Want Greener Disinfection? Try Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide
Disinfection is a big part of home cleaning, so it’s important that you use a disinfectant that’s healthy for your home. While many homeowners use bleach or brand-name chemical disinfectants, both of these options are usually toxic and environmentally damaging.
If you’re worried about keeping home cleaning non-toxic and eco-friendly, try disinfecting with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. This one-two punch can actually be more effective than bleach and brand-name disinfectants, and it’s gentler and greener disinfection option.
Why Disinfect with Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide?
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide have been used as disinfectants — both separately and together — for decades. Vinegar’s use as a natural disinfectant dates back to at least the American Civil War, while hydrogen peroxide was first used as a disinfectant in hospitals in the 1920s.
Each solution has its own disinfection properties. Vinegar works as a disinfectant thanks to its high acidic content. Meanwhile, hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant because it produces free oxygen radicals, which destroy bacterial cells when hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with bacteria.
Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are completely eco-friendly and biodegradable. Vinegar is a natural substance that occurs when fruit sugars convert from sugars to alcohols to acid. Hydrogen peroxide, meanwhile, has the chemical composition of water with one more oxygen molecule (H2O2). Because of this composition, hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen when it’s used.
How to Disinfect with Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide
Unfortunately, most store-bought vinegars and hydrogen peroxide solutions are not powerful enough to disinfect on their own. If you can find high-acidity vinegar or a hydrogen peroxide solution with a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, you may be able to disinfect surfaces in your home with just one of these two materials. But many stores don’t carry these more powerful types of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
The solution? Disinfect with both. Simply spray the surface you wish to disinfect with vinegar first, allow it to sit for a moment, then spray it again, this time with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Believe it or not, disinfecting with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is actually more effective at eliminating bacteria than disinfecting with bleach.
The only catch: don’t mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together before disinfecting. Combining both into the same solution will not work as an effective, greener disinfectant.
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