Stains often appear as if by magic. Unfortunately few will disappear quite so easily. These days there are many cleaning products available but most are rather expensive and many are harmful to the environment. This has led to people exploring some of the old tried and tested methods for removing stains.
Hydrogen Peroxide may not be a substance that instantly springs to mind when you are going to clean your kitchen but trust me it has its uses.
Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly known for its hair bleaching ability. For years it was used to turn brunettes into Marilyn Monroe blonds. In achieving this bleached blond look Hydrogen Peroxide can be quite harsh on the hair, and needs to used with caution. These days there are gentler ways to lighten your hair.
The hydrogen peroxide used to bleach hair is 30%. However, for stain removing, around the home the hydrogen peroxide is less strong and harsh, being usually only about 3%. Hydrogen Peroxide is also occasionally used as a form of tooth whitener but obviously extreme caution and research would be needed on this subject. Never undertake such a task without researching the matter fully.
However, if you look at many cleaning agents, you will probably see that nearlt all have some Hydrogen Peroxide included, in some strength or another.
The actual chemical composition of Hydrogen Peroxide is H2O2 whereas water is H2O. In simple terms what this means is:-
- H202 is two molecules of hydrogen to two molecules of oxygen.
- H20 is two molecules of hydrogen to one molecule of oxygen.
Hydrogen Peroxide is bought in different strengths, which are shown by the percentage of oxygen in the product. The one for household cleaning is usually 3% and relatively mild. This strength of Hydrogen Peroxide can also be used to clean wounds. It would still sting rather a lot though, despite being in a milder form.
The much higher percentages of Hydrogen Peroxide can be less safe. For example, Hydrogen Peroxide which is more than 70% can give off a noxious gas and also become very volatile given certain circumstances. Hydrogen Peroxide 3% can be used on most stains but you will need to be very careful and cautious. It is best to test the product first, on an inconspicuous part of the material which is to be cleaned. Make sure that you also read any manufacturer's cleaning instructions labels also.
When using Hydrogen Peroxide the easiest way, usually, is to place the stained garment in a bowl of cold water which has had a small amount of hydrogen peroxide added. This can be left for up to 30 minutes. After soaking you must rinse the item thoroughly with cold water. It is always best to wear rubber gloves when using hydrogen peroxide and to take care that it is not splashed onto anyone or anything else. Read up on the best safety procedures for using Hydrogen Peroxide, if you are unsure. Remember to avoid splashing your skin and eyes and take care that none of the product is ingested.
This quick, easy and cheap stain remover can be bought from most stores and chemists. Often it is already in the home medicine chest and overlooked, when one suddenly needs a stain remover. These days we tend to buy much more expensive products from the supermarket, when this old fashioned, traditional cleaning method would work just as well, if not better.
- To clean walls and surfaces simply put some 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid onto the surface and wipe it off, in the same that you would with other household cleaners.
- To clean floors use hot water if preferred. Try putting a gallon of hot water into a bucket and then adding one cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide. The temperature of the water water should be what you are comfortable with. This may depend on the amount and type of dirt on your floor.
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide is fine for cleaning around toilet bowls and rims. For a heavily soiled toilet bowl 35% Hydrogen Peroxide can be added to the toilet bowl, under the waterlevel, and left overnight.
Hydrogen Peroxide can be used for many more general cleaning purposes around the home. It can be bought cheaply if you buy in bulk, on the whole is safer than having chemical cleaners around the home and is easy to use. Always follow any instructions and take care.