Is hydrogen peroxide a safe disinfectant?

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The CDC reports that healthcare-associated infections occur in an average of one of every twenty-five patients daily, with more than two million diseases reported annually. Overall, this incidence is approximated to intensify by 36percent within the past decades. Bacterial organisms account for between 65 to 80percent of chronic and microbial infections globally.

The study conducted by Lineback et al. (2018) suggested that the ability to serve as sources of infection make disinfectants quite critical in preventing pathogenic transmission. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most commonly used disinfectants, and it’s potent for that matter. It has been proven to be effective against many pathogenic microorganisms, including coronavirus, SARs, and H1N1. That means it can serve us well, especially during an outbreak like the pandemic we are dealing with right now.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used on many surface materials without worrying about the damage that can occur afterward and adding icing on the cake. It can also be used to do laundry, and it does it well. It just as strong as bleach, but it’s safer than bleach. It is a substance that can be used to clean multiple surfaces and disinfect them. But the question we are asking today is, how safe is this chemical? Let’s take a look at the uses of hydrogen peroxide to determine how safe it is.

Uses of hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used at home and other public places, including health care facilities. There was a time it was used to clean wounds, and that practice has been for over a century. Ortega et al.’s (2020) study recently proved that hydrogen peroxide is not very safe to use on wounds, just like alcohol. It kills harmful microorganisms to prevent infection and kills healthy cells around the wound, therefore damaging the tissue. That can slow down the healing process so, in terms of sterilizing injuries, its use is strongly discouraged.

Anyway, the only difference between this chemical and water is that it has one extra oxygen molecule. Still, that different molecule does wonders because it turns hydrogen peroxide into a potent oxidizer. Hole et al. (2017) stated that this chemical could be used at home to clean and disinfect various household stuff simultaneously. It can be used to clean a dishwasher, clean the sink, clean and disinfect counters and cutting boards, wash veggies, extend their shelf life, and clean cookware. Other than the kitchen area, it can be used to clean and disinfect the toilet, shine mirrors, and glass surfaces, among other things. That means it can be used all over the house, and the fact that it can be used in the kitchen not only to clean and disinfect but also to wash veggies, showing how safe it is.

But its uses are not only limited to your house cleaning. As Amodio et al. (2020) mentioned, hydrogen peroxide can be used to do laundry and clean the area, and it can be used in the garden. If you wonder how this chemical can be used in the garden, many studies have shown that soaking seeds in hydrogen peroxide for about 20 minutes before plantation can soften the seed coat and start the germination process. And you can also spray your plants with hydrogen peroxide if the plants are suffering from mold and any other fungal infection.


There is a long list of advantages of hydrogen peroxide, and the takeaway here is that this chemical is safe to use in so many ways. However, it is always essential to use chemicals specified on the instruction label that comes with the product. Always read and follow instructions.


CDC. (n.d.). Chemical Disinfectants. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008). Retrieved from

Lineback, C. B., Nkemngong, C. A., Wu, S. T., Li, X., Teska, P. J., & Oliver, H. F. (2018). Hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite disinfectants are more effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms than quaternary ammonium compounds. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control7(1), 154.

Hole, K., Ahmadpour, F., Krishnan, J., Stansfield, C., Copps, J., & Nfon, C. (2017). Efficacy of accelerated hydrogen peroxide® disinfectant on foot‐and‐mouth disease virus, swine vesicular disease virus and Senecavirus A. Journal of applied microbiology122(3), 634-639.

Ortega, K. L., Rech, B. D. O., Ferreira Costa, A. L., Perez Sayans, M., & Braz‐Silva, P. H. (2020). Is 0.5% hydrogen peroxide effective against SARS‐CoV‐2?. Oral Diseases.

Amodio, E., Kuster, S. P., Garzoni, C., Zinkernagel, A. S., Sax, H., & Wolfensberger, A. (2020). Disinfecting non-critical medical equipment–Effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide dry mist as an adjunctive method. American Journal of Infection Control.

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