What is Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and How is it Used?

food grade hydrogen peroxide for cleaning


Let’s start with the basics: hydrogen peroxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless liquid that looks similar to water and can easily be mistaken for it. But unlike water (H2O), hydrogen peroxide has two molecules of oxygen (H2O2), and this is what provides its super power for cleaning, disinfection, whitening, brightening and first aid. The extra molecule of oxygen oxidizes (chemically breaks apart) many substances it comes in contact with, especially organic substances. This action makes it a powerful cleaner, germ killer, bleaching agent, antifungal and antibacterial.


“Food grade” hydrogen peroxide is a highly purified form of hydrogen peroxide and is safe to use around food or on surfaces that come into contact with food because it does not contain toxic stabilizers. Brown bottle hydrogen peroxide, commonly sold at drug stores, is typically not food grade and usually contains industrial grade stabilizers, unless specified otherwise. 


Hydrogen peroxide dilutions 3% or below are safe to use and do not cause burning like higher solution levels. For this reason, it is used in personal care and household products, including mouthwashes, toothpastes, laundry, multi-purpose cleaners and food wash. It is best to choose products that contain food grade hydrogen peroxide, rather than industrial grade, to avoid toxic stabilizers absorbing through the skin or into the body.

Uses for food grade hydrogen peroxide

Natural Disinfectant

It can help eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi without leaving toxic residues behind. Safe alternative to bleach, especially if you have children or pets in your home. Try Essential Oxygen’s HP | 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Spray.

Powerful non-toxic cleaning

Unlike many harsh chemical cleaners, food grade hydrogen peroxide breaks down only into water and oxygen after use, making it an environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning option. It can be used to safely clean almost any surface in your home.

Oral health

The cornerstone of Essential Oxygen products, food grade hydrogen peroxide is safe for use as a mouthwash or toothpaste to promote oral hygiene. It reduces germs that cause bad breath, whitens teeth and keeps infections or abscesses clean. Try Essential Oxygen’s BR Organic Mouthwash or Organic Low Abrasion Toothpaste.

Fruits, vegetables and nuts

Soaking produce in a food grade hydrogen peroxide solution can help remove surface contaminants, pesticides, chemicals, and harmful microorganisms. Reducing surface bacteria on produce can help improve storage life. Try Essential Oxygen’s HP | 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide.

food grade hydrogen peroxide for produce soak


H2O2 is commonly used in hand sanitizer, hair dye, teeth whitening products, antiperspirants & deodorants, liquid hand soap, facial moisturizers and many other products.

Water purification

Food grade hydrogen peroxide can be used to purify water by breaking down harmful contaminants, bacteria, and parasites. However, this should be done with proper guidance and precautions to ensure safe drinking water.

First aid and general health

Food grade hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean minor cuts and wounds. It may help prevent infection and promote healing. It can also be added to diffusers for healthier mist, as a gargle for sore throats, as an ear wash and other uses. Try Essential Oxygen’s HP | 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide, 8oz First Aid Spray.


Some alternative health practitioners suggest using diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide as part of detoxification protocols. This involves adding small amounts to a glass of water and drinking it. However, the safety and effectiveness of this practice are debated, not condoned by the FDA and medical guidance is highly recommended. To learn more, please refer to The One Minute Cure,” by Madison Cavanaugh. (Essential Oxygen has no affiliation with this book, its author or profits, nor does it condone or support its contents).

Foot and hand soak

Adding a small amount of food grade hydrogen peroxide to warm water for a foot or hand soak can help soften calluses, soothe skin irritations, and may reduce certain fungal infections of the nails and kill bacteria.


Hydrogen peroxide can be used in hydroponic gardening systems to provide oxygen to plant roots and prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. It's also used to clean gardening tools and plant leaves.

food grade hydrogen peroxide for plants

Stain Removal

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent. It is effective for removing many types of stains from fabrics and surfaces such as those caused by food, blood, wine and ink.


Adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry can help brighten whites and remove stains. It can also be used to remove mold and mildew from fabrics and the washing machine. Try Essential Oxygen’s HP | 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Gallon.

    While food grade hydrogen peroxide offers numerous benefits, superior to industrial grade hydrogen peroxide, it's important to use it safely and according to instructions, as higher concentrations can be caustic and irritating to your skin, eyes and internal organs if ingested. Always check labels and follow recommended dilution ratios for your intended use.