Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula H2O2. It is a pale blue liquid that is slightly more viscous than water. It is widely used as a disinfectant, bleach, and oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing agent and can react with many organic and inorganic compounds. It is commonly used as a topical antiseptic for minor cuts and abrasions, as a hair bleach, and as a whitening agent for teeth. It can also be used in the production of chemical products, such as propylene oxide, and as a rocket propellant. Hydrogen peroxide is unstable and decomposes into water and oxygen gas over time, especially in the presence of light or heat.
The strength of hydrogen peroxide refers to the concentration of the solution, which is typically measured in percent by weight or volume. The higher the percentage, the stronger the solution. Here are some common concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and their uses:
3% hydrogen peroxide - This is the most common concentration found in drugstores and is used as a disinfectant for minor cuts and scrapes.
6% hydrogen peroxide - This concentration is sometimes used as a hair bleach. It can lighten the hair and is commonly used as a DIY alternative to professional hair lightening products. It's important to note that using high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on hair can cause damage, so it's recommended to use it in moderation and with caution.
9% hydrogen peroxide - This concentration is commonly used in some industrial and laboratory applications, such as in the production of paper and textiles, and in the bleaching of certain chemicals. It can also be used as a disinfectant for surfaces and equipment in healthcare settings.
12% hydrogen peroxide solution is a strong and concentrated solution, and it is not typically used for personal or household purposes due to its high potency. It is most commonly used in industrial and commercial settings, such as in the production of electronics, plastics, and detergents.
35% hydrogen peroxide - This is a highly concentrated solution that is used in industrial applications, such as in the production of chemical products.
It's important to note that higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous and should be handled with care. The solution can cause skin irritation and burns, and can also release oxygen gas, which can be flammable and explosive in certain circumstances. It's recommended to always read and follow the instructions and safety precautions when using hydrogen peroxide.