We all love finding products that can pull double or even triple duty, but did you know that hydrogen peroxide is particularly versatile? This compound, most commonly used to clean wounds, can be used for a bevy of other purposes around the house.
Check out 15 cool things you can do with peroxide:
1. Lighten your hair
Leave the bleach alone and grab a bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide when you want to lighten your hair on the cheap. Don't just grab the nearest bottle and start pouring it on your head though, or you could end up with damaged hair.
2. Whiten your nails
Save money on an expensive salon trip by soaking your fingertips in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide to give your nails a fresh look.
3. Cleaning your ears
Wax buildup in your ear can be painful and can make it difficult to hear. Skip the wax candles and eardrops and opt for a drop or two of peroxide a few minutes before you get into the shower. The peroxide breaks down the mess and rinses away in the shower.
4. Protecting your veggies
Keep your veggies bacteria-free with a mist of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Let the vegetables sit for a few minutes before rinsing, drying, and storing.
5. Removing wine stains
Drop a glass of red wine on the light-colored carpet? Care 2 suggests soaking the stain with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part liquid soap. Let it set for a minute, then blot it with a towel and wash with warm water.
6. Clean stained tile/stone counters
Say vamoose to nasty counter stains without the extra scrubbing. Care 2 recommends combining hydrogen peroxide with flour to create a thick paste and covering the stain. Add a layer of plastic wrap and let it set overnight.
7. Whiten your teeth
Dilute a bit of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in an equal amount of water and swish for about a minute. Do not swallow. Spit and rinse. Repeat once a day for two weeks to get whiter teeth. After the initial two weeks, stick to once a week for maintenance.
8. Toothache relief
If you need some quick relief from a toothache, try mixing 1 part water and 1 part peroxide and applying it to the infected area. Hold the mixture in place (without swallowing) for a few minutes.
9. Get rid of canker sores
Those sores in your mouth: ouch. Reduce their longevity with a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Combine it with water and swish for about a minute and then rinse.
10. Clean makeup brushes
Makeup brushes can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Mix equal parts water and peroxide in a cup or deep bowl. Soak your brushes for about five minutes and rinse. Repeat once a week.
11. Clean glass
Skip the chemical-filled window-cleaning products and use hydrogen peroxide instead. Natural Living Ideas says to spray the peroxide on your glass surface and wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth.
Disinfect rags and sponges by soaking them in peroxide for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and dry. You can also disinfect your cutting boards with a quick spritz of peroxide.
13. Skip the bleach
Soak your whites in a hydrogen peroxide mix (2 parts peroxide, 1 part detergent) for about 30 minutes prior to washing to remove yellowing and staining on the fabric. Note: peroxide will remove color so keep it away from anything but your whites.
14. Clean shower curtains
Remove mildew and soap from your shower curtains (check the label first) by spritzing with peroxide and washing in your washing machine (yes -- even your liners!).
15. Clean your humidifier
While humidifiers are a great way to ease cold symptoms and add moisture to the air, they build up mold like crazy. Every once in a while, add peroxide to the water and run it as usual to kill mold and bacteria.