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Most of us were taught to wash our produce, but is rinsing with cold, running water - as the University of Minnesota Extension recommends - enough to kill all the germs? Apparently not!
According to to Livestrong.com, "A study published in 2003 in the Journal of Food Protection found that washing apples with a vinegar and water solution reduced salmonella on the outer skin significantly more than washing with water alone. Jack Bishop, editor of Cook's Illustrated, performed a similar experiment, and found that vinegar killed approximately 98 percent of bacteria on the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables."
So this is how you clean different types of fruits and veggies using vinegar:
1. Smooth-skinned produce, like apples: Pour 1 cup white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and add 3 cups water. Secure the lid on the bottle and shake well to combine the ingredients. Spray the item, coating it entirely, then rub skin as you rinse it off under cool water. Pat dry.
2. Leafy greens, like a bag of spinach: Pour 1 cup vinegar into a bowl with 3 cups of water. Dunk in your leaves, coating completely, then rinse off in cool water and lay on a towel to dry. Pat dry before serving.
3. Berries: Using the same type of bowl and vinegar mixture as leafy greens, keep your berries in its container and dunk into the bowl. Gently swish the container around in the solution to coat all berries, then let it sit in the solution for up to 2 minutes. Remove container from vinegar solution, open the lid, and rinse off with cold, running water. Lay the berries on a towel to dry. Line the container with a towel on the bottom before returning the berries, and put the whole thing in the fridge.