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The Many Uses Of Hydrogen Peroxide

Updated on January 4, 2015

Hydrogen peroxide was first put into commercial production as a bleaching agent. However, it is now used widely both commercially and within the household. Over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide is most well known as an antiseptic used to cleanse small cuts. But it is also used as a whitening agent for hair and teeth. It is even helpful in the garden, with pets, and as a household cleaner, particularly because it is environmentally friendly.

Because hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a simple chemical compound made up solely of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms, use of the chemical leaves behind no toxic byproducts. Instead, the rapid oxygenation of hydrogen peroxide is easy on the environment and is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-mildew, making it incredibly versatile.

Cleaning your fruits and vegetables

One of the handiest uses of hydrogen peroxide is as a rinse for fruits and vegetables. Salmonella and E. Coli bacterium may contaminate produce grown at home or bought at the market through the excrement of animals, such as cows or birds. Spraying a mix of 50 percent peroxide and 50 percent water on produce can eradicate these bacterium. The best type of peroxide to use on food is highly concentrated food grade hydrogen peroxide. This is the only type of hydrogen peroxide that has been approved for human consumption.

Multipurpose cleaner

Similar uses of the environmentally friendly hydrogen peroxide include using it as a tough multipurpose cleaner throughout the home. Because it is nontoxic, hydrogen peroxide can be used in the kitchen, bathrooms, inside toilets, and on tables and countertops. Spray or wipe three percent hydrogen peroxide on the problem area and let sit for up to one hour. Wipe clean with a clean cloth. Some people even make homemade carpet cleaners, laundry detergents, or deodorizers by combining hydrogen peroxide with other common and natural ingredients.

Plant growth

House plants and gardens may also greatly benefit from a spray or two of food grade hydrogen peroxide. Though it is debated as to whether the compound can cure cancer, it is true that hydrogen peroxide can be effective at oxygenating soil, helping plants to grow green and strong. Not only does it strengthen the roots of plants by oxygenating the soil, it can also drive out chlorine, sulfates, and other toxic chemicals found in tap or contaminated rainwater.

Spraying the garden and outdoor plants with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, water, and sometimes white sugar can also be a deterrent for plant-eating pests. Disease-causing pests and organisms can be killed by oxygen, which is the active ingredient that makes hydrogen peroxide an effective pesticide. The spray should be applied generously to the leaves and roots of the plant and reapplied after every rainfall, or as often as needed.


Man’s best friends can also benefit from that little brown bottle. To sanitize and reduce the presence of odor-causing bacteria in the infamous litter box, simply clean with a mixture of H2O2 and warm water.

While it is perhaps best known as a staple antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide is actually quite versatile. Because it is a natural compound, it is especially useful around the house, garden, and pets when users just aren’t comfortable with other chemical alternatives.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.


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