Hydrogen Peroxide And Laundry - Use It To Brighten Your Clothes
The primary use of hydrogen peroxide for laundry is to brighten clothes and remove stains from your laundry.
You can use this product as a substitute for chlorine bleach to whiten your clothes.
Is This Safe For Your Colored Clothes?
While the video below suggests using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your whites (and yes, it does that very well!), I've been asked on multiple occasions whether hydrogen peroxide, a bleach, will bleach your colored clothes.
The answer is typically it will not bleach your colored clothes, not anymore than other color safe bleaches do. (And when such bleaching occurs it is typically because you've used the bleach at too high a concentration, or left the bleach to sit for too long, or the dye itself in the fabric was not properly set.)
Hydrogen peroxide is itself an oxygen bleach. (You can click the link to read my article all about oxygen bleaches and how they work if you're interested in an in-depth discussion.) Basically though, just know that like other oxygen bleaches it is typically safe for colors.
In fact, to help put your mind at ease you should know that color safe bleach is comprised mainly of hydrogen peroxide, along with some additional additives such as brighteners.
For example, the popular color safe oxygen bleach, Oxiclean, has two active ingredients. The first is sodium percarbonate, which when it comes into contact with water releases hydrogen peroxide, and the second is sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda.
How Much Peroxide Should I Add?
The video suggests adding 8 ounces of a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to each load of laundry.
The 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide is the kind you buy at the drug store for first aid, in the brown bottle, not the stronger stuff you use to bleach your hair.
I've addressed some questions below about exactly what the 3% version of this product is, versus the more concentrated 35% version.
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I got this question from a reader recently, and wanted to share some back and forth I and another reader then had about whether you should dilute the higher concentrated 35% hydrogen peroxide to become the 3% variety that is most commonly found in drug stores in the first aid aisle.
You say to use 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. How do you dilute it to this amount?
Judy, thanks for the question. When I say to use a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide I mean the hydrogen peroxide you get in the brown bottles for first aid.
When you buy it this way it is already diluted to 3%, so you do not need to dilute it further, unless instructions on the site say to add it to a solution of water.
Hope this helps!
If you have 35% hydrogen peroxide to convert the same to 3% add 11 parts of water to one part of hydrogen peroxide 35%.
Thanks Satheesh for sharing what you believe to be the proper way to dilute the higher concentration product into a concentration that is more available for first aid. I personally don't know, however, if this is the correct dilution, so follow Satheesh's instructions with caution if you choose to do this.
That being said, I personally wouldn't even bother trying to dilute 35% peroxide to 3%, because buying the product in the higher concentration is more expensive and takes more time to fiddle with, then to just buy it at the lower concentration to begin with.
The reason some people buy the higher concentration is for certain alleged health benefits (this is not a medical site and I will not get into the arguments about whether it is effective, since I'm not a doctor, nor do I claim to be), I am just here to discuss house cleaning and laundry.
For house cleaning and laundry purposes almost always the higher concentrated forms of hydrogen peroxide are not needed.
Instead, for purposes of stain removal, whitening and brightening, etc., I would just head to the drugstore, get the proper lower concentration to begin with, and use that!
You don't need to make this hard folks. Just buy the kind you get in the first aid aisle and rest easy knowing the concentration is already correct for your laundry needs, was easy to get, and quite cheap! Win-Win-Win.
I have answered this question as part of the site where you can ask me for laundry help. Go check out that section to see what else I've answered or to ask something yourself.
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Comments for Diluting 35% Hydrogen Peroxide Down To 3% Variety
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.