mix peroxide and borax. However, before you start doing this DIY, test the hydrogen peroxide first since it may react with metallic irons. While it shouldn’t affect brass, aluminum, or stainless steel, it is better if you double-check the material of your tools before experimenting.
Save A Dog’s Life
If your dog eats plenty of grapes or chocolate, you can induce vomiting safely by feeding your dog some hydrogen peroxide, which creates a mild reaction and does not cause harm. You should use 3% hydrogen peroxide because a higher concentration is toxic. Give your dog one teaspoon of H2O2 for every five pounds of body weight. The vomiting will come ten to 15 minutes after the peroxide is ingested, and can last up to 45 minutes. Follow up with the vet afterwards.
Clean Makeup Brushes
“Through daily use, makeup brushes can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, pollution, and bacteria,” explains dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer, co-founder of the Dermatology Associates of New York. If dirty makeup brushes aren’t cleaned properly, they can cause staph infections. Put one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in one bowl of warm water and soak your brushes in it for ten minutes, swishing the brushes around occasionally. Then, remove the makeup brushes, rinse them using cold water, and allow them to air dry. Any remaining residue can be washed off with soap.
Wash Fruits And Vegetables
It’s important to wash fruits and vegetables because you don’t know who touched them and which pesticides they came in contact with. To make a veggie cleaner, pour a quarter of a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into a sink filled with cold water. Use the mixture to wash fruit and vegetables, and fresh water to rinse them well. Do not use a higher concentration as it is not food safe. Poison Control says hydrogen peroxide is not toxic, except in large quantities.
Remove Earwax Safely
A 2015 study from the journal Australian Family Physician reported that the most effective way of removing ear wax is ear irrigation, which involves a liquid softening the wax and dislodging it. Hydrogen peroxide causes the wax to bubble and weaken, so cleaning your ears with peroxide is safe. Lie on your side and put a few hydrogen peroxide drops into your upward-facing ear. Remain in your position for five minutes, and when you sit up, absorb any excess liquid with a tissue. However, make sure you consult your doctor first before trying out these home remedies.
Disinfect Countertops, Mirrors, Windows, And Walls
Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-bacterial and anti-viral, so many household cleaners include the ingredient. If you don’t have kitchen cleaners, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide by pouring some into a spray bottle and using it as you would other household cleaners. While it is a powerful disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide takes time to work, so you should leave it on walls or countertops for a minute before you wipe it. A mixture of plain soap, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar is efficient in cleaning windows and mirrors.
Use As A Natural Deodorant
Bacteria breaking down sweat causes body odor, and since our armpits sweat a lot, they are the major culprit of body odor. 3% hydrogen peroxide can be used to kill these germs and to halt B.O. Just like deodorants, hydrogen peroxide isn’t an antiperspirant, so it will not inhibit your sweating. Spray or swipe some hydrogen peroxide where you are sweating for odor relief. It is definitely cheaper than a deodorant, which may contain harmful substances, such as aluminum.
Remove Burn Residue
Scrubbing off burn residue can take ages, and since burned debris coats the surface of pans and pots, just scrubbing will not do much. Hydrogen peroxide can dissolve and lift the residue, and can help you remove the grime without needing to scrub. Pour hydrogen peroxide (3% is fine) onto all the burned areas, stir in a heap of baking soda, and leave it for a few hours (aim for six). The debris should lift off and then, wipe any sticky remains until the pan or pot looks new.
Hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient in 6% to 10% of blonde hair dyes. Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (to lower the acidity) to make a paste that you can spread on your hair. Leave the paste on for 15 minutes to one hour, and then, use cold water to rinse your hair. The solution will not change the color of your hair to bleach blonde, but it will definitely lighten the color noticeably. However, be careful when handling hydrogen peroxide since it irritates the eyes easily and it can damage your skin and hair if you use too much.
Remedy For Discolored Nails
Fungi can turn your nails yellowed and cracked, but hydrogen peroxide can kill the fungus efficiently and quickly. In a bowl, mix half a cup of hot water and a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide (add a teaspoon of baking soda for extra strength). Soak your nails in the solution for around ten minutes. If you do not want your skin to get softened, you can wet a cotton ball with the mixture and press the cotton ball to your nails. You can also scrub stains off using a nail brush or a clean, unused toothbrush.
Soften Cracked Heels
Hydrogen peroxide can soften the cracked and rough callouses on your feet by breaking down the surrounding tissue. Add two cups of hydrogen peroxide to two cups of hot water and soak your feet in the solution for 30 minutes. After drying your feet off, scrub off the dead skin, apply lotion to your feet, put on some fuzzy socks, and go to bed. Your feet will feel incredibly soft in the morning.
Alleviate Pain From A Canker Sore
Hydrogen peroxide cannot make a canker sore go away, but it can accelerate the healing. Since peroxide kills growing bacteria that are in the mouth, it may alleviate the pain. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with one part water and apply it to your canker sore. You can wet a cotton ball with the solution and press the cotton ball to your sore, or swish the solution in your mouth. Make sure you do not swallow the peroxide and remember that it might sting a bit.
Clean And Protect Your Shower
No one enjoys cleaning the shower, so it’s best if you can clean it and at the same time, shield it from mold. Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, spritz the shower walls and let it sit for 10 minutes, giving the peroxide time to work its magic. Then, wipe away the mildew. A 2013 study published in BMC Research Notes reported that hydrogen peroxide kills microorganisms effectively, including bacteria and yeast. In addition, since the liquid chemical demolishes budding yeast systems, you won’t need to clean the shower for some time longer.
Get Rid Of Carpet Stains
One of the ingredients in commercial carpet-cleaning products is sodium percarbonate, which is actually powdered hydrogen peroxide. That’s why the names of cleaners often have “Oxi” or “Oxy”. However, before you start pouring, make sure to add five parts water to one part 3% hydrogen peroxide. Spray the mixture on the dirty spot, wait for a few minutes, and scrub the stain away. We suggest testing it on a small area beforehand.
Mold can develop in just 24 hours and leaving it unattended can cause respiratory illnesses (a hazard to people with allergies). It’s essential to kill mold right away, but many people don’t like spraying chemicals everywhere, so this is how you can eradicate mold without using dangerous cleaners. Fill a spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide, spritz it on the mold-infected walls, and leave it to sit for ten minutes. The liquid will kill the organisms. After ten minutes, scrub the area to get rid of the stains and wipe the surface so that any remaining mold stains will be dislodged.
Clean A Mouthguard Or Retainer
It might be hard to keep the tiny plastic mold clean, but you can actually clean your retainer using hydrogen peroxide, water, and baking soda. Submerge your retainer in a jar filled with water, and then, add a sprinkle of baking soda and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Leave the retainer in the solution for around ten minutes, take it out and then, rinse the residue off. Make sure that you rinse your retainer thoroughly prior to popping it in your mouth.
Clean The Dishwasher
Dishwashers make things easier–if they work. If they are not cleaned, residue will cake their walls inside and leave your dishes not that lustrous. Before running the next load, add three ounces or 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, close the door of your dishwasher, and run it. As hot water is swirled around, the peroxide also disinfects the surface. What’s more, the hydrogen peroxide will give more cleaning power to the dishwasher soap.
Clean The Humidifier
Bacteria adores wet and warm places, and with humidifiers remaining damp and collecting standing water, bacteria can multiply in them. Dirty humidifiers can cause allergy symptoms to flare up instead of helping them. To clean a diffuser or humidifier, dilute two cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water. Pour the solution into the humidifier’s filter and water tank, scrub it, and then leave it for 10 minutes to half an hour. Then, rinse the base using clean water and let it air dry.
Hydrogen peroxide loses an oxygen atom when it touches your skin, and the oxidization process actually kills off the bacteria, allowing your skin to heal more quickly. However, don’t use peroxide on acne scars, since overuse can further damage your skin. To spot-treat acne, soak a cotton ball in 3% hydrogen peroxide and dab the cotton ball on the infected areas. Let that sit for five minutes, and rinse your face using cold water. You should not do this more than three times in a week and you should wash your face prior to applying hydrogen peroxide.
Get Rid Of Bad Breath
Aside from whitening your teeth, hydrogen peroxide also eliminates bad breath. Since gargling peroxide kills bacteria in your throat, it can also assuage gum inflammation and sore throats. Dilute one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water so that the concentration will be lowered to 1% hydrogen peroxide. Then, gargle and swish it around your mouth for half to one full minute before spitting it out. Make sure not to swallow it and rinse your mouth afterward!
Clean Contact Lenses
Not cleaning your contact lenses can put you at risk for spreading an eye infection. You can clean your lenses with some hydrogen peroxide, but you’ll need a neutralizer to prevent the peroxide from stinging your eyes. You can place your contact lenses in 3% hydrogen peroxide and leave them there for a bit. Afterward, place them in a neutralizer and leave them there for a few hours. Usually, there are directions on the bottle that will tell you how long you should leave them in.
When your sponge begins to smell, it’s a sign that you need to clean it. The sponge will absorb the hydrogen peroxide, which will kill the bacteria in the tiniest crevices. Place the sponge in a container, and then, pour hydrogen peroxide into it until the sponge is almost completely submerged. After a couple of minutes, flip over the sponge and leave it again for a few minutes. Take the sponge out and rinse it.
Disinfect Children’s Toys Safely
Hydrogen peroxide is great for disinfecting kids’ toys as it doesn’t leave any harmful residue. First, wipe off any visible dirt and remove the batteries if the toy comes with them. Then, make a solution that is half 3% hydrogen peroxide and half water. (If you don’t dilute the peroxide, the paint may be stripped off.) You can either submerge the toy in the solution, or you can saturate a towel with the mixture and rub the toy.
Clean A Lunchbox And Cooler
A study from e-cloth revealed that 73% of coolers and lunchboxes have bacteria which could cause food poisoning. Clean these cases regularly to protect your family from the said bacteria. To start, remove the food debris using soap and water. Then, pour hydrogen peroxide into the cooler or lunchbox. You can add water to the hydrogen peroxide if you need more liquid, but know that it will have less strength. Let it sit for ten minutes, and rinse your containers afterward.
Disinfect The Cutting Board
Your cutting board comes in contact with raw meat and vegetables, so it naturally accumulates bacteria which can cause foodborne illness. It isn’t enough to just wash the cutting board; you should disinfect it as well. After clearing the cutting board of water and food, you should rinse it thoroughly. Then, fill a container with 3% hydrogen peroxide, place the cutting board in there, and let it sit for ten minutes. Remove the cutting board, and rinse it thoroughly.
Clean The Air
You can also add hydrogen peroxide to your humidifier for another reason: to reduce the bacteria floating through your home. Add one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide to eight parts of water, and then pour the solution into your humidifier. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to your diffuser for a pleasant smell. Then, allow the machine to work its magic. However, if you have pets, don’t use this technique.
Touch Up Your Roots
If you have dyed your hair blonde, you can use hydrogen peroxide to touch up your roots. Just dab 3% hydrogen peroxide on your roots, and wait for 30 minutes before washing it out. If you would like your roots to be lighter, do it again. However, if your head starts stinging, rinse your hair earlier.
Clean Shower Grout
Plenty of elbow grease is needed to clean bathrooms due to the build-up from products and all the moisture that accumulates in the room. Hydrogen peroxide can help in cleaning the shower grout. Add some lemon and a little water to hydrogen peroxide and spray the mixture on the grout. Let it stand for some time and then scrub into the grout. While it will still take work, the job will be much easier!
Add Into The Bath
Perhaps you have not heard of this hack before! Since hydrogen peroxide can help kill bacteria and germs on your body, it can help fight off and prevent illness. Run a warm bath, add some hydrogen peroxide into it, soak for half an hour, and rinse it off. This hack is cheap and easy and can help prevent illness if you have been in a germy environment, such as a ball pit or kids’ arcade.
Prevent Ear Infections
Some children and adults are more susceptible to ear infections. MedlinePlus reports that parents bring their children into the doctor mostly because of ear infections, and 75% of children will have experienced at least one episode of ear infection by the age of three. When cleaning out the ears, use a q-tip with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to minimize the risk of ear infections. There are a lot of harmful bacteria in our ears, so this little step will definitely help.
Remove Dead Skins Cells From Towels
Bathroom towels are often among the dirtiest things we need to clean. Sometimes, detergent and hot water are not enough– towels can collect a lot of dead skin cells! You can remove dead skin cells from your bathroom towels with hydrogen peroxide. Add half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of vinegar to a wash load of towels. Do this every so often to make sure your towels are next-level clean.
Remove Blood Stains
We don’t ever want hear something like this in our household: “He’s bleeding! Grab a towel!” However, these things happen and you’ll likely grab whatever’s within reach. If you have a towel that is blood-stained, put some hydrogen peroxide on the stain, and let it sit. Rinse with warm water and soap. Repeat if the stain is not removed the first time, but there should be a big difference!
Remove Foot Odor In Shoes
We all want a product we can use for different purposes, so we should actually have hydrogen peroxide on hand. While there are products that specifically remove foot odor in shoes, you will not need them if you have peroxide at home. Add some baking soda to hydrogen peroxide to create a paste, and put it in shoes. Set the footwear out to dry, and once they are dried, remove the residue using a cloth.
Clean The Toilet Bowl
While you are waiting for the hydrogen peroxide to set on the shower grout, spray hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl. Mix it with ¼ cup of castile soap and ½ cup of baking soda. Add some warm water, too. If you want to save money, or if you don’t have toilet bowl cleaner, you can still clean your bathroom.
Clean A Cut Or Wound
This is probably among the most common uses for hydrogen peroxide, so it’s worth mentioning, especially since some people might not know about it! This hack helps you save money since you do not have to buy different products for disinfectant and antibacterial purposes. Applying peroxide to minor wounds can clean away dead tissue, clean the area to prevent infection, and stop minor bleeding.
The reality is that toothbrushes attract a lot of bacteria, but most people don’t clean their toothbrushes. The Children’s Oral Health Institute says that it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your child’s toothbrushes. Place toothbrushes into a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with the bristles down and leave the toothbrushes there until you see that the liquid stops bubbling. Then, rinse the toothbrushes thoroughly before use. You can also swish your toothbrush in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water before using it.
Brighten Tablecloths And Curtains
Check your curtains for discoloration. Soak the yellowed part in 3% hydrogen peroxide for around five to ten minutes, before throwing them in the wash. The same method can also be used to get rid of stains on tablecloths. Soak the stained parts in hydrogen peroxide for some time, and then use a damp sponge or rag to scrub off the food that has caked on the cloth. Run it through the wash afterwards.
Get Rid Of Foot Fungus
Athlete’s Foot is no joke, and it’s definitely not something you want to leave untreated. Thanks to hydrogen peroxide and its antifungal properties, your foot fungus can go away quite easily. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water and rub it to affected areas.
Treat The Common Cold
There’s no exact cure for the common cold, but there are tricks that can possibly help you feel better. One thing that some people think can help is to put a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears. This will kill any bacteria and clean out any infection you may have in your ear, which could help you feel better.
Clear A Sinus Infection
This one is a bit invasive, so enter at your own risk. Many people say that mixing hydrogen peroxide with equal part water and using it as a nasal spray can help to clear up a sinus infection. spray it into your nose and shoot it out a minute later, and it could help clear up that stuffy feeling you’re experiencing.
Fix A Toothache
If you have a horrible toothache but don’t have time to make a dentist appointment right now, try this at-home trick. Mix water with hydrogen peroxide to create a mouthwash and hold it in your mouth for up to 10 minutes. You can use it a few times a day, but be careful, as doing it too often can also kill the good bacteria living in your mouth.
Treat A Yeast Infection
This is another invasive one to try at your own risk, but adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to your already-existing routine for avoiding or curing a yeast infection can do the trick. Its antibacterial effects can help you out, sometimes in more ways than the expensive medication from the drugstore.
Sometimes using toothpaste from the store that has a ton of added chemicals and unnecessary ingredients isn’t the most favorable option. If you’re looking for more of a natural option, try mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and making a paste out of it. This will get the job done and will make your teeth bright and shiny.
Disinfect Your Toothbrush
Many people don’t think about just how germ-filled and dirty your toothbrush can be. Sure, it’s used to clean your mouth, but it’s also used to take out all of the bacteria, and then you let it sit out on your bathroom sink all day. Pouring some hydrogen peroxide onto your toothbrush every once in a while is a great way to kill staph and other bacteria that you definitely don’t want in your mouth.
Soften Foot Calluses And Corns
Calluses and corns on your feet can not only be annoying, but they can also be quite painful to deal with sometimes. Pedicures are expensive, time-consuming, and often times don’t really get down to the root of the problem. Try soaking your feet in a hydrogen peroxide and water mixture for a while; this will disinfect and soften the skin on your feet.
Showers, similar to your toothbrush, can get shockingly dirty, despite the fact that they are used to clean you off. When soap particles build up on your shower walls, it creates a film that makes your shower tiles quite dirty and gross-looking. Mixing hydrogen peroxide with flour creates a paste that can be used on your shower tiles to kill mold and make your shower sparkle. For best results, leave the mixture on the tiles overnight covered in saran wrap and clean it off the next day.
Make Your Pots And Pans Shine
We all know the frustration of saying you’ll clean up after dinner in the morning and then finding your leftover food completely stuck to the pots and pans. To fix this easily, combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Rub it into the dirty dishes and let it soak in for a few minutes. When you go back to clean it off with warm water, you’ll find it much easier to do so.
Keep Salad Fresh
If you’re someone who likes to prepare their lunch for work the night before, you may understand the pain of seeing your prepared salad looking brown and stale the next morning. To make sure you’re still getting fresh, crispy lettuce, combine half a cup of water with one tablespoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide and spray it onto the lettuce. Be sure to keep in mind to only use a small amount, as you are eating this.
Clean Your Refrigerator
It’s super easy to find that you’ve accumulated lots of foreign smells and stains in your refrigerator, but it’s also super easy to get rid of these problems. Empty out your shelves (and toss out any old food that may be causing the harsh odors) and wipe them down thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide. Not only will it clean off the stains, but it will also eliminate all of the bad smells you’re experiencing.
Replace Harsh Bleach
Bleach has harsh smells and harsh chemicals which sometimes aren’t so great for everyday use. Instead of soaking your white clothes in bleach, try using hydrogen peroxide instead. Let your clothes sit for about 30 minutes before washing them, and this should do the trick to get rid of any yellowing. Just be sure not to add your colored clothing to this mixture.
Disinfect Reusable Bags
Reusable shopping bags are becoming more popular lately, and for good reason. While you’re doing a great thing in saving the environment from single-use plastics, you do need to be mindful of the fact that you need to clean your reusable bags once in a while. Simply turn the bag inside out and spray hydrogen peroxide onto the fabric, then wipe it down if necessary. This will not only disinfect the bag, but also get rid of any food odors that may be lingering around.
Nobody likes finding mites or other bugs in their home, and thanks to hydrogen peroxide, you can say goodbye to squishing them or spraying them with harsh chemicals that will linger around your house. Spraying mites with hydrogen peroxide will kill them just as easily as spraying them with bug spray.
Remove Algae From Your Fish Tank
You need to be very careful with this, because adding too much hydrogen peroxide to your fish tank will kill everything in it, but adding a very small amount to the algae growing inside will cause it to break down and dilute into the water. For every 66 gallons (250 liters) of water in your fish tank, you can add 60 ml (2 ounces) of hydrogen peroxide.
Treat Pet Wounds
Just as hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat human cuts and wounds, it can also be used on your furry friends. If your pet has a wound on themselves, you can dab some hydrogen peroxide onto it. This will remove any dead skin cells and kill harmful bacteria. Your pet may be a bit squirmy and uncomfortable, but it won’t hurt them any more than it hurts a human.
Science Experiments For Kids
There are tons of “recipes” online, but one of the coolest ones is mixing hydrogen peroxide with yeast and food coloring into a bottle. This will cause a bubbly foam to come out of the bottle, looking almost like a giant exploding tube of toothpaste! The kids will love it, and it’s super easy educational entertainment.
Make Copper Shine
Combine hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and salt to make your metal, copper, or brass products shine like new again. After they’ve been sitting out in the sun in your yard for a while, the natural wear-and-tear on them starts to take a toll on the way these products look. This DIY remedy will make your home decorations look good as new.
If you or your pet have ever been sprayed by a skunk, you know how horrible and debilitating the stench can be. Combine one quart of hydrogen peroxide, one teaspoon of dish detergent, a quarter cup of baking soda, and two quarts of warm water into a tub. Scrub yourself and anyone else affected by the skunk smell, and the stench should come right out.