I find it kind of funny really, that there are so many different ways to use hydrogen peroxide. It's a bit like the old Saturday Night Live skit about the (made up) product Shimmer: “New Shimmer is a floor wax”, “No! It’s a dessert topping”. The joke, of course, is that a floor wax and a dessert topping seem impossible in one product.
Now, this is kind of wonderful, really. Right there, H2O2 is very practical to have around.
Do you find this all funny and intriguing like I do?
Are you curious to learn more?
Would you like to try using hydrogen peroxide?
Would you ever experiment with it yourself?
But there’s more to it -- hydrogen peroxide also has a wonderful quality of being good for the environment. This benefit goes deep and wide. It is good for rivers, it is good for plants, and it can be used to replace chlorine bleach, ammonia, and other chemicals which are harmful to rivers and plants.
Chlorine in pools is unpleasant and irritating to many people. For some this is a minor nuisance, for others it is a real hazard. Hydrogen peroxide can be used instead, and is non-toxic. Likewise household cleaning products containing chlorine can be upsetting to household cats and dogs – it smells like urine to them, as well as being unhealthy when they lick it off of their skin and fur.
It all starts to blend together: H2O2 is good for people, animals, plants, rivers…… and it breaks down into water and oxygen - what could be more non-toxic?
Going one step farther, H2O2 is part of the earth’s cleaning cycle. It is formed as water (H2O) passes through the ozone layer (O3) where it picks up another oxygen atom (O), becoming H202 (hydrogen peroxide). So, a bit of it comes down to us in rain. When you water your plants with the garden hose, there’s no hydrogen peroxide in that water. Adding a little hydrogen peroxide to plant water is great for the garden (indoor plants too). The runoff won’t harm streams and fish the way that many garden fertilizers do. I'll have more to say about all that.
H2O2 is also produced by the human immune system to help fight off infections. White blood cells make it……
Is this story getting interesting yet? And is it starting to sound a bit repetitive, too - like one big story applied to many different things, in a big circle from people to plants to water to fish to sky?
A story of disinfection and non-toxic cleaning and nature – spinning round and round with different words, depending on what topic we are addressing……
I’ll try to get to the bottom of those stories, too.
Finally, there is lots of ground to cover about handling, storage, concentrations, "grades", and mixing. Would you like to know:
Whatever we use hydrogen peroxide for, let’s keep it fun, creative and joyful – in that spirit of non-toxic growthful life and health for water, animals, plants, and housecleaning…..
(Hydrogen peroxide is also called H202 -- that's its chemical name -- both terms can be used interchangeably.)
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