How to Purify Water With Hydrogen Peroxide

by Jonathan Croswell

A large jug of drinking water.

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Hydrogen peroxide has been used for years as a chemical treatment in municipal water systems. It has several benefits, including iron and hydrogen sulfide removal and the neutralization of tastes and odors. If you are camping, hiking or do not have a potable water source, it is important to purify the water to kill living organisms that may infect you and cause illness. This is a simple process, and occurs quickly because hydrogen peroxide is a fast-acting chemical agent.

Treat 1 gallon of water with 50 mL dry chlorine. Chlorine and hydrogen peroxide work well together because they offer different types of purification, and hydrogen peroxide ultimately neutralizes the flavor of chlorine. Let the chlorine sit in the water overnight.

Fill an eye dropped with 2 mL hydrogen peroxide for every gallon of water you are purifying.

Empty the eye dropped of hydrogen peroxide into the water.

Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes before drinking -- this gives the hydrogen peroxide time to oxidize the water and neutralize the chlorine.

Tips

  • You do not have to use chlorine before applying hydrogen peroxide to the water, but it improves the overall purification of the water.

    Keep hydrogen peroxide stored in a cool place and in a dark container -- UV rays cause hydrogen peroxide to decay, eliminating its effectiveness as a purifier.

Photo Credits

  • dourleak/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.