Brilliant Hydrogen Peroxide Hacks That Can Save You Tons

Many of us have so many products under the sink and in the medicine cabinet that it’s getting difficult to find storage space. But what if we told you that a little bottle of hydrogen peroxide could stand in for half of those products? From getting out carpet stains to cleaning your bathroom to unclogging the sink, you won’t believe how helpful the liquid can be. Best of all, a 32 fluid ounce bottle only costs about a dollar!

Get Pesky Labels Off Without Scratching The Product

label-removal
Facebook/FCT Surface Cleaning
Facebook/FCT Surface Cleaning

If you have a new product that has a label or bar code stuck on, try soaking it in hydrogen peroxide. Attempting to peel it off outright often results in little bits getting left on or stuck in your nails.

Just ten minutes of leaving it soaked in hydrogen peroxide should wear down the adhesive enough that the sticker comes right off. Scrub any remaining bits away with a soft washcloth that won’t scratch the product.

Clean Your Fruits And Veggies

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Abid Katib/Getty Images

Fruits and vegetables encounter multiple hands on their way to your kitchen, and some also have lingering pesticides. To be sure they’re all clean before you eat them, rinse your fruits and veggies with some hydrogen peroxide.

Add a quarter cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide (any higher concentration is toxic) to a full sink and pour your produce into the mixture. Swirl the produce around for a few seconds and then rinse the items with water.

Keep Your Underarms Smelling Fresh

Woman applying spray deodorant
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There’s nothing good about body odor, especially in the armpits. Bacteria emit a foul smell when it breaks down sweat, which is why the wedge between your arm and chest often smells the worst.

Applying 3% hydrogen peroxide can be a safe way to inhibit the growth of bacteria, resulting in less body odor. The natural solution may be appealing to those who want to avoid the chemicals found in deodorant. It won’t stop you from sweating in the area, but it can help the smell.

Get Stains Out Of Clothing

cloth-stain
YouTube/eHow
YouTube/eHow

Stains are one thing that can destroy your favorite piece of clothing. Before you throw in the towel, try using some hydrogen peroxide on the spot. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball and dab the stain, then throw the item in the washer.

If that doesn’t work, do a 50/50 mixture of clear ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. This enhanced remedy should do the trick, but be aware that the ammonia is too strong for wool or silk.

Rid Your Makeup Brushes Of Pore-Clogging Bacteria

John Phillips/Getty Images for IMG
John Phillips/Getty Images for IMG

Dermatologist Debbie Palmer notes that makeup brushes contain collect bacteria and more over time. As things like oil and skin cells build up in the bristles, they run the risk of clogging your pores or even causing infection.

That’s why it’s so important to clean your makeup brushes often. A little hydrogen peroxide and warm water can do the trick. Soak the brushes in the mixture for ten minutes and then rinse them off and let them air dry.

Clean Walls, Windows, Counters, And More

Das Waschbecken eines Badezimmers wird gereinigt.
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

If you’re all out of household cleaner or just want something with fewer chemicals, try using 3% hydrogen peroxide. The substance acts as a disinfectant but is mild enough to not be toxic.

Put it in a spray bottle and apply it to walls, counters, appliances, and any other surfaces that may need a boost. Leave it on for a minute or so to give the solution time to work. For mirrors and windows, mix in some vinegar and plain soap.

Polish Rusty Tools

Jair Villeda/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Jair Villeda/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

One thing that you probably don’t think to clean very often is your tools. Over time, tools can start to rust, making them less effective. To make them look like new, apply some hydrogen peroxide to the item.

Start by testing a small area on the tool because hydrogen peroxide can react to certain metals. Stainless steel, aluminum, and brass are generally safe for this hack, so check your tool material if possible. Once applied, scrub off the rust with steel wool or a brush.

Enhance Plant Growth

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Oxygen helps plants pull nutrients from the soil, and hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen. That’s why spraying a little onto your plants can help them grow and become more robust.

All you need is one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with a cup of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle to evenly disperse it over your plants. It also helps ward off fungus-related infections, so you can apply the mixture to seeds to give them an extra health boost.

Unclog Your Sink

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images
Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Many things end up down going down the drain, which can result in it becoming clogged every now and again. If your sink is backed up, try pouring a cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain.

Wait for an hour, and then follow it up with numerous cups of hot water. The hydrogen peroxide should help break down whatever is stuck in the drain, and the hot water can help it pass through. You can also use this hack as a maintenance practice every couple of weeks.

Get Burn Residue Out Of Cookie Sheets

Two Mini Pecan Pies on Baking Sheet, High Angle View
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As amazing as that pie looks, the burnt residue on the cookie sheet isn’t very appealing. It’s natural for this residue to build up over time, especially if you do a lot of cooking. Hydrogen peroxide may help restore the sheet to its initial glory.

To do this hack, cover the sheet with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and leave it on for six hours. The solution will help to lift the residue so that you can wipe it off afterward.

Lighten Your Hair

Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

If you want an incredibly inexpensive way to lighten your hair, just mix together hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The baking soda helps to lower the acidity and will turn the solution into a paste that’s easy to apply to the hair.

Leave it on for 15 to 60 minutes, bearing in mind that overdoing it can cause hair damage. Rinse the mixture out of your hair with cold water and you should notice a lighter shade of hair.

Keep Your Nails Stain-Free

molly-sims-and-michael-kors-launch-island-michael-kors-fragrance-at-bloomingdales.-59373
Stephen Lovekin/WireImage/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/WireImage/Getty Images

If your nails have started to yellow, fungus could be the culprit. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix that can restore your nails to their natural shade. Simply mix together one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of warm water.

You can also add in a teaspoon of baking soda for even more stain-fighting power. Soak your nails in the solution for ten minutes, and then scrub them with a clean toothbrush for a naturally fresh manicure.

Whiten Your Teeth

Close-up of woman's healthy teeth
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Tooth stains can be infuriating, but they’re often unavoidable if you drink coffee, eat blueberries, or do a host of other stain-causing things. Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide may be able to help.

Just mix 50% water and 3% hydrogen peroxide and swish it around in your mouth. A study in the Journal of Dentistry concluded that the substance is effective at bleaching teeth. However, it also found that hydrogen peroxide can wear down tooth enamel, so be sure to spit it out after 30 seconds.

Clean Your Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes
Wolfram Steinberg/picture alliance via Getty Images
Wolfram Steinberg/picture alliance via Getty Images

Even though we put toothbrushes in our mouths every day, many of us don’t bother cleaning them. Especially after you’ve been sick, it can be imperative to knock out some of the bacteria that may be collecting on the bristles.

An easy way to press the restart button on your toothbrush is to just soak it in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Wait until the solution stops bubbling, as that’s an indicator the bacteria is done for. Rinse the toothbrush with water and you’re all set!

Restore Extremely Rusted Items

Close up on tools
Darren Holden/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Darren Holden/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

We already mentioned that hydrogen peroxide can help get the rust off of tools, but sometimes you need something a little stronger to do the trick. If you just uncovered some severely rusted items, you may need to add borax and dish soap into the equation.

Combine a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of dish soap and a scoop of borax. Add the mixture to a sink full of water and submerge the tools for 10 to 15 minutes, then try scrubbing them clean.

Make Your Feet Smooth

FOOTBATH
Chantal CASANOVA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Chantal CASANOVA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Feet take a lot of wear and tear just from everyday life. This can result in rough and cracked skin, especially around the heels. An easy fix is to mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and warm water.

Soak your feet for 30 minutes and then pat them dry with a towel. The solution should have loosened the dead skin enough that you can more easily scrub it off. Follow it up with some lotion and by morning your feet should be silky soft.

Heal A Canker Sore Faster

Man With Toothache
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

Canker sores are little wounds in the mouth that can result from eating certain foods or even just being stressed out. Though they are often minor and heal on their own, hydrogen peroxide may help expedite the process.

Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide with water doing an even amount of both. You can either swish the solution in your mouth or dip a cotton ball in it and apply it directly to the canker sore. The hydrogen peroxide will help destroy any harmful bacteria for a speedier recovery.

Keep Your Shower Sparkling Clean

View of a bathroom with a shower area
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Even though the shower is where you get clean, it still is susceptible to growing mildew and collecting soap scum. By the time you get around to cleaning it, these substances may be so caked on that it’s difficult to scrub them out.

To help, put some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spritz the infected areas. Let it soak for 10 minutes and then try scrubbing down your shower. Not only will it be easier to clean, but the product should help inhibit the growth of future yeast and bacteria.

Remove Ear Wax

Woman Cleaning Ears
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hydrogen peroxide’s bubbling effect may help to soften ear wax and displace it from the ear canal. To try it, lay to one side and allow a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to spill into your upward-facing ear.

After five minutes, lean up and use a tissue to remove any liquid or discharge. Though a 2015 study by Australian Family Physician found ear irrigation to be effective, you’ll want to check with your doctor before trying this method.

Prevent Your Dog From Accidental Poisoning

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

There are some foods that can do serious harm to dogs, such as chocolate and grapes. If your furry friend accidentally eats these items, you’ll want to act fast. One way to help them vomit up what they ate it giving them a little hydrogen peroxide.

Be sure you use a solution that is only 3% hydrogen peroxide so you don’t do more harm than good. Give them one teaspoon for every five pounds of body weight and expect the vomiting to occur in the next five minutes for up to an hour. Be sure to still head to the vet.

Keep Your Home And Bathroom Mold-Free

View of a neat and tidy bathroom
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Mold is a dark, spotty substance that grows on surfaces and is especially common in bathrooms. The substance can irritate allergies and even cause respiratory problems. Once mold has infiltrated your home, it can be tricky to get rid of, so hydrogen peroxide is worth a try.

Place the liquid into a spray bottle and spritz the infected area. Let the solution sit for ten minutes so that it can thoroughly destroy the fungus, then wipe it down thoroughly.

Make Your Dishwasher More Effective

Martin Gerten/picture alliance via Getty Images
Martin Gerten/picture alliance via Getty Images

Dishwashers can cut your cleaning time in half or extend it two-fold depending on how well they work. One way to ensure that you aren’t left recleaning dishes is to give the dishwasher a clean every once in a while.

To do this, add a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher when it’s empty and put it through a run. The solution will help break down any lingering residue so that it doesn’t end up on the dishes.

Clean Your Retainer, Mouth Guard, Or Dentures

Damian Hopley
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

If you have a retainer, mouth guard, dentures, or any other items that go into the mouth, hydrogen peroxide may be a safe way to keep them clean. First, place the item into a cup of water.

Then, add a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and a little baking soda. Leave it in the solution for ten minutes, then wash it thoroughly with water. It’s an inexpensive way to keep the items that go in your mouth free of unwanted bacteria.

Rinse Out Your Humidifier

air humidifier
Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Humidifiers are another household item that can be easy to forget to clean. Since they contain water that is often left stagnent, they can harbor bacteria that trigger allergies.

To wipe out any potential bacteria, mix a gallon of water with two cups of hydrogen peroxide and pour it into the humidifier. Let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes before rinsing it with water. Lastly, leave the item out to air dry before using it again.

Get Stains Out Of The Carpet

carpet-stain
Twitter/@AbingdonCarpets
Twitter/@AbingdonCarpets

Many carpet cleaning products contain a powered form of hydrogen peroxide, so you may as well go straight to the source and skip the big price tag. Dilute the liquid by mixing five parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide.

Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spritz the stain so that it’s completely submerged. After a couple of minutes, the stain should come right out with some scrubbing. Especially if the stain is on a rug, you’ll want to test a small area first.

Reveal Clearer Skin

Jonathan Simkhai - Backstage - MADE Fashion Week Fall 2015
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Acne can put a damper on your week, but hydrogen peroxide may help. Simply soak a cotton ball in the liquid and then dab it on the pesky pimples. Wait for five minutes and then wash your face with cold water.

Be sure that you apply the hydrogen peroxide to clean skin no more than three times a week to mitigate the risk of irritation. The solution should help demolish the acne-causing bacteria, but overuse can cause damage.

Beat Bad Breath

ryan-crotty-3KMqwr8OFB8-unsplash
Unsplash/Ryan Crotty
Unsplash/Ryan Crotty

Like with body odor, bad breath is caused by bacteria, something that hydrogen peroxide can help destroy. Since you’re going to be putting it directly into your mouth, be sure you have 3% hydrogen peroxide to be safe.

You can then further dilute it by mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. Swish it around in your mouth and gargle it so that you eliminate as much bacteria as possible. Your breath should be much less obvious afterward.

Soothe A Sore Throat

BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As we just mentioned, hydrogen peroxide can be an effective way to destroy bacteria in the throat and mouth. That’s why it may also help you if you feel sick due to a bacterial infection.

Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and gurgle it for 30 seconds to a minute. You can also use this trick to help with tender gums. Swish the solution around in your mouth and then follow up with a water rinse.

Disinfect Your Sponge

Stefan Klein/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Stefan Klein/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Sponges come into contact with bacteria-riddled items all the time when you use them for cleaning. That’s why they can harbor bacteria over time and become dirty-looking and foul-smelling.

To extend the life of your sponges, just soak them in hydrogen peroxide to kill off the bacteria. Pour the liquid into a container and then place the sponge in for several minutes, flipping it once to get both sides. Rinse the sponge thoroughly with water and it’ll seem good as new.

Clean Your Contact Lenses

Close up of young man putting contact lens onto eye
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Contact lenses can be incredibly convenient, but that’s only true if you keep them clean. Unless you wear daily contacts, you’ll likely need to clean them in between sets.

If you find that you’re sensitive to the cleaning solution, hydrogen peroxide may be a gentler alternative. Soak the contacts in 3% hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes, then place them into a neutralizer. The neutralizer you purchase will instruct you how long to keep them in for.

Keep Your Cutting Board Food-Safe

Selection of typical Sardinian cheese, Italy
Getty Images
Getty Images

Cutting boards are extremely helpful in the kitchen, so they get used a lot if you enjoy cooking. That’s also what makes them a breeding ground for bacteria, making it imperative to not only wash it but also sanitize.

Start by rinsing the board thoroughly with soap and water. From there, you can fill up a container or sink with water and hydrogen peroxide. Soak the cutting board in the solution for 10 minutes and rinse it with water.

Lighten Your Roots

Fred Duval/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Fred Duval/FilmMagic/Getty Images

If you dye your hair a lighter color than it naturally is, then you know what a pain it can be to see your roots growing in. Instead of running to the salon every few weeks, try using some hydrogen peroxide to get more bang for your buck.

We previously mentioned that the solution can lighten up your hair, so this time, just apply it to the roots. Be sure you only let it soak for half and hour maximum and rinse if any irritation occurs.

Disinfect Toys Without Leaving A Harmful Residue

Toddler sitting in car seat.
Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images
Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images

Kids aren’t typically the most sanitary, especially when they’re still in the phase where they put everything into their mouths. That’s why parents want to be sure their child’s toys are clean, but also not toxic.

Hydrogen peroxide can be a great alternative to cleaners that are riddled with chemicals. Use a solution that’s half 3% hydrogen peroxide and half water so that it doesn’t strip the paint from the toy. You can either soak the items or used a cloth to wipe them clean.

Sanitize The Air

DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images
DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images

We already mentioned using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your humidifier, but you can also use both items to sanitize the air. Especially if a member of the household was sick recently, this trick may help knockout any lingering germs.

All you need to do is combine one part hydrogen peroxide with eight parts water and pour the solution into the humidifier. The diluted liquid will be strong enough to sanitize but not so much that it irritates. However, you should avoid this hack if pets are around as they may be more sensitive.

Keep Lunch Boxes Fresh And Clean

Sophia Kembowski/picture alliance via Getty Images
Sophia Kembowski/picture alliance via Getty Images

If there’s one thing you don’t want showing up in your child’s lunch box, it’s bacteria. Since these containers store food all day long, they can easily build up bacteria. In fact, a study by e-cloth found that 73% of lunch boxes and coolers may have food poison-causing bacteria in them.

To ensure that the lunch box is clean, wash it out with soap and water and then fill it up with hydrogen peroxide and water. Let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse.

Make Your Shower Grout Sparkle

Former Post staffer Sara Goo has written a first-person story on her efforts to renovate her bathroom.
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

We already mentioned that hydrogen peroxide can come in handy to clean multiple things in the shower, but there’s one area that may need special attention. Shower grout can be especially difficult to clean since particles cling to it so well.

To make it a little easier, mix hydrogen peroxide with water and lemon. The added acidity should help break down the more stubborn particles. Spray it once and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing the grout clean.

Reduce Infection-Causing Bacteria In The Ears

ear-exam
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Adding hydrogen peroxide to the ears every once in a while can be great when it comes to loosening ear wax. But there’s also another reason to apply hydrogen peroxide to the ears: reducing infections.

Some people are more susceptible to ear infections than others. Repeat infections of any kind can be infuriating, so it may be worth it to apply a little hydrogen peroxide to the ear with a q-tip to reduce potentially harmful bacteria.

Get Towels Extra Clean

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Like sponges, towels are masterful absorbers, but that’s also what makes them more susceptible to carrying bacteria. Sometimes, put them in the washer isn’t enough to make them smell like new.

To ensure that your towels are as clean as possible and last even longer, wash them with hydrogen peroxide every once in a while. Add half a cup of it to the wash alongside half a cup of vinegar to knockout any bacteria hiding in the fibers.

Get Rid Of Blood Stains

2014 Australian Open - Day 3
Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Speaking of towels, they’re typically the first thing you reach for when you or someone else is bleeding. Though they are the perfect item to grab in such times, they also are the worst go-to because they are sure to stain.

Fortunately, all you need to do is soak the towel in hydrogen peroxide. As with stained clothes, the solution should do the trick by lifting the stain. Rinse it with soap and water and repeat if necessary.

Disinfect Your Body

Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

If you’ve been in a germ-infested space all day, few things sound better than soaking in the tub. To enhance the tub’s bacteria-fighting capabilities, add in some hydrogen peroxide.

Though your body is always riddled with bacteria, there may be some unwanted germs you’re carrying, especially during the winter. After soaking for about half an hour, rinse off in the shower to be sure there isn’t any lingering hydrogen peroxide on your skin that may cause irritation.

Get The Stink Out Of Your Shoes

sneakers
Focus on Sport via Getty Images
Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Shoes can grow stinky over time, especially pairs you wear while working out. To get rid of the odor, all you need is some hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Mix them together to make a paste and then apply it to your shoes.

Let the paste dry, absorbing and destroying all of the smelly bacteria. Then, rub away the residue with a moist cloth. Doing this every so often will help keep the bacteria buildup to a minimum.

Clean The Toilet

Illustration by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
Illustration by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

The next time you clean the bathroom, you’re going to want to have a few bottles of hydrogen peroxide with you. It can take care of just about all of your restroom cleaning needs, including the toilet.

Simply pour some hydrogen peroxide into the bowl along with half a cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of castile soap. It’s a great alternative to toilet bowl cleaner if you want to save money or nix an extra trip to the store.

Make Your Curtains Bright

Looking At Curtains
Susan Wood/Getty Images
Susan Wood/Getty Images

Over time, particles in the air can start to discolor your curtains. A simple fix is to spray them down with hydrogen peroxide and let them sit for about ten minutes. Then, throw them in the washer and watch how bright they turn out.

You can also do the same stain-fighting trick used on clothes, towels, and carpet to breathe new life into your tablecloth. Soak the stain in hydrogen peroxide and use a rag to scrub it out, then toss it in the washer.

Clean Wounds

Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images
Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images

Perhaps the most popular use for hydrogen peroxide is to disinfect wounds. If you get a cut, you want to be sure that the item that scratched you doesn’t leave you with bacteria that can enter your body through the wound.

Pour a little onto the cut or apply it with a cotton ball or q-tip. The bubbles are an indicator that the solution is working to clean the wound. Apply a band-aid after to keep the spot protected until it scabs over.