So, my wash cloths are getting really stinky, and washing them isn’t helping because that nasty mildew has set in. In my past life, I would throw them in the washer with some bleach and knock the mildew and smell right out. But my more informed, greener self can’t do that anymore and so I searched the web to find a green alternative. What did I stumble upon? Hydrogen Peroxide! A little bottle of it packs quite a punch – not only is it green, but has a myriad of uses for cleaning the home (not to mention all the medical uses)!
Is it Really Safe for the Environment?
Yes! According to GreenOpedia and Wikipedia, Hydrogen Peroxide’s molecules are made of two hydrogen and two oxygen atoms (H2O2) that decompose after use back into oxygen and water, so it’s completely green. It’s a safe and effective bleach alternative, and is colorless and odorless to boot.
I found people all over the web who suggest using Hydrogen Peroxide for everything from a mouthwash and teeth whitener, to helping cure cancer and disinfect your bathrooms and kitchens. Can’t believe everything you read or see, right? So, I did a little more digging. According to educate-yourself.org, there are 7 grades of Hydrogen Peroxide, from 3% up to 90%. The only grade that is safe to be ingested is 35% food grade. The 3% one you find in drug stores as a disinfectant also contains stabilizers which are dangerous to ingest, but according to the bottle, it can be used as a mouthwash when mixed with equal amounts of water.
Laundry – As a Bleach Alternative & Stain Remover
I’ve been using it in my laundry, especially for things like sheets, towels and cloth diapers that need disinfecting or mildew removal. I have even used it on my kids’ soiled underwear and pants (covered in diarrhea, sorry to be gross!) and the clothes come out clean, no stains and no smell at all. It has also done a nice job in removing the smell in my washer drum that even a cycle of bleach didn’t get rid of! Needless to say, it’s my new favorite thing to use for laundry. To use, just put it in the bleach compartment of your washer. You can also use it as a pre-stain treater, by applying directly on the stain before washing. It is powerful, so be careful on using it with darker fabrics as it may remove the color. In my favorite natural cleaning book, Clean House, Clean Planet, author Karen Logan writes that Hydrogen Peroxide only fades stains by about 40% per treatment. So, if it doesn’t do the job the first time, reapply and let dry again. Continue until the stain is gone. Another natural and free alternative, is the old fashioned way of hanging the items outside in the sun to dry. Another tip from Karen Logan is to squirt lemon juice on a stain and then hang it out in the sun.
Other uses I read about included folks using it directly on laundry and carpet stains, then others saying it works like bleach and will remove color from fabrics and carpet. So, I recommend using caution when it comes to fabrics and start off using it like you would bleach – on whites and light colored upholstery and fabric. I personally have not seen it bleach any of my fabrics, so in my experience, it is safer than bleach to use on stains.
Household Cleaner & Disinfectant
This is an effective disinfectant around the house – and you can use it straight out of the bottle if you get the 3% diluted form from the drugstore. It also has anti-fungal properties and will help get rid of mold and mildew. Mix it with some baking soda to add scrubbing power in the bathtub. You can spray it directly on countertops and cutting boards to disinfect
Mouthwash, Teeth Whitener & Toothpaste
It can be used as a mouthwash and teeth whitener when mixed with equal parts of water and as toothpaste – 2 parts baking soda to 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide – or just straight by itself. I have tried it several times by itself and it isn’t terribly pleasant, so I’m working on a recipe for mouthwash using other ingredients to make it more tolerable! Try to swallow as little as possible, just like commercial mouthwash. But it is a very effective mouthwash! My mother-in-law uses it every day and has for most of her life. See more ideas of how to use it on using-hydrogen-peroxide.com. This amazing green bleach is being shared at these websites.