Hydrogen Peroxide

I have known about the health benefits of hydrogen peroxide since I was a mere child with a skinned up knee. When my mother would put the brown bottle stuff on my boo boos it was much more pleasant that the white bottle alternative. Besides the fact that watching those bubbles was quite distracting and help me forget the initial stinging sensation.

Fast forward to my teen years when my Grandparents were using H2O2 internally for its health benefits. Back then the Natural Food Center sold quarts of specially diluted and flavored H2O2 for consumption.

Then once again, in my grown up years, I learned about the uses of H2O2 as a bleach alternative and sterilizing agent, adding to the health benefits I already knew about.

More recently peroxide has been our mainstay for treating our swimming pool and keeping it algae free without harsh chemicals.  I’ve also experimented with H2O2 as a health boosting soak combined with Epsom Salt.  20 minutes of soothing, better than Calgon.

Once in a while I toss a 1/4 – 1/2 cup in the laundry if something is in need of whitening or I feel that it needs to be a little bit more “clean”.

Food grade hydrogen peroxide is 35%.  Common (medicinal) hydrogen peroxide in the brown bottles comes in at 3%.  Hair bleach is around 6%.  See dilution chart here. For cleaning, H2O2 is the best alternative to bleach and other caustic cleaners that off-gas nasty fumes. Caution must be used when dealing with undiluted H2O2 as it is a strong oxidizer. If spilled on your skin, you should immediately flush with copious amounts of water. It will turn your skin white, and feel like hundreds of tiny needles pricking into your skin.  It is quite uncomfortable, so please be careful. “In high concentrations, hydrogen peroxide is an aggressive oxidizer and will corrode many materials, including human skin.”  H2O2 should be stored in a cool, dark location, and kept in a child-proof container (with a child-proof cap, such as it comes in from the supplier).

Hydrogen peroxide 30 percent on skin.

I often use peroxide for cleaning my fresh greens and grapes. I just fill the sink, or container with cold water, add a splash of food grade peroxide (I don’t measure it) and let it soak for at least 15 minutes. When I’m ready to rinse it, there will bubbles collected on the surface from the H2O2 working.

For the unfortunate canine that has a run-in with Pepe Le Pew…

Mixed with baking soda and a small amount of hand soap, hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing skunk odor.

For more interesting and geeky information (like how they make those glow sticks) on peroxide, check here.

H2O2 is a great addition to a healthy, green home!


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