Using a Cool Mist Humidifier for Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy – It Works!Faizan Khan
Whenever we face a cut or scrape, our eyes automatically search for the trusty brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide. This is the most primary form of hydrogen peroxide. This chemical has been historically used for cleaning wounds. Scientists from all around the world undisputedly believe that hydrogen peroxide has antimicrobial properties which makes it a fantastic cleaning agent.
Considering the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide over the body, how effective is it when it comes to treating the ailments inside? Is it a layman’s wish or is there some evidence backing these claims? If so, what are some of the ailments hydrogen peroxide is able to treat?
Cool mist humidifiers are another machine that is getting popular lately. It allows vapors to be spread across the room, humidifying the air. So what happens when we combine these two agents in the form of hydrogen peroxide therapy?
We will find answers to all of those questions and much more, in the light of research. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy – What You Need to Know
Hydrogen peroxide is very much like water but with extra oxygen. In terms of physical properties, people may not even be able to differentiate them. It has the same consistency, the same texture and both of them smell the same (though we do not recommend smelling hydrogen peroxide).
So how is this water-like substance able to perform so many astounding tasks? What makes hydrogen peroxide so potent that it is used in hundreds of different therapies? We are here to answer all of that!
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy?
Hydrogen peroxide therapy refers to using hydrogen peroxide as a medicinal tool in treating various ailments or preventing certain diseases. As hydrogen shows amazing disinfecting and oxidizing properties (more discussed later), it has been historically used for cleaning wounds. But as time has progressed, so has the functionality of hydrogen peroxide.
Currently, hydrogen peroxide therapy has proven effective for hundreds of different infections and diseases. The effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide is vast; from treating bacterial and viral diseases to treating cancer, it does all!
Hydrogen peroxide therapy can be accomplished in various ways. The oxidizing substance can be given orally, nasally, as tablets, intravenously, or sometimes even topical. All of them have their implications and limitations, which will be discussed later!
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy Work?
Now that we know what exactly hydrogen peroxide therapy is, we can move on to discuss what is the mechanism that makes hydrogen peroxide so functional and versatile.
If we had to summarize the complete mechanism behind the hydrogen peroxide functioning it would be through a single phrase: reactive oxygen species.
As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide is very much like water. However, what you may not know is that hydrogen peroxide has a molecule formula of H2O2. One more oxygen in the world-famous H2O formula.
This extra oxygen is loosely bound to the water molecule, yielding hydrogen peroxide. H2O2 is manufactured in very controlled environments and stored in special bottles. And thus, when it comes into contact with the environment, the oxygen detaches itself from the water molecule. In this state, the oxygen molecule is extremely reactive and has amazing oxidizing properties.
Therefore, by completely understanding how the oxygen is liberated and how it can react, we can bend hydrogen peroxide to our will and use it in a plethora of procedures. Furthermore, by stimulating certain conditions, hydrogen peroxide truly becomes a magic potion that can complete all the required tasks!
Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy for Emphysema
Emphysema is a lung condition that is primarily caused by smoking. What happens in emphysema is rather complicated. However, the result is the destruction of the walls of the alveoli. This leads to breathing problems, and due to the reduced surface area of the lung, the air does not get expelled properly.
Treating emphysema using hydrogen peroxide is a gray zone. There are some studies that point out hydrogen peroxide is the cause of emphysema, let alone treat one. However, the result findings are subjected to conditions (if hydrogen peroxide is given along with oxidation activators like nitric oxide).
On the other hand, intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy is effective in emphysema patients. What some doctors like Dr. Farr predict is that the oxygen from hydrogen peroxide moves to the lungs clears out obstructions and bacteria, and helps in breathing. However, the findings are inconclusive and not backed by hard evidence.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Tumour Therapy
Unlike treating emphysema with hydrogen peroxide, tumor therapy using hydrogen peroxide is well-researched. However, it is subjected to many contradictions and the use is not recommended by doctors.
Some articles label hydrogen peroxide as the causative agent for cancer. The ROS species hydrogen peroxide-induced inside the cell is thought to damage DNA and cause tumor growth.
However, a research article published in the journal Nature points out this paradoxical behavior of hydrogen peroxide in cancer progression. At certain concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can cause tumor growth and can even lead to the spreading of cancer. However, when these concentrations are increased beyond a threshold, the same mechanisms which were responsible for its progression become lethal.
The cancer cells have more hydrogen peroxide receptors than normal cells, and therefore when the hydrogen peroxide concentrations are increased high enough, they induce apoptosis inside the tumor cell.
This explains why some scientists found data on how hydrogen peroxide is able to regress the tumor cells inside rats back in 1957.
As of now, hydrogen peroxide therapy for cancer is a gray zone, which is worth exploring considering the epidemiology of cancer.
What’s a Cool Mist Humidifier and How Does it Work?
Before we look into what a cool-mist humidifier exactly is, we have to consider why it is important.
Every day, the air we breathe is getting more polluted and full of poisonous gases and germs. That can be attributed to the high use of fossil fuels and unregulated urbanization. In such cases, there are high chances of someone getting infected by breathing into the surrounding air. And trying to change people and society into being more eco-friendly is a long and strenuous job.
Therefore, a need for a cool-mist humidifier arises. These devices are nothing but a box containing an air filter and automated setting which constantly takes in air, purifies and humidifies it, and sprays it back into the air. Pretty neat right?
Cool mist humidifiers make homes a safe place to breathe and thus, are very popular. Moreover, they are a one-hand up to their counterpart, warm-air humidifiers. That’s because they do the same task but without the risk of burns from the hot water (commonly associated with the hot-air humidifiers).
The job of a cool-mist humidifier is even more so important during the winter months. As the humidity levels are lower in the cold season, coarse air can be harmful to one’s health. Some of the common ailments caused by dry air include cough, nasal congestion, asthma attacks, cold, and various sinus problems. And all of them can be avoided by the use of cold mist humidifiers!
The cold mist humidifier has the basic job of humidifying the air. They do so by releasing cool mist into the air. And as the name dictates, the cold-mist humidifiers release these water vapors into the air at room temperature. These vapors spread out evenly through the room and make the simple task of breathing pleasurable.
Hydrogen Peroxide Vapours Are Highly Effective – A Hopkins Study
We have constantly emphasized how effective hydrogen peroxide therapy is, and how easily you can do it too. But how accurate is our claim? We will let experts at John Hopkins decide!
According to a study published back in 2013, John Hopkins decided to use hydrogen peroxide against the spread of multi-resistant drug bacteria. At that time the spread of bacteria was at its peak and no other means of pest control showed effectiveness. And then, the hospital administration decided to give hydrogen peroxide a shot.
They used a mixture of hydrogen peroxide inside cool mist humidifiers and documented the results. This idea was inspired by Singaporean hospitals that used the same robot-like devices back in the 2002 outbreak of SARS. The procedure was implemented on 31st Dec 2012 inside all the isolation rooms.
The infection control experts at the John Hopkins Hospital approve the use of hydrogen peroxide in the cool mist humidifiers. According to their study, hydrogen peroxide therapy shows these devices are highly effective at killing and spreading multi-resistant drug bacteria!
The study was conducted on 6,350 patients over a span of 2.5 years. During this time half of the rooms received hydrogen peroxide therapy using the humidifiers while the rest did not. The researchers saw that rooms that did not receive such therapy had a 21% chance of being infected with bacteria. While the room which did receive hydrogen peroxide therapy showed protective functions, even if the previous occupants had drug-resistant bacteria.
A senior infectious disease specialist and study investigator at John Hopkins mentioned how the use of hydrogen peroxide in devices like cool mist humidifiers represented a major technological advancement in the prevention of dangerous bacteria inside hospitals. The experimenters were particularly impressed at how hydrogen peroxide was able to remove and prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria when the previous occupants had it!
Using a Cool Mist Humidifier to Generate Hydrogen Peroxide Vapours
Now that we know exactly what a cool-mist humidifier is and how it works, we can try to answer the question of how effective it is with hydrogen peroxide treatment.
Can the water tank of the humidifier be filled with hydrogen peroxide instead of water and used? What are its implications and what precautions do you have to take? So let’s begin!
What Equipment Do You Need?
Before coming onto how you can incorporate hydrogen peroxide with the cool mist humidifier, we have to first know what equipment is required for the process.
When it comes to therapies, the list of equipment can be a long one with complicated instruments that are not easily available. However, that’s certainly not the case with hydrogen peroxide therapy!
The amazing part of performing therapy with this chemical is the ease of the procedure. For the whole protocol, all you need are two pieces of equipment, hydrogen peroxide, and the humidifier machine.
Humidifier machines can be easily purchased from online or retail stores. And so is, hydrogen peroxide. You can easily purchase hydrogen peroxide in all concentrations, at an extremely discounted price!
How do they Operate?
Although the cool mist humidifier is simple to use and has easy-to-follow instructions, you should know what goes behind the rectangular spraying frame.
At its core, the cool mist humidifier has the task of humidifying the room temperature by producing vapors that are relatively at lower temperatures. As mentioned above, this avoids the risk of producing burns commonly associated with the warm mist ones. But the technology inside the cool mist humidifiers may be slightly different, albeit the function is the same.
Based on the technology used to produce the mist, cool mist humidifiers can be divided into evaporative and ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers.
Before buying a cool-mist humidifier for the harmony of your home, it is important to know which one works best for you. Being aware of the basic difference in the working of cool mist humidifiers can help you out with the selection process.
The evaporative humidifiers work on older (and trusted) technology of producing water vapors through strong air. Therefore, these types of humidifiers have a fan and filter that blows out water and releases vapors into the air.
The whole process of using air to release water vapors into the air is simple and natural. The air is extracted from the environment and then used to blow out vapors from the spray nozzle. And the result is air becoming less dry and more breathable. Cool mist humidifiers of evaporative type can effectively blow out hydrogen peroxide without changing its composition.
- Natural Process
- Contains filter which eliminates bacteria and allergens
- Works with tap water
- Has more tank space
- Requires high maintenance
- Is noisy
- Takes up larger space
Ultrasonic humidifiers, on the other hand, use high technology to produce water vapors and spread them throughout the room. Unlike evaporative humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers lack any fans. They use an ultrasonic transducer (as the name dictates) to directly break down water into vapors that can be easily spread into the air.
Ultrasonic humidifiers provide a new, smart way of humidifying air without noisy fans. However, they might have low storage space and other drawbacks which will be discussed in the subsequent sections.
- Saves money on regular maintenance
- High-tech working is quiet, better with sleeping
- Takes smaller space and is portable
- Easier refills
- Artificial processes which may not be compatible with the use of chemicals
- Only works with distilled water
- Does not have a filter
- Has less tank space
Making Hydrogen Peroxide Vapors
Now that we know exactly how cool mist humidifiers work, we can move on to discuss how to accommodate hydrogen peroxide with their mechanism.
The procedure of using hydrogen peroxide with a cool-mist humidifier is a simple process. The real challenge is making a solution perfect for the humidifier. Because at higher concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can cause serious side effects and internal damage.
You may want to prefer using distilled water with the cool mist humidifiers instead of regular tap water. Because the thing with tap water is that they contain minerals and impurities. They can accumulate inside the air filter (such as seen in evaporative humidifiers) and render them useless. Just by switching tap water with distilled water, you can save a lot of time and money in the maintenance of the device.
When it comes to hydrogen peroxide therapy using humidifiers, we strongly recommend using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. At this concentration hydrogen peroxide is dilute enough to avoid any skin burns or mucosal irritation. Though you can use 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide inside the cool mist humidifiers, you have to carefully dilute it enough to be used at home.
To make up a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to be used inside the cool mist humidifiers, add one and a half cups of hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water. This will be compatible enough to be used in the humidifiers and prevent any harmful contact with the skin.
Things to Remember While Working With Hydrogen Peroxide and a Humidifier
As you have seen above, the process of making and using hydrogen peroxide solutions for cool mist humidifiers is simple and easy to follow. However, you have to take certain precautions while using hydrogen peroxide. Carelessness can lead to the inefficacy of hydrogen peroxide or worse, side effects.
The foremost thing you should keep in mind while using hydrogen peroxide is the concentration of hydrogen peroxide used. We have mentioned this fact above as well. 3% hydrogen peroxide is most suitable for use inside the cool-mist humidifiers. If you are using food-grade hydrogen peroxide of 35% concentration, make sure to convert it into 3% hydrogen peroxide before and calculate the amount to be used to make a humidifier mixture.
A simple way you can convert 35% hydrogen peroxide into 3% hydrogen peroxide is by mixing one part 35% hydrogen peroxide to eleven parts water. This will ensure the chemical is diluted enough for human use.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the expiration date on your hydrogen peroxide bottle. Before you pour down hydrogen peroxide inside the humidifier, make sure to check if it’s working. Hydrogen peroxide is very reactive to the atmosphere and is stored inside a brown bottle which keeps it secure from light and air.
Generally, an unopened bottle of hydrogen peroxide lasts for about 3 years before losing its efficacy. And if the bottle is opened, the time span reduces down to mere 6 months.
Lastly, make sure that the mixture you are using inside the humidifier is fresh and newly made. Do not store hydrogen peroxide mixture from your previous batch, as hydrogen peroxide slowly degenerates with time. So every time you are opting for hydrogen peroxide therapy, make a fresh batch of mixture.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Using Hydrogen Peroxide Mist?
Using hydrogen peroxide for therapy and inside the humidifiers is very encouraging. Not only is the process simple and easy, but it also does not require any additional tools and equipment and the raw material (hydrogen peroxide) is economical and readily available.
On the surface, hydrogen peroxide vaporization is a highly efficient way of getting rid of respiratory tract infections and dry air. However, people sometimes forget that hydrogen peroxide is a chemical nonetheless and are not allowed to be careless with it.
The biggest drawback of using hydrogen peroxide is its tendency to cause skin burns and internal body damage. However, that only occurs when the concentration of hydrogen peroxide used is very high and recommended protocol is not followed.
Another drawback of using hydrogen peroxide with the cool mist humidifier is that the machine requires regular cleaning and maintenance for hydrogen peroxide to be effective. Every time you have to use hydrogen peroxide inside the humidifier, you have to thoroughly clean it and wash away any dirt or impurities that might be inside it. However, you have to perform the cleaning process with or without the use of hydrogen peroxide.
What Concentration is Ideal for Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy?
Hydrogen peroxide is an extremely versatile chemical. The use of hydrogen peroxide is directly in accordance with its concentration. And you will be shocked how the use of hydrogen peroxide changes as its concentration is altered!
0.5% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Starting with the most diluted, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution. At this concentration hydrogen peroxide is very weak and cannot be used to clean and disinfect regular wounds. The only way you can use hydrogen peroxide at this concentration is in the form of therapeutic inhalers.
Food Grade (3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution)
The next 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration is one that’s most applied and widely used throughout homes, hospitals, and industries. The complete list of the uses of 3% hydrogen peroxide requires another article itself. However, relevant to our topic, at this concentration hydrogen peroxide can be used inside cool mist humidifiers in the form of hydrogen peroxide therapy. The concentration used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds is also a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide!
The 3% hydrogen peroxide is followed by the pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide which is 3.5% concentrated. This concentration of hydrogen peroxide is sold at drugstores and supermarkets. However, unlike the lesser concentrations, it is not recommended for internal use. That’s because pharmaceutical-grade hydrogen peroxide contains stabilizers such as acetanilide, phenol, sodium stannate, and tetrasodium phosphate all of which are incompatible with the body.
Beautician-Grade (6% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution)
Then comes the beautician grade hydrogen peroxide which is 6% concentrated. As the name suggests, beautician-grade hydrogen peroxide is mostly used in saloons and beauty parlors. Hydrogen peroxide performs the important task of bleaching which makes it an amazing tool in procedures like manicure, pedicure, and hair dyeing.
Next comes the reagent grade hydrogen peroxide which is 30% concentrated. This concentration of hydrogen peroxide is used in various scientific experiments and therefore, contains stabilizers. Reagent grade hydrogen peroxide is not compatible with internal use.
By increasing the concentration of reagent grade hydrogen peroxide just a little, we can have electronic grade hydrogen peroxide. The 30-32% concentrated hydrogen peroxide is just as its name says. Electronic grade hydrogen peroxide is used to clean electronic parts of various digital equipment. And as it has stabilizers, it can not be used internally.
Technical Grade (35% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution)
At 35% concentration, we have two grades of hydrogen peroxide. They are separated on the basis of the presence of stabilizers. 35% concentrated hydrogen peroxide with stabilizers in it is called technical grade hydrogen peroxide. Much like reagent-grade hydrogen peroxide, it is used as a solvent. Moreover, it has phosphorus added which neutralizes chlorine from water.
35% concentrated hydrogen peroxide without stabilizer is called food-grade hydrogen peroxide. As the name suggests, food-grade hydrogen peroxide is used in the manufacturing of various edible products. Some of them include cheese, eggs, fruit juices, milk products, and whey-containing products. IT is also used in foil lining of aseptic packages Unlike other high concentrated hydrogen peroxides, only food-grade hydrogen peroxide is compatible for internal use.
Rocket Fuel (90% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution)
The final and highly concentrated in the 90% hydrogen peroxide. This concentration of hydrogen peroxide is too strong to be used in regular households or even regular industrial settings. The most common use of 90% hydrogen peroxide is in the form of rocket fuel.
The cool mist humidifiers are one the best ways to prevent respiratory tract infections, in particular those caused by the dryness and bacteria in the air. When we combine this amazing machine with a remarkable chemical such as hydrogen peroxide, great results can be seen.
Hydrogen peroxide is without a doubt, extremely effective in killing bacteria and germs in the air. Humidifiers are machines that can enhance this function effectively. Granted, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is regulated and monitored.
So order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today, and enjoy this winter season freely!