Sanitary water may be found in closed containers (C) Daniel FriedmanHow to Hydrogen Peroxide or Vinegar to Purify or Sterilize Drinking Water for Emergency Use

  • HYDROGEN PEROXIDE for WATER DISINFECTION - CONTENTS: how to use HYDROGEN PEROXIDE to treat, purify, or sterilize drinking water in an emergency. What concentration of H2O2 hydrogen peroxide to use for drinking water disinfection? Health warning about drinking hydrogen peroxide
  • VINEGAR as a disinfectant - Use of vinegar as a vegetable or fruit wash;
    • Compare emergency water treatment methods: bleach, boiling, chlorine, distillation, filters, hydrogen peroxide, iodine tablets, or iodine liquid to purify drinking water; Use of vinegar as a vegetable disinfection wash
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about using hydrogen peroxide H2O2 for emergency drinking water disinfection & use of vinegar as a fruit & vegetable wash

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This article explains how to use hydrogen peroxide as a drinking water disinfectant. Use of vinegar as a vegetable disinfection wash? This article series outlines methods to purify or sanitize drinking water in an emergency following a disaster such as an earthquake, flood, or hurricane.

Separately at How much disinfectant to use in drinking water? we review the amount of bleach or other disinfectants needed in more detail.

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Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide for Water Sterilization or Disinfection

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sold as a topical disinfectant to reduce the chance of infection in minor scrapes, cuts, and burns, may also be used to purify water, and its odor will dissipate rapidly. Our page top photo shows typical drugstore hydrogen peroxide topical solution sold for home use as a disinfectant for cuts and abrasions. This hydrogen peroxide solution is found at 3% concentration.

How much hydrogen peroxide to add to drinking water? We have not yet found an authoritative source that provides guidance on the concentration needed to disinfect drinking water. One of our readers spoke to a company that sells food grade 32 percent hydrogen peroxide. They recommend 1/8 of a cup per gallon but we do not know how they have determined this advice.

More on uses of hydrogen peroxide and warnings about this substance are provided just below.

According to Dr. Omar Amin, of the Tempe AZ Parasitology Center, who corresponded with one of our readers who asked him about using hydrogen peroxide as a drinking water disinfectant: "You can use hydrogen peroxide if you want to but we do not have a track record of percentage dilution". Dr. Amin has done research for the US military and for the CDC.

H2O2 has been combined with UV light to sterilize water quickly, and this substance is used in medical sterilization equipment.

H2O2 breaks down into water vapor and oxygen; if your H2O2 supply is quite old, it may have deteriorated and be ineffective for any use as a disinfectant, including in its intended application as a topical or skin/cut/abrasion disinfectant. In that case don't use it - it's ineffective.

Hydrogen peroxide vegetable soak

Some websites describe use of 35% food grade H2O2 but without citing authoritative sources. "Vegetable Soak: (CLOROX substitute): Add 1/4 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into a gallon of Cold Water. Soak light Vegetables (Lettuce, etc.) 20 minutes, thicker skinned Vegetables (like Cucumbers) for 30 minutes. Drain and dry, (they keep LONGER too). If time is a Problem, you can spray the Vegetables with straight 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, let stand for a couple of minutes, rinse and dry." But is this treatment effective for just for Ecoli or also for Giardia?

Katadyne Micropur chlorine dioxide kit Cryptosporidium cysts might survive a typical chlorine disinfection process (such as at a municipal water treatment plant).

[Click to enlarge any image]

For this reason some municipalities where Cryptosporidium cysts are a concern add a water treatment step using chlorine dioxide. Others may use a combination of UV light and chlorine in the water treatment procedure. This treatment is also available to hikers, travelers, and for emergency water supply use.

Aquamira™ and Katadyn™ (Micropur) provide portable or field-use water treatment kits using chlorine dioxide.

The best procedures for washing fruits and vegetables are found at VEGETABLE DISINFECTION along with supporting research.

Warning about Drinking Hydrogen Peroxide

In July, 2006, the FDA issued a warning about the high strength hydrogen peroxides, saying they could lead to serious health risks and even death.

A warning from the BC Cancer Agency in Canada said that over a three year period 6 children were seriously poisoned and one died from drinking the high strength hydrogen peroxide. They report one near-fatal case of an adult ingesting high strength hydrogen peroxide. This article cites a 2003 entry in Journal of Food and Science on using Hydrogen peroxide to sterilize vegetables, referring to E.coli - NOT to Giardia.

Use of Vinegar as a Water Sterilizer?

We moved this discussion. See VINEGAR for WATER DISINFECTION - for a description of the effectiveness of vinegar as a disinfectant, a water disinfectant, a food wash, and warnings about the limitations of vinegar for water disinfection to make drinking water potable or safe.


Continue reading at IODINE for WATER DISINFECTION or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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HYDROGEN PEROXIDE for WATER DISINFECTION at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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