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Bits and Pieces

by Barrie Hopkins

Hydrogen Peroxide II

This is not the first time that I have written about hydrogen peroxide, and I can assure you it won’t be the last. And once again, as before, I’ll  be snitching several excerpts of explicit explanation  from  the article titled; The Many Benefits  of  Hydrogen Peroxide by Dr. David G. Williams.

When it comes to hydrogen peroxide no other substance has interested me more. I first became personally acquainted with it away way back when I was known as the little snotty-nosed, freckle-faced, red headed kid wearing glasses, somewhere around the age of  10; give or take a freckle or two.

We had acquired a new puppy; a little Airedale puppy, but little puppies quite often grow big. But this was really the reason why his breed was picked. We needed a watchdog that was as gentle as a lamb, but had the formidable appearance of a grizzly. One hundred pound, black saddled, brown Buster, with brown hair covering his eyes, crossed the Ts, and  dotted the Is in both rolls. No one was ever bitten and nothing  more  ever stolen from the market garden business we were in.

But Buster was an outdoor dog; it was where he wanted to be both winter and summer. But little dog houses grow smaller when little puppies grow big. It’s just one of the ambidextrous bylaws of nature. So off I swaggered, swede saw swaying in hand, and hatchet hung tomahawk-like from my belt, to cut at the time a bunch of cedar poles to make an attractive little 3- by 4-foot log dog house, complete with porch and window, for Buster.

All was well in both looks and went, until it came time to frame fit the window. I was encouraging a sharp draw-knife through a hard knot of cedar when it simultaneously cut through both knot and my ill-placed knee. So off we went, with blood streaming  to  my ankle, to visit Doc Waller, whose clinic was in part of his own home in Rockwood.

There was the appropriate wait, as those ahead were cared for, so my knee had clotted and looked quite yucky.  But the Doc didn’t seem disturbed or perturbed, so I felt at ease as he soft brushed on this clear guk from a bottle. At  the  same time telling me, “This won’t hurt; its actually fun; watch it, it’s going to bubble.” It did bubble, spit and sputter, exciting me so much so that I hardly felt the three clamps placed, and swathe tightly wrapped, to hold the two inch cut together.

On leaving, he palmed a 50 cent piece back into the hand that had handed a dollar, saying as well, “you  better take the rest of this with you, I’m sure you’ll find use for it, but be sure you wash the knee clean each night, and put some of this on before bedtime.” That was my initial introduction to a 35% solution of hydrogen peroxide, definitely one of Mother Nature’s then appreciated miracles.

It is this hydrogen peroxide in rainwater that makes it so much more effective than tap water when given to plants. With increased levels of pollution, however, greater amounts of H202 react with airborne toxins and never reach the ground. To compensate for this, many farmers have been increasing crop yields by spraying them with diluted hydrogen peroxide (5 to 16 ounces of 35% mixed with 20 gallons of water per acre). You can achieve the same beneficial effect with your house plants by adding 1 ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide (or 16 drops of 35% solution) to every quart of water you give your plants. It also  makes an excellent safe insecticide. Simply  spray your plants with 8 ounces of 3% peroxide mixed with 8 ounces of white sugar and one gallon of water.

Hydrogen peroxide is odourless and colourless, but not tasteless. When stored under the proper conditions, it is a very stable compound. When kept in the absence of light and contaminants, it dismutates (that’s just a fancy  word for breaks down) very slowly at the rate of about 10% a year. (This can be slowed even further by storing the liquid in the freezer.) It boils at 152 degrees C and freezes at minus 2 degrees C.

So there you have it folks, you now know one of the secrets that won the Little Lady many red ribbons at area flower shows.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




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