While Hydrogen peroxide is known as a first aid product, I actually use it much more often for disinfecting and cleaning my home. Who would think something you could find in your medicine cabinet could be such a useful cleaning tool? Today, I am going to share my top five hydrogen peroxide hacks for cleaning in your home.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless, odorless chemical compound that is commonly used to disinfect wounds. It is made up of water and oxygen (H2O2). The water in hydrogen peroxide will rinse away debris and dried blood. The oxygen in it will fizz on contact and kill bacteria.
Although it’s sold as a first aid product, it’s also an affordable and convenient way to clean and disinfect things in your home. 3% is a very common, easy-to-find version of hydrogen peroxide. This is the kind you should keep on hand for cleaning and disinfecting.
Hydrogen peroxide needs to be kept in its brown bottle and in a cool dark place to maintain potency. It lasts for about 6 months after you open the bottle. If you leave it out too long (by this, I mean, on the counter and/or in a different container), it actually decomposes into water and oxygen. It is non-toxic, but still powerful enough to disinfect your home when it’s at its best.
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Why does hydrogen peroxide make a good cleaning agent?
Hydrogen peroxide makes a good cleaning agent because it is non-toxic, versatile, a powerful disinfectant, and a powerful antifungal agent. You can mix it with other common household materials such as baking soda or dish soap.
However, it can also be used on its own. With all these things said, please know that it is a potent cleaning product and needs to be treated as such. You should take care not to let it splash in your eyes and wear gloves while using. In other words, treat it like you would any other chemical household cleaner.
5 hydrogen peroxide hacks
Hack #1: Hydrogen peroxide bathroom cleaning hack
Some bathrooms have grout between the tiles on the floor or bathtub. Hydrogen peroxide can help clean it and rid of the stains and mildew it has accumulated. This hack involves some baking soda. It works as the abrasive, while the hydrogen peroxide disinfects and mildly bleaches the grout.
To clean bathroom grout, take a damp cloth and wet the area- just wipe it across the area you are going to focus on. It doesn’t need to be very wet. Then put some baking soda on top of the area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Take an old toothbrush and dip it in undiluted hydrogen peroxide. Then just scrub away at the area; this process should leave it clean and disinfected. You can then use the damp cloth to wipe away any leftover baking soda when you are finished.
Last tip for this hack- set aside some more time for this because once you do one spot and see how sparkly it looks, you will want to go back and do the whole thing!
Hack #2: Hydrogen peroxide toilet cleaning hack
To clean your toilet with hydrogen peroxide, carefully pour a half cup of hydrogen peroxide into a measuring cup. Pour that into the toilet bowl and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
When you come back a half hour later, scrub the toilet bowl with your brush as usual and flush. This helps to clean, disinfect, and get rid of odors, which is always a bonus!
Plus, you no longer need to spend money on pricey store bought toilet bowl cleaners.
Hack #3: Hydrogen peroxide glass cleaning hack
Hydrogen peroxide makes a wonderful glass cleaner. All you need to do for this hack is to pour some undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray on the window or mirror.
I found that you need to make sure to dry it all the way with a cloth. This may require a couple of passes. As long as you clean it until it's dry, the glass is nice and shiny. Totally worth it!
Hack #4: Hydrogen peroxide hack to clean and disinfect the kitchen sink
This hydrogen peroxide hack is pretty simple- just take your bottle of hydrogen peroxide and squirt around your sink (and in your disposal, too, if applicable). Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
Then give a little scrub with either a kitchen scrub brush or a sponge that’s dedicated to cleaning the sink and give it a rinse. If you have a disposal, you can run it for 30 seconds or so. Now your sink is clean and fresh!
Hack #5: Hydrogen peroxide hack to remove stains
Did you know that you can even use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from clothing! This stuff is seriously a magic worker!
Mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide with dish soap and scrub a stain with an old toothbrush. This is done as a pretreatment before throwing the clothing into the washing machine.
While some stains definitely may need more time, I found that for lesser stains, it only takes a few minutes of pretreating before you are able to wash and dry as usual.
Keep in mind to do this more with white clothes, as hydrogen peroxide can bleach things. However, if you do have darker clothes with stains (as we all do from time to time), just test this out on an inconspicuous area first.
For more home cleaning tips check out this guide on how to clean throw pillows, its full of amazing hacks.
What should you not use hydrogen peroxide for?
You should never use hydrogen peroxide to mix with vinegar. This creates a corrosive substance and is no good for household cleaning (or anything in the home, really). However, you can use the two substances to clean your house separately, since both are amazing cleaners on their own or mixed with other less-potent household materials.
The same idea about vinegar applies to ammonia and bleach. While those products are also decent cleaners, they should not be mixed with hydrogen peroxide. It could be dangerous.
What can you make with hydrogen peroxide?
You can make a wide variety of cleaners with hydrogen peroxide. You can make a sink cleaner (and deodorizer, which is a bonus), grout cleaner, and toilet bowl cleaner. It is also good for disinfecting those high touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, toilet handles, bathroom and kitchen faucet handles, light switches, etc.
How do you clean with hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide should be treated like any other cleaner you may use. This means to wear gloves, do your best to keep it away from your eyes, and keep it away from children. It is non-toxic, but still needs to be treated with care.
You can mix hydrogen peroxide with other household materials, such as baking soda and/or dish soap. You can use 3% hydrogen peroxide by itself, as well. You can put it in a spray bottle or even use it directly from the brown bottle.
When putting the hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle to clean, just know that you should just put it there long enough to use. In other words, don’t fill the whole bottle. The reason is that the hydrogen peroxide potency will break down if not kept in a brown bottle in a cool dry place. It generally lasts about 6 months after being opened.
While hydrogen peroxide is generally found in the first aid section of online and in-person stores, it is your secret weapon to a clean and disinfected home. Keep in mind, though, that it is still a product that should be handled with care. Gloves are a must-have while using hydrogen peroxide to clean.
With these uses for hydrogen peroxide, you can clean and disinfect around your home with the confidence and peace of mind that how you are cleaning is not only killing off harmful germs and viruses, but it is also safe for your family. Happy cleaning!