Q. What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
A. Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring compound that is found throughout the plant and animal kingdoms.
The chemical formula is H2O2, meaning it’s composed of 2 oxygen ad two hydrogen atoms, or ordinary water, H2O, with an extra oxygen, O2, atom. The extra oxygen atom’s bond is unstable and therefore highly reactive.
Hydrogen Peroxide beaks down or decomposes to water and oxygen gas, so it’s non-toxic, as long as it’s food grade.
Q: What does food grade mean?
A: Hydrogen peroxide is categorised by grade as well as strength. Unlike other grades, food grade grade hydrogen peroxide has no stabilisers or preservatives to inhibit decomposition or the break down into water and oxygen.
Q: If it doesn't have preservatives, how do you stop food grade hydrogen peroxide from decomposing?
A: Hydrogen peroxide is usually packaged in lightproof containers because light causes to H2O2 to decompose. Temperature is another factor that impacts the decomposition of H2O2. Always store hydrogen peroxide in a cool dark place. Stronger peroxides, like 35%, can be stored in your freezer, don’t worry it won’t freeze.
Q: I can see bubbles in my peroxide bottle, is this normal?
A: Yes, seeing bubbles is quite normal. Oxygen gas is released as hydrogen peroxide breaks down.
Q: How do I use 35% hydrogen peroxide?
A: Dilute it. 35% hydrogen peroxide is used to make 3% hydrogen peroxide. Never use full strength peroxide, always dilute to 3% by adding 11 parts pure water to 1 part 35% hydrogen peroxide.
Q: What type of water should I use to dilute 35% hydrogen peroxide?
A: Distilled water, reverse osmosis or Pureau brand water are all excellent choices. Your hydrogen peroxide will decompose much more rapidly if you dilute it with tap water, as tap water has lots of dissolved solids in it that H2O2 will react with.
Q: I splashed 35% H2O2 on my skin, what should I do?
A: Wash the affected are with lots of water and soap for several minutes. Your skin may temporarily turn white after exposure to full strength H2O2. The whiteness is normal and your skin will return to normal within 30 minutes. You may wish to seek medical advice if you’ve had a large spill or are in anyway concerned.
Q: Can I drink food grade Hydrogen Peroxide?
A: No. Never drink hydrogen peroxide for any reason. Although Gaiaganic food grade Hydrogen Peroxide is free from stabilisers and other contaminants, it is illegal in Australia to take H2O2 internally.
Q: What safety measures should I take when handling 35% hydrogen peroxide?
A: 35% hydrogen peroxide can burn you, blind you, and kill you if swallowed. Wear gloves, a mask, eye protection and an apron, use extreme care. Do not breathe vapours. Do not drink it, no matter how tempting. Do not get it in your eyes, it will blind you.
Q: How do I know if I’ve got 35% hydrogen peroxide on my skin?
A: 35% H2O2 will cause white skin you will likely experience painful sensations that feel like an electric shock, stinging, and/or burning. Wash the affected with soap and lots of water. Any whiteness of the skin will return to normal soon.