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Homekeeping · Cleaning · Hydrogen Peroxide Vs Rubbing Alcohol: This Is What You Need To Know
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Hydrogen Peroxide Vs Rubbing Alcohol: This Is What You Need To Know

Ever wondered when you should use one versus the other? I've broken it down for you in simple terms here.

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ve probably already noticed that many of the same ingredients pop up again and again in my homemade cleaning solutions. These superstar cleaning ingredients include things like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, just to name a few. But the two cleaning ingredients we’ll be talking about today seem to be among the more mysterious: hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol.

I have received a lot of questions about these two over the years, so to help clear up the confusion and get us all on the same page, I thought it was high time I wrote a blog post about it! Today I’ll be covering everything you’ve been wondering about hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol, including what they are, how they are different, what uses each one is best suited for, and more.

Related: This Is What You Need To Know About Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting

And if you’re interested in learning about more about hydrogen peroxide specifically, be sure to check out my eBook Hydrogen Peroxide Magic! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

Hydrogen Peroxide vs Rubbing Alcohol: The Basics

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a chemical compound made up of two hydrogen molecules and two oxygen molecules. It is a naturally occurring substance produced in small amounts in the bodies of many animals, including humans. It has antibacterial, bleaching, and lightening properties.

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, also referred to as isopropyl alcohol, is a different chemical compound entirely (C3H8O, for the curious!) It is a highly effective solvent, dissolving a wide range of compounds including oils. It has antibacterial qualities and evaporates quickly.

Both hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol…

  • Are antiseptics
  • Are naturally occurring
  • Can be found in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores
  • Can be used for household cleaning
hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Should I Use Hydrogen Peroxide Or Rubbing Alcohol For Cleaning Wounds?

When it comes to first aid, it may surprise you to learn that you’re better off using neither! While both substances have antiseptic qualities, neither is a perfect solution for treating wounds.

In the past, doctors commonly recommended using hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds. But today, most medical professionals advise against it because peroxide attacks healthy cells as well as bacteria, which can slow the healing process.

Rubbing alcohol is also not advisable to use for cleaning wounds. While it can eliminate bacteria, it is almost certain to burn your skin as well. The burning effect can lead to swelling, itching, and inflammation that can make a bad situation even worse!

So if you have a wound that needs cleaning, keep your bottles of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol in the cupboard! Instead, rinse the wound with cool water and wash around the area with a mild soap, then cover the wound with a bandage to keep it protected while it heals.

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

How Do I Use Hydrogen Peroxide & Rubbing Alcohol?

While they aren’t great for cleaning cuts, you can use hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol to clean all sorts of other things! They are two of my very favorite cleaning ingredients, and there’s no shortage of ways you can use them around the house.

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol makes a great solvent and evaporates quickly, making it an excellent choice for tackling greasy and sticky messes. It’s also useful in situations where you don’t want to leave any streaky residues behind, like when you’re cleaning shiny appliances, windows, or mirrors.

Check out these links for more uses for rubbing alcohol:

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Hydrogen peroxide disinfects, deodorizes, whitens, and brightens. It’s great for washing fruits and veggies, sanitizing sponges, and even removing laundry stains!

Check out some of my favorite uses for hydrogen peroxide at these links:

DIY Cleaning Products With Hydrogen Peroxide & Rubbing Alcohol

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I’ve posted a lot of cleaning recipes with both of these ingredients. And as you’re about to see, that wasn’t hyperbole! 😉 Here are some of my favorite homemade cleaning products featuring these powerhouse cleaning ingredients:

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaners

hydrogen peroxide vs. rubbing alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol Cleaners

What’s your favorite way to use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol at home?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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