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How To Clean Your Fruits & Vegetables With Vinegar

clean fruits and vegetables

In Summer we all look forward to adding a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to our diets, but hitching a ride on those fresh goodies are a lot of germs. Vinegar has been used for millennia as a house hold cleanser, bug repellant and medicine. People today still utilize vinegar as a natural alternative to many toxic substances found at the store and it has been shown to be as effective as many of them. If you want to keep your family eating healthy and staying free of foodborne illness then add a little vinegar to your food cleaning routine.

As a kid my grandmother had a beautiful garden and I was her chief gardening assistant. Eating her home grown tomatoes straight off the vine with a little “spit shine” seemed to be a more than adequate fruit cleaning practice. Unfortunately we don’t grow as much food in our family gardens anymore and that has opened the door for many dangerous germs to hitch a ride on our fruits and veggies to the store and then to our kitchens. I’m not talking about the “good” germs you pick up in the soil that teach our bodies to fight disease , I’m talking about the scary , headline grabbing germs like E-coli, Salmonella and the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A . The ones that cause little people without fully developed immune systems, to get really sick.

So before you toss the fruit bowl out of fear of causing your family a nasty case of food poisoning, dig out the plain white vinegar and follow these instructions .

1. All your rough surfaced veggies and fruits require a pre-wash and scrub and a soak in clear water ( 4 cups water to a ½ cup of white vinegar). Soak your goodies for 10 minutes, making sure all surfaces are submerged. Rinse until the vinegar smell is gone.

2. For all your edible skinned fruits and veggies give each piece a good rinse and soak for 5-10 minutes depending on the sturdiness of the skin.

3. Only clean what you will eat in 24 hours. Even though a proper vinegar wash has been shown to kill 98% of pathogens they will start to grow again potentially infecting your family members.

With a quick wash down with water and vinegar your fruit is going to be scrubbed clean from the dirt and wax that most fruits are covered in.  You can feel good knowing that your not only providing the best for you family by having them eat fruits and vegetables but you have also given them the best cleaning option without harmful chemicals.

How do you clean your fruits & vegetables?  Do you stick with just water?  Remember that stuff in the spray bottle that was good for cleaning fruits?


  1. 2
    Rosie says:

    I never heard of this before, soo good to know. And vinegar is very inexpensive, it isn’t something that is cost prohibitive. Wow!

  2. 1
    Kecia says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I usually just run my fruits and veggies under the faucet. I need to start incorporating vinegar in my cleaning routine for food.

    • 1.1
      Brandy says:

      It’s hard to change the old habits. I admit I never would have done this either until I contracted listeria meningitis three years ago. Now I am slightly paranoid about those germs.