UPDATE MARCH 2020: I wrote this post 10 years ago, and it's content has become especially relevant now when we're all trying to keep our homes sanitized and disinfected. The CDC and Consumer Reports recommend hydrogen peroxide among the options for disinfecting surfaces in your home. Spray it undiluted onto a surface to be cleaned and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before wiping. Read on to learn how I have been using it for many years to clean my home.
Today I want to tell you about my discovery of a Wonder Cleaner.
First, I need to explain that I'm not talking about cleaning because I'm one of those freaks of nature who loves to clean. I'm not. I would rather do almost anything than clean. That's exactly why I want to tell you about my Wonder Cleaner. Because if you hate to clean, like me, but you like having a clean house, like me, then it's pretty exciting to come across something that makes cleaning a whole lot easier. Also, this Wonder Cleaner is safe, inexpensive, and earth-friendly.
I'm talking about hydrogen peroxide. That's right, the kind that comes in the brown bottle that you buy at the drug store. The kind that you put on a skinned knee and it fizzles and foams as it de-germs your wound.
I have to credit King-Man for my personal discovery of using hydrogen peroxide as a Wonder Cleaner. A few months ago, he forwarded an email from the University where he works explaining that they use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning because it is considered an earth-friendly, effective cleaning solution. Say what? I had never heard of such a thing. So, I started reading everything I could find about using hydrogen peroxide for an all-purpose cleaner. Sure enough, the University folks were right (imagine that).
So, I went to Walgreens, bought a brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide and started testing it out throughout my house. Amazing results.
I cleaned my entire kitchen and bathroom using nothing but this:
I poured the brown bottle into a spray bottle.* No mixing. Just used it straight. And a microfiber cloth. (I could write another entire post about microfiber cloths--the Wonder Cloths to go with the Wonder Cleaner--if you don't have them, I recommend them. I keep a stack of them under every sink in my house.)
*IMPORTANT UPDATE: Read my post with additional tips for an even better Hydrogen Peroxide spray bottle solution. I learned (among other things) that you can screw a spray bottle nozzle directly onto the hydrogen peroxide bottle. THIS IS RECOMMENDED, because HP should not be exposed to light. It will keep it's effectiveness much longer when stored in the dark, original bottle.
I started in the kitchen. Sprayed it on my granite counters, quartz counters, stainless steel sink, and appliances, let it sit a minute or two, wiped it off with the cloth. (NOTE: let it sit for 5 minutes to fully disinfect surfaces.) Sprayed it on my ceramic tile kitchen floor, wiped it off with a microfiber mop (an awesome mop, by the way). No rinsing required. Everything glistened. Everything was disinfected. There was no odor, no harmful toxic fumes like you breath when you use bleach or chlorine-based cleaners, no harm to the earth.
Next, the bathroom. My bathroom is mostly tile. Sprayed it everywhere inside the shower. Let it sit for a few minutes so it could go to work on any mildew that might be trying to creep in. Sure enough that foaming action (just like on your wounded knee) started appearing in the corners. That meant it was killing those milldewy germs that were hiding there. Wiped it off and reapplied it for good measure. Don't know if I needed to, but it made me feel better.
On to the toilet. Sprayed it inside and out. Used a toilet brush inside the bowl and a Wonder Cloth outside the bowl. Sparkling clean.
Sink and counter top. Sprayed, gave it a minute or two to do it's work, wiped it off. Perfect.
The mirrors and glass shower door impressed me the most. This Wonder Cleaner does an amazing job on mirrors and glass. Sprayed it on, wiped it off with a dry Wonder Cloth. So clean, no streaks. Man! Where have you been all my life, Wonder Cleaner?
Here are the
Benefits of using Hydrogen Peroxide for Cleaning
I particularly like that hydrogen peroxide is odorless. I had tried some vinegar-based mixtures that are also effective, earth-friendly cleaners, but I didn't like my house smelling like vinegar after I'd cleaned it. I like my pickles and salad dressing to smell like vinegar, but not my mirrors and floors. Wonder Cleaner is odorless. And, put simply--it works! Better than vinegar, as far as I can tell.
Hydrogen Peroxide gradually breaks down when it is exposed to light. That's why it's sold in a dark brown bottle. I store my spray bottle under the sink where it is dark to prevent the Wonder Cleaner from losing it's cleaning power.
Where to learn more
Here is a really helpful website that has tons of information about cleaning just about everything: Using Hydrogen Peroxide for Cleaning. If you want to use the Wonder Cleaner on a surface I haven't mentioned, I recommend that you check out this website to make sure it's okay.
The only thing I haven't cleaned with Wonder Cleaner is my wood floors. I don't know if it's safe on wood. What I've read about that has been inconclusive. It appears that it depends on what kind of finish is on the wood. I don't know exactly what kind of finish is on my wood floors, so I'm not risking it there.
Apparently, it's not recommended on some metals. It worked great on my stainless steel sink, though.
Hydrogen Peroxide also has uses for carpet, laundry, and in the garden; although I haven't tried it there yet. It also can be used for cleaning and disinfecting produce, but you need a food grade hydrogen peroxide for that (not the brown bottle drugstore kind). I haven't been able to find it locally, although the above website gives you information about ordering it online. Can't personally recommend that one way or the other.
Give it a try
and let me know what you think. Or, maybe you already use Wonder Cleaner and are way ahead of me. If so, please share how you use it or any additional cleaning tips you have. We need all the help we can get in making our cleaning lives easier. So there's more time for the fun stuff.
Make it a Yummy day!
UPDATE: click this link for an easy way to convert the HP bottle into a spray bottle.