June 21, 2024
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The Virtues of Hydrogen Peroxide & Epsom Salts

Hydrogen peroxide is so versatile and it is an amazing household tool.  Most people use it to cleanse a wound, but there are many more uses, too.

Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of HP to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% HP to the bottle.

Use HP as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of HP and water. Use baking soda and HP to make a paste for brushing teeth. This helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, HP also works as a whitening toothpaste.

Soak your toothbrush in HP between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.

Clean your cutting board and countertop with HP. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean.

Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes

Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of HP and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.

Combine HP with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with HP.  Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

HP can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% HP before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.

HP is a safe cleaner to use around kids or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.

Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of HP on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad

Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags by spraying with HP.

When your kids come home from sleep away camp with those musty smelling towels, use 1/2 cup HP and 1/2 cup vinegar and let stand for 15 minutes . Wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.

You can use HP to remove blood from fabric. Just spot treat and then wash.

And Now For Our Friend Epsom Salt:

If you have a splinter that you’re having a hard time removing, you can soak in an epsom salt bath to increase pressure of the skin, which will draw the splinter to the surface.  If it is just a finger or toe, simply dissolve 2 tbsp of epsom salts in a cup of water and soak the affected area.

Epsom salt isn’t just for people: your house plants can benefit from it, too! Dissolve 2 tbsp of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and water your plants for an extra dose of minerals that they’ll love.

For a natural exfoliant, add a little pinch of epsom salt to your normal face wash, and gently rub your face with circular motions, and rinse.  It will help bring out impurities and rid your face of dead skin. Mix equal parts epsom salts with dishwashing liquid, then dab it onto grimy tiles and start scrubbing. The mix works well to dissolve the grime.

Soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath to aid in the relief from the symptoms of athlete’s foot and gout. Soaking feet in warm water with a handful of epsom salts three times a day will also treat toenail fungus.

After a shower, massage epsom salt over wet skin to exfoliate the body. It’s the same treatment many upscale spas use, without the hefty price!

For mosquito bites, bee stings and mild sunburn, make a compress by soaking a cotton washcloth in a solution of cold water and Epsom salts (2 tablespoons per cup), then apply to the skin to relieve the sting.

The following makes a great gift for your bath lover; enjoy:

(I multiply this recipe by 4 and keep it in a large jar)

2 cups epsom dalt

5 to 7 drops essential oil of peppermint (depending on how strong of a scent you want)

3 drops Tea Tree oil

1 gallon-size Zip-Loc freezer bag (I like using freezer bags because they’re thicker than regular storage bags)

Put epsom salt in Zip-Loc bag and add the drops of peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils; mix oils into the Epsom Salt by squishing ingredients together in the closed bag for several minutes. You can use it right away or store salts in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To use, add 2 cups of the bath salts under the running warm or hot water in your tub. To get the maximum benefit from this epsom salt bath, you should soak for at least 12 minutes. You can put the mixture into pretty jars; attach some ribbon and give it as a nice gift. You can also use other essential oils, like lavender, to scent the salts, as well.

Gail Hochman has been a resident of Bergen County for over 30 years and has been blessed with many grandchildren.

By Gail Hochman

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