Sunday, May 03, 2015

Home uses for Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfection and sanitizing

Home uses for Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfection and sanitizing

Many home uses for hydrogen peroxide are all about disinfection and sanitizing. Or, to say it another way: OUT WITH THE GROSS!
Many of the benefits of hydrogen peroxide begin with its value in killing germs. I've been using hydrogen peroxide for years, and some of my favorite uses are for disinfection.
Hydrogen peroxide helps keep things from getting gross, and helps to clean up things that have already gotten gross....

Cleaning cutting boards
Here's a good example of disinfection: I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my cutting board. (My cutting board is a wooden one.) Pour some 3% hydrogen peroxide on the cutting board, spread it around with a sponge, and let it sit and fizz. That fizzing is killing germs. Then wipe it off with a sponge. Repeat if you think it needs it, and we're done. (Hydrogen peroxide does take some time to work, so if possible, give it a few minutes, when you have the time.)
This is really easy to do, but very powerful. Lots of germs can fester on a cutting board. This simple procedure helps keep things clean. And I mean really clean - the kind of clean that is not just for show, but really counts. This is one of my favorite uses for hydrogen peroxide, as I feel it really makes a difference in keeping my kitchen and my food clean.

Cleaning compost buckets
I also use hydrogen peroxide in my compost bucket. I just pour about 1/2 inch to an inch of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the bottom of the bucket. First, this cleans out the bottom of the bucket, to start things off right. Then it keeps things from getting gross as quickly as I add food scraps. So, I can keep that compost bucket in my kitchen, with a lot less smell and bother, and for a bit longer. I still have to take it out and dump it on the compost heap, but not quite so soon.

Keeping sink brushes clean
I have a container next to my sink that is filled with 3% hydrogen peroxide. This is where my sink brushes go when I'm not using them. They never get gross, they stay clean.
This would also work for any kind of skin brush that you use in the bathtub, just be sure to use a plastic container. (We don't want glass or ceramics near the tub that can fall and break.)

Cleaning out garbage cans
I was dragging my garbage can and recycle can back from the street, and noticing they were pretty dirty. As I put them back where they stay, I took a peek in at the bottom. Just as I thought: gross. The next morning I headed out with a gallon bottle of 3% peroxide and poured about an inch or so into the bottom of each can. The peroxide started fizzing away, and I left for work. Next morning, I added water (with a garden hose) and dumped it all out in the garden. (Then watered the garden thoroughly, to make sure the peroxide was diluted enough to be on the plants.) This whole process was almost no work. I'd be very reluctant to get any more involved with a garbage can than this, but pouring in some peroxide and then washing it out -- I can do that. Worked pretty well, although the sides of the can are still dirty. The bottom was certainly the worst, though, so this seems a rather inspired cleaning idea, to me.

More home uses for hydrogen peroxide for disinfection:
  • clean toothbrushes, dentures, dental retainers
  • clean bath scrubbies (nail brushes, pumice stones, skin brushes, and other shower tools)
  • clean dish scrubbers, dish brushes and other sink tools
  • clean the surfaces in the fridge
  • kill mold with hydrogen peroxide, including mold on walls
  • clean up cat barf
  • wash diapers
  • clean stains from pet urine
  • clean toilets, bedpans, and enema parts
  • clean empty catboxes out

Here's a little experiment for you:
Get out a bowl or other container. Pour in a cup or two of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Now, collect up a few items around that might have some mold or germs lurking: a kitchen sponge or scrubie, a toothbrush, or any brushes or washcloths you use in the shower.
One at a time, place these items into the 3% hydrogen peroxide. Ideally, you want to have enough hydrogen peroxide to completely cover the item. (For a toothbrush or any other brush, you'd need only enough to cover the bristles of the brush, not the handle.) Wait. Are there lots of bubbles? Or just a few? Or even wild bubbling all over the place? That's hydrogen peroxide at work.
I've done this "experiment" with lots of things. Some fizz a little, and some fizz a lot. The biggest reaction I ever saw was with a "loofa sponge" that had been sitting in my shower. When I put it into the container of hydrogen peroxide, the bubbles quickly rose up and over the top of container! Wow. Even though I knew the hydrogen peroxide would clean it up, this left me feeling pretty wary of that loofa sponge! I think I threw it away, actually.

Now, think: what else in your house gets icky?
You can let this information sink in over a week or a month. As you go about your life, you may notice places or items that could use some disinfection. Try using hydrogen peroxide for sanitation, to clean up yucky messes wherever you find them. Just try things out, and see how it works and how it feels. I've been using it to clean cutting boards and compost pails for years, and I love it. How many home uses for hydrogen peroxide for sanitizing can you find?

Home uses for hydrogen peroxide: Why killing germs is important
A lot of disease starts with simply being exposed to germs and toxins. That could be mold, or viruses, or bacteria. Taking advantage of these home uses for hydrogen peroxide for disinfection and routine cleaning will greatly reduce the germs around your house. This means less exposure for your whole family, any companion animals that live with you, and visitors to your home.
It's simple to disinfect things this way. Other parts of this site talk about home uses for hydrogen peroxide to clean walls, carpets, patios, boats, pools -- all sorts of things. That's all simple too. But remember that a lot of these things go back to the idea of less germs. A simple idea. Good for everybody, and especially important for folks with weak immune systems. Great for babies. And no harmful chemicals!

Posters comment: As a General Rule cut the percentage of hydrogen peroxide to no more than 5%. Three (3) percent is pretty good, too.  Most hydrogen peroxide you can buy at the grocery store and other such stores is usually already 3%.

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