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  1. Leah says

    Interesting. I use regular white vinegar for my produce rinses. In my google searches, apple cider vinegar didn’t come up. Maybe I missed that? I wonder if one is better than the other? White vinegar is a higher ratio – 1 cup to 3 cups water.

    • Tiffany says

      I don’t think one is “better” than the other, just different. The should both do the same, but apple cider has a much more mild taste that white distilled, just in case some residue is left. Some cleaning recipes call for skipping the rinse too, so that could be their reasoning for ACV, but if there’s good benefits from rinsing and scrubbing (if possible) so I wouldn’t skip that. ~Tiffany

    • Joyce says

      In regards to using White Vinegar over Apple Cider vinegar (the kind that has the “mother” in it like Bragg’s)does make a difference. White vinegar can be great for cleaning, but keep in mind it is made from corn which is GMO. I used to use a mild soap and then do a vinegar soak/rinse on my produce with White Vinegar. Not anymore. Now, since I have learned more about White Vinegar, and also knowing that the vapors aren’t good on my lungs, I switched to Apple Cider Vinegar. I eat a lot of organic produce, and the cost of vinegar was pricey… so now I am looking into Branch Basics Soap… it seems very impressive! But, I will continue using Apple Cider vinegar as an addition rinse with some of the more toxic fruit like strawberries and apples. And, I agree that even the organic produce needs cleaning! Thanks for the post!

      • Tiffany says

        A wonderful clarification Joyce – I didn’t know about white vinegar being derived from GMO corn. That stuff just seems to be everywhere! Do you have a scratch/dent grocery store in your area? I’ve found ACV w/the mother there and it was much more affordable. I haven’t heard of that brand soap before,but you have my curiosity piqued! I’m that to my list of “to research.” Thanks again Joyce! ~Tiffany

  2. says

    I usually rinse my produce before I’m about to use it, but doing it all at once is a great idea! I typically just use water, but after looking at those bugs, I am going to start adding vinegar! Can this solution be used on any produce? Does it work on leafy greens like romaine, spinach and kale? I have been finding a lot of bugs on those lately =/

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

    • Tiffany says

      Be sure to only do a day or two’s worth Andrea, not the whole week. Those bugs are kinda gross, eh? Yes, this solution will work on all produce. Fill a big mixing bowl (or a sink if you’re doing big leafed lettuce) and do it all in one batch. Another tip – after you’ve rinsed and dried, store a paper towel with the greens to absorb residual moisture. I do this with packaged kale… we go through one the first few days, then a second over the course of 10 days or so. It allows us to make one Costco-sized bag of baby kale last nearly two full weeks without getting slimy!

  3. says

    Thanks for the post. I was just talking about this with my sister when she said she ran out of her veggie wash and we both just use vinegar water for all our kitchen (and bathroom) cleaning. Now I see that it works! Will the fruits/veggies go bad more quickly if I wash them all right away? I’ve always heard not to, but it can get time consuming doing them slowly as I use them.

    Enjoying your blog!

    • Tiffany says

      Penny Lane,

      See Joyce’s comment about ACV and white vinegar. I’d recommend ACV over white as best practice, only using white if you’re in a pinch. Because vinegar is acidic, it can cause the produce to age more quickly if done significantly ahead of time, like washing a big bag for spinach from Costco and not using it for another week to 10 days. It can be time consuming, so I’d recommend doing a big batch in the sink every 2-3 days or so. Maybe start it while you’re waiting for water to boil or rice to cook or something else that’s keeping you in the kitchen anyway. Thanks for reading and leaving such kind words! ~Tiffany

  4. Carol says

    I’m lazy too!! If I don’t wash ALL my produce when before I put it away directly from the grocery store, I always think i’m too busy to wash it when I’m needing it. So when we all bring in the groceries I keep the produce out and wash it all, dry it all and then put it all away. It is a lot of work, but I found that it helps ensure all the produce gets gobbled up before it goes bad!

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Carol,

      ACV will do what you need it to do on vegetables, but there are some breeds of parasites in meat that can only be killed by heat. That’s why there’s the push to properly cook meat to certain temperatures. :)

      • Carol says

        I wash the veggies and fruit in a veg wash, rinse with tap water two times, till no visible bugs / etc, then soak them in the water mix with acv for a while, skake it off and final rinse of spring water…I bought some lamb steaks, rinsed them in water, I soaked them and churned them around a bit before taking them out of the acv, and left it on…I covered both sides with salt and pepper and one side covered with granulated organic garlic, then, put them in a toaster oven, baked, then broiled on one side at the end…The end results was delicious…They had a more sweet taste, very tender, when done…

        • Tiffany says

          Hmmm… so the ACV acted as a tenderizer? Similar to how lemon juice would be… interesting! Thanks for the update Carol!

  5. Brian says

    Cantilupes were mentioned re. cleaning fruit. I use all the cantilupe as it is a great scourse of vitamins and minerals that help prevent hardening of the arteries, and relieve anxiety and insomnia.
    Eating only the flesh gives you 5% of the benefits using the whole melon including the skin, by passing it through a juicer provides 95%.
    Can i use peroxide with cider vinegar to clean my fruit.

  6. Kate says

    I attempted to remove a raised mole from my face with ACV. After a few day of applying ACV, the scab formed and it came off, leaving a slightly raised area. It seems as only the top of the mole came off on too if this there is yellow discharge coming out. I used lots of different ointments but it’s been three days and it’s not getting better, wonder whether I should see a doctor?
    What do you guys recommend?
    Thanks for advice

    • Joyce says

      Kate, First of all, good for you for using the Apple Cider vinegar! It does wonders. Now, this is what I would do… get some hexane free castor oil and use a q-tip and glob it over the area. Then cover with a band-aid to seal in the oil. Since it is on your face, I would do this in the evening and wear the band-aid to bed overnight. Remove in the morning and repeat until it is all gone. You will be amazed. After it heals do this for several more nights. If it ever comes back… just repeat. Castor oil is amazing stuff! Best of luck- Joyce

  7. Gabie says

    After washing, how long does the produce usually last? I know with strawberries, washing causes the fruit to turn faster.

    • Tiffany says

      The ACV acts as a slight preservative, so it seems to last longer than usual. Although, it’s recommended to wash right before using to prevent it from aging faster. I’d say you have at least 2 days post-washing to use the fruit, possibly longer if it air-dries well before moving to the fridge. You might have longer, but we usually eat ours within that time frame.

  8. Cathie says

    Hi Tiffany….I’m curious, did you look into Branch Basics? I found that product recently and found your site today. Seeing the comment about it made me wonder what you thought of the product if you did look into it. I’m trying to weigh the value of Branch Basics given the cost. Thanks

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Cathie! I have not, but I can do that today. I don’t doubt that there’s products that work, but it’s the cost… especially when I already have ACV on-hand.

  9. Anita says

    Hi! Just a late reply to your article re washing produce with ACV which sounds great! I use frozen berries to add to my smoothies – could I take them out of the freezer and wash them with ACV and then put them straight back in the freezer?

  10. Christopher Pratt says

    Soaked apples in the vinegar solution recommended, but now there is some kind of white coating on them that will not come off and was not visible before soaking. What is it, why did it happen and are they ok to eat? Thanks!

    • Tiffany says

      I’m not sure Christopher – I’ve never had that happen before. Could it just be residue that needs to be wiped/dryed off? How long was the apple in the solution?

  11. KK says

    Hi Tiffany,
    I am assuming the ACV removes pesticides? I currently always wash my produce, even organic, with a Veggie Wash. However, the store I frequent (and I see you frequent too:) changed the product once they put their own name on it and now it has such a strong odor, I no longer like it!! I have been considering changing so this article is certainly helpful. I already keep a spray bottle in the kitchen with citrus vinegar I made for cleaning…do you think this will work? It was made with regular vinegar but has the benefit of citrus in it. Thank you for all your helpful, encouraging posts!!

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Kay! The ACV removes dirt and any trace remains of toxins sprayed on the surface of the produce. I’ve used citrus cleaner in a pinch, but the downside is that most distilled white vinegar is made with corn… and corn is very likely GMO. So in essence, it seems odd to clean food with “dirty” spray. Ideally, ACV is best. However, if you’ve got citrus vinegar and the budget says no more, then I won’t knock you for using what you got! :)

  12. Mini Clean says

    This one is really interesting. Vinegar is indeed a wonder! I should try this at home then. The problem with cleaning with vinegar is its smell, but I’ll be worry free with this then. Bugs and other insects are my biggest problems since sanitation is very vital for me especially that we have some babies at home.

  13. Tasha says

    Since the ACV is diluted in water, do you think it’s safe to use the kitchen sink (cleaned) or a large stainless steel bowl? I was concerned about the metal being reactive to the ACV.

  14. Adam says

    I’ve always been told……apple cider vinegar for food/cosmetic use…..and white vinegar for pickling/cleaning …… lol. I don’t know if it really makes a difference though.

  15. Di H. says

    I am using Branch Basics and the ease of use is amazing! It is on the expensive side for the concentrate but you only use a little bit per bottle and fill the rest with water. I use their foam pump bottles and it lasts forever! My kids used to fly thru almost a bottle every 2 weeks and this one has lasted us over a month. . It even shows you the line to fill on their bottles. Compared to vinegar there is basically no scent. Adjust the dilution and you can pretty much use it on everything! Baby wash, produce wash, spot cleaner, window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, etc.
    Now if you are making acv and your own cleaners for basically free you may not find that it’s as cost effective.

    • Tiffany says

      Thanks for the brand recommendation Di! Making everything from scratch isn’t in the cards for everyone, nor the super-frugal all the time, so I do appreciate this tip on good green cleaners. :)

  16. Janie says

    I couldn’t read all of the replies on this post, so apologies if someone has already mentioned it, but I used ACV to get rid of my sons’ plantar warts (and warts in general) with great success. Just soak a tiny piece of tissue or paper towel in vinegar, then put it directly on the wart and cover with a sticking plaster. I tore off a small corner then rolled it into a ball-shaped wad. I replaced it about every 48 hours and within a week the warts were gone. Take care not to overlap onto the skin too much when applying the wad, as it can irritate a little. It is much safer and more effective than those expensive products they sell at the pharmacy!
    BTW, I knew ACV had many uses, but I have not yet used it to wash my produce – I will give it a try in place of the ordinary white vinegar I have been using.

  17. LeTreay says

    Sadly I don’t recall scrubbing veggies and fruits growing up. In fact I clearly remember Grandma saying something like, “A little dirt never hurt”. We used to rinse and go.

  18. says

    I clean harder fruits like apples and pears with baking soda. Not only does it clean them, it also scrubs off the waxy coatings that are often put on grocery store versions of these fruits to make them look shiny.

    Best regards! Raynes Park Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  19. kiran hussain says

    Hey your post was very helpful just a quick question so I soak any fruit and vegetable in a bowl of bottled water and mix in some acv and then rinse of and let dry right? Some posts I’ve seen have said to add some baking soda into acv and then wash would that be a good idea? And would I do the same routine if I was to wash spinach lettuce kale or cilantro. Please reply.

    • kiran hussain says

      And please can you also let me know if I wash my veges like peppers carrots eggplants etc. Can I cut and freeze them it won’t effect them will it.. I usually wash and cut and freeze them it’s the first time in be using something as I have been searching of pesticides and parasites. I have a very busy schedule and don’t get time to do a lot of preps for cooking but I like to eat at home. So I like to cut everything that can be cut and frozen like spinach eggplants and the rest of veges so if I wash it with your routine and freeze it won’t be an issue will it?

      • Tiffany says

        You can wash veggies this way too, but freezing affects the texture of some veggies. Carrots should be blanched first, and peppers are fine for straight to the freezer if you plan to use them cooked since they’ll lose their crunchiness. Washing shouldn’t effect your routine though!

    • Tiffany says

      Kiran – your acv/water for washing is doing the job just fine, and you can even skip the rinse. As for leafy greens, you can do the same but they don’t have to stay very long. Put them in, swish around and take them out.

  20. Perry says

    Hi nice article. I was wondering, do some fruits and vegetables require more time in soaking than others? I remembering reading a few articles recommending 20 minutes of soak time. Also I remember reading that bugs can dig deep into the produce so that the produce should be cooked to kill the bugs inside whereareas the wash or soak for the produce is mostly to get rid of the outer bacteria contaminets etc.

    • Tiffany says

      Thanks Perry! I have not read anything about a longer soak being better; in fact, soaking longer could cook some produce. Yes, bugs can dig deep, but cooking isn’t the answer. A good soak, plus a good rinse (or two!) will kill and get rid of bugs. :)

  21. Olivia @ Paulswindowclean says

    Great advice, I recently replaced white vinegar with ACV to wash both fruits and veggies at home and I must admit that the results are fantastic! I also used to use white vinegar as natural window cleaner but it’s obviously not that natural with the corn in it being GMO. Replaced here with apple cider as well and found out that it cleans just as good, plus the smell is way more pleasant than before.


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