Have you heard of putting hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier?
This practice is not as seemingly innocent as it may first appear. It actually is controversial and a bit polarizing. Honestly something that I did not expect to hear.
Hydrogen peroxide is something we’ve had in our medicine cabinet for as long as I can remember. As far back as I can recall my parents told me to put hydrogen peroxide on any skinned knee or abrasion that I got playing outside.
So when I found out that not everyone agrees about the use of hydrogen peroxide, I was a little surprised.
Why do people put hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier?
1. As a cleaner it oxidizes and removes bacteria and fungi. It is a natural disinfectant that will disinfect your humidifier when you use it as a cleaner.
It makes sense that the stuff that you put on a wound to keep it from getting infected or removing the infection would be the ideal choice for cleaning a humidifier and removing the germs and bacteria from it.
That in itself is not too controversial.
2. Surface disinfectant.
This is an issue that actually has scientific backing and research.
Misting a room with hydrogen peroxide by using a humidifier and wiping down surfaces with hydrogen peroxide will cut down the ability of viruses to spread.
This is the same concept that a lot of air purifiers use that create hydrogen peroxide ions as a method of cleaning air.
The technology in air purification is called photo catalytic oxidation(PCO).
It’s a method of creating hydrogen peroxide ions by targeting ultraviolet light on a titanium oxide catalyst.
In an article published by the national library of medicine it was stated that “HPV (hydrogen peroxide vapor) was virucidal for structurally distinct viruses dried on surfaces, suggesting that HPV can be considered for the disinfection of virus contaminated surfaces.”
An article published by OHS, the occupational health and safety website states that “hydrogen peroxide vapor represents a major technological advance in preventing the spread of dangerous bacteria inside a hospitals”
Again it only makes sense that hydrogen peroxide would be an excellent surface disinfectant.
3. To Breathe Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor
This is the one that is controversial.
A lot of people including many alternative medicine practitioners encourage the inhalation of hydrogen peroxide vapor as a way of clearing the nasal passages and lungs of viral particles that have been ingested.
But for the amount of people suggesting that it’s a good idea, there are many more that say that it is a dangerous practice and that it should never be done whatsoever.
The reason that it is frowned upon is that hydrogen peroxide is a corrosive agent that could possibly oxidize your lung tissue.
Food grade hydrogen peroxide will burn your skin if you get it on your hand or anywhere else while using it.
So you certainly don’t want to ingest it.
But the proponents of using hydrogen peroxide vapor are not suggesting that you drink hydrogen peroxide or that you use it full strength in a humidifier or nebulizer.
The ideal is that a deluded low level of peroxide is not enough to cause any damage but is strong enough to have an antiviral oxidizing effect on viruses.
There are people who say that you can put straight 3% hydrogen peroxide into your humidifier and that is completely safe.
Others point out that the type of cheap 3% hydrogen peroxide that you buy in the local pharmacy section lacks the stabilizers to make it safe and say that you have to use food grade hydrogen peroxide but you have to be careful to dilute it by 10 times.
However, the internet has a huge amount of people testifying that breathing hydrogen peroxide vapor has helped them and in a lot of cases is the only thing that has helped them.
Breathebetterair is not a medical website, nor are we doctors.
If you should decide that you want to try this, this is completely up to you and we do not encourage or discourage the method either way.
4. Gargling hydrogen peroxide
This has nothing to do with humidifiers but it definitely goes down the same path.
Many people claim, including alternative medical professionals, that gargling hydrogen peroxide as well as nasal washing will quickly stop the progression of respiratory complications due to ingesting viruses.
The suggestion is that you use a 1.5% solution of hydrogen peroxide when doing so. PubMed points out that it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide on the mucous membranes as it is already a common practice in otolaryngology.
“Putting hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier can work as a disinfectant to clean a humidifier and also as a way of misting the air with hydrogen peroxide vapor to clean surfaces.”
Hydrogen peroxide is widely used as a disinfectant on cuts and abrasions to keep them from getting infected as well as a method of this infection when there is already an infection present.
So the use of hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier only makes sense if you stick to using it as a cleaner and a surface disinfectant.
But there are also those who claim that breathing or inhaling hydrogen peroxide vapor can prevent viruses or reduce the length of time that they persist in your body.
Along the same lines is the practice of gargling and nasal washing with hydrogen peroxide.
This seemingly makes sense because of the disinfecting qualities of hydrogen peroxide but there are many people who say that the practice is absolutely too dangerous because of the corrosive nature of peroxide.
If you were going to try it, remember that food grade hydrogen peroxide will burn your skin if you get it on you, so it will need to be diluted with water as much as 10 times before you use it.
The 3% hydrogen peroxide that you purchase in the brown bottles from your local pharmacy should be deleted by half before you use it also.
We do not encourage or discourage this method. This is an informational website and not intended to be advice.