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

7. Banish toilet bowl germs.

person wearing pink gloves using a toilet brush to clean toilet

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Keep your toilet free of bacteria and looking its best with a weekly dose of hydrogen peroxide: Pour ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide into the bowl, let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush. Though potent, this treatment will do no harm to water systems. To freshen the brush, pour a little extra hydrogen peroxide onto the bristles and allow it to air dry before placing it back in the holder.

8. Help protect your plants from root rot.

person spraying plant roots over tub

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A mild dose of hydrogen peroxide spray can be your plants’ best friend. The extra oxygen atom in H₂O₂ can benefit the growth process and can also help prevent conditions such as fungus and root rot. For mature houseplants, mix 1 tablespoon of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and soak the soil after it has dried. Make sure the soil dries completely before applying it again. It can help some with plants that appear to have fungal diseases or are on their way to root rot, but take a look at the plants’ growing conditions and correct other problems like compacted soil, overwatering, and poor air circulation as well.

A less concentrated form can serve as an antifungal for young seed starts. Use 1 tablespoon of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide per quart of water. Using too much can harm seedlings.

When growing plants using hydroponics, add pure, or food-grade, hydrogen peroxide 1 teaspoon at a time after rinsing and refilling a water bowl to help prevent root rot. This product is free of the chemicals or toxic materials added to regular hydrogen peroxide that help prolong shelf life.

9. Reduce pests on houseplants.

person using spray bottle on plant leaves

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To reduce mites, aphids, and fungus gnats in your garden, mix ½ cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 gallon of water in a large pump sprayer. When spraying foliage, be sure to soak not just the tops but also the undersides of leaves where pests can hide. Spray on the top layer of soil to help reduce fungus gnats. Be aware that most of the solution evaporates, so spray when you see the pests on the plant. Again, addressing cultural problems such as poor drainage of containers can help control problems with pests.

Hydrogen peroxide safety also applies to plants. Using too much can damage plants and beneficial organisms, which is why it’s a good idea to test a small amount of these solutions on leaves or soil first before spraying larger areas. Discontinue use if you see effects like wilting or excess dryness.

10. Wipe away water marks on granite.

woman looking closely at granite countertop while cleaning

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Pesky water marks appear all too easily on granite countertops, but a little baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will banish them in a flash. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of baking soda with a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Spread over the stained area, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and wipe clean with a damp cloth. For tougher water stains, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and tape down the edges. Let sit overnight, then wash clean and dry with a soft towel.


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