Ratio of White Vinegar & Water | Kill Germs on Fresh Vegetables

It’s difficult or impossible to know where your fruits and vegetables are coming from as they sit on the grocery store shelves. They may look clean, but they might be contaminated with germs – just waiting to get you sick. How many people handled those vegetables?!

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

Apparently every year, 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 help ensure they are safe for consumption.

Here is the recommended vinegar and water solution mixture:

Ratio Of Vinegar And Water To Kill Germs On Vegetables

What is the ratio of vinegar and water to kill germs on vegetables?

1 part white vinegar
3 parts water

1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water.

Example: To make a vinegar and water vegetable bath, use 1 cup white vinegar with 3 cups clean fresh water. Adjust amounts according to your needs.

 Pro Tip: Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar and water solution. Keep it handy on the kitchen counter for vegetable decontamination (spray on).

Smooth Skinned Produce:

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.

Rough Surfaced Produce:

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 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.

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

While it’s easy to simply trust your grocer and supply chain, the fact is that there’s likely many handling steps from beginning to end. All it takes is just once to become very ill from contaminated produce!

This is the exact vegetable scrub brush that I use:

The most popular vegetable scrub brush.

Check it out on amz:
OXO Good Grips Flexible Vegetable Brush

Stock Up On White Vinegar

It’s cheap! And it’s very useful!

“Commercially produced vinegar has a virtually indefinite shelf life”, says the Vinegar Institute, an association that represents most of the world’s largest vinegar manufacturers.

How Long Does Vinegar Last?

The Vinegar Institute conducted studies to find out and confirmed that vinegar’s shelf life is almost indefinite. Because of its acid nature, vinegar is self-preserving and does not need refrigeration. White distilled vinegar will remain virtually unchanged over an extended period of time. And, while some changes can be observed in other types of vinegars, such as color changes or the development of a haze or sediment, this is only an aesthetic change. The product can still be used and enjoyed with confidence.

Continue reading: Practical Uses For Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits For Your Health


  1. When u say soft skinned fruits does this mean grapes and cherries or apples pears?
    Seems grapes cherries plums would be to delicate for the mix.

    1. anything smooth. be aware of lemons/limes. they r the dirties produce. use a scrub brush like the one above mentioned before u cut/squeeze them.

  2. The white vinegar is good, but you do have to use a lot of it,
    Miss spots too unless you immerse.
    I use a product called Oxidate
    Gets mixed 300/1 water to oxi, can immerse all veggies in it and rinse, is food grade and kills all pathogens and is OMRI approved

  3. I wash my fruits and vegetables with just water. I never thought to use vinegar. I think this is a better option.

  4. Some veggies and fruits I use soapy water made with petroleum free unsented dish soap. Rinses off well and no residue. Just let them set a minute or two. The lettuce would be a good one for the vinegar. It is sad today large size vinegar is in plastic jugs. The acid has to leach in to the vinegar over time.

  5. I’m a compulsive washer of vegetables, fruits, melons, etc. I’ve seen people in the grocery store touch everything in the bin before picking up their produce. Even if they themselves are not sick, maybe the person who used the cart before them was sick…

    1. Beach’n
      I carry the dollar store Clorox wipes to clean the grocery cart before anything goes inside of it. I use it on my hands to make sure anything that was touched I do not carry out to the vehicle. Then bag the vege’s & fruit we purchase, after arriving home and preparing to put them away everything is washed prepared for storage in the fridge in zip lock bags. JIC

  6. When I lived abroad in the developing world had a four-step process. Needful as many farmers used fresh humanure on fields, and dangerous pathogens were in abundance in the markets. Tap water was not potable, but had a large distiller for drinking water.

    Thorough washing in sink with tap water and Dawn dish soap.Scrubbing hard foods, thorough plunging and swishing leafies.
    Thorough rinsing in sink of tap water.
    A 10 minute soak in sink of drinking water with bleach added.
    Complete air drying before storing.

    Weekly shopping and cleaning fresh food took big chunk of a day.

    Preps include extra scrubbers, and plenty of Dawn and pool shock to make bleach.

  7. Thank goodness I grow most of my vegetables and a lot of my fruit. Can or freeze most of the vegies, and some fruit. With all of the food recalls lately, it’s just scary to go to the store. Question is, should I also wash the vegies etc. that I grow at home in vinegar solution too? Or do you think just rinsing in water is O.K., which is what I usually do. Never thought of the vinegar solution.

    1. I typically wash my produce that I grow because I use cow and llama manure to grow the veggies. I wash just on the off chance that my veggies have touched the manure. Abundance of caution in my opinion!

  8. Vinegar is a major ingredient in Carolina bar-b-q recipes. I marinade pork in a vinegar/mustard brine and also use it on the table as a sauce. I generally soak chicken and pork in a vinegar solution before using.

    1. Chevy. Curious about your vinegar and mustard brine on pork. Stupid Question…..but what part of the pig do you use it on…….something between the rooter and the Tooter I assume. Lol🐖
      My wife and I need some new grilling ideas. I made a pork loin, rubbed with Cajun spice, stuffed with spicy sausage, onions/garlic. Wrapped with thick cut bacon, and injected with apple, juice the other day. Then low/slow grilled and smoked it.😁 Also made a side dish of a sweet onion, cored/hollowed out. Filled with real butter and a beef bouillon cube rubbed down with butter and wrapped in aluminum foil, tossed on the griil. (Redneck Bloomin’ Onion)
      Might try the mustard rub on something. So Chevy, if you wanna share your recipe(s). I will try’em out……..Now I’m hungry. Lol.

      1. Livin’ in the Woods: My mouth is watering so much after that I can hardly concentrate enough to write. I used country style pork ribs, which are just chunks of pork with bone, not actually ribs. Normally I use a Cajun rub and no sauce. If I use a sauce it is on the table and the vinegar/mustard one is one of my favorites. Look up Carolina vinegar/mustard sauce for recipes. I use “Cucina Toscana Honey mustard”. For the brine I poured the mustard over the pork in a plastic bag and then the vinegar. After sloshing it around I put it in a vacuum-sealing marinade bowl. I grilled over wood coals. Lately I’ve been using an electric grill I got at a garage sale, it has a heavy ceramic base and works wonderful on chicken.

        But back to the vinegar, even if I don’t let the pork soak in a brine I almost always bathe it in white vinegar before I do anything else with it. Chicken too.

        I’m going for breakfast now.

  9. An observation from a former grower,
    Re food safety,
    All of the recent recalls and outbreaksin vegetables were from large farms. Large farms use primarily immigrant labor.

    Not all farms are equal too though.
    Many small farms take many unsafe shortcuts. Many use terrible practice with regards to clean handling.

    Personally, knowing what i know about local farms, i am leery of any produce i cant boil!

  10. To me many of these comments just underline the need for people to grow it themselves – control as much of the food chain from sowing to serving… Just a thought.

    1. Agree 1000% Bogan.
      I was a bit of a germaphobe all along anyway, dirt, etc no prob, but people are pigs!
      Not all but ya never know,
      But the videos and the spitting in food and licking ice cream and rubbing fruits and veggies on genitals bs going on with “social media” has me heading into the greenhouse again today and garden later. It is a priority now to completely cut the cord.
      Had a bad experience with some awful smelling chicken from Target recently that turned my stomach and made me stop buying any poultry as well as start going full bore with raising my own.
      Maybe its just me but IMHO the food systems are failing and most people dont even realize it

  11. Just more indicators of a resurgence of ignorance and the increase of a contemptuous apathy toward proper and upstanding conduct, of any sort, in the populace. Instead of demonstrating a good work ethic, and taking pride in ones job, a growing number of people are taking the exact opposite approach. They deliberately ignore any rule, policy, standard, or regulation, which, if followed, might cause them to actually perform work. They will only seek to perform the exact minimum work, at the exact minimum proficiency, for the exact minimum of possible hours, while they plan how to steal whatever they can…including time. The only pride they take is in how much they get over on their employer.

  12. I use white vinegar mixed with vodka to clean the surfaces of all of the kitchen counters and cutting boards. It works wonders. 1/4 cup cheap vodka. I cup white vinegar and tap water in a small spray bottle. Saves money and no harmful chemicals.

Comments are closed.