Believe it or not, hydrogen peroxide is a rather versatile chemical compound. It has appliances in beauty regimens, cleaning, laundry, healthcare, and even helping your pets!
So without further ado, let’s get into the best five uses for hydrogen peroxide that can save you time and money.
Hydrogen Peroxide Uses
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is wonderful for a lot of reasons, but most of us have it as an antiseptic for minor wounds. While this is an obvious and well-known application, it’s actually has a wide range of uses—read more on this from Bob Vila and Fluster Buster.
NOTE: a concentration of more than 10% H2O2 can cause blistering and burns – so check your bottle before use. So, if you have a bottle with a concentration level that high, DO NOT use it on the items below.
If you have an issue with earwax buildup, hydrogen peroxide can be a lifesaver. It’s the primary ingredient in the most popular earwax removal products on the market (such as Debrox) and it functions wonderfully in a 1:10 ratio of H2O2 to water.
Simply drop ~5 drops of the solution into your ear, tilt your head to the side so it stays in your ear, and wait.
You’ll hear a fizzling, crackling sound, similar to the sound carbonation makes. This is not only normal, but it’s good – that’s the sound of your earwax being loosened and softened. This will make it either a) fall out naturally on its own, or b) make it easier for a doctor to remove for you.
This means that you won’t have to pay for multiple doctor visits, and could potentially cut the doctor out of the picture altogether.
NOTE: don’t use hydrogen peroxide if you think you may have an ear infection or damaged eardrum. Just go to a doctor.
While H2O2 obviously works as an antiseptic and disinfectant on your body, it can also be used to clean!
Applying a 1:1 mixture of water and H2O2 to cutting boards, kitchen appliances, mirrors, dirty rags, and just about anything you need to clean will likely make your job much, much easier.
Just remember that hydrogen peroxide can function as a bleach substitute – so throwing it on things you want to keep color in isn’t recommended. On that note though, let’s move on to the next part – laundry!
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re as clumsy like me. That means you likely have wine, blood, or sweat stains on at least one piece of beloved clothing.
The good news is hydrogen peroxide is here to help!
H2O2 can be used to remove many stains as well as retain bright whites without the need for bleach.
Simply apply a 1:1 water/peroxide mix to the problem area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub and rinse. This will keep your white shirts white, your colored shirts unstained, and solve sweat stains for those of us who do manual work.
Peroxide is used in many beauty and healthcare products, especially acne care products This means that when you’re on a budget, you can make homemade versions of expensive products with very little effort.
You can use a small amount of H2O2 on a cotton ball to help treat problem acne spots or even whiten your fingernails. Simply soak the cotton ball and dab at problem areas. Be aware that highly concentrated peroxide can cause problems, so watering it down is vital here.
If you’re struggling with keeping a healthy mouth (no judgment, dentists are expensive!) then hydrogen peroxide may be a good solution for you.
Try soaking your toothbrush in H2O2 in combination with a peroxide mouth rinse and you’ll see sores, germs, and general grossness (that’s the medical term, I swear) decline.
One additional little use of hydrogen peroxide in mouth care is that you can use it to make your own toothpaste! Use 2 tsp. H2O2 with 1 tsp. of baking soda and it can be used once to twice a week to whiten teeth. Overuse will cause enamel erosion, though, so be careful to not overdo it.
Hydrogen peroxide is a wildly useful compound to do a lot of the things that expensive store-bought products claim to do the best.
Whether you want to clean your ears, remove stains from clothing, or sanitize and “bleach” a stained cutting board, there’s likely an application for H2O2 that you weren’t aware of.
And once you’re aware of all the things it can do, you’ll likely find yourself having it as your “go-to” solution for all of the household problems that arise.
As with all chemicals, though, it’s important to be aware of what you’re using. Always water down your peroxide and be aware of other medical issues before trying to treat yourself at home. You don’t want to accidentally strip enamel while trying to whiten teeth or exacerbate preexisting issues.
Image by Danijela Maksimovic via Shutterstock.com.