peroxide thumbnailI’ve been seeing more and more recipes lately for homemade cleaners using hydrogen peroxide.  Why?  Because hydrogen peroxide is like bleach’s friendlier cousin.  It can whiten and disinfect with a milder chemical structure than bleach.  Hydrogen peroxide’s chemical formation is two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen  (basically water with an extra oxygen atom) which breaks down into water and is therefore a kinder alternative for the environment.

Oh, and it’s cheap too.  You gotta like that when it comes to homemade cleaners.

So I gave a couple of homemade hydrogen peroxide cleaners a try and was pretty satisfied with the results.  I tried one laundry recipe and one basic cleaning recipe.

Here’s the scoop:

 

LAUNDRY STAINS

The basic laundry stain recipe is a mixture of Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.  (You use the basic 3% hydrogen peroxide that’s available in drugstores or grocery stores). You use these two ingredients in a ratio of 1 part Dawn to 2 parts peroxide.  I made a small batch of 1 teaspoon Dawn and 2 teaspoons peroxide and mixed them together in a small bowl.  I  used a small brush to rub it into the stained area and then let it set for a couple of hours before laundering in the washing machine.

I tested this out on two items – a white blouse that had yellow underarm stains, and a red sweater with a greasy stain (that had already gone through the wash a few times).

The white blouse saw great improvement with the yellow stains almost entirely disappearing.  This was a blouse I was about ready to toss out anyway and now it’s been given a second life!

The old grease stain on the red sweater saw some lightening, but it did not disappear altogether.  The most encouraging thing was this stain recipe did not in any way lighten the red color so it appears safe to use on colors too.

Although the before and after photos don’t really show the full impact, the results were very noticeable on the white shirt.

homemade stain remover

 

HOUSEHOLD STAINS
Another way to use your hydrogen peroxide is to mix it with baking soda or cream of tartar for a household stain cleaner.  I tried this on a really nasty spot on my tub.  This is a spot where water pools and over the years it has broken down the porcelain and created a stain.  This stain has been resistant to all regular cleaners I have used to date.  Would the peroxide be any better?

Well, it really did lighten it a lot!  I was happy!  I knew it would not go away completely but the spot is much, much lighter than it was before and is much less noticeable.  (Sooner or later we are going to have to re-glaze the tub . . . or something).

I tried this first with a mixture of 1 tablespoon cream of tartar with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.  This made a pretty tiny batch, but it did work pretty well.  I tried a few more applications with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.  I just dumped baking soda in a bowl and added enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.  I spread it over the stain and then let it sit for several hours and then scrubbed.

Once again, the pictures don’t really do justice, but in real life it looks much improved.  In the before picture I didn’t have the light on in the bathroom and in the second picture I did which is why the first picture looks more yellow (just in case you thought I was using Photoshop magic!)

stain on bathtub

I’m definitely going to try this on a few more dirty things.
{{ I should be able to find a few of those in my house }}

Do you have a favorite homemade mixture with hydrogen peroxide?  I’d love to hear your re sults too!

** Update     Here are a couple more stories of using the homemade Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide stain remover.  Stain remover success story #1  (a wine stain on a wool sweater) and stain remover success story #2 that someone shared with an oily stain on a coat.  It’s pretty amazing stuff!

 

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