Use White Vinegar To Clean Today’s Dirty Contaminated Vegetables

August 4, 2015, by Ken Jorgustin


Lets face it – these days it’s often difficult or impossible to know where your fruits and vegetables are coming from. Just because they might look all shiny, bright, and inviting in your grocery store – they might also be contaminated – just waiting to get you sick.

After reading the article, “Health Warning: Be Aware Where Your Vegetables Came From…”, you may seriously want to consider washing / cleaning your fruits and vegetables with a vinegar mixture to help minimize the risk of becoming ill from contamination.

Every year, apparently nearly 50 million people become ill from food contamination, including sickness caused by contaminated fruits and vegetables. Cleaning fruits and vegetables with vinegar helps kill bacteria to ensure they are safe for consumption.

Here is the recommended vinegar and water solution mixture:


How much vinegar to add with water?

1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water.

An easy way to have a vinegar solution at the ready is to pre-mix in a spray bottle.

For ‘smooth skinned produce’, mist the fruit or vegetable, thoroughly coating its exterior with the vinegar solution. Then allow the produce to rest for 30 seconds before rubbing its surface and rinsing it under cold, running water. The FDA recommends cleaning smooth-skinned fruits and vegetables by gently rubbing them with your hands (instead of an abrasive scrubber). This prevents you from breaking the skin before the fruit or vegetable is completely clean, which could expose the flesh to contaminants.

For ‘rough surfaced produce’ (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, melons, potatoes, berries and other produce without a smooth or soft surface) they require a soaking in a 1 to 3 mixture (1 part vinegar and 3 parts water) in a large bowl. This ensures the acidic blend kills all bacteria. For leafy greens or other such similar produce, you will need to separate the individual leaves for thorough cleaning. After soaking for several minutes (some recommend up to 15 to 20 minutes), rinse them under running water.

Note: You may also use regular household bleach with the following formula mixture:
Chlorine Bleach For Sanitizing Raw Fruits And Vegetables

What about you? What has been your ‘go to’ recipe for cleaning fruits and vegetables? While it’s easy to simply ‘trust’ your grocer and supply chain (from beginning to end), all it takes is just once to become very ill from contaminated produce… I know that I have been ‘guilty’ of trusting the growth and distribution chain too much in the past, but am making a renewed effort to clean my produce…

OXO Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush