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14 Surprising Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

uses for hydrogen peroxide graphic

14 Surprising Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid chemical that has been in existence for more than 200 years. Chemically speaking, it is comprised of two molecules: hydrogen and oxygen. Though scientists consider hydrogen peroxide a powerful material, the substance does break down quickly when exposed to air or water. This underlying property makes it especially useful in executing many different tasks. Here are 14 handy uses for hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide Used as a Household Cleanser

The chemical is often first thought of as a household cleaning agent. Specifically, the product has proven effective with the following.

uses for hydrogen peroxide to clean floors
Hydrogen peroxide can bring a sparkle to common household surfaces.


Remediating Sinks

Researchers have found that hydrogen peroxide produces optimal results for cleaning sinks. Professional cleaners recommend first cleansing said kitchen and bathroom components with baking soda solutions, pouring hydrogen peroxide into such spaces, letting the chemical sit for several minutes, and then performing one final rinse.

Disinfecting Surfaces

The chemical has proven beneficial as a surface disinfectant. Counter tops and utensils like cutting boards have been shown to harbor reduced pathogen concentrations after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Scientific investigators have concluded that the solution is especially effective in eliminating potentially serious but common organisms like Salmonella and E coli.

Surfaces are typically cleansed of such microscopic invaders when hydrogen peroxide is applied and allowed to stand for at least 10 minutes.

Cleaning Dishwashers

Dishwashers are optimal environments for the development of potential hazards like mold and mildew because moisture can develop and linger for extended periods. Home care experts maintain this possible pitfall might be avoided by applying hydrogen peroxide to notable structural hot spots such as the utensil baskets, crevices, and rubber seals.

Eliminating Garbage Can Pathogens

As garbage breaks down, numerous pathogens collect inside said waste causing noticeable and often offensive odors. This problem might be curtailed or eliminated by cleansing receptacles with hydrogen peroxide after first thoroughly remediating said spaces with warm water and soap.

Cleansing Bathrooms

Homeowners and professional cleaners often employ hydrogen peroxide for cleaning bathrooms.

The product has been used to polish toilets, baths, and shower stalls. Studies performed by the Centers For Disease Control, which is commonly known as the CDC, have relayed information confirming that the liquid agent solidly eliminates organisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and mold spores.

Mixtures of water and hydrogen peroxide have also proven successful for cleaning mirrors and other glass surfaces while helping said items maintain their shine. Additionally, the product holds a reputation for whitening porcelain. Applying hydrogen peroxide increases the shine or bathtubs, sinks, and toilets giving said items a cleaner and newer appearance.

Hydrogen Peroxide as Laundry Detergent

Hydrogen peroxide has been used to remove stains from clothing articles simply after application to soiled items. Moreover, the cleaning agent has also been employed as an ingredient in homemade laundry detergents containing washing soda.

use hydrogen peroxide to clean laundry
Use hydrogen peroxide to clean laundry.

©iStock.com/Romi Georgiadis

Hydrogen Peroxide as a Garden Supplement

Hydrogen peroxide has shown effectiveness in fostering seed germination. Soaking seeds in said substance for at least 20 minutes prior to planting has been said to yield significant vegetation. In addition, the common household product has produced favorable results when used to eliminate algae from pond water and eradicating fungal infections in plants.

uses for hydrogen peroxide include garden care
Uses for hydrogen peroxide include garden care.


Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Pet Care

Controlling Poison In Dogs

Researchers have found that hydrogen peroxide could help precipitate vomiting in dogs who have ingested certain types of poison. That said, this should not be attempted without the strict instruction of a veterinarian.

Remediating a Litter Box

Another one of the many uses for hydrogen peroxide is as a cat litter box remediation agent. After thoroughly removing the existing litter and washing the container out with warm water and soap, hydrogen peroxide should be sprayed into the box and allowed to sit for at least 15 minutes. Doing so is believed to remove any lingering pathogens and the unpleasant odors said organisms produce.

cat litter box
Use hydrogen peroxide to sterilize your cat's litter box.

©iStock.com/Svetlana Sultanaeva

Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Individual Health

The product has enjoyed success when used for certain notable health-maintenance purposes including:

For Ears

Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used as remedy for ears. Healthcare providers suggest that the substance might help rid hearing organs of excessive wax buildup. Wax proves beneficial for ears because it protects said audio components from invaders like pathogens. However, too much of the material can be painful and even adversely impact one's hearing.

In response, many earwax solutions containing hydrogen peroxide are readily available for purchase at supermarkets and pharmacy chains.

For Skin

Hydrogen peroxide was once employed for skin issues. In years past, the solution was applied to scrapes, cuts, and other open wounds as a pathogen-killing agent. That said, medical professionals opine that the substance is not the most optimal material to be indicated for skin ailments because it can lower the bodily concentration of fibroplasts. These structures are critical to the healing process.

use hydrogen peroxide to clean a cut
Use hydrogen peroxide to clean cuts and scrapes.


Toothbrush And Makeup Brush Sterilization

Dental professionals urge patients to soak their toothbrushes in solutions containing hydrogen peroxide. Researchers have discovered that the agent is thought to eradicate 85 percent of all bacteria the vital dental implements can be exposed to. Those in the know also recommend soaking makeup brush bristles in hydrogen peroxide after routine cleaning.


The market is flooded with tooth-whitening agents rife with hydrogen peroxide. Oral care providers encourage patients to utilize said products. When used as directed, said materials often significantly whiten teeth providing individuals immediate improvements to their aesthetic appearances.

Hair Lightening

Hair care experts claim hydrogen peroxide can be used to lighten one's hair. However, this process should only be completed by well-versed hair stylists. Those lacking experience handling hydrogen peroxide stand at an increased risk of developing notable and potentially serious burns. Furthermore, hair can be damaged when overly exposed to hydrogen peroxide.

use peroxide to lighten your hair
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to lighten hair, but should only be done by a hair professional.

©iStock.com/Roman Budnyi

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