8 Unusual Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

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Besides the odd scraped knee and that one fateful summer where you decided you’d look better as a blonde, you haven’t had much time for the medicine cabinet staple hydrogen peroxide. However, it should be noted that it does have a number of wild and unusual purposes…

But first, a discussion of what exactly this bubbly little solution is: In its purest form, hydrogen peroxide, or H2O2 as it is referred to by chemists and other science-nerds, is actually highly toxic. What you are generally getting when you buy an over-the-counter variety is only 3% hydrogen peroxide, with the rest made up of plain ol’ H2O! Hydrogen peroxide is probably best recognized by its signature brown bottle, which is used not as a marketing strategy, but to actually protect the bottles’ contents, which are highly sensitive to light.

But let’s talk about all of its many uses:

Cranky-sore:

According to folklore, holding a capful of H2O2 in your mouth for one minute daily will prevent you from developing canker sores (mouth ulcers) and will whiten your teeth too! Unfortunately, there have been no credible studies to prove this one, but it is one of those widely-held internet beliefs, with many people swearing up and down that it offers a protective benefit.

Neat Freak:

Certified as an effective sanitizer by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hydrogen peroxide can be used to disinfect counter tops, chopping boards and other cooking utensils (and it leaves a nice fresh smell too!) Simply dampen a kitchen cloth with the solution or spray directly onto surfaces (just be careful for splash-backs since it will stain your clothes!)

Mold Master:

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, hydrogen peroxide is among the substances that can be used to rid your home of mold (though even they admit that there really isn’t enough evidence on its efficacy to broadly recommend it as a first line treatment.) Our advice? It might be worth a shot!

Chemical Appeal:

Picked up your produce in a dodgy section of the grocery store? Get it super clean – without harming diners – by using hydrogen peroxide as a vegetable soak. Not only will it remove the pesky dirt, a study published in the Journal of Food and Science suggests that it might remove strains of the stomach-ache inducing E-coli. This solution can also be used to wash meats and poultry.

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