Hydrogen peroxide: H202.  Odds are, you already have it in your house.  If not, you can pick it up at any grocery store or drug store for just a couple of dollars.  In fact, it’s one of the lowest-cost, handiest household supplies there is.  And you would be surprised at just how many ways you can use it for cleaning, hygiene, healing, style, and more.  I’m going to share a ton of amazing hydrogen peroxide uses with you, but first, I want to introduce you to this incredible chemical compound and its properties!



51 Extraordinary Everyday Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide
Credit: diyncrafts.com
Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless liquid, only a little more viscous than water.  On sight, it actually looks exactly like water.  It has powerful oxidizing properties, which allows it to work as a bleaching agent (as anyone who has ever bleached their hair knows, peroxide reacts with melanin to oxidize it and convert it into a compound which is free of color).  Hydrogen peroxide’s same oxidizing properties allow it to react with bacteria, viruses, spores, and yeasts, making it a great disinfectant.  Also, interestingly enough, in high concentrations, it can be used as a propellant in rocketry.
If you have ever used hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a cut, you probably have noticed all the fizzing and bubbling that happens.  There is a misconception that this is the “last gasp” of the dying organisms.  What it really is, is the result of the H202 bonds breaking during the reaction.  One of the oxygen molecules is liberated, leaving H20 (water!) behind.  The free oxygen molecules are what you see bubbling to the surface.  Isn’t science awesome?  But now, let’s get on to the many amazing applications of hydrogen peroxide around the home!

Medicinal Uses

Hydrogen peroxide is perhaps best known for its medicinal uses; this is after all why it tends to be sold in the pharmaceutical section of the store.  Here are some commonly known medicinal uses for hydrogen peroxide as well as a few you probably aren’t aware of!

Clean and disinfect minor wounds

This is one of the most obvious uses.  If you have hydrogen peroxide in your home, it may be the reason.  The 3% solution you can buy at the drugstore can be applied directly to minor wounds to clean away dead tissue.  It can halt minor bleeding, and can help to clear up infections or prevent infections from setting in.  It is generally recommended to only apply the hydrogen peroxide once, since doing it too many times may also inhibit friendly bacteria which help to facilitate healing.


Get rid of acne and boils

While you are at it, if you have infected acne, you may be able to speed up the healing process by applying a little hydrogen peroxide to the infected sites.  It will act just the same way it does on wounds, helping to kill the unwanted bacteria and cleanse the area.  Just as with wounds, you do not want to overdo this!  Just apply it once.  If you apply it too many times, you will kill the good bacteria too.

Cure canker sores

If you have canker sores in your mouth, you may be able to get them to go away faster by swishing some hydrogen peroxide in your mouth.  Combine it with water so that you don’t cause any irritation or blistering in your mouth (too high a concentration of hydrogen peroxide can do this in large amounts).  Swish it around for half a minute or so, and then spit it out and rinse with fresh water.

Expunge bad breath

Can’t get rid of your bad breath by brushing your teeth?  One great alternative to mouthwash for bad breath is hydrogen peroxide.  Since hydrogen peroxide kills the unhealthy organisms in your mouth which cause bad breath, all it takes is half a minute of swishing to get bad breath to go away.  You may be surprised how effective this is.  In fact, if all you have is minor bad breath once in a while, just swishing with hydrogen peroxide once a week could mean you are good to go for the rest of the week.  Just make sure you don’t overuse it, because it can kill good bacteria in your mouth too.

Fight foot fungus

Athlete’s foot is no fun!  If you are tired of all that itching, you may find that hydrogen peroxide is a helpful antidote, thanks to its antifungal properties.  This is largely an anecdotal use, but many people claim that they have successfully cured foot fungus infections just by applying a mixture comprised of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide.  While I have never tried this, I have applied it to my shower shoes to get rid of the fungus on the shower shoes.  Doing this routinely seems to reduce the number of occasions where I end up getting it on my feet.  This works pretty well as a preventative measure.

Treat colds

There is no cure for the common cold, and hydrogen peroxide is no exception to that rule.  But there are things you can do to treat a common cold, and many people report that one great method is to put a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears.  This can help to clear out any infection or blockage in your ear.

Get rid of an ear infection

While we’re at it, you can also use hydrogen peroxide drops in your ear to take on an ear infection.  Just know that you may need medical attention; you cannot cure all ear infections on your own, and they can get serious.  So don’t let this stop you from going to a doctor!

Clear out ear wax

Ear wax isn’t an infection, but it can certainly drive you crazy when it blocks up your ear so much you have trouble hearing!  Just as you can use hydrogen peroxide drops to get rid of infections in your ear, you can also use it to clear up excess wax.  Try adding a couple of drops of olive oil, and then follow it up with a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide.  Keep your head tilted for about a minute, and then tilt it back the other way and let the mixture drain out.  You may also want to gently flush your ear out with warm water.

Deal with a sinus infection

I would be cautious about this one (actually, personally I wouldn’t try it), but many people report success without any adverse effects.  Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal part of water in order to dilute it, and then put it into a nasal spray container.  Spray it into your nose and then blow it back out after a moment.  This in theory will kill the sinus infection.

Tackle a toothache

Have an awful toothache, and can’t make it to the dentist right now?  Try putting some hydrogen peroxide in your mouth mixed with water, and hold it there for a few minutes.  Most people who use this method suggest that you hold it for ten minutes if you can.  This reportedly relieves a significant amount of the pain.  Some people even do this several times a day, but I caution you to avoid overuse, since you don’t want to kill the good bacteria in your mouth.

Take a detoxifying bath

If you want to give your bathwater a detoxifying boost, try adding two quarts of peroxide to your bathwater.  Soak in the bath for half an hour.  This can be a great idea if you are sick and want to make sure you emerge from the bathtub actually clean of germs.

Treat a yeast infection

If you use douching as a method to treat a yeast infection, try adding a couple capfuls of hydrogen peroxide to the mix.  You may find that this controls or even cures your yeast infection.

Hygiene and Beauty Uses

Hydrogen peroxide has many uses for hygiene and beauty, and is a great supply to have handy in your bathroom.  Some of these uses overlap with medicinal uses, since they have both a health and beauty effect.
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