Hydrogen Peroxide, or H2O2, is a common household chemical. It is usually supplied in dilute form — the standard concentration is between 3 and 6 percent. In its pure form it can be a dangerous and unstable chemical, hence its more common use as a weak solution. You can find it in most grocery and homewares shops, as well as online. You can also purchase stronger concentrations (most commonly 35 percent) but this should be used with more caution and always read the label and obey any safety instructions.
In the Bathroom
- Remove mold and staining from the grout around bathroom tiles by making a paste of flour and H2O2. Apply to the grout, cover with cling film and leave for six hours or overnight. In the morning, rinse off the paste to reveal sparkling grouting. You may want to scrub any smaller areas with a toothbrush.
- You can also use a half and half solution of H2O2 and water to control mildew on bathroom or kitchen walls. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and test an inconspicuous area first to check it will not damage the surface. Then spray onto the area of mildew and wipe with a cloth.
- The same solution can be used as a disinfectant spray for kitchen and bathroom worktops. It does not need to be rinsed off, as the H2O2 will naturally break down on exposure to the air and light.
- Pour a cup of H2O2 into the toilet bowl and leave for a few hours or overnight. In the morning, scrub the toilet bowl and flush. This will remove stains and odor.
- If your shower curtain have become mildewed, put it in the washing machine with an old bath towel (as it tumbles around with the curtain, the friction will help remove the mold) and add one cup of undiluted H2O2 to the rinse cycle
In the Kitchen
- Remove everything from your fridge, then spray a neat solution of H2O2 all over the inside. Leave for 20 minutes, then wipe off with a cloth and return the food to the fridge. This will kill bacteria and destroy odors in your fridge, and does not risk contaminating your food.
- Spray H2O2 onto a chopping board that has been used for raw meat, then rinse well under hot water. H2O2 is excellent at killing the germs that cause food poisoning, including salmonella.
- Remove pesticides, dirt and bacteria from fruit and vegetables by soaking them in a bowl or sink of cold water which has had three capfuls of H2O2 added. Leave the fruits in the solution for a few minutes, then rinse well under running water and dry.
- Do you have a lunch box or Tupperware pot that has been forgotten about? Scrape out the moldy food, wipe the surfaces and spray with H2O2 to disinfect and deodorize.
- If you have printed cotton tote bags that have become stale smelling, but you don’t want to run them through the washing machine in case it damages the print, spray the inside with a dilute solution of H2O2 to freshen them up.
- If you suffer from boils or skin infections, add 250ml of H2O2 to your bath water and soak yourself in it. Although H2O2 was traditionally used to wash wounds and abrasions, it is now thought that its antibacterial properties are outweighed by the damage it can do to healing tissue. You can use it to clean a dirty cut, but you should not rinse or soak a wound in H2O2 several times a day, as is sometimes suggested.
- Similarly, it was once issued as standard for cleaning new body piercings. It is now recommended that you sue boiled and cooled water with a little sea salt added to it, as H2O2 can slow the new skin from forming.
- If you have athlete’s foot or fungal nail infection, spray your feet with a half and half solution every night and allow them to dry naturally before going to bed.
- Add half a cup of H2O2 to your washing machine drum and run as normal when washing sheets that have been slept on by someone with an illness. This will kill and viruses or bacteria in the fabric and stop anyone else from getting sick the next time the sheets are used.
- To soften hard earwax and relieve earache, put three drops of H2O2 in your ear, followed by the same amount of olive oil. Lie with your full ear uppermost for half an hour, then gently tip out the solution.
- Put dish cloths, or linen with heavy soiling in a solution of H2O2 and allow them to soak for half an hour to kill germs. Wring out and wash as normal.
- Refresh stale smelling fabrics by soaking them in a dilute solution of H2O2.
- Whiten yellowing fabrics such as net curtains by adding a cup of H2O2 to a bucket of cold water and soaking for half an hour. Wash as normal immediately to prevent damage to the fabric.
- Spray H2O2 onto pale carpets to lift stains such as food or mud. You may want to test this on an inconspicuous area first.
- Remove organic stains (such as wine, food, or coffee) from tablecloths and napkins by rubbing the stain with a mixture of one part washing up liquid and two parts H2O2. Allow to sit for ten minutes then wash as normal.
- Dilute a pint of H2O2 in a gallon of water and run it through your dehumidifier to kill any mold or bacteria that may be growing inside. You can also routinely add the same concentration to your steamer to ensure that it is not building up bacteria.
- Dip a cloth in a little undiluted H2O2 and use it to clean your computer’s keyboard. mouse and screen.
- You can use exactly the same method to clean your household mirrors without leaving any streaks.
- Add 50 ml of H2Os to your dishwasher to sanitize the inside and run as normal.
- Soak your sponges for fifteen minutes in a half and half solution of H2O2 and water to remove any smell and bacteria from them. You should do this regularly, and discard sponges are soon as they become stained or ragged.