Hydrogen peroxide, a chemical compound made of a combination of water and hydrogen, is often used as a tool to help with hair bleaching, but there are many other uses of hydrogen peroxide as well.
When individuals purchase hydrogen peroxide, it tends to be available in several different potencies. For use in households, a three percent dilution is typical. For hair bleaching, the potency is usually from six to ten percent.
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide comes with a thirty-five percent potency. If it’s being used in industrial areas, the potency is ninety percent.
5 Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide
As long as individuals use hydrogen peroxide as directed, there are some healthy uses.
1. Mild Topical Antiseptic
Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a mild topical antiseptic. It can be applied to the skin to help prevent minor burns, scrapes, and cuts from becoming infected. Individuals should only use hydrogen peroxide on mild abrasions, and it should never be used to disinfect deep wounds.
It also shouldn’t be used on serious burns or animal bites. If individuals apply hydrogen peroxide to their skin, it should only be in small areas. The usual recommended treatment is to apply the solution to the wound one to three times each day until it heals.
Doctors might sometimes have a different recommendation, though; if that’s the case, patients should always follow their doctor’s advice.
In a case when patients put a bandage over the scrape or abrasion after treating it, they should let the area dry out naturally first. If a wound doesn’t improve within seven days, or the antiseptic appears to make the condition worse, patients should talk to a doctor.
Some common side effects include irritation, stinging, and redness around the application site. Serious side effects are rare.
2. Mouth Rinse to Kill Germs
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a mouth rinse to kill germs. It helps remove mucus from the mouth, which can be helpful if individuals are dealing with a condition like postnasal drip.
It can also be effective at relieving minor irritation in the mouth, such as irritation caused by gingivitis or canker sores. When hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with an individual’s mouth, it releases oxygen, which leads to foaming.
The foam gathers up dead skin, bacteria, and other germs to help clean and disinfect the area. If individuals use hydrogen peroxide to rinse their mouth, they should mix the solution with equal parts water beforehand.
They should swish the solution around their mouth over the irritated area for a minimum of one minute. before spitting it out. Individuals shouldn’t gargle or swallow the product. If they do swallow hydrogen peroxide, they should call Poison Control.
Most individuals can rinse their mouth up to four times each day or follow whatever specific instructions they are given by their doctor or dentist.
3. Whiten Fingernails and Teeth
Hydrogen peroxide is used as hair bleach because it can lighten the color of an individual’s hair. But what some may not realize is it can also be used to whiten teeth.
Fingernails can become discolored and stained as a result of underlying medical conditions, or they may simply be stained due to using a lot of nail polish.
To use hydrogen peroxide as a fingernail whitening solution, individuals will need to create a mixture of three percent household solution, baking soda, and whitening toothpaste. This can be applied to the nails with cotton swabs. To whiten teeth, individuals can either use hydrogen peroxide as a rinse or paste.
In rinse form, individuals should mix the hydrogen peroxide solution with equal parts water, swish it around their mouth, and then spit it out. In paste form, individuals will mix a small amount of the chemical with several teaspoons of baking soda.
They should add tiny amounts of peroxide to the mixture until a thick, non-gritty paste forms. They should apply the paste to their teeth with a toothbrush and rinse it off by swishing water around their mouth a few times and spitting it out.
4. Eliminate Mold and Mildew Around the Home
Hydrogen peroxide can be very effective if individuals want to eliminate mold and mildew around the home. The solution has antibacterial properties as well as anti-fungal properties. Individuals can treat areas affected by mold and mildew by using a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
The solution might be sprayed on a shower curtain, humidifier, dehumidifier, walls, floors, sink, toilet, and shower. If individuals hear a sound like fizzing, it means the solution is working to kill the bacteria and fungi there.
It’s important to note mold and mildew often have sources deeper than the surface level, which means one treatment with peroxide might not be enough to eliminate them at the source.
However, individuals can keep treating recurrences with hydrogen peroxide while deciding how to tackle the root of the problem.
Mold and mildew can be dangerous substances to have in the home, including because they can have harmful effects on the lungs when breathed in.
5. Keeps Food Fresh
One thing that might surprise some individuals to learn is the fact hydrogen peroxide can be used to keep food fresh. It’s true that individuals shouldn’t ingest hydrogen peroxide in large quantities, but there are food-grade solutions that are meant to be used in food preparation areas.
By spraying vegetables and greens with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, the material will stay fresh for longer, and it will be several more days before the greens start to become soggy or wilted. If individuals are saving them for a tasty salad later, this is a great solution.
Fruits will also stay fresher for longer periods if they are spritzed in a food-grade hydrogen peroxide solution.
Individuals do, however, need to make sure they thoroughly rinse off any food treated with hydrogen peroxide. Three to five percent solutions can be ingested in very small quantities, but larger concentrations can be extremely toxic.
Via: HealthLine | WebMD