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How to Clean and
Disinfect with Hydrogen Peroxide

May 28, 2021

In case you weren’t listening in science class, hydrogen peroxide is water (H2O) with an added oxygen atom that creates H2O2. At recommended strengths, that makes hydrogen peroxide very safe to use. But that extra atom of oxygen gives the resulting formula some amazing capabilities for fighting dirt, grime, and germs.

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaner, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and natural bleaching compound. The common three percent solution found in drugstores is potent enough to cut through most stains and grime and disinfect a range of surfaces and materials. Learning how to clean with hydrogen peroxide and using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant can be just as effective as using commercial products. Plus, cleaning with hydrogen peroxide can save you money and is an eco-friendly and family-safe alternative to other common household cleaners.

Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Recipe

While hydrogen peroxide cleans well undiluted, you can mix your own hydrogen peroxide cleaner and use it as an all-purpose cleaning spray throughout your home.

First, some background information: hydrogen peroxide stays at full strength for about three years as long as it’s in its original brown container. Once opened, hydrogen peroxide is effective for only a few months, so don’t open a bottle until you’re ready to use it.

Now, on to our hydrogen peroxide cleaner recipe:

  • Solid-colored spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • A lemon or lemon juice
  • Distilled water

Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide, two cups of distilled water, and two tablespoons of lemon juice in a spray bottle, shake it up, and start cleaning! We use a solid-colored spray bottle so the hydrogen peroxide isn’t exposed to light, and distilled water to prevent spotting from minerals and other pollutants found in tap water. The lemon gives your home a fresh scent when you clean, while the acids help break down dirt and grime.

When you mix your hydrogen peroxide cleaner, keep in mind that it has a limited shelf life of only a month or two. When you’re not using it, make sure you store it in a dark space.

How to Clean With Hydrogen Peroxide

Learning how to clean with hydrogen peroxide gives you a natural, safe, and economical way to clean your home without using harsh or toxic ingredients often found in commercial cleaning products. Whether you’re cleaning up inside or out, it’s easy to make your own hydrogen peroxide cleaner for different cleaning jobs.

Here are a few ways you can use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning everything from beauty supplies to bathtubs:

Makeup Brushes

Keeping your makeup and beauty tools clean and sanitary is essential for making your skin looking its best and regular cleaning extends the life of makeup brushes and other applicators. You can use a mixture of one part water to one part hydrogen peroxide to safely clean and sanitize your makeup brushes.

Whenever you use your makeup brushes and other applicators, let them soak for about 10 minutes, squeeze out the excess liquid, and let them air dry overnight. The solution will clean your brushes and get rid of the bacteria that can cause breakouts and other skin problems.

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Patio Furniture

Patio furniture can be as expensive as indoor furniture, so it makes sense to keep it clean and protected. Power sprayers and harsh commercial cleaning products can get your outdoor furniture clean, but they can damage fabrics and painted surfaces. Instead, we recommend using hydrogen peroxide to clean your patio furniture. Mix about a gallon of warm water, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of dish soap in a bucket. Use a nylon brush and your cleaning solution to scrub the metal, fabric, and other parts of your patio furniture, then rinse with a hose.

Tile Grout

Hydrogen peroxide combined with baking soda creates an oxygen bleach that is perfect for cleaning grout. Mix ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of dish soap in a sealable container. Shake the container to blend your ingredients, then grab some rubber gloves and use a cloth to spread the cleaning solution onto your grout. Wait about five minutes, then rinse away the dingy grime with clean water.


Did you know it’s a good idea to vacuum your mattress and clean it regularly? Your mattress is a haven for dead skin cells and bacteria that can aggravate allergies and prevent a good night’s sleep. After you vacuum your mattress, mix one part water to one part hydrogen peroxide and scrub any stains with an old toothbrush. Let the solution sit on the stain for five minutes and repeat the process if needed. Once the stains are gone, dry the spots with a hair dryer to remove moisture.

Tubs and Showers

Commercial cleaners for bathrooms and tubs can be especially harsh and can contain bleach, ammonia, and other ingredients that can be harmful to your skin and respiratory system. A safer, but just as effective, alternative is to mix two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Rub the paste all over your tube or shower, wait 30 minutes, then rinse away the grime with clean water.

Now that you know how to clean with hydrogen peroxide, take the next step and learn how to disinfect with hydrogen peroxide and get rid of bacteria and viruses.

How to Disinfect With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that kills germs and viruses safely and quickly without using potentially toxic chemicals. This makes it a great disinfectant. In addition, its antibacterial and antiviral qualities are more effective than distilled white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. It’s also as effective as chlorine bleach for killing mold and mildew on porous surfaces. Learning how to disinfect with hydrogen peroxide will make your home a healthier, safer place to live.

Hard Surfaces

From kitchen countertops to bathroom vanities, the hard surfaces in your home need regular attention to prevent germ buildup. Instead of using an over-the-counter disinfectant, pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and use it to disinfect the hard surfaces in your home. All you have to do is spray, wait five minutes, and wipe away the dirt and germs.

Hard Floors

Whether you have hardwood floors, vinyl, or tile, keeping your floors clean is probably part of your weekly cleaning routine. But did you know you can also disinfect your floors to minimize the spread of germs? Before you get started, spot test your floor to make sure the peroxide won’t discolor the floor. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water in a bucket, mop away germs, and let the floors air dry.


A 2016 study of residential dishwashers reveals that 83 percent of the dishwashers tested positive for fungi, and 47 percent of dishwashers tested positive for black yeast E., a pathogen that can be harmful to humans. To eliminate mold and mildew in your dishwasher, spray the interior and inside of the door with hydrogen peroxide. Pay extra attention to the rubber seals, debris traps, crevices, and other areas where moisture and mildew can hide. Run the dishwasher empty through a short cycle and you’re done!


Get rid of germs in your toilet with a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant each week for a cleaner, healthier bathroom. Pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide into your toilets, wait 30 minutes, then scrub the toilet with a toilet brush. You can also keep your toilet brush clean and healthy by pouring some hydrogen peroxide onto the bristles and letting it air dry before you put it away.


Kitchen and bathroom trash cans can get pretty dirty and germy. About once a week, wash your garbage cans with soapy water, then spray them inside and out with a solution of one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide. If possible, let the trash cans air dry in the sun; you can also wait 20 minutes and dry them with a cloth.

Toys and Toothbrushes

We all know kids aren’t very concerned about dirt and germs, making it even more important to clean and sanitize the things they play with and put in their mouths. To disinfect and clean toys, toothbrushes, and other washable items, fill a container with hydrogen peroxide and let the items soak for 20 minutes, then let them air dry.

Using hydrogen peroxide disinfectants and cleaners in your home is an eco-friendly, economical, and safe way to keep things clean and healthy. Learn more about how to create a cleaner, healthier home with our library of professional cleaning and disinfecting guides. Whether you take on dirt and germs yourself or use one of our popular residential cleaning services, we want you to enjoy a cleaner home more often. Get your free estimate today and find out how affordable customized cleaning solutions can be for your home.

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