It was in 1818 when Louis Jacques Thenard discovered hydrogen peroxide. Then in 1894, Richard Wolffenstein found 100% pure hydrogen peroxide via vacuum distillation.
Today, we know it as a colorless & odorless chemical compound that is commonly used as an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all about what it exactly is, how it works, and things you should keep in mind while using H2O2. Let’s delve right into the guide...
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a compound with the chemical formula H2O2. It has a variety of uses as both a household cleaning product and as a natural remedy.
Common uses for hydrogen peroxide include diluting the product to clean various surfaces like counters, floors, toilet bowls, and bathroom sinks and eliminating mold and mildew from surfaces inside and outside of your home.
Not just that, it is also commonly used as an antiseptic which is used to clean cuts. Other than that, H2O2 has several other industrial & commercial uses, and it is available in the market in various concentrations such as 3% H2O2, 35% H2O2 & others.
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Work
Hydrogen peroxide is a simple chemical compound known for its antiseptic properties. It is formed when water molecules bond with oxygen atoms from hydrogen molecules.
The power of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) lies in its ability to oxidize. When diluted in the water, this chemical releases oxygen into a solution. Because hydrogen peroxide is composed of oxygen radicals, it can destroy bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that often cause illness or disease.
Now that you know how hydrogen peroxide works, let’s see how it works for various purposes...
As a Cleaner & Disinfectant
Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most popular, natural, and practical household cleaners and disinfectants. It is non-toxic and relatively inexpensive while zapping bacteria and viruses on contact.
According to CDC, 3% H2O2 is usually enough to get rid of these unwanted germs.
Before disinfecting using H2O2, you can clean the surface with water and soap. Then, use 3% hydrogen peroxide on the surface, let it work for a few minutes, and then rinse it off using a sponge or a damp cloth.
Note: If you’re cleaning hard surfaces like granite countertops, don’t leave the H2O2 liquid for too long.
As a Bleach
Using hydrogen peroxide as bleach might seem strange to those who aren’t familiar with it. But H2O2 is inexpensive, non-toxic, and milder than bleach — yet equally effective at brightening (white clothes).
You can use it to wash your whites which will prolong their life by restoring their initial brightness. H2O2 liquid will also get rid of unpleasant smells from your clothes.
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp areas, and it grows at a faster rate in areas of high moisture. Mold growth can be an expensive problem, especially when considering the possible health implications (like allergies, asthma, and breathing problems) of mold exposure to you or your family.
Fortunately, it is possible to remove mold with hydrogen peroxide.
When you pour hydrogen peroxide on mold, it kills it as H2O2 breaks it down. To remove mold successfully, you should take 3% H2O2 and pour it into a sprayer. Before you start, wear gloves and eye protection to keep yourself protected.
Now spray the solution directly on the mold and then leave it for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll see how hydrogen peroxide will start bubbling up, and once it stops, you can scrub the surface to get rid of the mold.
Once done, use a dry cloth to wipe it off and repeat the process if required.
Note: When dealing with mold, you must take proper precautions (wear gloves, eye protection, and respirators) to prevent becoming sick from exposure to the mold.
To kill bacteria
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent antibacterial agent, and you can use it to kill or destroy harmful bacteria on floors, sinks, tubs, toilet bowls, etc. For deep cleaning, it also works great on grout, bathtubs, shower doors, and tiles.
Basically, you can use hydrogen peroxide to do all your everyday cleaning.
In your Ears
Our ears produce wax to protect our ears from getting infected and ensure that water doesn’t go inside our ear canal. However, our ears can sometimes have extra wax, which can block our ear passage resulting in temporary hearing loss.
We often find several wax-removing medicines and ear drops available in the market. Most of these solutions come with hydrogen peroxide present in them. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles up the wax and makes it soft.
How to use these ear drops containing hydrogen peroxide? Before you start, lay down on your side to ensure that one ear is up. Then, put the drops in your ears and let the liquid stay in your ears for about 5 minutes. Next, sit and take a tissue to clean any extra liquid that comes out of your ears. Once done, do this with the other ear. This should do the job!
If you want to make your own eardrops, then you should take a bowl and add vinegar and water to it in the ratio of 1:1. To this, add a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide and give it a good mix. Voila! Your solution is ready.
Note: Always consult your doctor before using any homemade remedies to get proper guidance.
On your Teeth
As you already know, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has a broad range of home and health applications but is probably most known for its ability to whiten teeth. It works via oxidation, which reacts with other compounds such as stains on teeth and turns them into water and oxygen.
The end result is whiter-looking teeth that are naturally stronger and more protected against acid erosion. You can use hydrogen peroxide in two ways to get white teeth:
Take hydrogen peroxide and water in the ratio of 1:1. Take this liquid mixture and swish it inside your mouth for approximately 30 seconds. Then, spit the solution. Doing this will make your teeth white.
Note: Always consult your doctor before using any homemade remedies to get proper guidance.
To make a paste, mix a few drops of hydrogen peroxide with 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda. Mix it well till you get a smooth paste.
Once done, use a toothbrush to brush your teeth with this paste. Be sure that you don’t brush for more than 2 minutes. This H2O2 paste will help you get your teeth whitened.
On your Skin
Typical uses of hydrogen peroxide on the skin include getting rid of acne, dark spots, and healing wounds.
However, it’s not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of acne as it can cause irritation on your skin.
Experts have also stated that hydrogen peroxide should not be used on wounds. As it works as bleach, people often use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of dark spots.
However, you should avoid using this chemical on your skin as it can react and cause irritation. H2O2 can also break down your skin and cause severe burns.
Hydrogen Peroxide Handling & Safety Tips
Here are some tips you can refer to while using hydrogen peroxide...
- When using hydrogen peroxide, always wear protective clothing such as goggles and gloves to avoid any contact.
- Keep it away from your children to avoid ingestion or direct contact with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Store it in a cool, dry, and dark place as hydrogen peroxide should not contact light & heat.
- Don’t mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar or bleach.
Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most effective natural treatments in the world today. It can be used for cleaning and is also an effective weapon against almost any disease-causing microorganisms. You can also use hydrogen peroxide in your garden to keep your plants healthy.
We at Pure Chem Co. also offer the highest quality 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide in various sizes: quart, gallon, 2.5 gallons, 5 gallons, and 55 gallons.
You can buy the 35% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) directly from our online store or contact us if you have any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do peroxide bubbles mean infection?
When you use hydrogen peroxide on a cut, it comes in contact with your damaged cells and blood. It also comes in contact with catalase, an enzyme present in our body that further breaks it down and turns H2O2 into O2 & H2O. The bubbles are oxygen gas making their way out.
Does hydrogen peroxide actually work?
Yes, it does. Hydrogen peroxide works effectively as it can help you deep clean several things in your household. It is also used as an effective disinfectant to get rid of viruses, germs, and bacteria.
Is hydrogen peroxide good for infections?
Contrary to common uses and beliefs, hydrogen peroxide should not be used on wounds and cuts as it does more damage than cure. The H2O2 will surely get rid of bacteria, but it will damage many healthy cells that heal the wound.
What does hydrogen peroxide really do?
H2O2 is a compound that is used as an oxidized bleaching agent and antiseptic agent.
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