Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical substance that is used as an antiseptic liquid. This liquid can treat wounds and cuts in the human body in the olden days. It was also useful in killing germs. However, due to technological advancements, it can be used in non-medical situations such as for cleaning, stain removal, and disinfectant, etc.
Apart from that, it can be used in a lot more different ways. This article discusses the various surprising properties hydrogen peroxide possesses while looking at its usage in different areas. It will be beneficial for the JEE Main 2022 students.
Hydrogen peroxide – Definition
The formation of hydrogen peroxide is very simple for the JEE aspirants; it is just adding an extra oxygen molecule to the water molecules, which would give H2 O2.
In the above, an oxygen molecule oxidised to form peroxide. The addition of the extra oxygen molecule helps in killing germs. It can also be used to bleach colours from porous surfaces such as fabrics.
Choosing the appropriate grade
The chemists have advised preferring medical-grade peroxide because it has 3 % strength, which indicates that it contains 97 % water molecules and 3 % peroxide. Choosing this medical grade would be more than enough for household uses.
Apart from that, there is another grade called food-grade hydrogen peroxide. This one is a more concentrated form than the medical grade. It has a concentration ratio of up to 35 % peroxide combined with only 65 % water. The food-grade peroxide is mainly used in food industries for various purposes. It is majorly used in bleaching and processing certain foods.
Therefore, it is not very advisable to use this grade in our houses, as it can be toxic and affect our skin; plus, it is not necessary to use this powerful solution while cleaning and disinfecting.
Uses of hydrogen peroxide
There are hundreds of ways in which one can use hydrogen peroxide. The students of JEE Main should know of some of its most obvious uses.
Hydrogen peroxide is used majorly for cleaning purposes. It serves as a great alternative to bleach and will not make the household smell weird. The users should wear gloves and use them only in a well-ventilated area because it contains a toxic substance.
Before disinfecting, we should clean the dirt or any mud sticking to the floor or the walls and then mix the solution with water (50 % water and 50 % solution). After doing so, we can spray the surfaces and have them sit for a few minutes; they will dry after a bit.
The hydrogen peroxide solution is used as a very good germ-killer in the following areas:
- Cutting boards
- Garbage cans
- Removing household stains
The power of peroxide in stain removal is humungous, which makes it an effective stain remover. However, it is not very advisable to use it in coloured areas, as it can rip it off. The following are the areas where peroxide is used to remove spots and stains:
- It is capable of making the ceramic cookware clean.
- Helps in brightening tile grouts.
- Helps remove clothing stains.
- It whitens the carpet.
- Wash produce
Peroxide does a wonderful job of removing pesticides and germs from fruits and vegetables. It is not just cheap but is also very effective.
The following are the steps to do wash producing:
- Fill a big bowl with water.
- Add one-fourth cup of peroxide to it.
- Let it mix for a few minutes.
- Start rinsing the utensils thoroughly with the water solution and then let them dry.
Cleaning in such a manner could enhance the lives of our shelves.
- Cleaning nails and beauty tools
Usually, peroxide is not a skincare tool. However, it could be found in a few essential products such as mouthwash or toothpaste. In addition to this, peroxide is seen as one of the ingredients in whiteners. People who are about to use it should consult a doctor beforehand to avoid having tooth sensitivity.
In addition to this, peroxide could majorly be used in the following areas:
- It keeps our toothbrushes clean.
- Diluted peroxide could be used in making a mouthwash.
- It is used to fix the stained nails.
- It is highly utilised in sanitising beauty and nail care tools.
Properties of hydrogen peroxide
There are two different types of properties a JEE 2022 aspirant to know regarding hydrogen peroxide. They are chemical and other physical properties. Let us have a detailed understanding of them:
This solution can act as both an oxidising agent and a reducing agent in an acidic and basic medium. The provided below are some of the chemical properties of hydrogen peroxide:
- Nature of oxidation in an acidic medium:
PbS s+4 H2O2 aq →PbSO4 s+4 H2OI
- Nature of reduction in an acidic medium:
- Nature of oxidation in a basic medium:
Mn2++H2O2 →Mn4++2 OH-
- Nature of reduction in a basic medium:
I2+H2O2+OH- →2 I-+2 H2O+O2
Physical and other properties:
Along with the chemical properties, the JEE students should also have a piece of knowledge about other properties. The following are a few of them:
- Usually, hydrogen peroxide is colourless so that it might appear in pale blue, in a pure state.
- Hydrogen peroxide’s melting point is -43 ° C.
- The boiling point of hydrogen peroxide is extrapolated at a temperature higher than 150.2 ° C. It is 50 ° C higher than the water’s boiling point.
- Hydrogen peroxide can form a homogeneous mixture when mixed with water in all proportions. It would end up forming hydrates.
- Hydrogen peroxide has a sharp odour.
Ways to store hydrogen peroxide properly and safely
The JEE Main aspirants should be aware of the hydrogen peroxide’s side effects. Upon injecting, it could cause major side effects. So it is advised to keep it inside a locked cabinet where it would be impossible to reach for pets, kids and babies.
The users are advised to check the expiration dates before using it. After crossing the expiration point, the extra oxygen molecule disappears with time leaving just the water molecules.
Therefore, keeping the solution inside a dark bottle would make it last longer, which will also help avoid exposing it to light. Finally, if the solution does not have foam anymore, we should dump it or throw it away.
Cautions of hydrogen peroxide
The usage of hydrogen peroxide can be enormous, starting from the bathroom to the kitchen. However, the users should consider that it could harm their skin, especially in acne or wounded areas. So, we should be aware of that and keep it a little away from us.
The following points are some of the don’ts of using hydrogen peroxide that every JEE 2022 aspirant should know:
- Don’t use it on wounds
Unlike in the olden days, one should avoid using hydrogen peroxide on their wounds. Nowadays, the concentration ratio is different, and it can harm our skin. For many years, it has been irritating to the skin, which is not a very good sign. Although it heals the wounds, it would still cause harm in the longer run.
Hence, the chemists have advised using only clean water with a little bit of soap to wipe off the bacteria and other microorganisms formed on top of the wound. After doing so, slowly patting it with a clean towel would reduce the effects of the wound. In addition to this, we should apply an antibiotic ointment followed by covering it with a bandage.
These would be enough to cure little wounds; however, one should seek medical help if the wound is larger and is more painful.
- Don’t use it on acne.
Peroxide, in general, kills germs, so it is common to see people using benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. However, there is a huge difference between hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide. So, people are not advised to use hydrogen peroxide for acne treatments.
It is mainly because hydrogen peroxide irritates the skin, which would, in turn, make the acne look worse. In addition to this, it could dissolve in water, which will affect its germ-killing effects, and it would not last long on the skin as expected.
On the contrary, using benzoyl peroxide would help form a layer on the skin, further penetrating the skin’s pores. This activity would be beneficial in fighting acne bacteria for several hours.
Moreover, to fight against acne, another substance called salicylic acid would act as a substitute for benzoyl peroxide.
To conclude, the aspirants of JEE 2022 have been taught the definitions and explanations of hydrogen peroxide. In addition, we have also discussed the advantages of choosing this solution over others while talking about facts and other related information.
Moreover, it is essential to choose the appropriate grade for specified purposes. To accomplish that, we have to be specific and clear about our needs. Detailed information regarding the uses of hydrogen peroxide has also been given. Hydrogen peroxide also contains a wide variety of properties, as discussed earlier. Finally, a detailed set of cautions were also discussed.
1. Discuss the concentration of H2O2.
Dilute H2O2 has been concentrated to about 50 % using slow evaporation on a water bath. This concentration is processed until it reaches 90 % in a vacuum desiccator, while concentrated H2SO4 acts as a dehydrating agent.
2. How long does hydrogen peroxide stay on?
The stability of hydrogen peroxide is relatively low, so it decomposes quickly. While keeping it inside a sealed container, it can last for three years. However, as soon as the seal gets off, it begins to break down; it will be only effective for up to 6 months once we have opened the container.
3. How to make hydrogen peroxide last longer?
To make this solution last longer, we should store it in a cool and dark box or a container so that it will not lose its effectiveness. We should not open the container unless we need it; it is better when its seal is not broken. So, even after opening it, it should not be transferred into a different storage unit but should be kept in the same dark container. This bottle is specifically designed to prevent it from light so that it will not decompose faster.