How to Use (And Not Use) Hydrogen Peroxide as a Disinfectant

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Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

Hydrogen peroxide is a clear chemical compound made up of water and oxygen that comes in a 3 to 6% dilution. While it's often used as a nontoxic whitener, according to the CDC, it can also be used as a disinfectant that kills germs on surfaces and in fabrics. The great news is that using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant doesn't require any additional ingredients. It can be used straight from the bottle, and you can even add a spray nozzle to make it easier to use.


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WARNING: To keep hydrogen peroxide stable, it must be kept away from light, so it is best to store hydrogen peroxide in it's original brown bottle. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach colored fabrics such as clothing and carpeting. Hydrogen peroxide should never be used to clean stone like granite or marble. Also, please do not mix with vinegar or bleach in the same container.

Household items and surfaces that can hydrogen peroxide can disinfect.

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How to use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant.

DISINFECTING TIP #1: To disinfect surfaces like countertops (again, no granite or marble!), faucets and fixtures, toilets, tabletops, sinks, and other non-porous surfaces, simply spray the area with hydrogen peroxide and allow it to sit for at least one minute — then wipe away with a clean, dry cloth.

DISINFECTING TIP #2: To disinfect items like toothbrushes, plastic utensils, bottles, and rubber nipples, simply soak in hydrogen peroxide for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water and allow to air dry.

Bonus: How to use hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner and whitener.

CLEANING TIP #1: To clean clothing stains, simply apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and allow to sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water.

CLEANING TIP #2: To clean and whiten items such as white sheets, towels, socks and undergarments, soak in a mixture of 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 3 gallons of water for 30 minutes to an hour, then wash as you normally would.


Jessica owns two blogs, Mom 4 Real and Pour Me a Cocktail. She has been sharing easy cleaning tips, recipes and ideas with her readers for over 7 years. She has been featured on the Rachel Ray Show, TODAY Parenting, MSN, Country Woman Magazine and more.