A few years ago I started compiling a list of ways to use one of my favorite cleaning ingredients, and eventually published that list as a blog post. That post was titled “Hydrogen Peroxide Magic!”, which is fitting because this stuff has so many uses that it does feel like a magic potion! Apparently a lot of you agreed with me, because that post is one of our ALL-TIME most popular!
But I knew when I posted that list that it wasn’t complete… not by a long shot! So it seemed like high time for us to revisit hydrogen peroxide, and discover a few more uses for one of the most useful items you can have in your house.
But before we begin, I thought it might be helpful to mention that we generally recommend using a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. This is probably the most commonly available type (it will say 3% right on the bottle), and it’s the safest to use. All of these tips were written with 3% hydrogen peroxide in mind, even if it isn’t explicitly mentioned. But enough about that!
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Use hydrogen peroxide to help heal painful canker sores. Swish a tablespoon or so of hydrogen peroxide around your mouth for about 10 minutes, to help disinfect the area and reduce inflammation.
Screw a spray bottle top right onto your bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and use it like you would a bottle of Windex to clean glass and mirrors. It’s surprisingly effective, and streak-free!
Treat stains from organic matter like blood, sweat, coffee, and wine. Spray hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and rub it in to help release the stain. This works best with fresh, wet stains, and may bleach some dark fabrics. Test in an inconspicuous spot beforehand to make sure.
Hydrogen peroxide makes an effective and affordable mold and mildew cleaner! Spray down the surfaces in your bathroom that are affected by mold or mildew, and allow it to sit for several minutes. The gunk should be easy to remove, and the hydrogen peroxide leaves it disinfected as well!
Relieve the painful congestion of a sinus infection with the help of a little hydrogen peroxide. Mix 4 parts filtered or distilled water with 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide, and pour it into a neti pot or a nasal sprayer. Hydrogen peroxide helps relieve congestion and reduce infection and inflammation, without creating a dependence like other nasal sprays can.
If you paint your nails a lot, you’ve probably already noticed that your nails can yellow over time. Get rid of the yellow tinge by applying a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide to each affected nail. Let them sit for a few minutes until the stains disappear. Make sure to apply a lotion or cuticle cream afterwards, since hydrogen peroxide can be rough on skin.
Pet Poison Control
We love our pets, but it often seems as though they are determined to eat things that are bad for them! If your dog has ingested a lot of chocolate, or any other food or substance that could be toxic, it may be necessary to induce vomiting, and you can do that with hydrogen peroxide. Measure out 1 milliliter (mL) of 3% hydrogen peroxide per pound of your animal’s weight, up to 45mL. Use a turkey baster to feed the peroxide to your pet.
This method works for dogs as well as cats, pigs, and even ferrets. However, it is NOT recommended for use on rodents, horses, rabbits, or birds.
Clean Contact Lenses
Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning solutions for contact lenses, such as Clear Care, are actually more effective a cleaning your contact lenses than traditional multi-purpose solutions. Hydrogen peroxide effectively dissolves lipids and proteins, leaving your contact lenses super clean!
However, the reason these products come with special cases or tablets to add is that the hydrogen peroxide needs to be neutralized through a chemical reaction before you can wear the contacts again. Otherwise you’ll be in for some very unpleasant eye sensations! So make sure to follow all of the directions that come with your hydrogen peroxide-based contact cleaner!
Pop a spray top on your bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and use it to clean and disinfect the inside of your coolers and ice chests.
Shopping Bag Saver
You can also use your spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide to clean your reusable shopping bags! You’ll feel a lot better bringing home fresh produce in a disinfected bag. Collect all your nonporous reusable bags (usually the ones made of recycled plastics), spray them down, and wipe them clean. Reusable bags that are more fabric-y can be thrown right into your washing machine.
What’s your favorite way to use hydrogen peroxide?