Secret Cleaning Weapon: Hydrogen Peroxide Scrub

hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, essential oil and scrub brush on a counter

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Inexpensive. Effective. This Hydrogen Peroxide Scrub will be your super power

We clean a lot with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. One thing I’ve just started using hydrogen peroxide as well. Hydrogen peroxide is great  for disinfecting and sanitizing all kinds of different things.

Is it natural?

Hydrogen peroxide is water (H2O) with an extra oxygen molecule. Simple as that. It is a natural substance which can be found, for example, in very small amounts in rain and snow. Rain combines with ozone in the upper atmosphere. When the two mix, the ozone (O2) loses one oxygen molecule to the water and hydrogen peroxide is formed. It’s very unstable and easily breaks back down into water and oxygen. The kicker: oxygen is stable only when the molecules are pairs (O2). A single oxygen molecule is a strong oxidizing and disinfecting agent. 

Did you know our own immune system produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to control bacteria and viruses? While what we purchase is manufactured, it’s very simple chemically. Look for the common 3% as higher concentrations can be corrosive. 

Hydrogen peroxide has been used as an antiseptic because it kills bacteria cells by destroying their cell walls. And get this – the effervescent nature of peroxide makes it better than bleach at killing mold on porous surfaces. It’s also a great addition to your fruit and vegetable soak.

Remember though, it doesn’t disinfect and kill germs on contact. Spray it on and give it a few moments to do its magic before wiping it off off.

You can clean all kinds of things with hydrogen peroxide:

Counters, Mirrors, Windows, Bathtubs, Appliances, Walls, Cutting boards, Trash Cans, Sinks, Toilets, the list goes on and on. 

Don’t mix vinegar and peroxide in the same container. You can use them one at a time on a surface as they are each great for taking care of different kinds of germs, molds and such. Combining them creates peracetic acid, a bleach-like mixture which can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. And, side note: don’t bother mixing vinegar and baking soda either. It makes a great fizz but ends up turning into plain old salt water which doesn’t have much cleaning umph.

baking soda fobaking sodain a bowl with cut limes behind it for hydrogen Peroxide scrub

However you can mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. I’ve been trying to clean some stained [read: kinda gross] grout from around our tub, Yesterday I tackled it with a paste of baking soda and peroxide plus some lemon & wild orange essential oils. Adding the essential oils not only gives it a great aroma, but it adds some cleaning umph. Not only do they help deal with sticky gunk or grease, but they have their own antibacterial/antiviral qualities. 

I think I need one more round before I’m ready to show the after pictures, but we made huge progress with not a ton of elbow grease.  This combo is good for loads of different things too: Faucets, sinks, grungy pans or cookie sheets….anything you might use a baking soda paste on. The peroxide just amps it up. I’ve heard it referred to as a “miracle cleaner”. 

hydrogen peroxide and scrub brush on a bathtub

I have some cookie sheets that were on the “these are getting nasty should I keep them” list that now look nearly brand new. 

I was having a bit of trouble finding stores with peroxide in stock, but my “local Amazon” helped me out and I was able to get four bottles for only a couple bucks a piece. 

ingredients for hydrogen peroxide scrub on a wooden counter

Hydrogen Peroxide Scrub DIY

This simple hydrogen peroxide scrub is a go-to for tough cleaning projects


Equal parts Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

4-5 drops essential oil for every 1/2 cup


Combine ingredients just before use.
Scoop up paste with hands or a scrubby and rub onto surface you are cleaning. For tough issues you may need to leave for a few minutes before rinsing. Rinse well and you’re done!

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4 Responses

  1. What an easy cleaning recipe! As a child, my mom was a bit over the top with her warnings about which cleaners you shouldn’t use. So in my mind, I’m still terrified to use hydrogen peroxide combined with anything because according to my mom, it would “blow the house up” 🤣 Good to know it’s just vinegar that it shouldn’t be mixed with and that my mom may have just been a bit dramatic!

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