My mother-in-law offered up the suggestion for this post. Thanks Nana!
Peroxide has many uses, both medicinally and around the home. Because I am not a nurse or doctor (though it often feels like I am), I will steer clear of the medical uses and offer some great techniques for cleaning around the house with hydrogen peroxide.
Before we start, here is a little science lesson. Hydrogen Peroxide is a lot like water but with one key chemical difference. The formula for water is H2O, meaning 2 hydrogen for every one oxygen. Divide up the name (hydrogen per oxide) and we can see the formula here is one hydrogen per every one oxygen (clever naming scheme, huh?). This is an oxidizing agent (think OxyClean). In its purest form, hydrogen peroxide is highly flammable and used as rocket fuel. The stuff we get in the brown bottle is a diluted solution (watered down) and therefore much less dangerous. Our consumer hydrogen peroxide is a 3% solution.
So now that we understand hydrogen peroxide better, how can we use it to clean?
#1. Remove stains from carpet. Here the rule is 1:1. One cup of hot water to one cup of hydrogen peroxide. This works particularly well on organic stains. Remember to blot and not wipe. Wiping will often just smear the stain. And don’t be alarmed if you see bubbles. This just means that the hydrogen peroxide is doing its job and oxidizing the area. For a particularly stubborn stain you can use straight 3% peroxide without diluting. Depending on the dye of your carpet the peroxide could remove color too, especially if left on for too long. This technique works best on synthetic dyes and fabrics. Test in a closet corner before using in the middle of a room!
#2. Moping the floor. Again 1-to-1. 1/2 gallon of very hot water to 1/2 gallon of peroxide. Mop way! This will sanitize your floors and is especially great for kitchens and bathrooms.
#3. Walls, Window, Counters, and other non-porous solid surface. Put your 3% peroxide in a spray bottle and clean as you would with any other household cleaning solution. You can dilute if you are worried about color fading.
#4. bathrooms. Besides floors and counters, your 3% hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the rest of the bathroom as well. Pour some over your toilet brush and into the toilet and sanitize away. Also, you can soak shower curtains with mildew in a peroxide bath. Use a small brush and a spray bottle with peroxide to clean mildew and mold from tile and grout.
The benefits of using hydrogen peroxide to clean with are numerous. It is anti-mold, anti-mildew, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal so it does a great job of sanitizing! Additionally it is non-toxic for people, plants, and animals so you don’t have to worry about toxic cleaning fumes or where that water you rise down the drain ends up. Also, it actually sanitizes your cleaning brush/cloth/sponge as you go, eliminating the spread of germs. If you purchase in bulk it is often less expensive than other cleaning methods.
You can also buy food-grade hydrogen peroxide which is a 35% solution. To reduce this to a 3% solution add 1 cup 35% peroxide to 1 gallon of water. This is affordable in bulk and further reduces the worries about chemicals in the house.