For over two centuries since hydrogen peroxide was first discovered, this chemical compound has been widely used in many different areas by a various class of people ranging from housewives to doctors, hairstylists amongst others. Hydrogen peroxide may seem old-fashioned in its dull brown bottle but it is one of the most popular chemicals in the world today.
For the year 2020, reports suggest that 4.5 million metric tons of hydrogen peroxide were produced and this gives us an estimation of how widely this product is used in several instances. Hydrogen peroxide is most commonly available in the form of a solution where it is mixed with water. It is usually available in wt% concentrations and is kept in dark coloured bottles or dedicated storage areas. Hydrogen peroxide while it is manufactured industrially, also occurs naturally in surface water, groundwater and in the atmosphere.
Nonetheless, hydrogen peroxide has a long-standing reputation for being used as a cleansing agent and a disinfectant. Additionally, it has been used as a bleaching agent in various instances and in various beauty regimes including hair, teeth and skin treatments. In labs, it is used as an oxidizing agent and reducing agent. We will look at some of the other uses of hydrogen peroxide below.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used as an antiseptic.
- It is used in the preservation of wine and milk.
- Our white blood cells produce hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria.
- It is used to clean stains from sensitive fabrics and clothes.
- Soaking feet in water mixed with H2O2 for 15 min every day for a week will help to get rid of fungus.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used for skin lightening and acne.
- Plant growth can be sustained by sprinkling a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal amounts.
- The textile and paper industry use it as a bleaching agent.
- It is used for the synthesis of tartaric acid, food products and many pharmaceuticals.
- It is used in the manufacture of chemicals, which in turn are used in making of high-quality detergents.
- The most significant use of H2O2 is in environmental chemistry where it is used in pollution control treatment of domestic waste and industrial effluents.
- Highly concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide is used as rocket propellant.
- It can be used in cleaning and sanitizing household items.
- It can be used to clean ponds and remove harmful algae.