Many people know hydrogen peroxide as the stinging, bubbling liquid your parents forced on your cuts when you were younger. Hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleaching agent, antibacterial, and antiseptic. There's plenty you can do with that untouched bottle around your home.
Since hydrogen peroxide is relatively safe, you can use it to whiten your teeth, clean your ears, and care for your skin. You can clean your entire house with hydrogen peroxide alone—if you know how to use it correctly. Here are the best hydrogen peroxide hacks.
Bye Bye, Burn Residue
Burn residue can take ages to scrub off. Since burned debris cakes onto the surface of pots and pans, just scrubbing won't do much. You need a substance that dissolves and lifts the residue. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove the grime without having to scrub.
Pour a generous amount of hydrogen peroxide (3% is fine) to cover all the burned areas. Then stir in a pile of baking soda. Leave it for at least a couple of hours; aim for six hours. The debris should lift right off! Wipe off any sticky remains until your pot or pan looks like new.
Help Your Plants Grow Big And Strong
Hydrogen peroxide works by releasing oxygen. Because plants use oxygen to absorb nutrients from the soil, they love this extra oxygen molecule. This promotes healthier, more vigorous plant growth for your garden.
To encourage garden growth, mix one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per one cup of water. After you pour the mixture into a spray bottle, mist your plants. If you want to cover an entire garden, increase your dosage to 35% hydrogen peroxide. You can also use this to pre-treat seeds. Since peroxide kills fungi, it also wards off potential diseases such as root infections.
Wash Your Fruits And Vegetables
It's essential to wash your fruits and vegetables when you bring them home. You never know who touched them or which pesticides they came into contact with. But instead of paying $8 for a veggie wash, why don't you use a little bit of hydrogen peroxide?
To create a veggie cleaner, fill your sink with cold water and add 1/4 cup of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Wash your fruit and vegetables in the mixture, and then rinse them thoroughly with fresh water. According to Poison Control, hydrogen peroxide isn't toxic, except in large amounts.
Mix Hydrogen Peroxide With Borax For An Even Deeper Rust Clean
We already told you that scrubbing 3% hydrogen peroxide with steel wool will help remove rust from old metal tools. If even that doesn't do the trick, try mixing 3% hydrogen peroxide with borax and dish soap for an even deeper clean.
Combine 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of regular dish soap, and a scoop of borax to make a solution that will pre-cleanse the rusted surface. Cover the rusted surface entirely and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then you can srub the rust away as normal.
Remove Labels Or Glue
It can be difficult and frustrating trying to remove a label or a sticker from a product you purchased. More often than not, the label or sticker will break apart into irritating small bits that take way too much work to get off. Plus you end up getting the label or sticker stuck under your nails, and it makes a big mess.
An easier way to remove labels and stickers is by using hydrogen peroxide. Set the product on a flat surface and spray the label or sticker with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit. After about 10 minutes, the label should easily come off with a little light scrubbing.
Here's How To Clean Your Toothbrushes
Have you ever thought about how many germs gather on your toothbrushes? The reality is that they attract plenty of bacteria, and yet most people never clean their toothbrushes. According to the Children's Oral Health Institute, hydrogen peroxide is a safe method of disinfecting your child's toothbrushes.
Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide into a cup, and place your toothbrushes into it bristles-down. Leave the toothbrushes in there until the liquid stops bubbling. Afterward, rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before use. Another method is to swish your toothbrush through a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide before use.
If You Have Carpet Stains, Check This Out
Commercial carpet-cleaning products contain sodium percarbonate, which is a powdered form of hydrogen peroxide. That's why cleaners often have "Oxy" or "Oxi" in the name. Why don't you skip the extra charge and use hydrogen peroxide instead?
Before you start pouring, dilute the peroxide. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with five parts water. Spray it on the dirty spot and wait for a couple of minutes, and then scrub the stain away. You might want to test it on a small area first.
Give Your Dishwasher More Oomph
Dishwashers make everything easier--when they work. If you don't clean your dishwasher, the extra residue will cake the walls and leave your dishes less than lustrous. Plus, the hydrogen peroxide will lend your dishwasher soap more cleaning power.
Before you run your next load, add 1/4 cup (or three ounces) of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher. Close the door and run it. The hot water will swirl it around, and the peroxide will disinfect the surface. That's all you have to do!
Help Unclog Your Drain
If your sink drain keeps clogging, hydrogen peroxide may be able to help! Try pouring one cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain and let it sit for an hour. After an hour has passed, run several hot cups of water down the drain to encourage the gunk to pass through.
For best results, repeat the process every two weeks to keep your drain from clogging up again. It's always handy to keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide under the sink!
Protect Your Shower From Mildew
Nobody likes cleaning their shower. That's why it's best to clean a shower and shield it from future mold at the same time. Fill a spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Spritz the walls of your shower and let it work its magic for 10 minutes. Then, wipe the mildew away.
According to a 2013 study in BMC Research Notes, hydrogen peroxide effectively kills microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria. It also demolishes budding yeast systems, so you won't have to clean your shower for a while longer.
Kill Mold Without Using Harsh Chemicals
Mold can develop within 24 hours. Leaving it unattended can result in respiratory illnesses; it's a hazard to those with allergies. While it's important to kill mold quickly, most people don't want to spray chemicals everywhere. Here's a way to eradicate mold without those dangerous cleaners.
Add 3% hydrogen peroxide to a spray bottle. Saturate the mold-infected walls with the solution, and leave it there for ten minutes. Over time, the anti-fungal liquid will destroy the organisms. After ten minutes pass, scrub the area to remove all the stains. Then wipe the surface to dislodge any remaining mold stains.
Finally, An Easy Way To Clean Your Retainer Or Mouthguard
That tiny plastic mold that you have to stuff into your mouth every night is hard to keep clean. But you can clean your retainer for little-to-no money by using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and water.
Place your retainer into a jar and submerge it in water. Add one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and a sprinkle of baking soda. Leave the retainer in there for about ten minutes. Afterward, take it out and rinse all the residue off. Make sure to rinse your retainer thoroughly before popping it back in your mouth.
Your Humidifier Needs Cleaning, Too
When's the last time you cleaned your humidifier or diffuser? Bacteria adore wet, warm places. Humidifiers remain damp for a long time. Plus, standing water allows bacteria to multiply. Dirty humidifiers can trigger allergy symptoms rather than help them.
To clean a humidifier or diffuser, add two cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide to one gallon of water. Pour it into the humidifier's water tank and filter, scrub it, and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Then rinse the base in clean water and leave it to air dry.
Re-Beautify Your Makeup Brushes
"Through daily use, makeup brushes can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, pollution, and bacteria, says dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer, who co-founded the Dermatology Associates of New York. Dirty makeup brushes can result in staph infections if they aren't cleaned properly. Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide sufficiently disinfects them.
Add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to a bowl of warm water. Soak your brushes in the mixture for ten minutes. Swish the brushes around every now again. Afterward, remove your makeup brushes, rinse them with cold water, and let them air dry. If there's any remaining residue, you can wash it off with soap.
Disinfect Your Sponges
When your sponge starts smelling, it's time to clean it. You don't have to throw your sponge away every time it smells germ-infested. Hydrogen peroxide will soak into the sponge and kill all bacteria inside the tiniest crevices.
To start, place your sponge in a container. Pour hydrogen peroxide until the sponge is mostly submerged, and watch for the white bubbles. That means the bacteria is dying. After a few minutes, flip the sponge over and leave it for a few more minutes. Then take out the sponge and rinse it. You're done!
Safely De-Germ Your Children's Toys
If you're worried about chemical cleaners, you'll want to keep hydrogen peroxide in mind. It's a great tool to use on kids' toys since it doesn't leave harmful residue. A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water can easily disinfect plastic toys.
First, wipe off visible dirt. Remove any batteries if the toy has them. Then, create a solution that's half water and half 3% hydrogen peroxide. (If you use all peroxide, it may strip the paint off.) You can either place the toy in a bowl of the mixture, or you can soak a towel and rub the toy.
The Perfect Cooler And Lunchbox Solution
According to a study from e-cloth, 73% of lunchboxes and coolers have bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Protect your family from this bacteria by cleaning these cases regularly. What better way to clean them than with hydrogen peroxide?
To start, remove all the food debris with soap and water. Then, fill your cooler or lunchbox with hydrogen peroxide. If you need more liquid, combine the hydrogen peroxide with water, but know that it'll have less strength. Leave it for ten minutes, and then rinse your containers.
Get Your Cutting Board Food-Ready
If you think about it, cutting boards touch our food as often (if not more often) as our plates do. As your cutting board touches raw vegetables and meat, it'll accumulate bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Just washing the cutting board isn't enough; you'll want to disinfect it too.
After you clear your cutting board of food and water, rinse it thoroughly. Fill a container--large, glass baking pans should work--with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Leave your cutting board in there for ten minutes. Once you remove it, rinse it thoroughly, and look forward to your next meal.
Get Your Shower Grout Shining
Cleaning bathrooms can be a dirty job, right? All of the moisture in the room and build-up from products in the shower and sinks can require a lot of elbow grease to clean. Luckily, hydrogen peroxide is also helpful with cleaning the shower grout.
Combine hydrogen peroxide with a little water and some lemon. Spray on the grout and give it some time to sit and work its magic. After, scrub into the grout. It will still take some work, but will make the job much easier!
Pour Some Into Your Bath For A Detox
You’ve probably never heard of this hydrogen peroxide hack before! Surprisingly, the product can help kill germs and bacteria on your body, which will help prevent and fight off illness. (Try it this winter!)
Once you get your warm bath running, add some hydrogen peroxide and soak for 30 minutes. Afterward, you’ll want to shower to rinse it off your skin. This is a cheap and easy hack for helping prevent illness if you’ve been in a germy environment like a kids’ arcade or ball pit.
Hydrogen Peroxide Gets Rid Of Blood Stains
“He’s bleeding! Grab a towel!” is not something that you ever want to hear in your household, but these things happen. And you know you’ll grab whatever’s within reach to stop the bleeding when you have to. Luckily, there’s a hack for that.
If you have a blood-stained towel, add some hydrogen peroxide to the affected area, and let it sit. Then, rinse under warm water with soap. Repeat if it doesn’t come out the first time, but it should make a big difference!
Get Rid Of Foot Odor In Shoes
No one wants to buy a different product for every purpose, which makes hydrogen peroxide all the more beneficial. Sure, you could find a product at the store specifically for getting rid of foot odor in shoes, but why would you when you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide at home?
Mix it with baking soda to create a paste. Then, put it in your shoes and set them out to dry. Once dried, removed the residue with a cloth. It’ll help a lot!
Clean Your Toilet Bowl
Once again, hydrogen peroxide is the magic cleaning ingredient that you need in the bathroom! While you’re waiting for it to set on the grout in the shower, spray some hydrogen peroxide into your toilet bowl to get a good clean.
Mix it with ½ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of castile soap. Throw in some warm water, too. This hack is great for saving money, or if you run out of toilet bowl cleaner and have some last-minute guests arriving.
Brighten Your Curtains And Tablecloths
Have your curtains yellowed over time? It happens. Check the bottom of your curtains for discoloration; if it's messy, grab your bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Soak the yellowed part of your curtains in 3% hydrogen peroxide for five to ten minutes, and then throw them in the wash.
You can use the same method to remove stains from tablecloths. Soak the stained spots in hydrogen peroxide for a while. If food has caked onto the cloth, use a damp rag or sponge to scrub it off after the soak. Then run it through the wash.
Revive Your Reusable Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags are a great way to go green. You get to help the environment and let's be honest, these bags tend not to break open like paper or plastic bags, ensuring your groceries and other items remain in good shape.
While reusable shopping bags are the way to go, they can often become smelly over time and they don't do great in the washer and dryer. If you want to revive your reusable shopping bags just spray them down with a quick spritz of hydrogen peroxide. A lot of people swear by this hydrogen peroxide hack.
Ditch Chlorine In Your Pool For Hydrogen Peroxide
This tip comes courtesy of the team at SF Gate who offer a less eye-irritating solution to pool cleaning. That's right, you can replace chlorine, which has been shown to cause lung and other issues, with hydrogen peroxide.
You can "shock" your pool, according to SFGate, by adding a "35 percent concentrated food-grade hydrogen peroxide at a ratio of one cup to 250 gallons of water in your pool." Immediately after you pour in the solution, start your pool's pump just long enough to circulate the mixture. Next, turn off the pump and let the solution sit for a full 24 hours before swimming.
Preserve A Salad For A Little Longer
You can use food-grade hydrogen peroxide to keep your salad greens fresh for longer than usual. If you're sick and tired of lettuce, kale, spinach, and other greens shriveling up overnight, try this hack. Combine half a cup of water with one tablespoon of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide and spray the solution on your salad greens before adding any type of dressing.
Store your greens in the fridge and make sure they are covered for the best results. The product does a great job of killing bacteria and micro-organisms. Don't overdo it with the hydrogen peroxide and, again, make sure it's food grade.