There is a growing number of Americans who are opting for chemical-free cleaning products for their homes. But let’s be honest, the alternatives have to actually work too, right? Did you know that something you probably already have in your medicine cabinet is a great multi-purpose cleaning agent for your home? Good old fashioned hydrogen peroxide is an effective, inexpensive household product with a variety of uses. The bonus about using hydrogen peroxide is that it’s totally green. Hydrogen peroxide is produced in nature (it’s really just water with an extra oxygen molecule), so it’s not harmful to your family or the environment!
Here are 7 Quick and Dirty Tips for using that cheap little brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide to make your home a happier and healthier place:
Tip #1: Whiten Whites and Remove Stains
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural alternative to bleach. A cup of hydrogen peroxide added to a load of laundry is just as effective at brightening up your whites. Simply pour it in the presoak, or put it in the bleach compartment in the washer, and let it do its job. It can also be used to remove blood stains from clothes. Just pour the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and watch it bubble. If the stain has hardened, you may want to first rinse it with cold water, just to get it un-crusty.
A word of caution: Even though it is much safer to use than bleach, H2O2 can still remove color from clothes, so treat it as you would bleach. Test a small, inconspicuous area of the clothing to make sure it won’t damage the piece.
Tip #2: Clean Cutting Boards or Counter Top
After using your cutting board for chicken and other meats, hydrogen peroxide is a great way to make sure no bacteria (like salmonella) stick around. Wash and rinse like you normally would, but then pour the peroxide directly on the board to remove all the lingering germs. The same principle applies to cleaning your counters and eating surfaces. You can either dampen a clean rag with a little peroxide, or keep a dark spray bottle full of peroxide to spritz on the counters before wiping them down. The dark bottle is key, as light breaks down hydrogen peroxide and makes it ineffective. That’s why it’s always sold in a brown bottle.
Tip #3: Wash Fruits and Veggies
Fruit and veggie washes are becoming popular for those of us who want to make sure our foods are free of germs and pesticides before eating them. Instead of purchasing an expensive wash or spray, you can use your handy dandy hydrogen peroxide to clean them up. Just add a quarter to a half cup of peroxide to a sink full of water and wash fresh fruits and veggies to eliminate germs and neutralize pesticides.