Useful tips for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent, similar to bleach, that removes colour and sanitizes surfaces. Many products that promise to brighten or whiten clothes contain hydrogen peroxide. Use it with care. Peroxide is made of two parts hydrogen and two parts oxygen, and it's the extra oxygen molecule that turns plain water into a potent oxidizer. You can purchase hydrogen peroxide in concentrations ranging from three to 50 per cent.

Useful tips for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide

1. Peroxide is a useful germ killer

  • It's a potent enemy of salmonella and colibacteria.
  • To kill these germs, spray three per cent hydrogen peroxide on a countertop or chopping board, for example, followed by a squirt of white distilled vinegar.
  • Then rinse with fresh water.

2. For removing carpet stains

  • Three per cent hydrogen peroxide is a good choice.
  • Pour the peroxide on the spot, wait 30 minutes, then blot it up with paper towels.
  • Rinse with 50 ml (1/4 cup) of white vinegar mixed with 1 litre (4 cups) of water, blot, rinse again with plain water and blot once more. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.

3. To fight mould in bathrooms

  • 30 per cent or 35 per cent peroxide, mixed 50:50 with water, is effective.
  • Spray it on, wait an hour and spray again.
  • Don't rinse. If mould remains, spray again in two days.
  • Don't use hydrogen peroxide on coloured grout.

4. Brighten your laundry whites

Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of 30 per cent peroxide, 500 ml (2 cups) of three per cent peroxide or 250 ml (1 cup) of six per cent peroxide to your wash.

5. To remove yellow underarm stains

Pour three per cent peroxide directly on the stain, let it sit for several hours and then rinse.

6. Remove red dye stains

  • For stains caused by ice-blocks, punch or cordial treat with three per cent peroxide poured directly on the spot.
  • Wait for 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

7. Good to know

  • You can buythree per cent hydrogen peroxide in some supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Beauty salons and pharmacies carry six per cent peroxide, medical supply shops sell 30 per cent and health food shops carry both 35 per cent and 50 per cent, which is considered food grade.
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