23 surprising uses of hydrogen peroxide that will change the way you clean

3. Clean the bathtub without commercial chemicals.

woman wearing cleaning gloves spraying bathtub

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Mold and grime in the shower are gross! The problem with getting rid of this gunk is that many commercial tub and tile cleaners contain bleach, ammonia, and artificial fragrances that can be harmful to respiratory health, caustic to skin, and generally bad for the environment. For a safer solution, make a paste of 2 parts baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the tub and shower area, wait for 30 minutes, then rinse. Follow with a spritz of a half-vinegar and half-water solution to dissolve any residue and soap scum.

4. Refinish metal hardware.

two antique door handles with different finishes

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Want an instant antique? Bring a vintage-looking patina to any metal that contains iron or an iron alloy (like steel), which will rust naturally when exposed to water and oxygen. To achieve an aged-looking finish on metal hinges and fixtures, you can use the corrosive nature of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

First, remove any paint and sand the surface. Spray white vinegar onto the metal surface and wait 5 minutes for the corrosion process to begin. Next, mix 2 cups of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 1½ teaspoons of table salt in a large spray bottle. Shake thoroughly, then soak the metal surface. Rust should start forming immediately. Fumes will result from mixing this solution, so always work in a well-ventilated area. (Get full step-by-step instructions.)

5. Get rid of rust.

gloved hand spraying rust on sink faucet

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While hydrogen peroxide can speed the rusting process, it can also remove rust. In a bowl, place equal parts cream of tartar (a mild powdery acid used in baking and available at grocery stores) and baking soda. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, just enough to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the rusty objects, wait an hour, then wash them with water. This method works best for light to moderately rusted items like tools and toys. It’s also effective on the orange stains in your sink or tub that are caused by rust in your tap water.

6. Sanitize your cutting boards.

person wearing gloves washing cutting board with sponge

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Wood cutting boards can develop small cuts in the surface that trap unhealthy bacteria. Unlike plastic, wood is porous and will warp and possibly crack if it is cleaned in the dishwasher. To clean and disinfect a wood cutting board without damaging it, spray it with white vinegar, wait 5 minutes, then wipe it down. Next, pour on enough 3-percent hydrogen peroxide to cover the entire cutting board, distributing it evenly with a clean sponge or paper towel.

Let the solution sit for another 5 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle salt over the surface and rub it into the wood grain gently with half a lemon, which will soak up any remaining odors. Allow the lemony salt to soak into the wood surface for at least 10 minutes or overnight, then wipe the surface with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry. For the best results, buff the wood using food-grade almond or walnut oil, and wait 6 hours before use.


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