Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Come in Colored Bottles?

Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Come in Colored Bottles?

Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring compound, though it is found in trace amounts freely in nature. Most of the hydrogen peroxide we obtain is industry-made and synthetic.

That’s because hydrogen peroxide by itself is not compatible with the harsh environment of nature due to it containing a weaker bond called a dative bond.

We don’t have to discuss the molecular mechanisms that go into this bond and why exactly it is weak. But all you have to know is that it is relatively fragile compared to the stable covalent bond.

And this is the core reason behind it coming in colored bottles. Still doesn’t make sense? Read on!

Hydrogen Peroxide – What You Need to Know

Before we can answer whether hydrogen peroxide can be stored in a clear bottle or why do we store hydrogen peroxide in dark bottles, we first have to know what goes into this compound because a simple yes or no answer would be stealing you from the crucial information regarding this chemical.

So while two hydrogens and one oxygen are bound via a covalent bond (like in water), a single dative bond is present between two oxygen. This is what we call the weak link of this compound, and it is the one most susceptible to external stress.

It is the King of Oxidation!

In the previous subheading, we have discussed the fragile nature of hydrogen peroxide. But the odd part is this weak linkage is what makes hydrogen peroxide so resourceful and a perfect oxidizing agent.

As you already know by now, hydrogen peroxide breaks down whenever it is exposed to the environment for a particular time. After breaking down, hydrogen peroxide releases a free form of oxygen.

This oxygen is highly reactive and can combine with all types of compounds (solid or weak alike). Making this chemical a fantastic way to deliver oxygen during procedures.

While the oxidation properties are good and all, something else makes hydrogen peroxide incredibly useful. If you have noticed, hydrogen peroxide without oxygen is just water. So whenever it liberates oxygen, it turns into utterly harmless water!

Therefore, it is the only disinfecting agent that is entirely safe in addition to being potent.

Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Come in Colored Bottles?

By now, you can guess some of the critical facts about hydrogen peroxide and how it is fragile after it is exposed to the environment. But what does that have to do with dark, brown bottles? Doesn’t clear bottles protect hydrogen peroxide from surrounding air as well?

Well, yes, but actually no. Here is why!

Hydrogen Peroxide Under Sunlight

Here is the key point: hydrogen peroxide is susceptible to environmental damage, and sunlight is a part of that.

Clear bottles do not protect this chemical from sunlight. Therefore, any hydrogen peroxide that is stored in translucent bottles will turn into the water before its due time, rendering the chemical useless.

The brown bottles that hydrogen peroxide comes in are specifically designed to protect it from the effects of sunlight and keep it useful for even years. But why is that so?

Photons & UV rays

So far, we have understood that hydrogen peroxide is a somewhat unstable chemical when it comes into contact with the environment. You should store it in brown bottles at all times, as it is susceptible to wasting by sunlight.

The reason sunlight is dangerous to hydrogen peroxide is the same as why it is dangerous to us humans. It is the powerful radiations and light particles present in the sun rays that are harmful to our skin and, of course, to the weak dative bonds that exist inside the hydrogen peroxide.

UV rays, also known as ultraviolet rays, are high-powered energy waves invisible to us humans. Most of them are blocked by the ozone layer. However, few that do escape are enough to cause detrimental effects on human skin, even cancer!

Similarly, photons themselves are light packets containing a calculated amount of energy. If enough photons are allowed to collide with the surface, they deliver adequate energy to cause bond breakage.

How You Should Store Hydrogen Peroxide

Now that we know UV rays and photons emitted by the sun are the primary reason we prefer to keep hydrogen peroxide away from it, we can discuss how we should store it.

So far, we have learned that sunlight and heat are two enemies of hydrogen peroxide in regards that they break the chemical down. So we just have to avoid them!

Cool Places

Cool places like storerooms and shelves are ideal for keeping your hydrogen peroxide bottles. Not only do they keep the chemical at a neutral temperature, but also away from the harmful UV rays.

Fridges and freezers aren’t ideal places to store hydrogen peroxide, though they are the coolest places you can find at homes. That is because most of the hydrogen peroxide we have at homes is majority water, so the risk of freezing is there.

Dark Bottles

The reason to store hydrogen peroxide has been thoroughly discussed in the above sections. You would want to keep the chemical away from the effects of UV rays, and sun rays, so dark bottles are the way to go.

They protect the chemical from breaking down prematurely and keep it safe for years!

Can You Put Hydrogen Peroxide in a Clear Bottle?

By now, you should have a clear concept as to why clear bottles aren’t suitable for storing hydrogen peroxide.

Yes, keeping clear bottles well hidden on a shelf may indeed do the same effect as what a dark bottle will do. However, why should you risk it when there is a dark bottle readily available?

Also, the moment you take the chemical out in the sun for use, it will start to turn into water.

The Take-Home Point

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most resourceful chemicals you can have at your home. It is used in a myriad of procedures and tasks, and it is best to have a brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

The emphasis lies on brown bottles. As the chemical is susceptible to environmental damage by the sun, store it inside dark bottles and cool places such as shelves and storerooms.

With that out in the open, order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!

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