A friend of mine visited her mother’s house and peeked inside the bathroom closet to look for a bar of soap. There, all lined up, were ten bottles of hydrogen peroxide. “Why on earth would anyone need so much of this stuff?” she wondered.
The mom in question answered that hydrogen peroxide makes a great hair bleach and has lots of other uses in the home. One big advantage of becoming friends with hydrogen peroxide is that it is low in cost while delivering big gains. People use it to clean, heal, and for personal hygiene.
In case you didn’t know, hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound composed of two hydrogen molecules and two oxygen molecules (H2O2).
The liquid you buy in those distinctive brown bottles is clear and resembles plain water. Direct exposure to sunlight slowly decomposes H2O2 which is why it is packaged in an opaque container.
But don’t be fooled. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer, bleaching agent and antiseptic. In its concentrated form, this versatile liquid has been used to fuel rockets.
H2O2 comes in different strengths but usually ranges from 3-35 percent for home use. Always check the label so you know how concentrated the solution is.
Hydrogen peroxide kills disease-causing germs through the process of oxidation, a chemical reaction which occurs when a substance gives away its electrons. H2O2 is regarded as the world’s safest, all-natural sanitizer.
If you pour hydrogen peroxide onto an open cut, the clear liquid begins to bubble and turn white. This is oxidation in action and means death to germs. For this reason, H2O2 makes a great mouth wash or gargle. Many folks whiten their teeth with it.
You can swish H2O2 around in your mouth for 30-60 seconds as long as it is no stronger than a 1-3 percent concentration. Then spit it out and rinse with water, making sure you don’t swallow any. Add water to weaken the oral rinse if it is too powerful for your taste and tender mouth tissues. Mixing equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water will produce a half-dilution of 1.5% – simple, right?
As a gargle, the longer you can stand to keep H2O2 inside your mouth, the more time it has to kill germs. However, don’t expect it to wipe out all those germs because some will be left behind.
Remember that hydrogen peroxide foams as it oxidizes so be prepared for that. It can get messy. On the plus side, you can freak out your kids by pretending you have rabies.
After brushing and flossing your teeth, rinse/swish with H2O2 to cleanse the gums. Some people load a Water Pik and spray a mild dilution directly onto their teeth and inside the oral cavity.
Use hydrogen peroxide similarly as a home cure for sore throat. Again, be sure you feel no pain which signals that the liquid is too strong. Don’t panic, just water the stuff down.
A combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda makes a cheap and effective tooth brushing agent that contains no fluoride.
Soak toothbrushes in a glass or jar filled with 3% hydrogen peroxide. This sanitizes your brush, killing the bacteria and viruses hiding in the toothbrush bristles. This can also reduce the number of bacteria transferred from your toothbrush to the inside of your mouth and get rid of bad breath.
You can also soak bite guards, retainers, and dental bridges or dentures in antiseptic hydrogen peroxide.
Rinsing or gargling with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil can ease a painful toothache.
Make a nasal spray that will open your blocked sinuses by mixing some H2O2 in a cup (8 ounces) of water. Start with a weak solution and increase the H2O2 as long as you don’t experience excessive pain.
Put 2-3 drops of pure 3% hydrogen peroxide into each ear to ward off colds and viruses, as well as to dissolve and flush ear wax. Tilt your head sideways over a sink or bowl. Dropper one ear and let the hydrogen peroxide bubble for 5-10 minutes. Turn your head to drain the germicidal H2O2 before repeating these steps for the other ear.
If you like to luxuriate in a warm soaking bath, add one cup (8 ounces) of 35% hydrogen peroxide into a full tub. Stay put for 30 minutes, adding hot water when the temperature cools off. The extra oxygen released by the H2O2 helps to rejuvenate your entire body and hydrate (moisturize) your skin. A variety of skin infections and skin conditions respond well to the antiviral and antibacterial properties of peroxide.
As my friend’s mom said, H2O2 can be used to lighten hair, especially the roots. You can apply the liquid easily from a small squeeze bottle. Or add highlights that look like they came from natural sunlight by spraying hydrogen peroxide directly onto your damp hair. Let it soak in for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it all out.
You can also whiten the nails on your hands and feet with a direct application of H2O2.
Other helpful home remedies using hydrogen peroxide include banishing acne (pimples) and canker sores (small shallow ulcers that can form inside the mouth).
Check out this truly remarkable and versatile home health product and enjoy the many benefits that peroxide has to offer. Then, take feel free to stock up like my friend’s mom did. No medicine cabinet should be without it.