Peroxide and Vinegar!


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How should I clean a used cage or a used toy? Bleach in a 1:10 solution kills everything...even your clothes, so be careful. I am amazed that so many recommend Novalson that does not kill Polyoma. Because of this, I don't use it as a cage, toy, counter cleaner. Virkon S is a good disinfectant that is effective also and won't ruin your clothes. For routine cleaning of my own belongings I use the peroxide/vinegar mix described below. But if it a toy that is questionable, I go to bleach (or throw it away). If it is a used cage, I also spray with bleach, rinse really well and let it sit in the sun. Pollens blowing about are not going to be a problem. Wild birds pooping on your outside cage could be though. The sun has a great disinfecting ability and a few hours outside goes a long way.

For routine sanitizing I use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. This combination make one of the very best disinfecting agents available - it is cheap, effective AND non-toxic.

I actually learned about it from an email about a food handling site.  Because it is non-toxic, you can use it to disinfect fruits and vegetables as well as bird toys, equipment and cages. It effectively kills ALL of the nasties. In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists [Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide] killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on HEAVILY contaminated food and surfaces.

You use the white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide as follows. You need TWO spray bottles. DO NOT MIX the solutions together. You put straight vinegar in one and straight hydrogen peroxide in the other. DO NOT DILUTE THEM. The strength right out of the bottles is correct for use.  When you want to sanitize a surface (cage, sink, vegetables, cutting boards, toys, play trees, etc.) you spray one (it doesn't matter which one you use first) on the surface, then you spray on the other. When they mix, for a brief time the chemical action of the two make a very powerful sanitizer. This stuff will even kills e-coli and salmonella. You can rinse off the surface afterwards if you want, but the result is non-toxic. On the cages, I usually just wipe it down with a towel. I do rinse the fruit and veggies afterwards, but only because I want to make sure the taste isn't affected. I buy the quart bottles of the peroxide (you can get those at Sam's Club or Wal-Mart), but I buy vinegar by the case (four gallons) at Smart & Final, Costco or Sam's Club. Since I found out about this stuff, I am going through a lot of it, so I do buy several bottles of the peroxide at a time.

Fortunately it is cheap. I buy our Hydrogen Peroxide in giant bottles at Costco. BTW, we use it in the bathroom to sanitize the counters, toilets, floors, etc.  Remember for any sanitizer to work properly, the surface has to be clean before you use it.

I usually leave the hydrogen peroxide in the original quart bottles.  I just unscrew the cap and screw in a spray head.  I leave the peroxide in the original dark bottle, as light will destroy peroxide rather quickly.  I put the vinegar in another quart spray bottle.

It doesn't matter if you get this stuff on your hands while spraying it things - I do rinse my hands afterward just to get rid of the odor, but it won't hurt you.  If you want to read an article about this method, go to

Susan S. Sumner of Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg finds that washing tainted produce with water "is better than doing nothing--but not a whole lot better." Later this year, however, she and graduate student Jim Wright plan to report that they can infect apples with a deadly strain of E. coli at a concentration of 10,000 bacteria per gram, then eliminate them all by dipping the fruit in a nontoxic mix of vinegar and off-the-shelf hydrogen peroxide. This E. coli, known as O157:H7, has been implicated in the deaths of people who consumed tainted cider or hamburgers.

This week, Ecolab of Saint Paul, MN, announced it had received  approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to market a patented version of the disinfectant combo to food distributors for treating fresh vegetables, including mushrooms, lettuce, onions, and bell peppers.

Click here to read about another who uses this cleaner.

For your "maid's" use they can mix the two into a bucket just before they want to use it.  It will remain effective long enough for them to do the job. But, you can't store the two mixed together as it self destructs eventually.

Hydrogen Peroxide applied directly to a wound can actually damage the process of tissue repair. Hydrogen peroxide is excellent for FIRST aid, meaning you only use it for the first cleaning. It is especially good for a deep wound where there is not much bleeding.  The bubbling action of the peroxide will  get deep into the wound and will bubble out any infection. But, only use it the for the first cleaning, because, as it damages the repairing cells  and will slow the healing.

I found that Hydrogen Peroxide is the best stain lifter if used fairly soon. I've waited up to four hours later before applying the peroxide and two days before washing the stained object and it still worked at lifting the stain. If you are clipping nails and a drop of blood gets on the carpet or your clothing, put Hydrogen Peroxide on it to lift the stain. Peroxide will actually foam and lift the stain prior to the object being washed.

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