Why is hydrogen peroxide sold in brown bottles?

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Hydrogen Peroxide is sold in brown (or dark) bottles because it can decompose into water if it’s exposed to light. Opaque bottles keep the light out, preventing the unwanted chemical reaction from taking place. Also, you will usually only find hydrogen peroxide in plastic or coated glass bottles because trace amounts of metal found in glass can also decompose hydrogen peroxide into water or even oxygen.

Three bottles of CVS hydrogen peroxide.
Three bottles of CVS hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the chemical formula H202. It is a colorless liquid that resembles water in many respects. It was discovered by Louis Jacques Thénard in 1818 by reacting nitric acid with barium peroxide. Its physical properties are very similar to those of water, except that it’s 40% denser. The only chemical difference between water and hydrogen peroxide is a single oxygen atom (H20 vs H202). 

It is used primarily as a bleaching agent and a disinfectant, although there numerous other uses. See the video below.

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. Humans naturally create hydrogen peroxide to fight off bacteria and infections.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda is great for whitening your teeth.
  3. Highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide can be used as a rocket propellant.
  4. Hydrogen peroxide can be used in your garden to treat root rot, fungus, etc.
INTERESTING VIDEO

INTERESTING REFERENCES
  1. Answers.com – Why is hydrogen peroxide stored in brown bottles
  2. GKToday.com – Why Hydrogen Peroxide is Kept in Dark Plastic Bottles?
  3. Wikipedia.org – Hydrogen peroxide

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