Does Vinegar Clean Fruits and Vegetables?

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Including fruits and vegetables in your diet is vital to keep you healthy and well. Considering their nutritional benefits, selecting, preparing, and cleaning them is crucial. But how can you do so? Is water enough to keep them clean? Or does vinegar clean fruits and vegetables? 

Yes, vinegar cleans fruits and vegetables. Vinegar is a magical little ingredient with endless uses and benefits for cleaning. Since fruits and vegetables are often eaten raw, cleaning them with vinegar will remove any pesticides, bacteria, or other impurities that can be harmful. 

Curious how you can better clean your fruits and vegetables? Here’s what you need to learn to clean them well, how vinegar works and some tips to make them last longer and avoid contamination.

Is It Safe to Wash Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar?

Yes, it is safe to wash fruits and vegetables with vinegar. This ingredient also works well in keeping your fresh produce safer to consume. The acidity of vinegar can kill bacteria because the acid penetrates the bacteria’s cell membrane, making the cell die. 

However, note that we are referring to cooking vinegar such as distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. There are many types of vinegar, so if you use them to wash your fresh produce, don’t buy them just because the label has “vinegar” on it.

Avoid vinegar used for agricultural or cleaning purposes with around 20% acetic acid. Buy the ones that contain 4% to 7% acidic levels.  

Why Is It Important to Clean Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar?

To avoid ingesting bacteria and chemicals, it is essential to wash your fresh produce with vinegar. While you can clean fruits and vegetables with water, it might not be enough to remove everything altogether. 

Organic fruits and vegetables won’t have pesticides and chemicals on them. However, this does not mean you should be complacent about cleaning your fresh produce with water. Even organic fruits and vegetables may also have unwanted bacteria. As such, it’s crucial to clean them with a vinegar wash.

It’s not always possible to buy fresh organic produce. When you buy conventional, fruits and vegetables may have bacteria, chemicals, and other residual pesticides on them. So, if you want to ensure that they are clean enough to be eaten raw, vinegar will help eliminate bacteria and chemicals.

What Type of Vinegar Should You Use to Clean Fruits and Vegetables?

There are many types of vinegar, but not all are safe to clean with fruits and vegetables. Distilled white vinegar is your best and safest choice, or apple cider vinegar. Both are used as cooking ingredients, so there’s no need to worry even if you consume any of the vinegar. Make sure to rinse your fruits and vegetables after you clean them with vinegar.

Which Fruits and Vegetables Can You Clean With Vinegar?


All fruits and vegetables should be washed and cleaned with vinegar before eating them. But there are a few fruits and vegetables with skin that you need to peel before eating them. Either way, both can be cleaned with vinegar.

However, fruits and vegetables with skins that you don’t eat don’t need to be thoroughly cleaned. But fruits and vegetables that can be eaten raw should be soaked with vinegar for a while before eating them. This way, you will be assured that harmful chemicals and bacteria are removed.

Will Vinegar Affect the Taste and Texture of Fruits and Vegetables?

Vinegar may affect the taste and texture of your fresh produce. As such, you should not soak them in vinegar for an extended period. And after soaking, rinse them with water so the solution won’t affect their taste.

How to Clean Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar?

The easiest way to clean fruits and vegetables is with a vinegar solution. Making one is simple and requires a few ingredients and tools. Here’s a guide to help you make them.

Things you’ll need:

  • Diluted vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Bowl/spray bottle


Step 1. Mix diluted white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with water (50/50).

Step 2. If you want a citrus flavor, add lemon juice. Note: This is optional. 

Step 3. Depending on how you wash your fruit, you can put the mixture in a bowl to soak your fresh produce. You can also put the solution in a spray bottle and spray them. 

How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables with Vinegar?

You can wash fruits and vegetables with vinegar in two ways: spray bottle and soaking. The best methods will depend on the type of fruits and vegetables you are cleaning. 

Clean larger fruits and veggies using a spray bottle. On the other hand, soak small fresh produce in a bowl of vinegar for better cleaning.

Spray Bottle Method

Step 1. Put the vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle and shake it well.

Step 2. Place your fruits and veggies in a colander and spray them with the spray bottle of vinegar.

Step 3. Allow the solution to sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse them with cold water.

Step 4. Dry your fresh produce with paper towels.

Soaking Method

Step 1. Put the vinegar solution into a large bowl.

Step 2. Soak the fruit and veggies in the solution. Make sure that all of them are submerged in the solution.

Step 3. Let them sit in for about 15 minutes, then strain.

Step 4. Rinse your fresh produce to remove the vinegar solution, then pat dry. 

How Long Should You Soak Fruits and Vegetables in Vinegar?


It will depend on which fruits and veggies you should clean with vinegar. For fruits and vegetables you can eat quickly without removing the skin, you should soak them in a bowl of vinegar solution for 15 minutes. This will allow the solution to work magic, especially in removing dirt, bacteria, and other chemicals.

For fruits and vegetables that can’t be eaten raw, spray them with vinegar and let the solution sit for about 5 minutes. There’s no need to clean them thoroughly because you need to peel the skin afterward. 

Whether you soak or spray your produce with vinegar, it’s important to rinse them with water after using vinegar. This will ensure that the solution will not affect the taste and texture of your fresh produce.


We hope we have clarified the answer to your question, “does vinegar clean fruits and vegetables? Indeed, cleaning fruits and vegetables with vinegar is crucial to food safety because the solution can remove harmful bacteria and chemicals and prevent cross-contamination. 

To get the most benefit from your fresh fruits and vegetables, wash them with vinegar and use our tips to keep them safe and healthy.

To learn what else you can use vinegar to clean in your home, read our article – Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean My Dishwasher?

If you want to learn what other method besides vinegar you can use to clean your fresh produce, check our article – Does Baking Soda Clean Fruit?