Having a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your first-aid kit can prove to be a very valuable item. Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive liquid and is mainly used for medical applications or bleaching your hair. However, it can be used in multiple ways as well given that it is a versatile substance.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound formed by the combination of hydrogen and water (formula H202). It is a clear liquid that has mild antiseptic properties which come in various potencies depending on its purpose: 3% for household use, 6%-10% for hair bleaching, 35% for food-grade, and 90% for industrial purposes. The 3% solution is widely available in most stores packaged in a signature brown bottle.
Medical professionals have recommended using hydrogen peroxide to treat minor cuts and scrapes for years. When it is applied on a cut or scrape it begins foaming which is a clear indication that it has started to kill the bacteria.
But, doctors soon discovered that hydrogen peroxide also destroys healthy cells and have stopped recommending its use for treating wounds. It can also prove to be harmful if it is ingested gets in your eyes, or covers a large area of your skin, especially the food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
What other applications does hydrogen peroxide have?
Hydrogen peroxide does have many helpful applications. In fact, most of these applications you might not have even known of. So, here are nine ways in which hydrogen peroxide can be used. Just remember the hydrogen peroxide for this is the 3% version.
As a mouthwash
Hydrogen peroxide can prove to be a really good mouthwash. It can effectively kill the germs and bacteria present in your mouth thereby promoting dental hygiene. First dilute the hydrogen peroxide by mixing half of it with half water. Gargle with it and swish it in your mouth for at least a minute before spitting it out. Be careful not to swallow it at any cost.
This mouthwash can even help in whitening your teeth. Moreover, it can also be used to clean your dental appliances like your toothbrush, mouth-guards, and retainers.
To kill mold and mildew
Hydrogen peroxide is effective against bacteria, but it can also kill fungi. So, if you have mold or mildew sprouting on your bathroom fixtures, walls, floors, shower, curtain, humidifier, or dehumidifier, just spray a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on them. You will know that it works by the fizzy sound that you hear after spraying it.
As a laundry detergent
Instead of buying expensive commercial laundry products that are labeled as ‘oxy’ just to whiten your clothes, try using hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. When you have to do the laundry then just add a cup of this liquid, especially if you are doing a load of whites. It will not only whiten and remove stain from your clothes but will deodorize it as well.
To remove tougher stains, pour it directly on the stain and scrub it. However, if you are trying to remove a stain from darker colored clothes then, it would be best to do a color-fast test before pouring the hydrogen peroxide.
For removing pit stains
It is really embarrassing to have brownish-yellow armpit stains appear on your garments, especially if your garment is fairly new. But, you can easily erase them with hydrogen peroxide.
Create a solution of one part dishwashing liquid and two parts hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stain. Leave it on for an hour and then wash in cold water and dry your clothes out. If it is a tough stain, then you can scrub the stained area with some baking soda.
For whitening almost anything
From stained tiles and dirty grout to even your fingernails, hydrogen peroxide is great at whitening and brightening many items. For your nails, you just have to combine one part of hydrogen peroxide with two parts of baking soda and then rub the paste on your nails. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then rinse it off and see for yourself how bright and white your nails will look.
To whiten grout, you may simply pour the hydrogen peroxide straight on the tile and start scrubbing it. You can also combine it with baking soda and begin scrubbing away.
To clean the dishwasher
Hydrogen peroxide can be a good cleaning liquid for appliances like dishwashers. As such use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dishwasher by spraying it directly into the appliance and letting it sit a bit before wiping it out.
Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide along with baking soda and an essential oil to create a cleaning “bomb”. Make sure you mix these 3 well and use an ice cream scoop to scoop out round balls of it and let them dry overnight. Place the bombs at the bottom of the dishwasher and then mix in some white vinegar and liquid dis-washing detergent in a ceramic or glass bowl. Place this on the top of the dishwasher. Run a cycle with this bomb and the vinegar and detergent. The peroxide will clean and whiten the appliance, while the baking soda will scrub it and a fresh scent will be provided by the oil.
For keeping food fresh
If you spray a little bit of H2O2 on some of your left-over salad greens before placing them to the fridge, it will thwart the sogginess for several days. Besides salads, you can even fritz some on the vegetables and fruits which are to be kept in your refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can bathe the fruits and veggies in a hydrogen peroxide solution to keep them fresh for longer. Just, don’t forget to thoroughly rinse them before cooking and eating.
As a pesticide
Hydrogen peroxide happens to be the best substance for pest-control in gardening. Gardeners are all aware of this fact and know how to use this multi-purpose liquid. It can not only be used as a pesticide, but also for killing foliage fungus, combating root rot, and preventing infection on damaged trees. It can even improve plant growth by providing extra oxygen which stimulates the roots to absorb more nutrients.
To use it either for pest-control or for improving growth, add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Mist the plants to combat root and fungal infections. Use 1 tablespoon per cup of water.
To grow mushrooms
For this, the 35% version of hydrogen peroxide can be used as it is more effective in combatting mold infections which can ruin mushrooms. In your fruiting chambers where you grow your mushrooms, apply a few drops to instantly add oxygen.