Chances are, you’ve got a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit, or maybe even with your cleaning supplies. This common household item is also known by it’s chemical representation H202, and it is typically found in pharmacies and supermarkets in the pharmacy area. It’s commonly found in homes because it has several different applications, and it’s quite safe and effective compared to many other products that fulfill the same purposes. If you don’t currently have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide handy, here are a few reasons you might consider grabbing some at the next available opportunity.
- Wound cleansing- One of the most common applications of hydrogen peroxide is for wound care. Its antiseptic properties help reduce the risk of infection and the bubbling action helps fizz out any foreign particles.
- Cure boils- These painful puss-filled abscesses are often treated with hydrogen peroxide.
- Substitute mouthwash- In the absence of more traditional mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide can be used to help eliminate bacteria that thrives in the mouth, causing bad breath and tooth decay. Here is everything you need to know about dental care after SHTF.
- Get rid of ear wax buildup- Use a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a couple drops of olive oil to help flush ear wax buildup out of your ears. Be sure to ask your doctor about this first, though!
- Eliminate foot fungus- Kill foot fungus by spraying feet with a combo of hydrogen peroxide and water nightly.
- Get rid of mites- While mites aren’t super-common in the developed world, you can use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of them.
- Reduce the risk of swimmer’s ear- To help keep this painful ear infection away, drop a couple drops of a combination of vinegar and H202 in each ear after swimming.
- Help other ear infections- You can use straight hydrogen peroxide dropped into the ears to help eliminate other types of ear infections, as well. Keep in mind that your doctor should be your go-to when you suspect an ear infection as they can be serious.
- Kill canker sores- These miserable mouth sores can be made better by swishing H202 around in the mouth for a few minutes.
- Drying up weepy rashes- It can be used, diluted appropriately, to help dry up weepy rashes like poison ivy.
In the Bathroom
- Tile cleaner- Spray straight hydrogen peroxide on tile to clean it and help eliminate stains.
- Eliminate toilet bowl stains- There’s little in this world more unpleasant than a gross looking toilet even after you’ve cleaned it. Help get rid of those stains by pouring a half a bottle of H202 in the bowl and letting it sit for half hour before scrubbing and then flushing.
- Bleach grout- Make your tile sparkle by using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to create a cleaning paste. Scrub with a toothbrush and rinse thoroughly.
- Disinfect toothbrushes- Many disinfectants absolutely don’t belong in our mouths under any circumstances, but you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean toothbrushes for a bacteria-free brushing experience.
- Kill mold- Spray it on hard surfaces that are showing signs of mildew or mold growth to stop the growth and eliminate discoloration.
- Glass cleaner- It can be used to clean grubby glass and mirrors. Just spray on and wipe away grime.
- Clean slimy bathtubs- Get rid of the grimy, soap-scummy ring around the tub by spraying hydrogen peroxide on and letting it sit for a while before scrubbing and finally rinsing.
Kitchen Uses for H202
- Disinfect cleaning gear- Rags and sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Soak them in H2O2 to kill those gross germs.
- Clean cutting boards- Another haven for potentially dangerous germs, cutting boards can be sanitized with hydrogen peroxide.
- Sanitizing countertops- All kinds of things, both those we want to stay clean and those that are admittedly germy touch our countertops. Make sure to clean them in between with hydrogen peroxide to disinfect.
- Clean produce- Fruits and veggies from the store can be covered in all sorts of things you don’t want to eat, and a soak in hydrogen peroxide can help remove those things.
- Make your fridge spotless- There are inevitable messes in every fridge, but hydrogen peroxide can help.
- Lunchbox cleaning- Have you ever opened a grubby, moldy lunchbox that was forgotten in a locker by a kiddo and fought not to throw it out? No worries, disinfect with H2O2.
- Keep your grocery bags reusable – These are great for the environment, but not great for your family’s food supply if they get yucky. Spruce them up and eliminate funk with a spritz of hydrogen peroxide.
- Bleach nails- You can use it to whiten discolored nails so that you can more effectively rock a natural nail look.
- Help remove calluses and corns- Feet get calluses and corns. It’s kind of a fact of life. You can soak your feet in hydrogen peroxide and warm water to help soften them up for removal.
- Teeth whitener- It can also be used to whiten teeth. Just mix up a homemade toothpaste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and brush with it to help clean and whiten teeth. You can even add a drop of essential oil to the mix to make this whitening technique more palatable. Just like with regular fluoridated toothpaste, though, DO NOT SWALLOW! Also, keep in mind that this is a short-term solution. Using this method for a long time could damage your teeth.
Other Household Uses
- Clean carpet- Once you’ve tested on an inconspicuous area for bleaching, you can use hydrogen peroxide to eliminate stains on light colored carpet.
- Spruce up your whites- Whites inevitably get dingy, but a little H202 will bring them back to their original glory.
- Remove funky, musty smells from fabric- Just spray on a highly diluted mix of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to eliminate fabric odors.
- Get rid of organic stains- Things like grass, red wine, and coffee can cause stains in your fabrics, but a little hydrogen peroxide can help eliminate them from light fabrics.
- Disinfect humidifiers- Humidifiers can be great for your health, but they can be harmful when they’re run while dirty. Clean yours out with hydrogen peroxide once a week to keep mold and bacteria buildup at bay.
- Aquarium cleaning- It can be used to clean aquariums so long as you follow safety instructions to keep your fish healthy.
- Help seeds grow- Hydrogen peroxide can be used to help seeds germinate and, highly diluted with water, can help plants develop healthy roots.
- Pet wound care- It can be used on pets the same way it’s used on human wounds.
- Disinfect toys- Kids put stuff in their mouths, and it makes toys a harbor for bacteria if not cleaned regularly. You can use diluted hydrogen peroxide for that.
Be forewarned: taking hydrogen peroxide internally can be dangerous, and you should always speak with your doctor (or veterinarian in your animals’ case) before using home remedies like those found above. It will also bleach everything, from your skin to fabrics, so be cautious.
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