Peroxide vs. bleach: the greener alternative

I pX bleacharted ways with bleach long ago. Even the smell makes me uncomfortable. In fact, chlorine bleach is a caustic chemical and a registered pesticide.  Hydrogen peroxide is formed and dissipated naturally in the environment when it simply breaks down into oxygen and water (… you see where I’m going with this, don’tcha???).

Hydrogen peroxide can act as a substitute for bleach in virtually every way.  Where you used bleach, use peroxide instead… and even far beyond.

It should always be diluted down to a 3% solution but (fortunately!) this is how it is commonly sold in your local drugstore or market, so you don’t need to worry about mixing your own concoction!

Some of the best uses for hydrogen peroxide?… just take a look:

  • Disinfectant – for cleaning toilet bowls, floors, showers, tubs, tile… your bathroom is its disinfecting playground!
  • Dishwasher – add a few drops to your dishwasher detergent for extra sterilization
  • Food cleaner & natural preservative – add a few teaspoons to a large bowl of cold water. Wash and rinse your vegetables and fruits thoroughly to clean them and prolong their freshnessperox
  • Laundry – simply use in place of the bleach or use as a stain remover (but be sure to blot & rinse immediately to avoid any potential discoloration)
  • Oral hygiene – use it to clean your toothbrush, or a teeth whitener (when combined with baking soda, in small quantities, to make a paste!)
  • Sanitizer – put in a sprayer bottle to sterilize and disinfect counter tops, cutting boards, stove tops, sinks, the refrigerator and even coffee pots, blenders and food processors
  • Toy cleaner – combine one part peroxide to ten parts water and soak water-tolerable toys, then thoroughly rinse and dry. (This is especially helpful after a bout of illness in the house!)
  • Window cleaner – add a half cup to four cups of water and create a streak-free window cleaner

The toy cleaner appeals to me, especially.  I recall when our daughter was in daycare (for a brief, fleeting moment, until I decided being a stay-at-home mommy “was for me”…) and I was horrified that they cleaned the toys with bleach!  AUGH! My baby was probably putting those toys in her mouth the very next day!

Say good-bye bleach, hello peroxide. Nothing lost, but “a whole lot of peace-of-mind” gained!

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13 thoughts on “Peroxide vs. bleach: the greener alternative

  1. ….NO, not in the mouth…my oral surgeon told me that peroxide in the mouth changes DNA and causes cancers of the mouth………..not the little in toothpaste, but never straight or diluted peroxide in the mouth……

  2. John – that’s certainly something I have never seen scientifically proven… in fact all research I have found refutes that as false (and some sources say it’s quite the contrary). Could you direct us to a link that shows otherwise?

  3. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been using vinegar for almost a year in place of bleach to disinfect but can’t stand the smell. I appreciate this post 🙂

  4. Contrary to common beliefe the kitchen is in need of disinfection most not the kitchen. Opra and Dr Oz TV shows have shown this to be true. Samples tested in labs show larger and more diverse flora and fauna on the petry dishes used. Think of all the sources of pathogens your kitchen sees. Some homes even use the kitchen for non food related activities like arts and crafts and house plants.

  5. I did not realize this! I am anti-bleach too! I use it extremely sparingly… good to know that there is an alternative out there! thank you

  6. I said :”Contrary to comon beliefe the kitchen is in need of disinfection most not the kitchen.” I ment the last “kitchen” to be bathroom. I guess you might have gotten that but I just wanted to be sure.

  7. Poet – understood… our kitchen sinks can often be filthier than our toilets!

    faith – you’re welcome! I hope you found some great new ways to put hydrogen peroxide to good use!

  8. Interesting post, but did you know it only takes one tablespoon of bleach added to a gallon of water to make a germ-busting solution for surface disinfection? A Water Quality & Health Council survey (http://www.disinfect-for-health.org/holiday-food-safety-campaign-survey) found that most people do not know how little bleach is needed to routinely disinfect household surfaces. Additionally, it is a fact that as bleach destroys germs, it decomposes into predominantly salty water, so in fact it is environmentally friendly. Just like peroxide, bleach should be kept out of the reach of children and not mixed with other cleaners. You can order a free “Deal Kitchen Germs a 1,2-Punch” magnet at http://www.americanchemistry.com/chlorine/sec_order.asp?CID=1139&DID=4295&CTYPEID=109

  9. Thanks for the reminder! Yes I have tried to minimize my use of bleach. Most notably after the following incident: I placed a cellulose sponge in a tablespoon of bleach and it fell apart into pieces.- caustic indeed.

  10. Mary – I suspect you have ties to the chemical industry??? I cannot, with a clear conscience, EVER recommend bleach (no matter how diluted), especially when there are greener, safer, healthier, less dangerous and undeniably better options available to us. I respect your opinions, but I will always tell my readers to avoid bleach.

  11. I nearly forgot. I had read somewhere that the Red Cross or Clorox. Used to or still send gallons of bleach into US disaster zones to purify water. They generally have a special instructions in how to treat suspect water. They also include how to air the smell out of the purified water after. Survivors are given bottles as standard practice. Lived in a trailor park when I was younger and the landlord used stanrard bleach in the well house as a water treatment. Not sure if any of this is on topic or not just more trivia to add I suspect.

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