Growing Mushrooms with Hydrogen Peroxide--Sources

On this page I will list information on sources for some of the materials used in the peroxide manual's mushroom growing procedures. This information will undoubtedly be limited by the fact that I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. But see the last entries below for some Sources for the UK, Sources for Australia, and Sources for Spain.

Peroxide: I get most of my peroxide from a swimming pool supply store. It is sold as Baquacil(TM), and it comes in one gallon jugs labeled as 27 percent, although it has usually turned out to be higher than that in the balloon test. Food grade peroxide can be obtained at some health stores. For large quantities of 35 percent food grade peroxide (12 US gallons in a drum) at a lower price per gallon than Baquacil, look for Oxypure(TM), a product of FMC Corp. used in drinking water treatment. Oxypure is distributed both in the US and Canada.

Andrew Janjigian points out that sells 19 percent food grade peroxide online, and 35% technical grade peroxide can be purchased online from

Petri dishes and lab supplies: A couple of people have asked me where I get my re-usable plastic petri dishes. My previous source for these petri dishes has apparently gone out of business, and I haven't yet located a replacement. If you want to try to find them on the web, these petri dishes are called something like "heat resistant plastic petri dishes" or "autoclavable plastic petri dishes," rather than re-usable. One online source of pre-sterilized disposable Petri dishes and various other laboratory supplies is American Science and Surplus ( thanks to Robert Heinemann for the tip. Look under their Lab Supplies and Equipment section. Finally, Charles Patton recommends E-Bay as an excellent source of laboratory equipment.

Agar: I got a pound of agar for $35 dollars through a food buyers' coop that orders from Mountain People's Warehouse. This has lasted me for several years. The agar is packaged by Frontier Herbs, and it seems to be good quality. My local health food store also sells the same agar. Online, JCROWS.COM ( advertises food grade agar at $38/lb (as of this writing). also sells agar at similar prices in various quantities (follow the link to "cooking" and agar is the first product listed; thanks to R.B. Bowers for the tip). With agar of unknown microbiological quality, such as these last two, it is best to start with only a small order, until you've established that the product supports healthy mycelium. If the foregoing sources don't work, scientific supply stores should be able to sell you some of the more expensive lab grade agar. Other possible sources of "agar agar" include Asian food stores and, in Europe, candy makers.

Circle Cutter: There is an inexpensive device advertised as suitable for cutting circles of various sizes from cardboard, at This can potentially make it easier to cut cardboard disks to fit inside of spawn jar lids. Thanks to Mark Zemanek for spotting this.

Pellet fuel: In my area (Oregon), fir pellet fuel is widely available and marketed under several brand names, such as Lignetics™ and Rexius™. There is a pellet fuel that is sometimes available at Albertson's grocery stores, under the FireMaster™ brand name. These pellets are ideal for making Ten Minute spawn because they swell very easily with addition of hot water. Although I was once told they were made from cottonwood, more recent reports say they are made from Lodgepole Pine. I have also occasionally seen FireMaster™ pellets at warehouse stores. These pellets are manufactured in British Columbia.

My favorite pellets are made of oak, and they come from Pennington Seed Co. They are manufactured in Greenfield, Missouri at the Pennington plant there, and shipped to Pennington divisions around the country.

Bob Stoughton reports that Builder's Materials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, (sometimes) stocks oak fuel pellets. They are from a company in Arkansas called Heat Resource. The company has a bare-bones website (

Marc Goldstone spotted this source of hardwood pellets online: Unfortunately, they are priced at about ten times the store price for most fuel pellets, and the shipping costs alone already make it impractical to order this way.

Robert Heinemann found an online locator for pellet stove/fuel dealers in the US ( You enter your zipcode and it lists retailers within your geographical area. You will still have to find out what kind of wood the pellets are made of, but it's a start!

Kiln-dried sawdust: This material is actually sawdust that comes from the milling of kiln-dried lumber. It can often be obtained from woodworking shops, furniture makers, and mills that make value-added wood products such as hardwood flooring, panels, and the like. The wood has to be kiln-dried before making it into the finished product, so the sawdust is--in effect--also kiln-dried. The heat treatment can eliminate the peroxide-decomposing enzymes, but it is a good idea to test the material to be sure.

Beta Chip is a heat-treated lab rat bedding made up of 1/8" chips of maple. It's manufactured by NEPCO (Northeastern Products Corp, Warrensburg, NY, 800-873-8233. Michael Joy has found it at Dean's Animal Feed in Belmont/San Carlos, CA - 403 Quarry Road, (800) 593-1425. It's $7.50 or so in 2.5 cu. ft. (35lb.) bags. Dean's unfortunately will not ship this product, since it doesn't come in UPS acceptable bags.

Another heat-treated hardwood chip product made for lab animal bedding is called Sani-Chips™ ( One place they can be purchased retail is at Reptiles Online ( Cost works out to about $5 per cu. ft. This information courtesy of Andrew Janjigian.

Pelleted straw: This material can be purchased online as an animal bedding from their search box to look for "Critter Country" (a pelleted straw litter product made from winter wheat and other plant fibers, heat treated to kill fungus, molds and insects. Absorbent, dust free, toilet flushable, won't track and is odor controlling) and "Cat Country" (made from organic wheat straw). This tip courtesy of Andrew Janjigian. Both of these products should be useful with the non-sterile cultivation method.

Supplements: Here's a contact number for Sylvan America for those of you who are interested in getting nitrogen supplements from them: call 1-800-SYLVAN-1 for further information. Sylvan has high protein supplements from 36-60%.

Agricultural lime: Crushed, powdered limestone is sometimes sold by garden or farm supply stores. They may want to sell you dolomite lime instead, but don't take it. Oyster shell flour seems to be more common where I live, again sold by garden supply stores. Home Depot sells high grade Plaster of Paris which lists its only ingredients as limestone (50 percent) and gypsum (50 percent)--no stabilizers or binders added.

Mason's lime: I get my Mason's lime, also called hydrated lime, builders' lime. quicklime, and calcium hydroxide, from a large building supply store. It comes in 50 lb bags with the brand name Miracle Morta-lok™. Smaller amounts of caustic lime can sometimes be found with canning supplies.

Gypsum: I got a bag of powdered gypsum (calcium sulfate, chalk) from a farmers' supply store. This is apparently the same stuff people use to put white lines on playing fields. As an alternative, see above note about high grade Plaster of Paris from Home Depot.

Trash bags: The bags I use for my pellet fuel cultures are called Ruffies™. These are white translucent "tall kitchen bags." If you look closely on the package, you find the dimensions of the bags listed as 2 ft x 2 ft 6 in x 0.40 mil (609 mm x 762 mm x 10 micrometers). What you are looking for is the third dimension, which should be in the range of about 0.4 to 0.5 mil. Another brand called Hefty Basics™ has a thickness of 0.36 mil, which should be OK too, although they will allow the cultures to dry out faster than the Ruffies™. I've recently found thin colored plastic bags made of high density polypropylene for sale in a local paper supply warehouse store. These should work. Finally, G. Beard tells me he uses the light plastic grocery store checkout bags ("T-shirt bags"), which he purchases in bulk from a supplier at 1000 for $12.00. He hangs the bags from nails on a movable wooden rack.

For straw cultures, I use the larger black "high density trash bags" made by Good Day™. These have a thickness of 0.5 mil (12.7 micrometers). Avoid the softer plastic bags that are thicker than this, as they may contain fungicides.

Substrate ideas for the UK courtesy of David Wheldon: David has prepared substrate from composite logs called "Clean Heat." These are made of compressed shavings and sawdust from beech furniture making. They do not contain any peroxide-decomposing activity. They are are distributed by M J Giddings, Bedfordshire, telephone 01234 376722. Another substrate, suitable for oyster mushrooms, is a cat-litter said to be completely without additives, made of softwood sawdust. It has no peroxidase activity. The trade name is "Fussy Puss" and it is obtainable widely; in particular it is stocked by Wilkinson's stores (ironmongers and hardware).

For laboratory supplies and chemicals in the UK, including peroxide, there is Scientific and Chemical Supplies, Ltd ( You can view their catalog online. Order by fax one day and get delivery the next. This information courtesy of Tony Green.

Some substrate sources for Australia courtesy of Paul Ward. Posted 3/5/2010:
Recycled newspaper kitty litter pellets -
Breeders Choice brand - available from pet supply stores or supermarkets.

Compressed sawdust fire logs - Ecologs - obtained at a Mitre10 store. The owner of Ecologs says the wood used is mostly Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua) and other related Eucalyptus species from around Seymour, Victoria. The sawdust is heated until the lignin forms a glue that holds the sawdust together as logs, which are ultimately extruded from a machine under great pressure. The logs should be compatible with the peroxide method as a result. One log, 8 cm x 20-25 cm, will take about 3 litres of boiling water poured over it to convert it back to sawdust at about the appropriate moisture content for growing mushrooms.

Wood fuel pellets - - produced at a factory in Woodburn, northern NSW. Head of the company, whose office is in Alstonville, NSW, says the wood is about 80 percent eucalyptus and 20% pine, but they can make 100% eucalyptus. The same factory also makes kitty liter pellets under the name Oz-Pet.

Max's kitty litter by CoPrice is made from rice hulls, rice bran (18%) and a bit of Bentonite. Apparently they also add a preservative called Mycocurb, consisting of propionate salts, sodium chloride, and silica. Paul says this preservative didn't seem to bother his mushrooms much.

Sources for Spain courtesy of Gabriela Iacobescu. Posted 3/5/2010:
For malt extract, dextrose and gypsum (calcium sulfate) -
Mas Malta - selling supplies for homebrew beer making.

For straw and alfalfa, check in the Yellow Pages (páginas amarillas) under "Cereales."

For pellet fuel, there are "Enerbio pellets" made by Grans de Llucanes SL
Ctra de Santa Eulália de Puig-Oriol Km.7
08515 St. Martí d'Albans - Barcelona
Telef: +34 93 812 9011
For distributors, check Yellow Pages under "Lena para calefacción."

For Petri dishes, you can get them made of glass at the chemist, but these are too expensive. A better option is to search on Gabriela says, "Do your search in English and you'll get a better price."

R. Wayne

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