Pro's Corner

Hydrogen Peroxide Stability

These general principles apply to all products from all manufacturers that use liquid hydrogen peroxide. All products formulated with peroxide need to have a vent system integrated into the cap or seals. Professional peroxide products incorporate stabilizing ingredients to extend shelf life, generally up to one year from the date of manufacture when stored and handled correctly. Customers should purchase a reasonable amount to prevent expiration in their possession and store the products in climate-controlled areas, as heat exposure can further reduce shelf life.


Effectively storing peroxide involves managing heat, stock rotation, and the quantity of stored product to minimize shelf-life deterioration. A climate-controlled warehouse becomes necessary when stock levels need to be high to handle usage spikes. If stock levels are limited to a few months' worth, heat management becomes less critical. Storing hydrogen peroxide products in a van with a truck mount beyond what's necessary for the day or week is not advisable. During summer months, the interior of a van can reach temperatures up to 150 degrees F, potentially causing damage or breakage.

Recently, a customer faced health issues and couldn't return to cleaning for over a year. They used their old supply and encountered a sour odor while cleaning for a loyal customer. Hydrogen peroxide will develop a sour odor after 18 months, especially when combined with other raw materials. Although this sour odor might not necessarily impact performance, it can be unpleasant for users and their customers. In discussions with this customer, we recommended shorter intervals between purchases to avoid keeping the product longer than necessary.

Certain products containing hydrogen peroxide and polymers are susceptible to shipping damage by UPS or FedEx, particularly when the "up" arrows are ignored during shipment. Polymers can clog the vent and lead to pressure buildup during transit. This can be easily managed by unplugging the vent upon reaching the final destination. Using safety glasses, a towel, and a sharp implement, pressure buildup during transit can be relieved by piercing the vent. In most cases, shipping by truck prevents such pressure buildup.


In summary, hydrogen peroxide is a remarkable addition to any cleaning solution. However, shelf-life rules and product stability considerations limit the range of products that can harness its capabilities. Boosting products with hydrogen peroxide in ready-to-use pre-sprays is better achieved through sodium percarbonate (powdered peroxide). A detailed discussion of its use can be saved for another time.



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