It’s the liquid you pour onto your finger after you accidentally cut yourself while doing the dishes. It’s what you use to disinfect your child’s knee after a fall, but did you know that there are so many other uses for hydrogen peroxide?
Maybe you’ve recognized it by its chemical formula, which is H2O2. In the purest form, it’s a colorless liquid, and it’s just a bit more viscous than water. Some of the most popular hydrogen peroxide uses involve disinfecting, bleaching and oxidizing.
In fact, if you know someone who listens to the famous rapper, Eminem, maybe they told you that he used hydrogen peroxide to bleach his hair! You can think of hydrogen peroxide as being water that is equipped with an additional oxygen atom. The truth is that these two compounds are very different.
Fact: Pure hydrogen peroxide will actually explode if you heat it to its boiling point.
For this reason, most household products contain a diluted solution of the chemical. The majority of household solutions containing HP have as little as 3 to 5 percent of the active chemical in them.
A lot of people don’t know that the fizzing that you see when you pour HP onto a cut is actually H2O2 bonds breaking apart. The bubbles are really just free oxygen molecules.
While the science is quite fascinating, the practice uses of hydrogen peroxide are even better! Let’s dive right into the exciting world of HP and see what it can do for you!
Note: The term “HP” used in this article is just a shorter way of saying “hydrogen peroxide”. Also, the majority of these “uses’ should be carried out using a 3%, standard-grade purity of HP.
The Complete List
1.) Eliminate viruses. You can use about three drops of 3 percent HP in each of your ears. Some experts say doing this can greatly reduce the duration of the flu and cold. Once you apply the drops of HP, let the HP sit for about 10 minutes before allowing it to drain. Another benefit is that it will take the ear wax with it!
2.) Get rid of pesticides. Most fresh vegetables are produced using spray pesticides. These are harmful chemicals that you don’t want to consume. Add about ¼ a cup of HP to a bowl with 3 cups of water and allow your vegetables to soak in it for about 30 minutes. Rinse the veggies well and stick them in the refrigerator for a while. You obviously want to make sure the vegetables don’t have any open wounds that will soak up the HP/water solution.
3.) Get rids of airborne germs. If you have a humidifier, you can mix 1 pint of 3 percent HP with one gallon of water and add it to your humidifier. Let the humidifier run until the mixture is depleted. The disinfectant and antibacterial properties of the liquid will eliminate airborne germs.
4.) Whiten your teeth. In case you didn’t know, the active ingredient in most teeth whitening products is HP. It can whiten your teeth naturally by oxygenating the surface of your teeth. First, brush your teeth normally with toothpaste. Next, mix 2 teaspoons of water with 1 teaspoon of 3 percent HP. Swish this mixture around in your mouth for up to 60 seconds but make sure you don’t swallow any of it. When you’re finished, rinse your mouth with water and do this up to three times a week.
5.) Bleach toe and finger nails. To do this, all you need to do is place your toes or finger tips into some HP. Just use your standard diluted HP product that you would buy from the store. You can pour it into a small container or bowl.
6.) Bleach hair. When compared with other household bleaching agents, HP is milder, so you can use it to bleach your hair.
7.) Create hair highlights. Just spray some HP onto damp hair, and it will give you sun-bleached highlights. You need to allow it to sit on the hair for up to 15 minutes before you rinse it away.
8.) Rejuvenate and detox your body. You can soak in a bath with some HP, and it will rejuvenate and detox your body. All you need to do is pour 1 cup of 35 percent HP into a tub of water. Just soak in the tub for about a half an hour, and you’ll feel the benefits of the HP.
9.) Eliminate stuffy sinuses. When your sinuses are stuffy, it can be painful. Unclog them with a homemade nasal solution containing HP. In most cases, you can mix 1 cup of water with 1 cap full of HP. If your sinuses are really stuffed, you might consider a slightly more concentrated mixture of HP.
10.) Stop toothache pain. We’ve all had a toothache at some point in our lives, so you know how painful they can be. To soothe some of the pain, you can gargle a mixture of coconut oil and HP. The antibacterial properties of HP help to eliminate the bacteria that are causing the toothache pain.
11.) Disinfect wounds. HP works very well to disinfect most small wounds. In most cases, a small cap full of a standard 3 percent solution will do the trick. Just pour the liquid directly onto the wound.
12.) Make an antiseptic mouth rinse. It’s true that HP can whiten your teeth, but it’s also effective as a mouth wash. Just mix 1 cup of water with about 2 caps full of HP.
13.) Eliminate acne. Most of us have had acne at some point. If you’re a female, you know that acne can be especially degrading. You can create a face rinse that can clear up acne. The face wash will eliminate the germs that cause acne breakouts.
14.) Get rid of boils. You can use HP to get rid of boils. Just fill up your bathtub with water and a single cup of 35 percent HP. This mixture of bath water and HP will treat boils, but it will also rejuvenate and detoxify your body.
15.) Soften calluses and corns. If you need to soften calluses and corns to get rid of them, just soak them in a mixture of equal parts HP and warm water. This mixture will naturally soften most corns and calluses.
16.) Get wax out of your ear. Most people have an enormous buildup of wax in their ear and don’t even know it. Get rid of it with 2 drops of HP in each ear. After adding the HP to one ear at a time, add a couple drops of olive oil. Wait a couple of minutes and drain the solution out of the ear. Most of the wax will flow out with the HP.
17.) Prevent the dreaded swimmer’s ear. Also known as swimmer’s ear, a typical ear infection is no fun! To get rid of it, just mix a 1 cap of HP with some vinegar in a small dropper bottle. After swimming, just apply a few drops of this solution to each ear to prevent infection.
18.) Get relief from ear infections. By applying about 8 drops of HP to an infected ear, you can ease many of the symptoms and clear the infection out.
19.) Eliminate skin mites. A lot of people suffer from skin mites. You can use HP to kill them off. All you need to do is spray some HP on the affected skin. Repeat this process a few times after a few minutes, and it will kill skin mites.
20.) Get rid of foot fungus. Just mix some HP with water inside of a darkened bottle. The bottle needs to be darkened because HP isn’t supposed to be exposed to sunlight. All you need to do is apply the mixture to foot fungus. It’s usually best to use equal parts 3 percent HP and water for the solution.
21.) Make a marinade for poultry, fish or meat. You can actually marinade these food items by placing them inside a casserole that contains equal parts water and HP. The casserole should be loosely covered and refrigerated for about 30 minutes. Make sure to rinse the items before cooking.
22.) Grow mushrooms. Did you know you can use HP to grow oyster mushrooms inside your refrigerator? All you need is 1 gallon of diluted HP and freezer bags. Keep in mind that it can take about 6 months to grow oyster mushrooms using this method, but the results are usually worth the wait.
23.) Disinfect your toothbrush. If you want to maintain optimal oral hygiene, you need to make sure your toothbrushes are clean. You can disinfect a toothbrush by soaking it in HP. It will kill all of the bacteria that are known to thrive in the bathroom.
24.) Remove stubborn stains from clothing. One of the most difficult stains to remove from clothing is blood. You can pour some HP directly onto the stain, allow it to sit for about 1 minute and rinse it off using cold water. If the stain still remains, you can repeat the process as needed.
25.) Control the growth of fungus in aquariums. If you own an aquarium, this is a brilliant way to use HP. You’ll have to check elsewhere to find the exact instructions, and you’ll also need to be careful because you don’t want to harm your fish.
26.) Make an emetic for household pets. It’s not uncommon for dogs and cats to feel ill after eating certain foods that they shouldn’t have eaten. HP is great because it induces vomiting. This also works well if your cat or dog has swallowed something they shouldn’t have swallowed because it will make them throw it up.
27.) Use as a dishwasher detergent. While it’s not a perfect substitute for dishwasher liquid, HP is always an option. You can make the last of your dishwasher detergent last longer by mixing some HP with it.
28.) Create an all-purpose cleaner. Most people understand that your typical all-purpose cleaner can get expensive. Just fill a spray bottle with a diluted mixture of HP and use it to clean almost anything.
29.) Clean your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, then you can clean them with HP. Just soak your contacts into a diluted solution of HP overnight. It will get rid of protein buildup and make them ready to wear the next day.
30.) Make laundry whiter. Over a long period of time, you’ll notice that your laundry items can get dingy and yellow. Just add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash and let the laundry soak for 30 minutes.
31.) Remove organic stains. Sweat, blood, wine and coffee are all considered organic stains, and they can be difficult to remove. Just make a mixture of 1 part dish detergent with two parts HP and apply the mixture to the stains. However, it’s important to remember that HP can actually bleach darker colored fabrics, so you need to be careful with what you use it on.
32.) Eliminate undesirable odors. Over a period of time, your fabrics can get bogged down with odors. Just make a mixture of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and soak the fabrics in it. All of the unpleasant odors will be removed.
33.) Clean carpets and rugs. A number of homeowners use HP to clean dirty carpets and rugs. It’s especially useful on light carpets because it can actually bleach darker colors. All you need to do is spray a diluted solution onto the rug or carpet and clean it as you normally would. Always do a spot test beforehand to make sure it won’t bleach the fabric.
34.) Disinfect your lunchbox. It’s true that lunchboxes can accumulate a lot of bacteria. All you need to do is spray your lunchbox with a diluted solution of HP. Let the hydrogen peroxide solution sit for a few minutes; wipe it away.
35.) Keep your shopping bags fresh. A reusable shopping bag is great, but it can get really dirty. You can disinfect and remove odors from any reusable shopping bag by spraying it with some HP.
36.) Improve the germination of seeds. In case you didn’t know, fungal spores can impede the germination of seeds. All you need to do is soak seeds in HP before planting them, and it will remove fungal spores from them.
37.) Thoroughly clean your humidifier. To keep a humidifier running efficiently and cleanly, just add 1 pint of HP with 1 gallon of water to it. The HP will disinfect the humidifier and remove mildew and mold.
38.) Clean tile surfaces better. An efficient and effective way to clean tile surfaces is the use of HP. Over time, tile surfaces will get dirty and accumulate stains. All you need to do to remove the stains is spray some HP directly onto tiles.
39.) Clean your toilet. Another great use for hydrogen peroxide is cleaning a toilet. All you need to do is pour half of a cup of HP into the toilet bowl and let it sit for roughly 30 minutes. It will remove stains and disinfect the bowl.
40.) Make grout whiter. If you want to make your grout whiter, all you need to do is mix some hydrogen peroxide with white flour and use it to clean the grout. However, the first step involves covering the grout with the paste, covering it and allowing it to sit overnight. Just rinse the grout with water the next day, and it will be much brighter.
41.) Get rid of soap scum in the bath tub. This is one of the hardest stains to scrub out of your tub. To get rid of soap scum quickly, just spray the surface with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The HP will loosen the grime, so all you need to do is wipe it away.
42.) Say goodbye to mold. You can use standard 3 percent HP to remove mold. It’s even recommended for removing mold by some of the top health agencies in the world. Just spraymold with HP and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Next, scrub it with a sponge. When dealing with mold, always make sure to wear protective clothing.
43.) Clean glass better. You can loosen massive amounts of grime and dirt from glass surfaces by spraying them with HP. Wipe the surfaces with a lint-free cloth for optimal results.
44.) Clean kitchen and bathroom counters. You can spray diluted HP onto kitchen and bathroom countertops to clean and disinfect them. It can work even better than some of your top household cleaners.
45.) Disinfect sponges and dishrags. Over time, these things will get SUPER dirty. Clean them up with some hydrogen peroxide. All you need to do is soak them in some HP for about 30 minutes. This will thoroughly disinfect and clean all sponges and dishrags.
46.) Disinfect your cutting boards. When you use cutting boards, they like to soak up bacteria and food particles. These aren’t things that you want to stay on your cutting boards. To clean and disinfect them, just spray your cutting boards with some hydrogen peroxide and let them sit for a few minutes. Next, just rinse them with some cold water.
47.) Wash fruit. You can use HP to remove wax and dirt from veggies and fruit. Just spray them down with some HP and rinse with cold water.
Quick Fact: Did you know that fruits, vegetables and rainwater all produce hydrogen peroxide naturally?
48.) Clean your refrigerator. To do this, all you need to do is spray down the entire refrigerator with HP and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe everything with a clean cloth.
49.) Remove stubborn foods. Nobody likes cleaning stubborn food off pots and pans. Just combine some baking soda and HP, and it will give you a paste. Just scrub the paste into the troublesome food spots and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, scrub it with warm water. The baking soda is an abrasive, and the HP breaks apart the food particles.
50.) Enjoy a fresher salad. Add 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to half a cup of water. Just spray the HP onto the salad, and it will make it last longer. However, make sure to use food-grade HP.
51.) Clean the kid’s toys. Toddlers are especially notorious for spilling things onto their toys. You’ll want to use HP to wipe down play areas, toy boxes and toys. Just spray it onto the toys and wipe them down.
52.) Brighten curtains and table clothes. If these items have become yellowed, you can wipe down the yellowed portions with some HP. You also have the option of adding 1 cup of HP to your wash when doing whites.
53.) Get rid of algae. You can use HP to remove algae from an aquarium. For every 66 gallons of aquarium water, you want to use about 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide. Use a dropper to add the liquid over the span of about 5 minutes.
54.) Treat animal wounds. You can use HP on animal wounds in the same way you would use it on human wounds. Just dab the HP onto your animal carefully, and it will disinfect while removing dead flesh.
55.) De-mold plants. If you have some plants that are starting to get a bit moldy and musty, just spray them down with some 3 percent HP.
56.) Get rid of canker sores. If you have canker sores in your mouth, you can hold a single capful of HP in your mouth for 10 minutes, and it will get rid of the canker sores. DON’T EVER SWALLOW IT!
57.) Make your own enema. Just mix 1 tablespoon of HP to 4 cups of water.
58.) Gain control of a yeast infection. To do this, you just need to add about 2 capfuls of HP to the inside of your douche once or twice a week.
59.) Clean your mirror exceptionally well. Over time, mirrors get incredibly dirty. To get a no-streak clean, just spray them down with some HP and wipe them clean. You can use a newspaper or paper towel for optimal results.
60.) Prolong the freshness of your vegetables. You can use HP to prolong the freshness of your vegetables. Just add about ¼ a cup of food-grade HP to a sink full of cold water and throw your veggies into it. Let them soak for about 30 minutes. Next, rinse them and allow them to dry.
61.) Remove wine stains. To get rid of annoying wine stains, just mix equal parts liquid detergent with HP. Pour the solution onto the stain and use a clean cloth to blot the stain away.
62.) Eliminate a wring around the collar by spraying it with a mixture of 1 part liquid detergent and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.
63.) Easily kill mites. All you need to do to get rid of mites is spray them with some hydrogen peroxide. You can repeat the process a few times to be safe.
64.) Improve your plant’s root system. You can improve the roots of your plants by watering them using a mixture of 1 part HP and 32 parts water.
65.) Clean wooden cutting boards. Unfortunately, wooden cutting boards are notorious for harboring bacteria. To get it exceptionally clean without the use of harsh chemicals, just mix vinegar and HP.
66.) Remove odors from sponges. If you’re having trouble with smelly sponges, just combine equal parts warm water and HP inside a small bowl. Soak sponges in the mixture for 25 minutes. Next, rinse thoroughly.
67.) Make short work of armpit sweat. If you need to get rid of embarrassing armpit stains, just use 2 parts HP with 1 part dishwasher liquid and apply it to the stains. Allow the stains to soak for about 60 minutes; rinse away with cold water.
68.) Remove stains from stone countertops. HP can work very well for removing stains from virtually any tile or stone surface. Just mix it with some white flour and apply the paste to the stains. Wrap everything in plastic and allow it to sit overnight. Remove and clean up the next morning.
69.) Boost your immune system. Did you know that your body naturally produces hydrogen peroxide? By using HP to disinfect the surfaces in your home, you’re boosting your immune system.
70.) Weaken the common cold. It’s true that HP can’t actually eliminate the common cold, but by adding a few drops of HP to your ears every morning, you can weaken the common cold and fight it off faster.
71.) Remove impurities from your feet. While it’s not entirely proven, a lot of people have had success removing impurities, like calluses, from their feet with HP. Just add about half a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your bath and soak in it for about 30 minutes like you normally would.
72.) Purify humidifier water. When you add a gallon of water to your humidifier, just add 1 pint of HP with it, and the solution will purify the water and keep your humidifier sanitary.
73.) Extend the life of your sponge. By soaking your old, worn sponges inside a bowl of warm water and HP, you can extend the life of your sponge. Let the sponge soak for about 30 minutes and rinse with cold water.
74.) Disinfect your skin. You can disinfect and deodorize your skin by spraying it with some HP. Make sure to use the 3 percent variety of HP.
75.) Wash and disinfect your hands. While it works very well for disinfecting wounds, hydrogen peroxide also does the trick for hand washing. Either dip your hands into or spray them with a 3 percent version of HP.
76.) Eliminate recurring yeast infections. You can use a mixture of distilled water and 3 percent HP as a douche for recurring yeast infections.
Hydrogen Peroxide Facts
Now that you’ve seen the list – you know what this amazing liquid is capable of. Do you know that it’s also found in ALL living materials? Did you know that the white blood cells inside of your body produce it naturally?
Fruits and veggies also produce it naturally, which is why your doctor is always telling you to eat more of them. During a mother’s first milk, huge amounts of hydrogen peroxide are transferred to a baby, which boosts the immune system. This incredible compound is even found in rainwater.
You might also like to know that you can add HP to water, and it will oxygenate the water. This is a nifty technique that you can use when transferring fish from one location to another. It will add oxygen to the water, so the fish will be far more comfortable.
The disinfectant qualities of HP have made it a household staple for many years, and it’s difficult to find a household first-aid kit that doesn’t have a bottle of it. If you haven’t already, go and start enjoying the benefits that hydrogen peroxide has to offer!
About the Author
Julian Thomas spends most of his time writing at Smevrything.com. He enjoys writing about science, entertainment and activities like fishing and hiking, to name a few.