Consumer risk awareness about products in the home is, arguably, at an all-time high. Information is easy to get on the internet. That, combined with a cultural trend toward responsible purchasing, makes for increasingly savvy buyers.
So it’s no surprise to hear consumers asking: Is hydrogen peroxide safe for cleaning? What are the risks to myself, my family, my guests and my pets when I use it?
Here’s the short answer: Low-concentration (2-4%) hydrogen peroxide-based home cleaning products are quite safe and highly effective.
However, situations like accidental ingestion can cause problems. We’ll break those cases down in detail below. Learn what’s safe, what’s not and easy steps for ensuring everyone in your home is looked after.
What to be aware of: Pets and people
Hydrogen peroxide, when handled improperly, has different effects on different subjects. We’ll look at the three subjects most likely to encounter it if you’re using it in your home: cats, dogs and humans.
Is hydrogen peroxide safe for cats?
Used properly, yes. Hydrogen peroxide is not dangerous to cats at low concentrations. However, there are two exceptional circumstances where a cat may get hurt:
- The cat has prolonged skin exposure, such as lying directly on the treated surface before it’s dry or having its fur soaked and left unrinsed.
- The cat licks or drinks the liquid directly.
In the case of extended contact with the skin, mild irritation and rashes may develop. To prevent this, don’t let your cat stand, sit or lay on top of a freshly treated area for an extended period of time. If they get splashed with the liquid, simply wipe the liquid away with a wet rag.
As for ingestion, this can cause serious issues for a cat. Drinking even low-concentration hydrogen peroxide solutions can cause bleeding and inflammation in a cat’s stomach and esophagus. When not in use, keep the bottle sealed and out of reach to eliminate any risk of spilling. If you do end up with standing liquid due to an accidental spill or excessive spraying, simply wipe it up with a paper towel and dispose in the trash.
If your cat does ingest hydrogen peroxide, contact a veterinarian to determine the appropriate next steps.
Is hydrogen peroxide safe for dogs?
Yes. At low concentrations, hydrogen peroxide poses minimal risk to dogs.
As with cats, there’s a chance that prolonged contact with the skin could cause some mild irritation. Keeping them from lying on top of freshly treated surfaces and wiping away any liquid that spills on them with a wet cloth will mitigate this risk.
In terms of ingestion, it should still be avoided. However, dogs are less likely to experience serious side effects like internal bleeding. Instead, they will typically have a vomiting response, expelling the substance. Once again, keep the bottle sealed and out of reach when not in use. If any product is spilled or if an excess is created, enough to create standing liquid, wipe up the excess with a paper towel and throw it away.
If your dog does ingest hydrogen peroxide, contact a veterinarian to determine the appropriate next steps.
Is hydrogen peroxide safe for people?
Yes. Low-concentration hydrogen peroxide is very safe for people when used as directed. Even direct skin contact with low-concentration solutions is unlikely to cause a noticeable reaction, though we still advise you to rinse it off thoroughly.
If hydrogen peroxide gets into a person’s eyes, flush them continuously with clean, lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes.
Finally, ingestion by humans is not safe and never the intended use of a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner. If accidental ingestion does occur, it’s grounds for a trip to the emergency room.
Safe, powerful and highly effective
Stain and odor removers like Urine Trouble are formulated with low-concentration hydrogen peroxide because there’s simply nothing like it. It erases stains, eliminates odors and brightens affected surfaces in one fell swoop. All without any complicated instructions or serious environmental or health risks.
If you have any questions about how Urine Trouble works, we’d love to chat at [email protected]