Most people know hydrogen peroxide as the stinging, bubbling liquid your parents forced on your cuts when you were younger. The simplest peroxide, hydrogen peroxide is the chemical compound H202, which acts as a bleaching agent, antibacterial, and antiseptic. There’s plenty you can do with that untouched bottle in 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 that’ll make your life ten times easier.
Remove Ink Stains From Clothes
It’s nearly impossible to rub ink out of clothing. At least, it would be if we didn’t have hydrogen peroxide. For light-colored clothing, you can soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and dab it on the infected area. Then wash your clothes as normal.
If this doesn’t work, your fabric may need a heavy-duty recipe. Create a solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% ammonia. The ammonia catalyzes the peroxide to work better. Only use clear ammonia, and don’t use it on wool or silk since the ammonia will eat through the proteins on both fabrics.
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.
Reshine Your Rusty Tools
When is the last time you cleaned your gardening shovel or hammer? Probably never. If your tools begin to rust, it’s time for a scrub. Pour a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the rusted area and rub it with steel wool or a brush. If you need a stronger solution, mix the peroxide with borax.
Before you dive into this DIY, test a small of hydrogen peroxide. H202 may react with some metallic irons, although it shouldn’t affect stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. Double-check what your tools are made of before experimenting.
Time For Teeth Whitening
According to a 2004 study in the Journal of Dentistry, hydrogen peroxide effectively bleaches teeth. To whiten your teeth, create a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 hydrogen peroxide. Swish it around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, or as long as you can stand. Spit the solution out if it hurts your mouth, and don’t swallow it.
The higher the concentration, the brighter the whitening. However, a 2006 study from the same journal reported that higher concentrations could harm the enamel. If you use a higher concentration (25% or 35%), shorten the amount of time that the peroxide is in your mouth.
It Can Save Your Dog’s Life
Dog owners understand the risk of accidental poisoning. As soon as your dog eats a lot of grapes or chocolate, you’re on the clock. You can safely induce vomiting by feeding your dog a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide creates a mild reaction but not extreme enough to cause harm.
To induce vomiting, give your dog 3% hydrogen peroxide (any higher concentration is toxic). Feed your dog one teaspoon per five pounds of their body weight. The vomiting works ten to 15 minutes after eating, and it can last for up to 45 minutes. Afterward, follow up with your vet.
Here’s How To Safely Remove Wax From Your Ears
A 2015 study from Australian Family Physician supports ear irrigation as the most effective way to remove ear wax. Ear irrigation involves a liquid that softens the wax and dislodges it. Since hydrogen peroxide makes the wax bubble and weaken, it’s a safe way to clean your ears.
Start by lying on your side. Place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your upward-facing ear. Wait five minutes, then sit up and use a tissue to absorb any excess liquid. Then do the same on your other ear. Remember to consult your doctor before trying these home remedies.
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 Walls, Windows, Mirrors, And Countertops
Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-viral and anti-bacterial. That’s why many household cleaners include this ingredient. If you’re running low on kitchen cleaners, use 3% hydrogen peroxide instead. Store it in a spray bottle and use as you would any other household cleaner.
Although hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant, it takes time to work. You might want to leave the solution on your countertops or walls for a minute before wiping. A mixture of vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and plain soap makes an efficient cleaning solution for windows and mirrors.
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.
Hydrogen Peroxide Is A Natural Deodorant
When bacteria breaks down sweat, it creates body odor. Because our armpits sweat more than any other area, they’re the main culprit of body odor. Some people use 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill these germs, and hence halt the B.O.
Hydrogen peroxide is not an antiperspirant, so it won’t inhibit your sweating. But neither do deodorants. Swipe or spray some hydrogen peroxide wherever you’re sweating for odor relief. And it’s certainly cheaper than paying for a deodorant that could contain harmful substances like aluminum.
Wash Your Fruits And Veggies
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% hydrogen peroxide. Don’t use a higher concentration since it’s not food safe. 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.
Have Discolored Nails? Try This
Fungi can transform your nails into yellowed, cracked fragments of what they used to be. Hydrogen peroxide can kill this fungus quickly and efficiently. In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of hot water with one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. For extra strength, include one teaspoon of baking soda.
Soak your nails in this solution for about ten minutes. If you don’t want your skin to soften, you can soak a cotton ball in the mixture and press it to your nails. If you need to, scrub stains off with a clean, unused toothbrush or a nail brush.
Soften Those Cracked Heels
Why spend your money on spa foot treatments when you have so many other things to pay for? If you have cracked, rough callouses on the edges of your feet, hydrogen peroxide can soften that skin by breaking down the tissue around it.
Dilute two cups of hydrogen peroxide into two cups of hot water. Soak feet for 30 minutes. After you dry them off, scrub off all the dead skin. Then lather your feet with lotion, pop on some warm fuzzy socks, and hit the hay. Your feet will feel super soft in the morning.
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.
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.
Lighten Your Hair At Half The Price
Hydrogen peroxide makes up 6% to 10% of most blonde hair dyes. To save money, you can use the liquid chemical to lighten your hair instead of a lengthy routine. Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda, an alkaline chemical that will lower the acidity. Spread the paste through your hair and leave it on from 15 to 60 minutes. Then, rinse your hair with cold water.
While the solution won’t turn your hair bleach blonde, it will lighten the color noticeably. Be careful handling hydrogen peroxide, because it easily irritates the eyes. And if you use too much, it can damage your hair and skin.
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.
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 Mouth 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.
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.
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!
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.