These lesser known uses for hydrogen peroxide will blow your mind
It’s not everyday you have a product that can be used to clean everything from your teeth to the dishwasher. But that’s just what hydrogen peroxide does. Read on to learn more about the lesser known uses of this mind-blowing miracle substance.
Fight odorous breath
We’ve all been there: You wake up from a night of excessive drinking, breath on your significant other, and slowly watch as she recoils from the foul stench you blew in her direction. Any love she had for you is now gone, and you can expect to live the rest of your life single.
But bad morning breath is a thing. Apparently, the most typical cause is oral bacteria that digest food particles in the mouth (i.e., you did a terrible job at brushing). This is where hydrogen peroxide comes in — it kills bacteria! So say goodbye to bad breath and hello to a continued healthy marriage.
Kill mold and mildew
As previously noted, hydrogen peroxide helps to kill the mold that would otherwise accumulate on mushrooms. Does this mean that it will also help to kill the mold elsewhere in your house? Of course the answer is yes!
When applied to areas that get mold — say, a neglected window sill — the stuff works wonders to not only remove the mold stain but also to kill the mold. Given that the peroxide disintegrates the mold’s proteins, the mold can’t survive the onslaught. That’s hydrogen peroxide: 1; mold: zero.
A new look to metal
Another situation we often find ourselves in is one where we hate the aesthetic tone of everything around us: the particleboard in our apartment is a dreary, the fridge is unorganized, and all the metal in our house just looks so boring.
Well, has hydrogen peroxide got the solution for you!
When you apply the hydrogen peroxide to the metals (and let them soak, mind you), they will oxidize them. In effect, make them look cool and rustic. If you’re looking for a little added pizzazz in your life, this trick might be the key.
Brighten up your bathroom
If your bathroom, like the bathrooms of so many of us, is plastered with white tile, hydrogen peroxide can help you to keep that bathroom clean, white, and cleanly. When applied regularly, the foamy mixture will help rid the tiles of stain and nasty bacterial buildup.
The peroxide, as we’ve mentioned before, helps to decouple the bacteria from the actual tile itself. In the case of your tile-white bathroom, this will not only help to clear the grout of stains but to keep that white tile sparkly clean.
Whiten your teeth
While this probably isn’t the go-to method for actors and other famous people, the attempt to whiten teeth is everywhere. Using hydrogen peroxide, surprisingly, is an easy DIY way in which to achieve this teeth-whitening treatment.
While the stuff doesn’t work as well as most name brand treatments, it has been shown to be at least more effective than nothing. So, if you want those teeth to be as white as can be, give some hydrogen peroxide a try.
Sponges are notorious for how dirty they get. In fact, they often are not replaced often enough, leading innocent and unsuspecting victims to promulgate the spread of bacteria on their otherwise clean dishes.
This is where hydrogen peroxide comes in handy.
Rather than use the same sponge day in and day out, accumulating dirt and bacteria as you go, you could use the same sponge but occasionally disinfect it with hydrogen peroxide. The life hack will easily double the lifespan of any household sponge.
Get your dog to vomit
Disclaimer: Contact a veterinarian before trying this method. They’re likely going to have you bring in your pupper to the Urgent Care.
Another situation we often find ourselves is as follows: We leave out some chocolate (why?), our little pet dog finds that chocolate, and then for whatever reason decides that the chocolate isn’t in fact poison but instead a tasty treat. Terrible decision.
So, upon our return home we see a dog rolling around in nauseous pain, a few scraps of tin foil, and know what to do — reach for the hydrogen peroxide. The foamy, frothy mixture will make your pup throw up that chocolate in no time. Just make sure to implement the procedure outside so you avoid making a mess.
Another of those things that tends to stain with time is the grout that lines our tile flooring. While we clean our floors regularly — sweeping, mopping, and everything else — this doesn’t always clean the grout. Hydrogen peroxide is here to help.
Like with many of the other things we’ve mentioned on this list, hydrogen peroxide helps to de-grease, de-yellow, and all around “de-grossify” the grout between those tiles. While it might take a bit of scrubbing, the result is definitely a look that’s good-as-new. You can thank us later.
Clean your retainer
While perhaps a problem specific to your teen, the problem of a gross retainer is not something to be trifled with. Considering that the protective casing is literally used to stay on your mouth, you can’t stand to have it less than spotless.
Hydrogen peroxide, as you probably could have guessed by now, can aid in this upkeep. Because the stuff helps to degenerate bacteria, it can help to keep those retainers fresh and clean. Just give them the occasional soak before you put them back on those pearly whites.
Whiten fingernails or toenails
Now this is a problem we have all had before: We’re doing some gardening or general around-the-house cleaning and take a look at our hands. Everything seems fine, until we notice the tragedy that is our nails. They look gross, lurid, and unbearable. No good.
This is where hydrogen peroxide comes in. The stuff can help — much like it does with teeth — to kill the germs and bacteria that cause the discoloring. And, if it doesn’t help that much, you probably didn’t use enough or let them soak for long enough.
Clean your car’s interior
Speaking of cars, hydrogen peroxide can clean more than just the discarded carcasses of dead bugs. The stuff can also help to remove and unseemly stains that make your upholstery look used and gross.
The oxidizing agent helps to disentangle whatever is causing the stain from the fibers of the upholstery, making them easier to remove once the foaming liquid has settled in. You might consider this a life-saver if you use it right away after a spill.
No more bleach
If your family has sensitive skin, or you’re just looking for an alternative to the caustic stuff, hydrogen peroxide can help. You can apply the stuff directly to stains before you throw them into the laundry, or to the laundry itself to brighten your whites.
You have to be careful, however. Because the stuff is often use as a de-coloring agent, being used with darks will ruin them. So, if you are to throw this stuff in with some laundry, you have to make sure everything is white — otherwise you’ll be sorry…
Disinfect your keyboard
Keyboards are notorious for their filth. They’re also notoriously difficult to clean. Because there are so many tiny keys, so many little nooks and crannies, cleaning the tool effectively can be a challenge. Not anymore.
Hydrogen peroxide, when used with the aid of a toothbrush, can be used to scrub away and disinfect the keys on your keyboard. The perfect combo can help to get between the cracks and crevices of that commonly used device. You’ll thank us for this one.
Cleaning makeup brushes
Makeup brushes are a common household item that don’t maintain too long a tenure. Because the makeup they help spread around our faces can accumulate, aggregate, stain, and clump, the brushes have an admittedly short lifespan. Hydrogen peroxide can help.
The occasional soak in hydrogen peroxide can help to dissolve the clumpy matter that has made a home in your makeup brush. After the dissolution, a simple wash with water will help to get them as good as new. Now you can have those brushes for much longer than before. We’ll call this one a money saver.
No more deodorant
While smelly armpits aren’t really something you want, antiperspirants with odors can sometimes cause irritation to the skin: The perfumes within them don’t settle well with all types of skin. This is where hydrogen peroxide can help.
Because the stuff helps to kill bacteria, applying a little to the armpits with a moist towel can kill the bacteria that have made your pits their home. Since these bacteria are largely responsible for the odor, the peroxide will help.
One of the most irksome things about being a human in the 21st century is having to clean your toilet. In fact, many might list it as their least favorite household chore. Hydrogen peroxide is here to make that reality less cumbersome.
When you let a bit of hydrogen peroxide sit with the water in your toilet, it will help to break down all of the gunk, goo, and bacteria that have accumulated and made the place their home. Then, with a simple scrub from your toilet brush, the porcelain will look as good as new. No more lamenting the cleaning of your bathroom!
Because hydrogen peroxide is largely non-toxic, it works as a great overall cleaner. If you have a dirty fridge, say, rot with the stink of a thousand expired lunch meats, hydrogen peroxide can help.
But it can also help with other appliances.
Generally, the cleaner could be applied to anything when not plugged in. If you want to clean your oven, your blender, your dish rack — the hydrogen peroxide will help with it all. Just make sure to give the thing a thorough rinse when you’re done.
If you’re anything like most Americans, you have had the problem of armpit stains. And there’s nothing more embarrassing than playing your Saturday rounds of golf, raising your arms to high-five someone for their freshly earned birdie, then realizing the travesty in your pits: the stain.
Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide is here to help. While the stuff might not be able to remove all stains on all fabrics, the oxidizing properties can help to remove the stains before they get too serious, or blunt their color after they have. Either way, the stains won’t look as disturbing after a few rounds of treatment with hydrogen peroxide.
Lighten hair color
If you’ve ever spent time looking into the mirror bemoaning the darkness of your hair, this might be the ultimate life hack for you: Reach into your cupboard, pull out that hydrogen peroxide, and let your hair soak.
The application of hydrogen peroxide to those gorgeous locks will help to strip them of some color. While too much of the application can be detrimental to your hair’s health, a little bit can help to lighten your color. We recommend you use this trick in moderation.
Clean a burnt pot
We’ve all been there: We’re boiling some water or leaving something to stew when we all of a sudden get distracted. Maybe we’re listening to a podcast, bantering with our significant other, or maybe our kid just got back from soccer practice.
Whatever it is, our mind got distracted from the pot …
To clean any burnt residue that may have accumulated from this admittedly human slip of attention, all you need to do is reach for the hydrogen peroxide (although you should probably wait until you’re finished cooking). The agent can help to remove this irksome charcoal in no time.
Fix cracked heels
Given that we are largely a bipedal organism, walking is a part of everyday life. And, unfortunately, so is dry skin. When these two realities combine, they create one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever known: cracked heels.
Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide is here to help.
When you apply some hydrogen peroxide to the cracks on your heel (in the form of a solution mixed with hot water), the bath will corrode the dead skin that helped create the fissures in the first place. The result will be smoother feet.
Kill those pests
Now, we’ve already talked about how hydrogen peroxide can be used to help remove bug carcasses from your car’s hood and bumper. But the same way in which it helps to remove the bugs from your car can help you to remove them from your yard and plants.
Because the hydrogen peroxide can kill the proteins in bugs, it essentially can help to kill them. In effect, it helps to digest their little bodies. While on a microscopic scale this is kind of horrific, most of us don’t care about the well-being of insects.
Clean your drains
Another area of our houses that gets notoriously dirty is the drain within our sinks. Because this area sees so much waste (especially in the form of discarded food), bacterial stains and the like are quick to form. And, once they do, they can be tedious to remove.
Not so with hydrogen peroxide.
Like with many of the other solutions on this list, hydrogen peroxide will help to separate the bacteria from the drain, releasing their grip on the metallic surface. After a good soaking, all you need to do is rinse and scrub and your sink will be looking as good as new.
Get rid of that skunk odor
If you live in parts of the world that incorporate skunks into the local ecosystem, then you may have encountered this problem: Your doggo gets a little too curious and ends up getting a face full of skunk. No good.
But don’t worry, hydrogen peroxide is here to help.
Since the odor of the skunk spray has the same constituent properties as sulfur, the spray stinks to boot. Fortunately, a homemade remedy of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap will help to break down the oils that contain the scent and get your pup back to their old doggish smell.
Dishwasher soap is often extremely effective. The heat in conjunction with the soapy mixture kills most assuredly anything living that may be making a home on your dirty dishes. But hydrogen peroxide can help that mixture work better.
When applied to the dishwasher, the stuff acts as a more eco-friendly cleanser. While you’ll still want to use a cleaner that will kill everything on the dishes, hydrogen peroxide will only help to do the job better.
Remove dead bugs from car
If there’s anything that bums me out about a road trip, it’s the obnoxious number of dead bugs that often accumulate on the front window, bumper, and hood. Everything from annoying flies to ugly mosquitoes have created another layer of awful to that beat up ride.
Once again, hydrogen peroxide is here to save the day…
Rather than eat the paint of your car, making it look shoddy and cheap, it eats away the proteins that keep those little bugs together. The result is that wiping them away is much easier than before. And since the fluid doesn’t damage paint, it’s the near perfect solution. You’re welcome.
Clean your produce
While hydrogen peroxide isn’t something you want to ingest, it is something that can be used to help clean the things you intend to digest. This is especially true of things that might have ample bacteria on them — i.e., your produce.
So, rather than merely rinse your leafy greens, peppers, or potatoes, consider giving them a little bath with hydrogen peroxide. While you’ll want to make sure they have been thoroughly rinsed before eaten, a quick little bath can only help to clean them.
Make elephant toothpaste
Not all uses of hydrogen peroxide are for cleanliness or whitening. Some, rather, are used for fun! And that’s what we have here. If you mix together a solution using hydrogen peroxide, you can get what armchair chemists call “elephant toothpaste.”
The big foamy mess is a fun little experiment to perform at home with the kids. And if this doesn’t get them into science, you may as well start saving for art school now. Just kidding. Anyways, the stuff is fun and definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
While might sound a bit odd, hydrogen peroxide can help to grow fungus. And, while in many cases you likely wouldn’t want to help grow fungus, in some cases — like if you’re growing your own mushrooms — you would.
The peroxide helps to grow the mushrooms by battling infections from mold. Giving that this mold will kill the mushrooms, the peroxide will help them grow big and strong. So you might want to consider giving them the occasional spray with the stuff. However, it’s the food-grade stuff you want to use — not the regular brand.
Keep a clear pool
If you have sensitive chlorine and struggle with chlorine-filled pools, then this might be the trick for you. Hydrogen peroxide, in its food-grade form, can help to keep your pool clean without the same irritating properties as chlorine.
The strategy is to use one cup per 250 gallons. And don’t forget — it’s got to be the food-grade caliber of hydrogen peroxide, which is much stronger. Anything less will merely encourage the bacteria to revenge.