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What is hydrogen peroxide?
In simple terms Hydrogen Peroxide consists of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms, as shown in the chemical formula H2O2. (H stands for Hydrogen, O for oxygen, and the 2 shows the number of atoms present in each element). Hydrogen peroxide is very similar water (H2O), but the extra oxygen atom produces one of the most useful and powerful oxidizers known to man - hydrogen peroxide (oxygen rich water). Also known as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide is made in the body, for instance, white blood cells produce, amongst other things, hydrogen peroxide to kill germs and fight infections.
What is hydrogen peroxide used for?
When most people think of hydrogen peroxide, they normally make the connection with hair bleaching or teeth whitening. It certainly is used for these purposes, but many people are unaware that there are several grades of this amazing oxygen rich water, and that it has a far wider gamut. It is a truly multi-purpose disinfectant, killing germs and bacteria. Food grade hydrogen peroxide is used around the world in bio-oxidative therapies. External use of food grade hydrogen peroxide is approved even in countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK, which are very conservative on issues of healthcare.
How does hydrogen peroxide work as a disinfectant?
It is quite simply the oxygen that does all the work. When it is used, hydrogen peroxide very quickly breaks down into water, releasing the extra oxygen atom, which then creates oxidization. In this chemical process, the oxygen atom combines with another substance and breaks down the function of the molecules (depending what is present, fizzing can be seen).
H2O2 and bacteria
Before we go any further, we need to explain aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Good bacteria are generally aerobic, which basically means that they need oxygen to survive. Conversely, harmful bacteria are anaerobic, which means that they cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment.
What types of hydrogen peroxide are available?
There are a number of different grades:
- 3% Pharmaceutical Grade - This can be purchased at the chemist's and is used for cleaning wounds and as a general household disinfectant. But this grade can have a whole range of stabilizers, such as acetanilide, phenol, sodium stanate and tertrasodium phosphate.
- 6% Beautician Grade - For use as hair colorant and contains stabilizers.
- 30% Reagent Grade - Used in scientific experiments, also contains stabilizers.
- 30% to 35% Electronic Grade - Used to clean electronic equipment.
- 35% Technical Grade - Contains phosphorus to neutralize tap water (if added)
- 35% Food Grade - This is used in many food preparation processes, for instance, in aseptic packaging, where it is sprayed onto foil lined material used for packaging fruit juices, etc. (This product is available to those with a governement issued licence)
- 12% Food Grade - A similar product to 35% Food Grade but in a diluted form to comply with EU regulations.
If it is such a good disinfectant, do hospitals use it?
NHS hospitals use hydrogen peroxide, as they realize its efficacy against a wide range of environmentally associated nosocomial pathogens (superbugs). A company called BIOQUELL have a hydrogen peroxide vapour machine to decontaminate tools, wards and rooms.
What grade should be used?
Only 12% Food Grade should be used. Please Note: never use at the full 12% strength.
Hydrogen peroxide needs to be diluted down to 3% solution - this is very easy to do:
Use 1 part 12% food grade to 3 parts of distilled water. For example, to make 400ml of 3% H2O2, use 100ml of 12% H2O2 with 300ml of distilled water.
Warning: 12% H2O2 is a strong oxidizer - when handling always use rubber gloves and safety glasses. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
Hydrogen peroxide uses:
(Whenever 3% H2O2 is mentioned, please note that this is 12% food grade diluted to 3%)
- A rejuvenating and detoxifying bath: Use approximately 3oz (75ml) of 35% solution in a full bath. (Use caution if hair is dyed or coloured as this may affect it.)
- Plant care: Add 3ml of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to 1 litre of water or for imperial measurements use 2½ tsp per gallon, but when you start it is recommended to use a lower concentration and after a few weeks use the higher concentration. Use every time you water your plants.
- Laundry: Use 330ml of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide with your washing instead of chemical bleaches.
- Cleaning/Sanitizing/Disinfectant: In the kitchen use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and use on surfaces and work tops, leaves a fresh smell and bacteria free. In the bathroom use half 3% solution and half distilled water in a spray bottle. This does not inhibit processes in the septic tank (unlike other household bleaches).
- Food Sterilization: Soak your fruit and vegetables in a washing bowl filled with water and 45ml of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. Depending on the size, soak for 20-30 minutes, then drain, dry and leave in the fridge. It has been noted that doing this will prolong the life of fruit and vegetables.
- Remove Earwax: Tilt your head to one side, use a eye dropper bottle to dispense 3% hydrogen peroxide so it fills the ear canal (do not do this if ear drum is damaged). Within a couple of minutes you should notice a bubbling in your ear. This is good as it shows that there is something there that shouldn?t be. If the bubbling stops after five minutes, repeat the process until the bubbling stops completely. Now repeat on the other ear. Make sure you keep a towel close by to wipe up any mess.
- Nasal Spray: Mix 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 220ml of distilled water for use with a nasal spray. Use 2-3 squirts throughout the day when you start experiencing signs of congestion. Also, try it daily and see if it helps ward off congestion during the cold and flu season.
- Mouthwash: Simply use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide.
- There are many more uses for food grade hydrogen peroxide, far to many to write about, so here is a small list of other uses: for foot fungus; colonic irrigation or enema; infections; toothache; tooth whitening; facial; shower cleaning; mould; in humidifiers/steamers; stain removal; meat sanitizing; sprouting seeds; insecticide spray; and much more.
Keep food grade hydrogen peroxide out of the light and away from heat. Always store/keep in cool dark conditions.
Hydrogen peroxide food grade 12% is supplied in 100ml and 500ml. Before you add your quantity to the basket, please select the H2O2 size using the product options.
We carefully package each bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Our 100ml bottle of is inside a larger white plastic container packed with foam re-nature chippings. The 500ml bottle is in a zip seal bag contained in a larger cardboard tube, filled with foam re-nature chippings, with white sealing caps top and bottom.
Neither manufacturer and/or seller make any claims or warranty expressed or implied concerning this product, except that it is of standard quality. Neither shall be held responsible in any manner for any personal injury, property damage or other type of loss resulting from handling, storage or use of any product manufactured by its use. The buyer accepts and uses this material on these conditions.
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