Can Hydrogen Peroxide Be Used as a Disinfectant?Faizan Khan
With the many attacks of the Coronavirus, the world is increasingly becoming hyperaware of its hygiene and surroundings. Since the virus outbreak, you may have become prone to grabbing bleach at any given time and wiping down surfaces.
However, what if I were to tell you that although you have successfully safeguarded your home against Covid-19, you have still endangered your health.
Before your confusion escalates, let’s address the issue in an orderly manner.
What Are the Dangers of Using Bleach as a Disinfectant?
Something which many people do not know is that ‘Chlorine Bleach’ is a variant of bleach that is used for disinfecting. Chlorine happens to be a chemical compound found in several bleach compounds, and the active ingredient in them is sodium hypochlorite.
Let’s review history. According to the United Nations, the modern use of chemical weapons originated during World War I, when Chlorine was widely used as a choking agent.
In a 2010 pediatric study, McKenzie et al. revealed that an estimated 267, 269 US children were injured by household cleaning products. Research showed that Bleach was a leading substance (37%), and was most commonly through a spray bottle (40%).
NCBI states that bleach is highly corrosive and breaks down protein which in turn results in irritation and cell death. It also aggravates respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or obstructive lung disease.
However, many of the problems arise when bleach mixes with other components such as ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, vinegar, and drain cleaners- creating chlorine gas. If this was used as a choking agent you can only imagine that it wouldn’t be anywhere near harmless. It may cause a ranging number of symptoms from coughing, breathing problems, runny nose, burning eyes, irritation to more severe issues like fluid in lungs, pneumonia, or even death.
After watching this real-life horror movie on ‘Bleach’- I’m sure you’ll be grappling to find alternatives to bleach.
This is why we recommend using ‘Hydrogen Peroxide’ as an alternative bacteria-killing agent.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Better Than Bleach for Disinfecting?
After assessing the various health risks that are associated with bleach, we can confirm that hydrogen peroxide is better than bleach as a disinfectant.
Allow me to engrave authenticity into that fact by backing it up with science. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydrogen peroxide is an active and qualified combatant against various microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores. (You’ve found your knight in a shining brown bottle!)
Moreover, a 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration can inactivate the ‘Rhonavirus’ in 8 minutes. This is the respiratory virus that usually causes the common cold.
A 2018 study also discovered that hydrogen peroxide was more effective in killing some variants of bacteria as compared to the quaternary ammonium compounds found in certain household cleaning products.
The Rutgers experts also gave the go-ahead for hydrogen peroxide to be used as a disinfectant against the Coronavirus. They advised that leaving the hydrogen dioxide on the surface before wiping it away, would allow it to be most effective.
The bottom line is that yes, a 3% hydrogen peroxide can be used as a disinfectant- for inanimate objects or surfaces. It is not recommended to use it as a disinfectant for cuts, bruises, or other illnesses.
- Hydrogen dioxide comes in many concentration levels, and a 3% hydrogen peroxide is generally recognized as safe. Others such as the 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous and must be handled with care.
- Hydrogen peroxide must not be used to cure any health conditions, for it could cause serious health issues.
- It is a general rule that chemicals must not be merged with other substances. This rule applies in the case of hydrogen peroxide as well. Make sure to not mix it with vinegar or bleach.
- However, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can be used together to create a germ-fighting duo. This is done by first using vinegar on a surface, allowing the surface to dry, and then using hydrogen peroxide.
Functions of Hydrogen Peroxide as a Disinfectant in Your Home
Now that you may be switching to a new disinfectant- hydrogen peroxide- we have prepared a house cleansing guide, to ease you into this new tour of safety.
Hydrogen dioxide will aid in cleaning all parts of your house- including the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, garden as well as pets!
Let’s further break down this list, to make it more understandable.
Cleanse Your Toilet
Whether your toilet has a dingy yellow tint to it or not- I’m sure it has been feeling a little flushed lately. Well, nice deep cleanse with a disinfectant is surely what it needs.
Pour in ½ a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, and let the toilet bathe for about 20 minutes to allow it to fully refresh and rid its stomach of all the germs.
Scrub the Shower & Tub
The shower and tub have an appetite that must be tended to weekly.
Their meal usually consists of 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 cup baking soda, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Pour all the ingredients into a bowl and give it a good mix.
Once the sizzle settles down, present the soup to the fiberglass shower and tub through some hydrating scrubs.
Glistening Glass Surfaces & Gleaming Mirrors
Here’s the common issue with glass surfaces- every time you rub down them down, you end up leaving a trail of fingerprints and cloth marks over the sterilized surfaces. (I’m sure you’ve experienced it too!)
Well, we’ve got a little hack for you. Use a 1:1 water and hydrogen peroxide solution as your liquid cleaner and make sure to use a newspaper, lint-free cloth, or paper towel.
Voila! Look at your reflection without any external blemishes!
Old Porcelain Revival
I’m sure your porcelain doll is very valuable to you- you must hold this same regard for your porcelain sink. Old is gold here!
If you want to give your porcelain sink a makeover while your doll supervises you- here’s what you must do. Place the doll a good length away for her safety. Proceed to dampen the sink and then scrub it with baking soda. Lastly, saturate a sponge with hydrogen dioxide and continue scrubbing!
No More Mold & Mildew
A shower stall tends to hone a moist atmosphere, in the process also honing mold and mildew.
Spray the stall with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for 30 minutes to effectively kill the mold and mildew. However, at times stains are left behind which you may need to scrub away!
Disinfect That Dishwasher
You are serving in cutlery that may be infected by fungi and black yeast E. dermatitidis.
This is what research implies for those who haven’t been disinfecting their dishwasher regularly. According to a 2016 study, 83% of tested dishwashers were infected by fungi, whereas 47% contained E. dermatitidis- which is harmful to humans.
To help your hardware appliance avoid this fate, spray hydrogen peroxide in all the inner crevices of the dishwasher including the pleats of rubber seals, utensil baskets, and traps.
Spotless Sink Spotted
To spot a spotless sink within your home, follow a simple scrubbing trick.
Firstly, dampen your sink with water and then use a baking soda sprinkled sponge to scrub it clean. Once this is done, pour hydrogen dioxide on the surface and allow it to sit before rinsing it.
Many homeowners swear by this method, and there’s no reason for you not to try it!
Sterilized Counters & Cutting boards
You already know the drill. Assess where the bacterias, in this case- E. coli and Salmonella- have intruded and then hydro-work them away. Hard surfaces like countertops and cutting boards have come to be a habitat for these bacterias if they are not sterilized.
The Ohio State University Extention states that 3% undiluted hydrogen peroxide must rest for 10 minutes at room temperature on these hard surfaces before it can be declared an effective cleansing agent.
Rinsed Longer Lasting Veggies
Veggies are a part of Earth and bring with them nutrients and a pinch of bacteria.
Organic gardeners are aware of this and that is why they recommend using 1/4 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water to rinse the vegetables.
For tough-skinned veggies, such as capsicum, potatoes and, carrots- soak in this solution for 30 minutes before rinsing and drying.
Whereas for thin-skinned veggies, such as lettuces and, coriander- soak for 20 minutes before rinsing and drying.
This process is believed to elongate the life of vegetables because it is the bacterias that cause them to decay and turn brown.
Being a baking or cooking enthusiast, brown plated sheets, pots and pans must be an everyday nightmare for you!
No need to throw them away and re-live the nightmare with new ornaments. You can recycle them at home with the help of renowned hydrogen dioxide.
Sprinkle your utensils and cutlery with baking soda, and then sprinkle another layer using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Allow it to sit and defrost the mess for 1 to 3 hours before cleaning it.
The Laundry Room
Brighten White Fabrics
White fabrics prone to catch germs and dirt, over time converting into grey t-shirts, towels, or cloths.
If your item is vintage, expensive, or special, and you simply cannot bear to depart with it, I recommend using this fix to bring your whites back to life!
It simply consists of ½ a cup washing soda (do note that this is not the same as baking soda) and ½ cup hydrogen peroxide.
Turn on a cycle in your washing machine and allow it to fill up with water. Pour in the solution you’ve made and allow it to sit for a couple of hours before finishing the cycle.
It is advised that you try this on a small portion of cloth first, to assess how it reacts.
Eliminate Stubborn Stains
Stains always show up unrequited, be it of grass, wine, juice, or blood. Hydrogen peroxide now provides a solution to these stubborn stains.
Mix 1 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1 tsp dish soap. Place a towel underneath the fabric and then dab the mixture onto the stain.
Bye, Bye Algae!
You can treat your water features and ponds by yourself- and can therefore easily reduce maintenance costs.
Gardening experts recommend using a 1/2 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to cleanse a 90-gallon pond.
Bid your farewells to the algae!
Fungal Infections Cured
You may have spotted some dusty mold or fungal infections on your plants. Don’t call your gardener just yet- let’s try a hydro-cure.
Combine 4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with a pint of water, and spray your plants with this solution. You’ll find that it’ll cure whatever bacteria they had inherited.
A note of caution- stronger solutions could burn delicate plants, therefore make sure you use the precise measurements.
Litter Box Restoration
To protect your pets from any unwanted infections, it is important to disinfectant their litter trays.
Empty the litter box, and wash it with soap and hot water. Spritz the box with full-strength hydrogen peroxide and allow it to sit for 15 minutes, before rinsing and drying.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to cleanse fish tanks and rid them of algae. However, research by IFAS extension reveals that some species of fish including gourami and suckermouth catfish may not be able to tolerate it.
For that reason, make sure to contact your fish veterinarian before carrying out this process.
Now that you have been equipped with the all-rounder disinfecting ingredient, I believe nothing can stop you from going on to preserve your home from bacterial ambushes.
Secure your home with a hydro-disinfecting spree.