By Cathy Smith
Have you ever stared at a clogged sink and wondered if buying a toxic chemical is worth the environmental impact?
Recently, I wrestled with this dilemma over my bathroom sink. I tried the salt, vinegar and boiling water method. Still, every time I brushed my teeth or washed my hands there remained a murky pool. Stubborn.
Flash…the light bulb went on! What is the best scrubby, bubbly substance? I scooped out the excess water and poured in 2 tablespoons of 35% hydrogen peroxide and watched it go to work. I did this twice more and left it overnight, in the morning the drain was clear. Simple, effective, and non-toxic. What more could I ask for?
Let’s explore some household uses for hydrogen peroxide.
The Co-op sells food grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in 3%, 12%, and 35% concentrations. Do not let 35% peroxide touch your skin -- it is extremely irritating. All recommendations below are utilizing 3%. As my Dad used to say, “Do as I say and not as I do.”
Veggie wash: In a sink of cold water add ¼ cup H2O2 to remove some pesticides and dirt. Allow veggies to sit in the wash for 5-10 minutes; swish and rinse.
Toothpaste: Mix H2O2 with baking soda and salt for a brilliant smile. Miss the fresh flavor? I add essential oils of peppermint or clove to taste, 2 drops per ¼ cup. Boost the whitening action with a dash of powdered charcoal.
Toothbrush sanitizer: Keep germs at bay by storing your toothbrush in a glass filled with peroxide. Refresh weekly.
Cutting board cleaner: Spray your wood cutting board between uses, especially after chopping meat, rinse when the bubbles subside.
Toilet Bowl: Pour ½ cup in the bowl, let sit 20 minutes, scrub clean.
Ice Chest: Spray to disinfect between camping trips or tailgate parties.
De-skunk pets: Had a bad run in? Remove the offensive odor with this: 16 oz hydrogen peroxide, ½ tsp dish washing liquid, 1/8 cup baking soda, and 32 oz water. Adjust for the size of the animal (or human). Scrub and promptly rinse, the peroxide will lighten fur just as it does hair.
There is a natural solution for nearly everything in life. We here at the Boise Co-op strive to be your resource of healthful information. We love being a vital part of our community!