Green Cleaning: Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide

Tips for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide - Ask Anna

I recently had a reader email me and ask me for ways she could use hydrogen peroxide to clean.  I haven’t ever really used hydrogen peroxide to clean, but it got me thinking about how it’s non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew, and then I though, “why don’t I use it to clean more!?” So today I’m going to give you a few green cleaning tips using hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to pre-treat tough stains, and it’s a natural alternative to bleach. To get rid of a tough stain, such as grass, blood, coffee or wine stains, saturate the stain with hydrogen peroxide, let it set for a few minutes, and then toss it in the washing machine and wash as normal.

If you’re not a fan of bleach you can use hydrogen peroxide as a green alternative. One of the original uses of hydrogen peroxide was bleaching hair, so if you add it to your white load it will help brighten them without the harsh smell, like bleach. (source)

If you have mold or mildew growing in your bathroom, you can use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of it!  In small bathrooms, or bathrooms with no windows, it is common that left over moisture from showering will start to form mildew in the shower and on grout lines.  Luckily hydrogen peroxide is anti-mold and anti-mildew! Spray the mildew liberally with the hydrogen peroxide and then let it sit so it can fizzle and foam. For a little extra cleaning power sprinkle baking soda on the treated area and then scrub it with a cleaning toothbrush, or a good sponge. If the mold/mildew has been there for a long time you might have to repeat the process to remove the dark stain from your tub or grout, but don’t worry it will return to it’s original color!

Hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic, all-natural chemical, which makes it great for cleaning in the kitchen. To disinfect food prep surfaces, without harsh chemicals, spray hydrogen peroxide liberally over the surface and when it stops fizzing and bubbling, wipe it up.

Cleaning your kitchen with hydrogen peroxide - Ask Anna

It can also be used to clean out the fridge, the inside of the microwave, or even clean up the dinner table!  And because it’s non-toxic it’s safe for kids to use, which means you can ask them to help you wipe down the counters and table after dinner!

Pots and Pans
To get rid of baked on, or burnt spots, on your pots and pans, combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste (about as thick as pancake batter). Using your fingers, rub the paste onto the burnt spot and let it sit for about 10 minutes. When 10 minutes has expired use a kitchen scrub brush, or a sponge, and run the pot under warm water to remove the burn spot.  (source)

You can also use this technique to remove burn spots on a glass stove top, or the oven glass.

Kid’s toys
Hydrogen peroxide is also a great way to clean your children’s toys, without having to worry about chemicals going back into their mouths.  Get a large bucket and fill it with hydrogen peroxide (just enough to cover the toys), then toss the toys in and let them fizz and bubble. Once the bubbling stops remove the toys and let them dry. Once they are dry they are clean and safe to play with again!

How to clean toys with hydrogen peroxide - Ask Anna

There are so many great uses for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and because it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew, you can eliminate some of the other cleaners in your cupboard and just use hydrogen peroxide as a non-toxic, environmentally safe cleaning product for your entire house!

Have you ever used hydrogen peroxide to clean your house?  Leave me a comment because I would love to hear any additional tips you have!


About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Darlene says:

    I use it to clean the toilet – 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup peroxide. Use the toilet brush to gently stir & let sit for 20-30 minutes while you wipe down the rest of the bathroom ( using peroxide), then swish and scrub as usual. Leaves the toilet sparkling clean and fresh smelling.
    You can also use it to clean your fruits and vegetables. Spritz them with peroxide, let it bubble and do it’s job, and then rinse well. Peroxide, white vinegar, and baking soda are the only “cleaners” i use in my house, as the chemical smells of commercial products affect me – sinus headaches and breathing issues.

  2. my co-worker cleans a church as her second job and they use peroxide too. I had the same reaction you did – it makes sense, but I hadn’t really thought of it.

  3. I absolutely LOVE cleaning with hydrogen peroxide! I actually put a spray nozzle atop the bottle and use it that way. I am able to mist down the shower and tub etc. then let it dry. I also use it in my mop water sometimes too. It also is very easy to mist the gaskets on the refridgerator and also the shelves and handle. I know that it is disinfected and as I have white appliances- Very clean and a bright white! My 93 year- old grandmother swears she gargles with it once a week to clean her teeth and gums. Makes sense as tat is what is in teeth whiteners. Throw a spray top on it and make it even easier to clean with!

  4. I love hydrogen peroxide! When I was a goofy teenager, I used it to lighten my hair. Not really a good look for me, but live and learn. I use hydrogen peroxide to clean all of my mirrors and glass surfaces in my house.
    I have a huge mirror that always showed streaks with Windex, even when I used newspaper or a quality paper towel. After screwing a spray bottle nozzle directly on the bottle of peroxide, I have streak-free glass and mirrors! And hydrogen peroxide is super cheap, too!

    • Marilyn Ruff says:

      Question: What about if you have hardwood floors? If the solution get on the floors will it bleach them? I have hardwood on the first floor of my home.

      • I haven’t every tried it on hardwood floors but I know all hardwoods are different so I would recommend trying it in a very small, inconspicuous area before using it on the main part of your floors. :)

  5. Crystal says:

    I can’t believe I never thought of using hydrogen peroxide. Bleach smell makes my husband sick to his stomach so I can only use it early in the morning after he leaves for work and then I have to keep my windows open to air out the smell (which is hard to do in the summer here in Texas). I can’t using bleach but haven’t found any cleaners that get rid of the mold in tubs. I will be trying hydrogen to clean. What a blessing it will be to clean without the fumes of bleach!! Thanks so much!!

  6. Kathleen says:

    I use HP mixed with Dawn dish soap to clean my boys’ baseball pants. It’s the ONLY thing that has consistently gotten out the dirt, grass and mud stains that are all over their pants every weekend! Love it! Thanks for the other great uses!

  7. Dee M. From KS says:

    I use peroxide in my bathroom on the shower liner, tub, faucets, toilet area, floor (good on grout) and sinks. My kitchen gets the same treatment. Great for cutting boards. I also use it on doorknobs when someone is ill in the family. Great mold deterent….use it in your produce drawer…just temember to wipe dry with towel. I put my peroxide in a spray bottle. It’s easier to apply to skin or anything else, too.

  8. Two great uses for hydrogen peroxide: (1) mix it 1:1 with water in a spray bottle to clean residue from fruits and vegetables; (2) pour in the rinse cycle of washing machine to remove any remaining odors left on clothes from bleach, cigarette smoke, or the “moldy” smell that lingers in some front-load models.

  9. I was wondering about what kind of hydrogen peroxide you’d use and what strength? I was seeing 3% and 35% kinds. I also saw places to dilute it. But I have also seen using a spray top right with the normal peroxide bottle. (So it be “full” strength?)

    • I’m so sorry I’m just getting back to you about this! I have been so crazy this summer and I’m way behind on returning comments. I always buy the highest percentage HP, I figure it’s just more cleaning power! :)

      • You actually should not buy the 35% for household use. It is considered food grade and can actually cause damage to skin. If you use it carefully and kept it away from kids, that would probably be okay. However, you should not use the higher percentage if it is going to come in contact with skin or let you kids use it.

      • Good to know, thank you!

  10. Hi, I would love to try some of your cleaning recommendations with HP. Where I live HO is sold in different percentages. May I ask how many % HP you bottles are, please? Do you still dilute it?
    Thank you.

  11. This is a great advice…

    I actually read somewhere that you can also use HP for teeth whitening (although I wouldn’t try it myself :-) )

  12. Peroxide works great to remove blood stains on fabric and other porous materials! Spot clean by using it undiluted. I learned this trick after working for a surgeon.

  13. I love this method; however, I just gotta say, “Peroxide IS a chemical”

  14. I discover peroxide for cleaning when my lab coat got a stain of iodine. Peroxide removes iodine in seconds on any fabric.

  15. Rosie Matthias says:

    Another good use for hydrogen peroxide… You can use the spray nozzle from a regular large spray bottle that you buy at the store and put it on the large HP bottle. Keep it in the shower and spray down the shower walls, floor, door, etc. after you shower. You’ll never have to scrub the shower or tub again!

  16. I love all the info about hydrogen peroxide and the things it can clean. My concern is about the smell of it and washing kid’s toys. Shouldn’t you wash with a little soap and water afterwards?

  17. As a nurse, I sometimes got “stuff” on my uniform. I often used peroxide to clean the stains from my clothing. It worked great.

  18. For those commentors asking about the use of hydrogen peroxide to clean and whiten teeth. Here are some very useful links. also, most foaming mouthwashes are foaming because they contain hydrogen peroxide.

    Oil Pulling

    Whiten teeth and other benefits of activated charcoal

    Remineralizing tooth powder; reverse cavities etc.

  19. Sue McElroy says:

    How to clean soleplate of an iron. I saw it on line but could not open it.

    • I’ve never actually had to clean mine before but I’ve read lots of ideas. You could try using Goo-gone, or Goof-off (same type of thing) or olive oil as a natural alternative. Or there’s a way to clean it with salt and vinegar but you’d have to google that one. You can also clean it with a dryer sheet by turning the iron on low, rubbing the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue disappears. Good luck! Come back and let me know which one works for you, I’d love to write a post about it. :)

  20. Help!! I just realized that I left a big load of towels in the washing machine for at least 2 weeks, maybe more. Is there a way to save them without using bleach? Can I use hydrogen peroxide or something else natural? Thanks!

  21. Little tiny bugs in my plants how can I kill it?

  22. Do you have any DIY for removing frosted glass on shower doors? The manufacturer put the frost on the inside instead of out and I’ve been using an sos pad and toilet bowl cleaning but the process is taking too long.

    • Hey Jan,
      This is Monique, Anna’s assistant. Anna did not think it was possible to remove the frost off the shower doors. If that is how the doors are designed, we do not recommend trying to take it off because it could damage the door and even the quality of the door. It might be best to think about replacing the shower doors if you are looking for clear glass. Sorry we could not be more helpful.

  23. Marianne says:

    Do you know if your hand wash dishes can you use hp to sterilize them? Spray them and let them air dry?

  24. How can you clean naturally – stained/painted concrete?

  25. Arlis Blackburn says:

    Using the 3% peroxide to clean windows and mirrors and kitchen/bathroom counter tops, can the peroxide be used straight from the bottle, or should it be diluted 50/50 with water?

    • I’m sure it would be fine to use on it’s own but I’d probably cut it with water to make it last longer. :)

      • Where do you buy it in larger quantities. The size I can get at the grocery and drug store are way to small to clean with. I would go through 10 or more a week even watered down.

      • You could try Costco but I usually just buy the normal size at the Target because it’s pretty cheap. Check the Dollar Store too, it would be really cheap there. :)

  26. Under arm perspiration/ deodorant stains. Yuck🙈

    I have the most amazing deodorant (yellow) under arm stain remover for t-shirts. My son, now 30, still brings his white and light color t-shirts to me to “work my magic”!
    First I turn the shirt inside out, get my “magic potion” ingredients:
    yellow toothbrush (a little color coordinated, lol),
    my baking soda,
    any dish soap that cuts grease or a gentle laundry soap
    my squirt bottle of hydrogen peroxide. First I make a paste, (baking soda and soap) generously apply to stain
    then squirt with the peroxide,
    I let it sit for 90 minutes.
    Then put the shirt in a sink full of cold water for 30 min.
    (The water will be a mucky mess at the end.)
    Check the stain, reapply if necessary. Then run through wash cycle
    cold with 1/2 cup of baking soda, no soap
    1 cup vinegar in rinse cycle.
    (Many trials and errors. Add in a lots of patience.)
    The things we Mom’s do for our boys! (And I love every minute) they ARE his FAVORITE shirts,after all.
    I used this on some shirts he had in his closet for years, he just couldn’t part with (his 1st trip to Disneyland shirt, his Langley, BC BMX tee) that is how the “magic” started. ( It was when he was about 8 years old! 😊)