Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Germs, Viruses, And Bacteria?

The images of empty shelves and signs that list cleaning product limits have given many thought about alternatives to traditional cleaning products, and have drawn some attention to a product you may remember from previous first aid kits: hydrogen peroxide. The compound is used to kill germs and bacteria in wounds, which has raised some questions about whether hydrogen peroxide can be used to kill germs and bacteria in your home.

Wait, what’s hydrogen peroxide again?

If you ever fell and scraped your leg as you grew up, it is likely that you came across hydrogen peroxide shortly thereafter. The mild antiseptic has been a staple for first aid kits for generations and has long been used to clean cuts and burns.

However, many medical professionals no longer recommend pouring it directly over wounds. “Hydrogen peroxide is very effective as a skin disinfectant, but it can inhibit wound healing,” says Dr. Andrew Alexis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai. “We usually dilute it 50-50 with sterile water and use the diluted solution as a gauze soak applied to wounds.”

Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Your Home?

In theory, you can. Rutgers University says hydrogen peroxide is typically sold in concentrations of around 3 percent, which is effective in killing germs in the home. You can use it straight from the bottle or dilute it to a concentration of 0.5% and leave it on the surface for a minute before wiping it off.

Remarkable: Hydrogen peroxide can lead to discoloration. Therefore, you may not use it on your white countertops.

Dr. Alexis also notes that while hydrogen peroxide is germicidal and can kill a variety of bacteria, yeast, fungi, viruses, and spores, it may not be effective against some organisms.

When it comes to the corona virus, he turns to the experts at CDC and recommends following the recommendation to use a diluted bleach solution (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water) to disinfect your home.

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