Hydrogen Peroxide does many things and is vastly underrated. Here are several lifehacks for using it. But don’t stock up on it because with light and air exposure and even old age, it deteriorates. When it stops bubbling if you rinse your mouth out, it is too old.
Hydrogen peroxide is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen. Like ozone, it kills disease organisms by oxidation. When it reacts with organic matter the free oxygen molecule attaches and water is left. Your body even makes hydrogen peroxide to fight infection which must be present for our immune system to function correctly. White blood cells are known as leukocytes. A sub-class of leukocytes called neutrophils produce hydrogen peroxide as the first line of defense against toxins, parasites, bacteria, viruses and yeast. It is drying however and you want to be careful about any internal use. I don’t recommend it for a colonic or vaginal douche although you will see web articles promoting this.
If you want to have enough on hand for prepping, use food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide stored in your refrigerator, rotate it and dilute it less as the bubbling is reduced. This works best for external use since you will not be sure how strong it is.
Here’s a list of the many benefits of hydrogen peroxide. This post refers to 3% hydrogen peroxide from your pharmacy or supermarket unless otherwise stated. While there are other kinds of peroxide and other strengths of hydrogen peroxide, damage can be done if you use them the wrong way.
- Take one capful and swish it in your mouth to rinse after brushing. Use it instead of mouthwash. It works especially well after brushing with baking soda. I only use it once a day unless there is an abscess.
- If you want to whiten your teeth, hold in your mouth for 2 minutes daily, then spit it out. Canker sores respond to the cleaning but don’t overdo the time or frequency.
- If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it for ten minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.
- Let your toothbrushes soak in hydrogen peroxide to keep them free of germs.
- Spray a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water on the toes every night and let dry to treat nail fungus, following with tea tree oil. It needs time to penetrate the skin covered by the nail- possibly months. Then lubricate your feet around the nail..
- Soak any infections or cuts in 3% hydrogen peroxide for five to ten minutes once, followed by white sugar or manuka honey. The sugar dries out the infection by osmotic pressure and allows the skin to have a matrix to grow on – battlefield antiseptic in WW1. You don’t keep using the hydrogen peroxide on a cut, scrape or deep wound because it will inactivate new skin –killing off the delicate new skin cells, as a wound-care nurse told me. 10% hydrogen peroxide is used to debride deeper wounds and will have even a stronger cell-killing effect if used long term.
- Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your 50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold, or plugged sinuses. It will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few minutes then blow your nose into a tissue. This will eventually dry out your tissues so don’t do it long term.
- A few drops in a congested ear often helps dry it out.
- Hydrogen peroxide is great for clearing pimples, dry them and leave no signs of acne.
- Put a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your bath to help rid boils, fungus, or other skin infections or just to oxygenate your body.
- Use as a vegetable soak before eating or to help food last longer in the refrigerator. It will kill bacteria and neutralize chemicals. Add 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a sink of cold water and soak for 20 minutes. The USDA recommends chlorine bleach but I prefer this as chlorine is not good for your thyroid.
- You can use it on pieces of meat or chicken before cooking by spraying on a 50/50 solution and rinsing after it stops bubbling.
- Clean your counters with hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters. I recommend doing this with a microfiber cloth dishrag.
- After rinsing off your cutting board, pour hydrogen peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria. Use a wooden cutting board to inactivate bacteria as well.
- Fill a spray bottle with a a small amount of 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will. But make it up regularly or it will degrade. If you can find a sprayer top for the opaque hydrogen peroxide bottle it will last longer.
- Use undiluted hydrogen peroxide, alternating daily with full strength white vinegar to get rid of mold starting to attack grout. (If the grout is really infested, chip it out, apply hydrogen peroxide and then an hour later, vinegar, then re-grout after it is dry, You can use the 10% gardening strength here, You do NOT want mold in your home. If the mildew or mold is not in a crack, use the hydrogen peroxide, let dry and follow up by scrubbing with half a lemon.
- I use hydrogen peroxide spray to clean my mirrors, and there is no smearing
- Put half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and the same amount of water in your humidifier and run it to clear out bacteria. If you have a cold you can try using it full strength.
- You can also add a cup of hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them.
- Use 3% Hydrogen peroxide for removing blood, protein or lipstick stains – especially if they are fairly fresh. Pour directly on the soiled spot, let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary. It is a great bleaching agent for stubborn stains on white clothes. Combine ½ c. hydrogen peroxide and 1 tsp. ammonia for a great stain removal combination. (Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia as it creates toxic byproductsts!)
- Use hydrogen peroxide to bleach delicate items such as wool or wool blends. Soak them overnight in a solution of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to eight parts cold water. Launder according to care instructions.
- If you like a natural look to your hair, spray the 50/50 solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will not have the peroxide burnt blonde hair like the hair dye packages, but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, reddish, or dirty blonde. It also lightens gradually so it’s not a drastic change. But it is drying, so use judiciously.
- Also, if you have a dog that you need to get to vomit (say if they ate chocolate), make them swallow hydrogen peroxide. Give it to them a few teaspoons at a time. But do it right away. If they are staggering or have nystagmus – their eyes won’t stay still and focus – just take them to the vet. Those are acute neurological symptoms and then it’s too late for home first aid.
- Ear mites in cats or dogs can respond to putting it on a cotton swab and cleaning it out. Repeat in a few minutes. Take the same caution with internal use with pets as you would yourself. Skin mites will respond to a similar treatment via spray.