“So, you have tried cleaning your home using homemade green cleaners but all you could achieve was to get your entire house smelling like vinegar?”
Next time, try this simple, low cost solution: use hydrogen peroxide 3%, also known as 10 vol peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide makes a great cleaner because it works just like bleach but without harming the environment. You can use it anywhere, it’s non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew, it is biodegradable into water and oxygen and is safe for the environment. Oh, did I mention it does not leave any residual unpleasant smell? Sounds great, huh?
Here are 15 ways you can use peroxide to clean your home:
1. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Hydrogen peroxide kills salmonella and other bacteria that may have left after preparing meat or fish for dinner. Spray on your surfaces. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean.
2. Clean your refrigerator and dishwasher. Hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning places that store food and dishes. Just spray the appliance outside and in, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
3. Use hydrogen peroxide in your dishwater. Pour half a cup into the sink when you’re hand washing, and you’ll have cleaner dishes.
4. Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.
5. Use it as a fruit and vegetable wash. Spritz them with peroxide, let it bubble and do it’s job, and then rinse well.
6. Remove baked-on food from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Scrub lightly and wash as usual.
7. Whiten bathtub grout. Dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times, depending on how much mildew you have, but eventually your grout will be white again.
8. Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then give it a scrub and flush.
9. Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-wash. Just soak the stains for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the washing machine. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.
10. Hydrogen peroxide works great on mold and mildew. Fill a spray bottle with one part hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water. Spray it on the surface, let it sit for at least ten minutes, and then scrub it off.
11. Half a cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with one gallon of hot water makes a great mixture for mopping floors. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.
12. For streak-free glasses and mirrors, spray directly on the surface and wipe clean with a dry paper towel.
13. Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis. You could also soak a rag in peroxide to make a wipe.
14. Avoid cross-contamination in your home simply by wiping door knobs and handles, phones, light switches and banisters with a peroxide-soaked rag.
15. Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants. Use 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide added to one gallon of water for your plants.
Now, a word of caution:
Avoid contact with skin and eyes, as it can cause severe irritation.
Spot test the hydrogen peroxide solution before spraying on painted or colored surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide can fade colors in the same way as bleach.
If you bought 20 vol (6%) peroxide, dilute it with the same amount of water, remember, you want a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Store hydrogen peroxide in an opaque, clean bottle. Light decomposes peroxide, neutralizing its effectiveness.