Crafts & DIY
50 Amazing Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
From helping clear up acne to whitening your teeth, and from killing bad breath to nixing B.O. hydrogen peroxide can do amazing things!
Christina Cordova

If you’re like most people, you don’t consider using hydrogen peroxide for anything other than cleaning wounds, but then, like most people, you’re missing out. Though relatively cheap (you can pick up a bottle for less than a buck at most grocery stores!), it has dozens of uses that are actually useful.

Hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid, and though it may look like water, it is anything but. This liquid has oxidizing properties, which mean that you can use it as a bleaching agent, a cleaning agent or even a propellant. Chances are that most you already have a bottle in your cabinets, but if you don’t, here are 50 reasons to run out and buy a bottle, or two, today.

Medicinal and Beauty Uses

1. Clean, Disinfect and Soothe

Insane Visions
Insane Visions

We’ll start with the most obvious of the hydrogen peroxide uses: medicinal. Most of you probably only own hydrogen peroxide because you know that when you get cut, you can clean the wound with a lid-full of this stuff (raise your hand if you remember being five with a skinned knee and begging your dad not to pour the stuff from the brown bottle on it!). Hydrogen peroxide is used to stop the bleeding, disinfect wounds and prevent infection. You really only need to apply the stuff once as using it too often on the same cut can inhibit the growth of friendly bacteria.

In addition to using hydrogen peroxide to clean cuts, you can also use it to soothe a sore throat. We bet you didn’t know that. You can either gargle a mixture of 3 percent peroxide and warm, boiled water, or you can coat a wool covered stick in the solution and apply it to your tonsils. Note: Do not swallow hydrogen peroxide, as that is dangerous!

2. Soothe Dry Skin

Hydrogen peroxide is a funny thing. Not only can it be used to clear up acne (which we’ll discuss next), but also, it can be used as a natural remedy for dry skin. Weird, right? When you had half a pint of the bottle to your bath water, the extra oxygen that peroxide has will help rejuvenate your skin and leave it feeling silky and hydrated. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it can also help clear up any skin conditions or infections that you have.

3. Clear Up Acne

How to Treat My Acne
How to Treat My Acne

Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t so much as “dry up” acne as it does kill the bad bacteria and cleanse the skin. If you have a bad case of acne, or even just a few, unsightly pimples that you want to get rid of, put some peroxide on a cotton ball and gently wipe over your skin. Use this method only once a day or even once a week, as, like when cleaning wounds, if you use it too much, you risk killing the good bacteria.

4. Ease a Cold

While you can’t cure the common cold, you can make it a little easier to bear by pouring a few drops of peroxide in your ears. This will clear up any blockage and get rid of that dreaded “tunnel” feel you always get when you’re congested. You can also mix kosher salt, baking soda and peroxide and apply it to your nasal passages to kill any bacteria and clear a stuffy nose for a bit of easy breathing.

5. Ease a Toothache

Toothaches suck, period. If you’re like me, you may soothe them with the whole garlic trick, but let’s face it, sitting with clumps of garlic in your mouth is almost as bad as the toothache itself (though, it does work!). Hydrogen peroxide may be able to save you from such discomfort. Mix some peroxide with water and put it in your mouth. Hold it there – don’t swallow! – for five to ten minutes. Yes, that’s a long time, but it beats dealing with the pain for a week or two. Most people who have tried this report extreme pain relief within minutes.

6. Whiten Your Teeth

aconk sukawinata
aconk sukawinata

If you’re like me, you enjoy a few cups of coffee in the morning and maybe a glass of wine at night, and while these vices are relatively safe, they are bad for your teeth. If you’re tired of a yellow smile smiling back at you in the mirror, consider rubbing peroxide directly on your teeth, or swishing it around in your mouth for a bit. Remember, peroxide is a bleaching agent, and unlike many other tooth whitening methods, it is a) inexpensive and b) instantly effective. Do this weekly to keep your smile looking fresh and bright.

7. Say Goodbye to Bad Breath

Speaking of fresh…Hydrogen peroxide kills bad bacteria, which is the kind of bacteria that makes your breath less than favorable. Peroxide serves as a great alternative to mouthwash and is far less expensive. Just swish for half a minute either before or after brushing your teeth and watch your bad breath disappear. If you have constant bad breath, you could do this daily, but if your problem is just a minor one, aim for swishing weekly. Remember, if you use peroxide too often, it will kill the good bacteria too, and then you’ll be stuck with perma-foul breath.

8. Make Your Own Toothpaste

Who knew hydrogen peroxide had so many oral uses?! If you’re someone who doesn’t like artificial ingredients, you may have considered buying Tom’s toothpaste or some other natural brand. However, those kinds of toothpaste don’t really work all that well. If you want a product that actually works (meaning, it freshens your breath and cleans), consider making your own concoction with two common household ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Your teeth will look better than ever, your risk of toothache will go down and your breath will be minty fresh all in one go. If you don’t care too much about all natural products but simply want a go-to when you forget to pick up toothpaste at the market, this is a great trick to keep in mind.

9. Disinfect Your Toothbrush


Okay, one more for the teeth…The ADA recommends that you replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3-4 months or so, but in the interim, you can keep your toothbrush from developing gross and harmful bacterias by dipping the brush in hydrogen peroxide once a week. You can do this more often if you’ve been sick or if your toothbrush accidentally touches someone else’s.

10. Treat Ear Infections Sans Antibiotics

If you or your child suffers from recurring ear infections, you may be tired of paying an arm and a leg for antibiotics. Fortunately, you may not have to anymore. A couple of drops of H2O2 can help you kill the bacteria causing the infection. However, keep in mind that this method should not be used to treat serious ear infections – just for the beginnings of one. It is also a good idea to call your doctor when you feel the beginnings of an ear infection coming on, just to double check that this method is, in fact, safe to use.

11. Treat a Yeast Infection

If you’re prone to yeast infections, you may use a douche to keep yourself clean and bacteria free. Make the method more effective and add hydrogen peroxide to the mix. This will help you control bacteria buildup and even cure an existing infection.

12. Use it as a Deodorant

Martin Smith
Martin Smith

Whether you forgot to pick up deodorant at the store and need a quick fix before you head off to work or you want a more natural deodorizer to put on your armpits, H2O2 can help. Mix peroxide with dish soap at a ratio of 1:2 and apply to your underarms. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse off. Doing this will keep you dry and odor free for up to 24 hours. Talk about awesome.

13. Cure Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a pain for so many different reasons. If you’re tired of all the itching and the odor, you may discover that hydrogen peroxide is the antidote you’ve been looking for. Thanks to its antifungal properties, peroxide can help kill the fungus and cure athlete’s foot entirely. Simply mix with equal parts water and either apply it directly to your feet or soak your feet for a more relaxing solution.

14. Clean Your Contact Lenses

Melanie Jones
Melanie Jones

Contact lenses are prone to protein buildup, which can cause eye irritation and other problems. While commercial lens cleaner is designed to prevent buildup, that stuff can get costly. A cheaper alternative and just as effective one is to soak your lenses in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes. Your lenses will be clean and protein free quickly and cheaply.

15. Cure a Canker Sore

If you’ve ever had to deal with a canker sore, chances are that you’ve soothed them with warm water and salt. While that works to slowly reduce the inflammation, it doesn’t work right away. A faster method for relief would be to swish with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Swish for 30-seconds to a minute, then spit it out and rinse your mouth with fresh water.

16. Clear Up a Sinus Infection

This is another method about which I would recommend talking to your doctor first. That said, it has been said that if you mix 3% peroxide with equal parts water and put it into your nasal spray container, spray it into your nose and then blow it back out after a moment, you can effectively clear your sinuses and get rid of any lingering infection.

17. Cover Your Roots

Burton's Classic Burton
Burton's Classic Burton

Again, H2O2 is a bleaching agent, so it makes sense that it could be used to touch up your roots on the go. If you don’t have time to kill in a salon or to foil your own hair at home, brush some hydrogen peroxide along the roots, let sit for half an hour and then wash out. Voila! No more dark roots!

18. Gradually Lighten Your Hair

Want sunkissed locks in the middle of December? Or maybe you just want to gradually lighten your dark hair to change up your looks a bit? Doing so is easy, cost-effective and won’t take up much of your time at all. Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the solution onto your hair. Use a comb to distribute it evenly. Wait for your hair to dry. Do this routinely for gradually blonde highlights, then stop when you’ve reached the desired color.

19. Soften Calluses

Tired of dealing with callused feet, or do you want softer hands? H2O2 may be able to help. Soak your hands or feet in a solution of equal parts peroxide and water and let it do its magic. For a greater outcome, use a foot egg or callus remover.

20. Whiten Your Nails

Meeka Sevira
Meeka Sevira

Just like hydrogen peroxide can be used to whiten your teeth, it can also be used to whiten your nails. Dab some of the solution onto a cotton ball much like you would nail polish remover, then coat your nails with it for an instantly whiter and brighter appearance.

22. Treat Gum Disease

While you should call your dentist if you think you may have gum disease, you can ease the inflammation by rubbing a mixture of a teaspoon of peroxide and a teaspoon of baking powder over your gums and along the gum line. The peroxide will kill the bacteria causing the gingivitis and help you stave off further inflammation until you can see your dentist.

23. Clear Out Earwax

If you experience excessive earwax build up, this trick can help tame it. Add a few drops of olive oil to your ear, and then drop in some hydrogen peroxide. Lay with your head tilted for a few minutes to let it really soak in. Dump your head to the other side to get the peroxide out, and then gently flush with water. Repeat on the other ear if necessary.

Household Uses – Bathroom

24. Clean Your Mirrors

V Karesz
V Karesz

Unless you buy the Good Stuff, which comes with Good Stuff price tags, your glass cleaner is apt to leave unsightly streaks on your mirrors and windows. Hydrogen peroxide, however, does not. Put some hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, or empty that useless commercial solution from the bottle and refill the bottle with H2O2, and spray on your windows and mirrors. Your glass will be so clean you’ll never buy Windex again.

25. Clean Your Tiles

Sasa Pahic Szabo
Sasa Pahic Szabo

Even if you clean your bathroom tiles regularly, they can still accumulate scum, soap stains, and harmful bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide can remove any mildew and bacteria buildup and leave your shower stall looking squeaky clean, a win/win! In order to use H2O2 as a tile cleaner, mix it with flour to form a paste. Apply the paste directly to the tiles and cover with plastic wrap. Let the area soak overnight this way. The next morning, rinse them off for a clean and refreshing bathroom!

26. Kill Mold

Bleach doesn’t kill mold (that’s a myth), but hydrogen peroxide does. Apply peroxiddirectlyty the site and then wipe it clean. This trick works on all types of mold, and on all types of surfaces, which is handy to know if you notice mold growth in your bathroom, kitchen or any other area of your home.

27. Clean Your Toilet Bowl

You can use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your toilet bowl. Pour some in, let sit for 20-30 minutes and then come back and scrub it out with a toilet brush. Flush, and watch as the water rinses away to reveal a clean, porcelain white throne. To disinfect your toilet bowl brush (because that needs cleaning too!), dunk it in a bucket of H2O2 and let it sit for a few minutes before placing it back in its holder.

28. Whiten Your Grout

White grout looks nice…when it’s clean. Unfortunately, white grout can collect dust and dirt and other air particles, and when it does, it can look dingy and gross. If you want your grout to look as sleek and shiny as the day your tile was first installed, spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto it, let it sit for a few hours, and then come back with a toothbrush and soapy water. Scrub between the tiles to wipe away all the dirt and grunge, and then step back to admire your handy work.

29. Disinfect Your Countertops

Helio Taveres
Helio Taveres

According to the professionals, you’re supposed to clean your bathroom countertops every day, but even that may not be enough to kill the bacteria–and you can bet that your bathroom countertops have a lot of it! If you want to rest easy knowing that you’re washing your hands in a clean basin, wipe down your sink and faucets every day with an equal parts solution of peroxide and water. Spray the solution onto your countertops and wipe down with a rag or sponge.

Household Uses – Kitchen

30. Add it to the Dishwasher

Linh Nguyen
Linh Nguyen

Let’s face it – even the highest tech dishwashers fail to do their job every once in a while. If you want your dishes to be as sparkly as the dishwasher companies promise they will be, add peroxide to your dish detergent before starting a load. While you’re at it, put a bit in your dish and hand soaps. By doing this, you are ensuring that your soaps are doing a better job at what they were made to do: Disinfect.

31. Clean Your Fridge

Refrigerators are another thing that the professionals recommend cleaning regularly…like, once a month. (How many of you knew this? How many of you actually do it? My idea of cleaning the fridge is throwing out the bad food and wiping up the occasional spill…) Apparently, my idea of cleaning the fridge is wrong. You need to disinfect, which you can do easily with peroxide. In addition to helping you disinfect your refrigerator, hydrogen peroxide can also help you get rid of unsightly and stubborn food stains and give your fridge a fresh, clean scent.

31. Get Rid of Caked-On Food

Marco Verch
Marco Verch

Speaking of stubborn food stains…You know that pan that you just haven’t been able to scrub clean, no matter how hard you’ve tried? Hydrogen peroxide can give your arm a rest and actually remove that pesky food buildup. Combine hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to form a paste, then rub directly onto the dirty dish. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash as normal. The hydrogen peroxide serves to break up the food particles while the baking soda serves as an abrasive. Once you rinse away the paste, you pan should look like new.

32. Disinfect a Cutting Board

Cutting boards are another one of those items that need to be disinfected on the daily, or at least after every use. After you’ve used your cutting board for chopping meat or veggies, spray it down with hydrogen peroxide. This will take care of those bad germs and ensure that bacteria doesn’t find its way into your mouth.

33. Disinfect Your Dish Rags and Sponges

You may have heard that in order to disinfect your sponge, place it in the microwave. This doesn’t work, and in fact, only serves to further spread and irritate germs. A more effective way to clean your sponges and dish rags is to soak them in hydrogen peroxide. If you want to really watch all the germs die, spray your rags and then watch them foam up. It’s actually quite satisfying.

34. Keep Your Salad Fresh


Salads are delicious and super healthy, but unlike most other dinner entrees, they are almost never good as leftovers. You can change that, however, with a bit of H2O2 and water. Simply mix half a cup of water with food-grade hydrogen peroxide (the food-grade bit is important!) and spray over your salad mixture. When you go to eat it for lunch the next day, it will be as fresh and crunchy as the night before!

35. Clean Your Fruits and Veggies

Just like you can use food-grade hydrogen peroxide and water to keep your salad fresh, you can do the same for your fruits and veggies, and you can use it to sanitize them. Fruits and veggies are riddled with bacteria when they come home from the store, and often, these bacteria can be very harmful to your health. You can reduce the risk for food-borne illness by spraying them with hydrogen peroxide, letting them stand for a few minutes, rinsing them off and letting them dry. To really cleanse your fruits and veggies, fill another spray bottle with vinegar and spray them with that once they’ve dried. If you want to keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer, pour a sink full of cold water, add a quarter cup of food-grade peroxide and place your foods in there for about 20 minutes. Rinse them off and let them dry. This will preserve them for an extended period of time.

Miscellaneous Uses

36. Clean Your Rugs and Carpets

Aaron Windell
Aaron Windell

If you have tough-to-get-out stains on your light colored carpet, spray them with hydrogen peroxide. This will get rid of the stain with ease. However, be sure to not use this trick on dark fabrics–remember, hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, which means it zaps color. If you use hydrogen peroxide to remove a stain on a dark carpet, you’ll just be left with a lighter stain, and one that cannot be removed. We recommend spraying an area that is out of the way first, just to test and make sure that the color difference isn’t noticeable.

37. Clean Your Kids’ Toys

Kids can get messy, which means that their toys can get messy too. If you don’t regularly clean your kids’ toys, they risk building up bacteria from sticky foods, spit and snot. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaning agent that can be used to disinfect toys, toy boxes and other play areas.

38. Brighten Table Cloths, Curtains and Clothes

If you replace the bleach in your laundry room with hydrogen peroxide, you may be able to make your clothes brighter than ever. While you only want to use hydrogen peroxide on whites, it is effective in removing unsightly stains and dingy colors. For best results, soak your clothes in water that has a cupful of peroxide mixed in with it. Let them sit for a half hour, then wash as normal. You can do this with tee-shirts, tablecloths, curtains and shower curtains.

39. Remove Tough Stains

Peroxide is one of the most effective agents for removing organic stains like blood or sweat stains. If you have white tees that you can no longer wear because of unsightly stains, mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part detergent and rub directly onto the stains. The detergent will act as an abrasive while the peroxide will act as a lifter. Again, peroxide should only be used on whites.

40. Kill Bad Odors in Your Clothes

Have you ever washed a pair of socks and thought that they still smelled funky, or sniffed the armpits of a clean shirt only to discover that it smells like old deodorant? Or maybe you let your clothes sit too long in the wash before drying, and now they smell musty and moldy? Whatever the case, you can get rid of the odors with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Just dump the mixture in with the detergent and wash as normal. Again, only use this trick on light colored clothes.

41. Disinfect the Inside of a Cooler

Coolers are subject to bacteria buildup and food residue, which can pose a health hazard to anyone who eats food out them. To prevent food-bourne illnesses, sanitize your cooler every once in a while by spraying the inside with hydrogen peroxide and wiping it down. This will disinfect your cooler and keep your family and friends healthy.

42. Disinfect Your Child’s Lunchbox

Children’s lunchboxes are subject to the same food buildup as coolers. Many parents don’t wash their children’s lunchboxes after every use, which is fine, but they should wipe them down periodically (as in, once a week) with hydrogen peroxide. This will help kill any built-up bacteria and keep kids healthy.

43. Clean a Dehumidifier (or a Humidifier)

Dehumidifiers and humidifiers are subject to mold build up, which can be a health risk when they’re in use. To help you eliminate any potential health hazards, run a hydrogen peroxide and water solution through your device every once in a while to kill the mold and to ensure that your machine continues to process clean air.

44. Boost Plant Growth

So, did you know that H2O2 is found in rainwater? It is! Which means that it’s really good for plants. If you want to encourage your plants to grow faster, simulate rainwater by spritzing your plants with a little peroxide. This will get rid of fungal spores that feed off your plant and speed up the rate at which your seeds germinate. For best results, use 1 part peroxide for every 32 cups of water and spray the roots directly. If you want to help seeds germinate faster, mix 1 ounce peroxide with 2 parts water and sew the seed overnight.

45. Remove Algae From Your Aquarium

If algae is growing on the sides of your aquarium, you can do one of three things: 1) get a suckerfish, which are gross, 2) get an expensive filtration system that is bound to break within a month and/or kill a fish in the process or 3) use H2O2. The last option is the best option. Use 60 ml of 3 percent peroxide per 250 liters of tank water. Add it with a dropper or syringe to ensure that you don’t shock your tank’s inhabitants. Do this slowly, over the course of five minutes. If you can do so without harming any fish, apply the solution directly to the clump of algae. Once the peroxide lands on the algae, it will immediately begin to kill it. You won’t have to worry about cleaning the dead algae out, as the H2O2 will effectively convert it into H2O plus free oxygen.

Make sure to research whatever plants you have in your aquarium prior to doing this, as some plant life will react poorly. Also make sure that the peroxide won’t hurt (or kill) any fish, snails, shrimps or frogs.

46. Kill Mites

Have mites? Spray them with hydrogen peroxide to get rid of them. Doing this is effective and much safer than using standard pesticides, which can contaminate your home and outside environment.

47. Keep Fish Alive During Transport

Probably one of the most stressful things about buying a fish is trying to figure out how to get them safely in those little pet shop bags. Take the stress out of fish-buying and bring along some H2O2 to add to your bags before you leave the shop. DO NOT use the liquid hydrogen peroxide for this though. Instead, look for the little tablets, which can dissolve for a controlled release of oxygen.

48. Sanitize Your Water

If you have well water, you know how frustrating it can be to take a shower only to step out and smell like iron or sulfur. While you could buy a softener to get rid of this problem, hydrogen peroxide is just as effective for eliminating iron bacteria, iron or sulfur, and far less expensive. Simply dump a bottle of H2O2 in your water heater and let the oxidizing properties of the peroxide get to work. Your water will be left iron, metals, and coliform free.

49. Kill Weeds

Want to kill those weeds without dropping tons of money on harmful chemicals? Spray them with hydrogen peroxide! Mix one ounce of peroxide with one quart of water and spray directly onto the weeks. Let stand for fifteen minutes, rinse with water and pull. Voila! A weed-free garden for basically free.

50. Kill Skunk Odors

If you have a curious cat or a dog that has to chase every living thing that it sees, chances are that you’ve dealt with a skunk situation once or twice, and if you haven’t, you’re bound to. Be ready with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen molecules in the compound neutralize the scent by bonding the thiols. This alteration of chemical makeup contributes to the elimination of stench quickly.

Final Words

Hydrogen peroxide is good for a lot of things. However, one thing you should NEVER do with H2O2 is to ingest it. You may have heard that some doctors recommend hydrogen peroxide for all kinds of conditions, and while this is true (as peroxide creates an oxygen-rich environment in which pathogens cannot survive), consuming the substance without a doctor’s orders can lead to very serious health consequences. Also, though your body produces a small amount of H2O2 on its own, it does it in an isolated compartment, so that it cannot damage any tissues or organs. If you just guzzle some out of the bottle, you risk causing serious injury to your internal organs and tissues.

Bearing that in mind…

Hydrogen peroxide is amazing, and if you don’t already have a bottle stashed away in your medicine cabinet, you need to go out and buy some ASAP.

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