The uses of hydrogen peroxide must have struck you as a kid when your mom or any other responsible adult around had, like a clockwork, fetched its brown bottle when you grazed your knees. With a ball of wool soaked in hydrogen, your wound was cleaned before applying a band-aid.
This was the routine most of us were familiar with growing up, so it may be surprising to find out that hydrogen peroxide has other valuable uses.
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
There’s hardly an American who doesn’t know what hydrogen peroxide is, except you’re a 5-year-old who’s never suffered a bruise. Still, maybe we should look at its definition in technical capabilities; a piece of knowledge is never wasted.
H202 is a topical disinfectant that kills germs and pathogens on wounds through oxygen production, and oxidation burst. It is a combination of 2 hydroxy groups bonded by a single oxygen-oxygen, covalent bond. H202 is colorless and usually found in the atmosphere, although at low concentrations.
You should know that there are levels to the concentration of H202, and these levels determine its purposes. The typical brown bottle at the local pharmacy used to clean wounds is about 3%. A percentage between 6–9 is to bleach hair; 35 is for specific food grading purposes, and the highest percentages (50, 70, 90) are for industrial uses, especially the textile industry. You should never use this concentration at home.
6 Uses Of Hydrogen Peroxide (H202)
We’ve now known a little bit more about H202, isn’t it? Knowing the concentrations is, especially, good knowledge. It will help you understand more easily the functions which we’ll be discussing below. Here we go.
Of course, you expected us to go through the first known benefit of H202 — to you. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant. By releasing the oxygen that results in a special disinfecting lather, H202 kills microbial contaminants and fosters proper wound cleaning. This cleaning effect spreads to the surroundings of the wound as well. In addition to the antiseptic impacts of H202, it may also speed up the healing process when you suffer burns or bug bites.
According to a publication in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, H202 is helpful in the cleaning of cold sores and canker sores, as well as speeding up the healing processes. A common trick you can try out when treating these sores water with hydrogen peroxide in equal proportions, and then swabbing and dabbing on the wound with a soaked cotton ball three times a day.
Helps To Whiten Teeth
H202 is a common ingredient in tubes of toothpaste and mouthwashes, thanks to its teeth whitening qualities. And here’s something better: you can easily make your potent mouthwash at home. To do so, mix water with hydrogen peroxide of the 3% concentration using the same measurement. After that, romance the mixture in your mouth for about 45 seconds before spitting out. While doing this, ensure that you do not swallow.
This brings rise to an important question: is H202 safe to swirl around the mouth? To answer this, a group of researchers conducted a study in Brazil 2 years ago to assess the impacts of an H202 10% concentration on dental health.
The results were highly encouraging, with glaring whitening effects just after 14 days. However, some participants reported mild dental sensitivity, although none of them discontinued usage.
Excellent Laundry Tool
Well, if a compound can clean wounds and whiten the teeth, it is only natural that it makes a significant impact in the laundry room, isn’t it? H202 proves this theory.
As a laundry gear, hydrogen peroxide can remove tough stains from white fabrics, add to its glow and even add a touch of freshness to the cloth. So, safe to say, “H202 possesses deodorizing and bleaching properties”.
So, the next time you’re washing your kid’s white clothes, pour a moderate amount of H202 into the washing machine or just sprinkle some onto the clothes before sending it into the machine. Another alternative is to soak these fabrics in a bucket of hydrogen peroxide and water. However, the texture of the clothes can be damaged if steeped in this solution for too long, so endeavor to stay around… unless it’s time to change your child’s wardrobe.
For Surface & Appliance Cleaning
H202, as a powerful antimicrobial, helps to disinfect surfaces and appliances as well. So if you’re keen on sparkling surfaces with not even the tiniest iota of dirt, H202 is just fine. You can clean glass surfaces, kitchen counters, bathrooms, tiles, dishes, and appliances, although the latter has to be done very carefully. H202 is your go-to for any surface or item that is sanitized, brightened, or whitened.
On the contrary, if all you want is a germ-free home and would hate to bleach your blue furniture, you can opt for a spray of H202 and water. This will kill all germs and even molds.
Lest I forget, it is not advisable to mix ACV and H202 in a container. The mixture of compounds may irritate the skin, eyes, and even the respiratory system.
As mentioned previously, H202 can be used to lighten the hair. So, if you want some strands of silver among your jet-black hair or would like to lighten your crimson red to a more alluring shade of orange, a spray of 9% H202 concentration mixed with water should serve you just fine.
However, H202 may have adverse effects on some hair, or if it is spritzed in excess. Apply moderately. A recent study reported that rats experienced epidermal thinning and swelling when an H202 solution of 9% concentration was sprayed on them. Before you use this compound as a hair bleacher, you may have to test for adverse effects beforehand or just use a lesser concentration, say 3–5%.
Concluding The Uses Of Hydrogen Peroxide (H202)
The uses of hydrogen peroxide are helpful. That’s undeniable. With a simple mixture of water and H202, you can do so much. That’s not only an affordable way of doing things but also a very effective one.